NTSB Identification: IAD01LA091.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 04, 2001 in CARROLLTON, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Delbridge Rotorway EXEC 162F, registration: N113RD
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Prior to departing, the pilot serviced the helicopter with fuel for a total of 17 gallons and performed a preflight inspection. He then started the helicopter, checked the systems, and proceeded on several flights with different passengers. After the sixth take-off, the pilot flew to his home, hovered for a few minutes, then proceeded to fly along the bank of the James River. As he approached 300-foot tall power lines, the pilot said the helicopter yawed to the left, which he felt was an indication of an engine failure. The pilot autorotated to the ground and collided with trees. A representative of RotorWay International downloaded and evaluated data from the engine control units under the supervision of a Safety Board investigator. Examination of the data revealed that the engine had been operating for a total of 1-hour and 54-minutes. The data also revealed that there were no errors or faults listed for the flight, and the monitored engine parameters appeared to be normal. According to the pilot, the helicopter would consume about 7.5 gallons per hour. Examination of the helicopter and engine revealed that there were no mechanical deficiencies.

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

pilot's inadequate fuel consumption calculations, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

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