NTSB Identification: FTW83FA100.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 21804.
Accident occurred Thursday, January 27, 1983 in ZAPATA, TX
Aircraft: ROBINSON R22, registration: N9021J
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 HELICOPTER WAS LANDED IN AN AREA OF DRY GRASS, 18 TO 28 INCHES TALL. THE PLT STATED THAT WITHIN 30 SEC AFTER A NORMAL APPROACH & TOUCHDOWN, THE PASSENGER NOTICED A FIRE AS HE WAS EXITING THE ACFT. THE PILOT THEN ROLLED THE THROTTLE ON IN AN ATTEMPT TO MOVE THE ACFT. HOWEVER, THE ENGINE DID NOT RESPOND. AS HE APPLIED THROTTLE, THE PLT SAW FLAMES COMING UP THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ACFT. BOTH OCCUPANTS THEN ABANDONED THE AIRCRAFT. THE FIRE WAS EXTINGUISHED APRX 12 MIN LATER. AN EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE INDICATED THAT THE HOTTEST POINT OF THE FIRE WAS IN THE AREA OF THE GASCOLATOR. DURING THE FIRE, THE GASCOLATOR HAD MELTED ALLOWING FUEL TO DRAIN ONTO THE GROUND UNDER THE ENGINE. AN EXAM OF THE FUEL SYSTEM REVEALED NO LEAKS. THE EXHAUST TAILPIPE OPENING WAS 16 INCHES OFF THE GROUND. WHEN THE R22 THROTTLE IS ROLLED ON, THE ACCELERATOR PUMP INJECTS FUEL IN THE CARBURETOR & UNUSED FUEL IS THEN PUMPED OVERBOARD. ON 2/14/83, THE ACFT MANUAL WAS CHANGED TO WARN OF DANGERS OF LANDING IN TALL GRASS.

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

UNSUITABLE TERRAIN OR TAKEOFF/LANDING/TAXI AREA..SELECTED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..HIGH VEGETATION

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