NTSB Identification: DEN00FA084.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 04, 2000 in BLANDING, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/01/2001
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS-350B, registration: CGPTT
Injuries: 3 Fatal,3 Serious.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot was assigned to fly for a geophysical seismic team in rugged high desert conditions (elevation 5,366 feet). On his second day of flying, he was requested, by one of the team members, to "fly a little easier; less aggressively." On his third day of flying, he was assigned to pick up five team members and their equipment. Once airborne (density altitude was 8,908 feet), he had been briefed that he would receive GPS team distribution coordinates; instead, he was instructed to land and hold for a period of time. A witness observed the helicopter fly eastbound, and then make a 45 to 60 degree bank turn [180 degrees] back to the west. The witness then saw the helicopter turn southbound, lower its nose down almost vertically, and then reduce its nose low pitch to approximately 45 degrees as it disappeared from sight. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the manual throttle pointer on the fuel control was in the emergency position. The first and second stage turbine wheels were found with their blades 50 to 70 percent melted, indicating an engine that functioned for a time at a temperature level well above its limits.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's loss of aircraft control due to abrupt flight maneuvering. Contributing factors were the high density altitude weather condition, the total loss of engine power due to the pilot manually introducing excessive fuel into the engine and over temping the turbine section, and the lack of suitable terrain for the ensuing autorotation. Full narrative available
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