NTSB Identification: LAX88DUG06.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 37962.
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 16, 1988 in THERMAL, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/28/1989
Aircraft: HILLER UH-12E, registration: N65120
Injuries: 1 Minor.

SHORTLY AFTER REFUELING THE HELICOPTER & RELOADING THE HOPPER, THE PLT TOOK OFF & WAS STARTING TO SPRAY A FIELD WHEN THE ENG SUDDENLY LOST POWER. THE PLT SAID THE HELICOPTER WAS DSCNDG FROM ABOUT 30 FT WHEN THE POWER LOSS OCCURRED; THUS, HE BARELY HAD TIME TO TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION. THE HELICOPTER TOUCHED DOWN IN AN UPRIGHT ATTITUDE, BUT IT SKIDDED INTO A 1 FT BERM, ROLLED OVER & CAME TO REST IN A MUDDY/FLOODED FIELD. MUD & WATER WERE FOUND IN THE ACFT FUEL SYSTEM. THE EVIDENCE INDICATED THAT THE FUEL CONTAMINATION WAS NOT THE RESULT OF IMPACT & INVERSION. A CHECK OF THE MOBILE REFUELING UNIT REVEALED IT CONTAINED CRACKS WHICH ALLOWED MOISTURE & OTHER CONTAMINANTS TO ENTER. ALSO, THE MOBILE UNIT'S FUEL FILTER WAS IMPROPERLY INSTALLED & WAS NOT REMOVING CONTAMINANTS FROM THE FUEL.

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

MAINTENANCE,SERVICE OF AIRCRAFT/EQUIPMENT..INADEQUATE..OTHER PERSON

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

FLUID,FUEL..CONTAMINATION

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

FLUID,FUEL..WATER

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

AIRCRAFT PREFLIGHT..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND



Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..BERM


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..SOFT


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..WET

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