NTSB Identification: LAX87LA294.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 35955.
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 05, 1987 in TAFT, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1989
Aircraft: BELL 47D-1, registration: N917B
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 PLT RPRTD THE ENG LOST POWER AT ABOUT 300' AGL AFTER THE HELICOPTER HAD FLOWN APRX 2.7 HRS WITHOUT REFUELING. HE INITIATED AN AUTOROTATIVE LANDING; HOWEVER, BEFORE TOUCHDOWN, THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES CONTACTED & SEVERED THE TAIL BOOM. AN EXAM REVEALED THE FUEL TANK WAS EMPTY. NO SIGNS OF FUEL LEAKAGE WERE FOUND. THE HELICOPTER HAD BEEN EQUIPPED WITH A 210 HP FRANKLIN ENG IAW A SUPPLEMENTAL TYPE CERTIFICATE. THERE WAS NO FACTORY DATA ON FUEL CONSUMPTION RATES FOR THIS CONFIGURATION. OTHER OPERATORS, WHO OPERATED THIS MAKE & MODEL OF HELICOPTER, ESTIMATED THE FUEL CONSUMPTION WAS APRX 12 GAL/HR. AFTER THE ACDNT, THE PLT RPRTD HE MEASURED THE FUEL CAPACITY OF THE HELICOPTER FUEL CELL. HE STATED THE CELL WOULD HOLD ONLY 26.5 GAL OF FUEL, INSTEAD OF '29' AS INDCD BY A STICK-ON MARKER THAT HAD BEEN INSTALLED ON A PREVIOUSLY PAINTED PLACARD.

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

FLIGHT CONTROLS..IMPROPER USE OF..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

FLUID,FUEL..EXHAUSTION

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

FUEL CONSUMPTION CALCULATIONS..INACCURATE..PILOT IN COMMAND



Contributing Factors

MAINTENANCE..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND

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