NTSB Identification: IAD97LA051.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 24, 1997 in MARION, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/21/2000
Aircraft: Hughes 369HS, registration: N340EM
Injuries: 1 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 had the fuel tank topped off 9 days before the accident and flew the helicopter for 15 minutes. On the day of the accident he added an additional 5 gallons. About 1 1/2 hours after takeoff the engine lost power. The pilot autorotated to a field and landed hard. Examination of the engine did not reveal any engine abnormalities or malfunctions. The helicopter's total fuel capacity was 64 gallons, of which 63.4 gallons was useable. When the helicopter was leveled and electrical power applied, the low fuel light was illuminated, and 5 3/4 gallons were pumped out by the fuel boost pump. According to the helicopter's flight manual, at low fuel level, sideslip may cause the fuel tank outlet to become uncovered causing fuel starvation. A review of the pilot's log book revealed that he was not helicopter rated, but had a helicopter solo endorsement that expired about 60 days prior to the accident.

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

Uncovering of the fuel tanks outlet, which resulted in fuel starvation and subsequent loss of engine power. A related factor was the unsuitable terrain.

Full narrative available

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