NTSB Identification: CHI96FA099.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 03, 1996 in MANHATTAN, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/1996
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas 369E, registration: N7065C
Injuries: 1 Serious,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.

Before starting a flight to replace power line poles, the helicopter was serviced with 350 pounds of fuel. Normally, six poles were replaced on each flight. As work was being performed on the sixth pole, the helicopter engine lost total power after about 1.6 hours of flight time. The helicopter was damaged during a forced landing. A total of 20 ounces of fuel was drained from the main tank; unusable fuel reserve in that tank was considered to be 2.5 gallons. No mechanical failure/malfunction of the airframe, powerplant, fuel system, or flight controls was discovered during the investigation. Due to unforeseen delays, the company was behind schedule concerning their powerline installation contract.

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

Improper planning/decision by the pilot, which resulted in fuel exhaustion due to an inadequate supply of fuel. A factor relating to the accident was: pressure to meet a work schedule.

Full narrative available

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