NTSB Identification: IAD00LA052.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 16, 2000 in MANSFIELD, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/21/2001
Aircraft: Hughes 269A, registration: N9014N
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Prior to departure, the pilot did not visually check the fuel tank, and noted that the fuel gauge read 17-18 gallons. The pilot decided not to refuel and departed. About 60-minutes into the flight, the pilot stated the low fuel light illuminated, and the fuel gauge read 5 gallons. He then climbed from 400 to 800 feet, which took 4-minutes. After reaching 800 feet, the engine started to sputter and shortly after stopped producing power. The fuel gauge read empty. The pilot executed a forced landing to a clearing, struck pine trees, and rolled over onto its right side. Examination of the helicopter revealed that there was no fuel inside the fuel tank. According to the flight manual, the low fuel light will illuminate when there is one usable gallon of fuel left in the tank. It also stated that when the low fuel light illuminates, the pilot should land immediately. The pilot reported there were no mechanical deficiencies with the helicopter.

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

The pilot's failure to comply with published emergency procedures. A factor in the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight planning which resulted in a take-off with the inadequate amount of fuel for the flight.

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