NTSB Identification: MIA96LA197.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 30, 1996 in WEST BOCA RATON, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/16/1996
Aircraft: Bell 47D1G, registration: N1200Z
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.

While orbiting over a residential area about 150-200 feet above ground level, during an aerial photography flight, the engine experienced a loss of power. The pilot initiated an emergency descent for an autorotative landing to a road but the main rotor blades collided with trees resulting in a hard landing. The pilot stated that he did not apply carburetor heat or check the magnetos following the loss of engine power. Examination of the helicopter revealed sufficient fuel quantity to sustain engine operation; no contaminants were found. Examination of the engine revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Review of a carburetor icing probability chart revealed conditions were favorable for light icing at cruise or descent power.

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

Failure of the pilot to apply carburetor heat following a loss of engine power due to inadequate altitude over a populated area. Contributing to the accident was the encounter with conditions favorable for carburetor icing.

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