NTSB Identification: IAD96LA067.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 26, 1996 in LOGAN, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/22/1996
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N111PM
Injuries: 3 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 the helicopter was in cruise flight at 600 feet above ground level when the engine lost power. He entered an autorotational descent, but was forced to try to extend the glide because of rough, downhill sloping terrain. The rotor RPM decayed, and at touchdown the main rotor flexed down and severed the tail boom. Postaccident inspection revealed '...less than (1) one quart [of fuel] available in fuel cell.' The pilot reported that he had exhausted the helicopter's fuel supply.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate fuel supply for the flight which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, and the loss of rotor rpm during the autorotation. The downhill sloping terrain was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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