NTSB Identification: FTW94FA293.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 08, 1994 in CASCADE, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/1995
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER AS-350-B2, registration: N99TV
Injuries: 2 Minor,1 Uninjured.

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.

SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF FROM ATOP PIKES PEAK, THE ENGINE LOST POWER AND THE PILOT AUTOROTATED STRAIGHT AHEAD. THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH TREES AND ROLLED OVER. FUEL SAMPLES CONTAINED VISIBLE CONTAMINANTS AND THE FUEL CONTROL UNIT (FCU) WAS UNABLE TO ATTAIN TARGET FUEL FLOW DURING POST ACCIDENT TESTING. THE CONTAMINANTS WERE IDENTIFIED AS FILTER MATERIAL AND PARTICLES OF METAL, GLASS, SAND, AND PLASTIC. METALLIC PARTICLES WERE IDENTIFIED AS BEING COPPER, IRON, NICKEL, AND CHROMIUM. FCU DISASSEMBLY REVEALED A CLOGGED AMPLIFIER PISTON FILTER, A SCORED ISOCHRONOUS PISTON, AND A COLLAPSED TEMPERATURE COMPENSATOR. ACCORDING TO THE ENGINE MANUFACTURER, THE FUEL CONTAMINANTS COULD DISTURB FCU OPERATION AND THE SCORED PISTON WAS 'EVIDENCE OF AN OPERATION WITH POLLUTED FUEL.' THE SOURCE OF CONTAMINANTS WAS NOT DETERMINED. NO REPORTS OF FUEL CONTAMINATION WERE RECEIVED FROM OTHER PILOTS USING THE SAME FUEL VENDOR.

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

A POWER LOSS DUE TO CONTAMINATED FUEL FROM AN UNKNOWN SOURCE THAT CLOGGED THE FUEL FILTER AND INTERNALLY DAMAGED THE FUEL CONTROL UNIT. A FACTOR WAS UNSUITABLE TERRAIN FOR A FORCED LANDING.

Full narrative available

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