NTSB Identification: FTW99LA179.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 03, 1999 in THERIOT, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2000
Aircraft: Robinson R22 BETA, registration: N8360T
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.

The engine of the helicopter lost power during a repositioning flight at 500 feet above ground level. The pilot initiated a straight-in autorotation to a swampy area covered with grass 4 to 5 feet tall. The helicopter settled into the grass, rolled over on its right side and came to rest heading 180 degrees from the direction of the landing. The aircraft was recovered to the helicopter manufacturer's facility for evaluation and repairs. On August 17, 1999, the engine of the helicopter was successfully run for 20 minutes under the supervision of an FAA inspector. The inspector reported that the engine performed within the established parameters. He added that water was drained from the main fuel tank, the gascolator, and the carburetor bowl.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection which led to a contaminated fuel supply and subsequent loss of engine power. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain available for the forced landing.

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