NTSB Identification: NYC04LA059.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 19, 2004 in Nicholasville, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/2005
Aircraft: Robinson R-22, registration: N224LC
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.
During takeoff, at an altitude of about 150 feet, the helicopter lost power and altitude. The pilot then performed an emergency landing to an open field, and a post-crash fire ensued. Examination of the engine revealed the main fuel line to the carburetor was separated and sitting just below its 90-degree elbow fitting. The threads of the elbow fitting displayed severe fire damage and downward melting, and the line end of the fitting was filled with melted aluminum. The "B-nut," used to secure the fuel line to elbow fitting, was loose, and "tooling marks" were observed on the fitting. The last 100-hour inspection was performed approximately 7 hours prior to the accident. According to 14 CFR Part 43 Appendix D - Scope and Detail of Items (as Applicable to the Particular Aircraft) To Be Included in Annual and 100 Hour Inspections, "Each person performing an annual or 100 hour inspection shall inspect (where applicable) components of the engine and nacelle group...(7) Lines, hoses, and clamps - for leaks, improper condition and looseness."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A leak in the fuel system due to a loose fitting, which resulted in a loss of engine power, and the inadequate maintenance inspection, which failed to detect/correct the security of the fitting. Full narrative available
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