NTSB Identification: DEN01TA095.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 07, 2001 in Conchas, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/19/2001
Aircraft: Hiller UH-12E, registration: N40296
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The pilot was conducting low level wildlife surveillance. He stated that the atmosphere was humid. When the helicopter was refueled, he noticed that the carburetor had accumulated condensation from the humid air. The pilot departed and after 5 minutes of flight, he noticed that the carburetor air temperature gauge was reading in the lower one third of the yellow caution range. When he adjusted the carburetor heat control lever, the engine lost power. The pilot made an autorotation to an open area. The helicopter landed hard, the main rotor blade contacted and severed the tail boom, and the extended gear legs collapsed.

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

the pilot's misjudgment of the flare, which resulted in a hard landing. Contributing factors were weather conditions conducive to carburetor icing, the pilot's delay in applying carburetor heat, and his inattention to the carburetor air temperature gauge.

Full narrative available

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