NTSB Identification: ATL04TA142.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 30, 2004 in Childs, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Bell UH-1H, registration: N128FC
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot after landing, he noticed that one of the skids were off of the pavement and was beginning to settle in the ground. The pilot lifted the helicopter to reposition the skid on the pavement. At the same time, the refuel trailer was being pulled forward towards the helicopter. After the helicopter was positioned on the pavement, the refueling trailer continued towards the helicopter until it struck the right synchronized elevator on the tail boom assembly. Examination of the helicopter revealed the right synchronized elevator was buckled. No flight control or mechanical anomalies were reported by the pilot. Review of the USDA Forest Service operating procedures revealed that there were no operating procedures for "hot" refueling. Subsequent to this accident procedures have been adopted to prevent another reoccurrence of this accident.

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

The vehicle driver's inadequate visual lookout and his failure to maintain clearance. A factor was the lack of company standards and operation procedures.

Full narrative available

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