NTSB Identification: FTW94LA221.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 03, 1994 in MOUNTAIN VIEW, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/1994
Aircraft: BELL OH-13E, registration: N39WL
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

A HELICOPTER WITH A 1 HOUR AND 45 MINUTE RANGE DEPARTED WITH A FULL TANK OF FUEL ON A PERSONAL CROSS COUNTRY FLIGHT. A POWER LOSS OCCURRED SHORT OF THE DESTINATION AIRPORT, 65 MINUTES AFTER DEPARTURE. AN AUTOROTATION WAS INITIATED TO A CLEARING IN A ROCK PIT. THE PILOT ALLOWED THE ROTOR RPM TO DECAY WHILE ATTEMPTING TO CLEAR A FENCE ACROSS HIS TOUCHDOWN AREA. DURING LANDING, A MAIN ROTOR BLADE MADE CONTACT WITH THE TAILBOOM. DEBRIS WAS FOUND BLOCKING THE FUEL DRAIN VALVE FOR THE FUEL TANK IN THE OPEN POSITION, ALLOWING FUEL TO DRAIN WHILE EN ROUTE. THE DENSITY ALTITUDE WAS 2,200 FEET.

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

THE FUEL EXHAUSTION AS RESULT OF A STRUCK FUEL DRAIN VALVE. FACTORS WERE THE HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE, AND THE UNSUITABLE TERRAIN AT THE PILOT'S DISPOSAL FOR THE FORCED LANDING.

Full narrative available

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