NTSB Identification: LAX94FA106.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 28, 1994 in SAN JOSE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/27/1995
Aircraft: SIKORSKY S-58, registration: N4995G
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
THE PILOT WAS CONDUCTING AN EXTERNAL LOAD OPERATION ABOUT 1-1/2 MILES FROM THE DEPARTURE AIRPORT. AFTER FINISHING A LIFT, THE HELICOPTER WAS HOVERING AT ABOUT 100 FEET OVER A 13-STORY BUILDING. WITNESSES HEARD THE ENGINES SPOOL DOWN AND SAW THE ROTOR BLADES SLOWING. THE HELICOPTER DESCENDED ONTO A TWO-LEVEL PENTHOUSE ON THE BUILDING ROOF AND ROLLED ONTO ITS RIGHT SIDE. A PARKING LOT ADJACENT TO THE BUILDING HAD BEEN SELECTED BY THE COMPANY AS A LANDING AREA IN AN FAA-APPROVED LIFT PLAN, BUT OBSTRUCTIONS PREVENTED ITS USE. THE HELICOPTER, COMPRISED PRIMARILY OF MAGNESIUM, WAS CONSUMED BY A POSTCRASH FIRE. FUEL CONSUMPTION WAS ABOUT 11 POUNDS PER MINUTE. THE PILOT BEGAN THE FLIGHT WITH ABOUT 266 POUNDS OF FUEL; DURING THE 17 MINUTE FLIGHT, THE ENGINE WOULD HAVE CONSUMED ABOUT 190 POUNDS OF FUEL. UNUSABLE FUEL FOR THE HELICOPTER WAS 64 POUNDS. OPERATIONS AT MINIMAL FUEL REQUIRED FUEL TANK CROSSFEEDING.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT PLANNING/PREPARATION AND SUBSEQUENT FUEL STARVATION, DUE TO AN INADEQUATE SUPPLY OF FUEL. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE PROXIMITY OF HIGH OBSTRUCTIONS. Full narrative available
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