NTSB Identification: ANC96FA081.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 03, 1996 in MEKORYUK, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/18/1997
Aircraft: Robinson R-22 MARINER, registration: N113CF
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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.

The pilot had departed to pick up a company worker about 35 miles south of the departure point on a remote island. The wreckage was located the following day, partially submerged and floating in a small lake. The helicopter received damage consistent with a significant vertical descent onto the lake. The rotor system was undamaged. The wreckage examination revealed particulate contamination in the fuel system. The helicopter was routinely fueled from barrels and hand pumped through a water/separator type filter. Examination of the water separator revealed water and sediment in the filter bowl. A sample of fuel from the fuel barrel contained particulate contamination. Following the accident, the engine was removed and placed in a test stand where it was started. The engine produced full power until the left magneto failed internally due to corrosion from water immersion.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel contamination found in the fuel supply and helicopter fuel system. Factors in the accident were the pilot's inadequate filtration (servicing of the helicopter) of the fuel supply, and the pilot's inadequate performance of emergency procedures.

Full narrative available

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