NTSB Identification: FTW96LA149.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 16, 1996 in KILLEEN, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/04/1996
Aircraft: Enstrom F-28A, registration: N9574
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 pilot reported that during his preflight of the helicopter, he knew that the fuel tanks were not full, but they 'seemed adequate.' He estimated that the two 15 gallon tanks were about '3/4 of a tank capacity.' The helicopter was last flown the night before by another pilot. That pilot estimated that the fuel tanks were only '1/4 full' at the end of that flight. The Pilot/Owners Handbook revealed a fuel consumption of about 19.1 gallons per hour at 100% power and 12.2 gallons per hour at 75% power. The accident pilot reported that 'a normal start, warm-up and rotor engagement' were made before a 'hovering demonstration and short flight' were accomplished. He then boarded two passengers, lifted off, and performed another hovering demonstration. The pilot then flew west for about 3 miles, and the engine began to 'run rough.' Subsequently, the engine 'quit completely,' and the pilot autorotated to rough and uneven ground, where the helicopter touched down hard. Postcrash examination revealed no evidence of fuel in the fuel tanks.

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

The pilot's improper planning/decision, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a loss of engine power, due to an inadequate supply of fuel. A factor relating to the accident was: lack of suitable terrain for an emergency landing (autorotation).

Full narrative available

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