NTSB Identification: FTW91LA126.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44962.
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 24, 1991 in PROVENCAL, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1993
Aircraft: BELL 47D-1, registration: N3575
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.

A COMMERCIAL HELICOPTER PILOT WAS MANEUVERING HIS AERIAL BURNING EQUIPPED HELICOPTER FOR THE PURPOSE OF BURNING 15 ACRES OF TIMBER. FUEL LEVEL WAS MEASURED TO BE JUST OVER 11 GALLONS OF FUEL REMAINING TO COMPLETE THE 20-30 MINUTE JOB. BASED ON THE FUEL CONSUMPTION OF 13 TO 15 GALLONS PER HOUR, THE AIRCRAFT HAD 40 TO 50 MINUTES OF FUEL REMAINING PRIOR TO DEPARTING. THE ENGINE QUIT 15 MINUTES AFTER DEPARTURE DUE TO FUEL EXHAUSTION. FUEL HAD DRAINED OUT OF THE FUEL CELL SUMP DRAIN VALVE DUE TO FAILURE OR PREMATURE DETERIORATION.

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

FUEL LEAKAGE FROM THE FUEL DRAIN VALVE. A FACTOR WAS THE INACCESSIBILITY OF SUITABLE TERRAIN FOR FORED LANDING.

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