NTSB Identification: ANC95LA107.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 18, 1995 in PAXSON, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/1996
Aircraft: HUGHES 500D, registration: N8639F
Injuries: 2 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.

THE HELICOPTER PILOT WAS TRANSPORTING A GEOLOGIST IN A REMOTE AREA. AFTER DEPARTING FROM A PICKUP SITE THAT WAS AT AN ELEVATION OF ABOUT 5,000 FEET MEAN SEA LEVEL, THE PILOT NOTICED A DECREASE IN MAIN ROTOR RPM, AND THE NOSE OF THE HELICOPTER YAWED. THE PILOT DECREASED COLLECTIVE PITCH, BUT ENGINE POWER AND ROTOR RPM CONTINUED TO DECREASE. THE PILOT TURNED THE HELICOPTER TOWARD LOWER TERRAIN AND INTO THE WIND, THEN PERFORMED AN AUTOROTATION ON TUNDRA COVERED TERRAIN. DURING TOUCHDOWN, THE HELICOPTER HIT THE GROUND HARD, AND THE TAIL BOOM WAS SEVERED BY THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES. THE ENGINE WAS STILL RUNNING AFTER LANDING. AN INSPECTION OF THE ENGINE FUEL CONTROL ASSEMBLY REVEALED THE PRESENCE OF ACRYLAMIDE CONTAMINATION IN THE FUEL INLET FILTER.

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

FUEL STARVATION DUE TO ACRYLAMIDE CONTAMINATION IN THE FUEL CONTROL INLET FILTER. THE LACK OF SUITABLE TERRAIN FOR A FORCED LANDING WAS A RELATED FACTOR.

Full narrative available

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