NTSB Identification: SEA89LA128.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43237.
Accident occurred Friday, July 07, 1989 in LONGVIEW, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/07/1992
Aircraft: BELL 206B, registration: N53W
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.

THIS HELIOCPTER HAD JUST DEPLETED THE FUEL IN AN EXTERNAL BURNING UNIT AND WAS RETURNING TO A STAGING AREA WHEN THE HELICOPTER ENGINE QUIT. THE PILOT STATED HE HAD TURNED OFF THE EXTERNAL UNIT JUST BEFORE THE ENGINE FAILURE. EXAMINATION OF THE HELICOPTER ENGINE AND FUEL SYSTEM REVEALED NO DISCREPANCIES. IT WAS OBSERVED THAT THE OPERATOR HAD LOCATED THE EXTERNAL UNIT CONTROL SWITCH ABOUT THREE INCHES ABOVE THE MAIN FUEL SHUTOFF SWITCH. AFTER THE ACCIDENT, THE EXTERNAL SWITCH WAS FOUND 'ON' AND THE MAIN FUEL SHUTOFF SWITCH WAS FOUND 'OFF'.

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

THE PILOT INADVERTENTLY TURNING OFF THE ENGINE FUEL SUPPLY INSTEAD OF THE EXTERNAL LOAD FUEL SUPPLY. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO JETTISON THE EXTERNAL LOAD DURING THE AUTOROTATION.

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