NTSB Identification: ATL03LA007.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 19, 2002 in Highfalls, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/30/2003
Aircraft: Bell 47G3B1, registration: N4002G
Injuries: 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.

A commercial pilot was completing his timber spraying operation and returning to the staging area. While at cruise flight the pilot felt a surge of engine power followed by a complete loss of power. The pilot selected a forced landing area and entered an autorotation. The helicopter collided with trees in a heavily wooded area. After the helicopter came to rest, the pilot removed the fuel filters to examine them for contamination, but was unable to make that determination. On recovery of the helicopter no fuel was found in the fuel tanks, and the helicopter was not equipped with a fuel quantity gauge for each tank as required by Federal Regulations. No other mechanical or flight control malfunctions were found with the helicopter.



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

The pilots inadequate fuel management, and subsequent loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, and a in-flight collision with trees during an autorotation. A factor was the pilot's failure to insure that the required equipment (fuel gauge) was installed in the helicopter.

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