NTSB Identification: NYC98LA173.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 26, 1998 in DUNCANNON, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2000
Aircraft: Robinson R22, registration: N9067G
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 student pilot departed from a heliport at his resident in a helicopter. Climbing through about 200 feet AGL, the engine lost power, and the pilot made a hard landing. The pilot reported that he found contamination in the fuel tank during his preflight. The investigation found that neither the helicopter nor the pilot had flown in over 2 years. The fuel in the tank was found to be contaminated with water and rust, and had become aged. The pilot was not signed off for solo flight. The last annual inspection was over 2 years prior to the accident. The pilot's logbook revealed a total time of 470 hours with 358 hours in rotorcraft.

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

The pilot's disregard of the fuel condition during the preflight which resulted in a takeoff with contaminated fuel and a loss of power. A factor was the pilot's lack of recent experience.

Full narrative available

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