NTSB Identification: ATL00LA043.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 20, 2000 in Stonesboro, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Hiller UH-12ET, registration: N9762C
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

The pilot had completed two spray runs and was on the third operation when he experienced a total loss of engine power. The pilot explained that, the truck used to support the spraying operation had been driven into a ditch and he was distracted by the truck driver's problem, and neglected to refuel the helicopter. Moments later, the engine lost power after the helicopter ran out of fuel. The pilot selected an area for a forced landing. During the final approach to touchdown, the tail rotor assembly collided with a tree. The subsequent examination of the helicopter disclosed that there was only a trace of fuel in the fuel tanks. The pilot did not report a mechanical problem with the helicopter before the total loss of engine power.

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

The pilot's improper inflight decision not to refuel which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a total loss of engine power.

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