NTSB Identification: LAX94LA226.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 29, 1994 in FALLBROOK, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/07/1995
Aircraft: PARKER ROTORWAY EXEC 90, registration: N78435
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

WITNESSES SAID THE PILOT MADE SEVERAL LOW PASSES AT AN ALTITUDE OF ABOUT 200', THEN DEPARTED THE AREA & FLEW UP A CANYON AT LOW ALTITUDE. THE HELICOPTER THEN DESCENDED RAPIDLY TO THE GROUND & CONTACTED A TREE DURING THE DESCENT. DURING AN INVESTIGATION, CONTROL & FUEL SYSTEM CONTINUITY WAS ESTABLISHED THROUGHOUT THE HELICOPTER. THE FUEL TANK WAS UNDAMAGED & NO EVIDENCE OF POST-IMPACT FUEL LEAKAGE WAS NOTED. ONLY RESIDUAL FUEL WAS FOUND IN THE TANK. THE PILOT DID NOT HAVE A ROTORCRAFT RATING. HIS INSTRUCTOR (CFI) SAID HE HAD GIVEN THE PILOT ABOUT 24 HRS OF DUAL TRAINING IN THE ACCIDENT HELICOPTER DURING FEBRUARY 1994. THE CFI FURTHER STATED THAT HE HAD ONLY ENDORSED THE PILOT FOR LIMITED HOVERING SOLO FLIGHTS. THE PILOT HAD BEEN GIVEN ONLY ONE INTRODUCTORY LESSON IN AUTOROTATION (TO A POWER RECOVERY). THE CFI SAID THE FUEL GAGE WAS INACCURATE. HE ADVISED THE PILOT TO USE A DIPSTICK TO MEASURE FUEL BEFORE EACH FLIGHT & TO USE A CLOCK TO MONITOR FUEL REMAINING. HE ALSO NOTED THE STUDENT TENDED TO ADD ONLY THE FUEL NEEDED FOR A PARTICULAR FLIGHT.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER PREFLIGHT AND MISCALCULATION OF REMAINING FUEL, WHICH RESULTED IN FUEL EXHAUSTION, AND IMPROPER AUTOROTATION, DUE TO INADEQUATE TRANSITION/UPGRADE TRAINING AND LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH HELICOPTERS.

Full narrative available

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