NTSB Identification: SEA04LA036.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 26, 2004 in Turner, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Bell 206B, registration: N92CA
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.

The pilot reported that he was practicing maneuvers with a 100-foot long line attached in preparation for a check ride the following day. The pilot reported that he was in a hover with the hook at the end of the line just touching the ground. The pilot then increased altitude and raised the hook off the ground about 10 feet, when the engine suddenly decreased power to idle. The pilot immediately initiated an autorotation to an open field. The helicopter subsequently touched down tail low, followed by the main rotor blades contacting and severing the tailboom. Post-accident inspection of the engine found the fuel nozzle screen collapsed with traces of contaminant in the screen. Water and bacterial contaminants were found in the airframe filter bowl and fuel pump filter bowl. It was also noted that Kerosene (K-1), which is not approved for this engine was being used instead of Jet A. The engine was test run in a test cell and although the engine was found to run below normal rated shaft horsepower, no evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction was found.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection which failed to detect contaminated fuel. A collapsed fuel screen was a contributing factor.

Full narrative available

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