NTSB Identification: FTW02LA006
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 07, 2001 in Rosebud, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2003
Aircraft: Aerospatiale AS355F1, registration: N911BB
Injuries: 2 Minor,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.

While en route on a positioning flight in dark night visual meteorological conditions, the Emergency Medical Service twin-engine helicopter was diverted to pick up a patient who was involved in an automobile accident. Upon arriving in the vicinity of the accident, the pilot had trouble locating the accident site. After circling the area several times, the pilot was informed that the patient was transported by ground vehicle. The flight departed the area for the initial intended destination. The pilot filed a company flight plan with an estimated time of arrival of 30 minutes and 40 minutes of fuel on board. About 10 minutes from destination, both of the helicopter's engines lost power, and the pilot initiated an autorotation. The pilot spotted what he believed to be a tree or bush and "flared a little high to miss the obstacle which caused a decrease in rotor rpm." During the landing, the helicopter touched down "hard," slid approximately 30-40 feet, before coming to rest on its left side following the separation of both landing skid tubes. Examination of the helicopter revealed that the fuel system was not compromised. During the examination of the fuel system, a total of 2 ounces of fuel was drained from both fuel filters and the fuel lines, which lead to the fuel nozzles. A total of 2 quarts of fuel was drained from both fuel tanks. Toxicology testing of the pilot was positive for methamphetamine (>20000 ng/ml) and amphetamine (2642 ng/ml). The operator reported that "the pilot admitted to taking medicine prescribed for his wife, and was taking this medicine for 3 days prior to the accident."

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

The pilots impairment due to drugs. Contributing factors were the dark night light conditions, the pilot's failure to refuel, resulting in the total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, and the pilot's misjudged landing flare.

Full narrative available

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