NTSB Identification: SEA93LA135
Accident occurred Saturday, June 19, 1993 in HARLEM, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/07/1994
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N33EA
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 HELICOPTER WAS FUELED WITH THE LAST 25 GALLONS OF FUEL FROM THE FUEL TRUCK AND THEN DEPARTED ON A SPRAY DISPERSAL FLIGHT. AT APPROXIMATELY 8 FEET AGL AND 60-70 MPH DURING A SWATH RUN, THE ENGINE ABRUPTLY STOPPED AND THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO EXECUTE A 'QUICK STOP' DURING WHICH THE HELICOPTER COLLIDED WITH TERRAIN. POST CRASH EXAMINATION REVEALED ONLY A SMALL AMOUNT OF WATER IN THE LOW POINT DRAIN FUEL SAMPLE TAKEN FROM THE FUEL TRUCK. A FUEL SAMPLE TAKEN FROM THE PRESSURE SIDE OF THE HELICOPTER'S AIRFRAME FUEL FILTER SYSTEM REVEALED APPROXIMATELY 20 PERCENT WATER. WHEN THE HELICOPTER'S FUEL TANK WAS DEFUELED, THE OWNER RETRIEVED APPROXIMATELY 2.5 GALLONS OF WATER OUT OF A 40 GALLON QUANTITY.

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

THE IMPROPER REFUELING SYSTEM PROCEDURES WHICH ALLOWED WATER TO CONTAMINATE THE AIRCRAFT FUEL AND THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT.

Full narrative available

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