NTSB Identification: MIA05CA030.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 17, 2004 in Panama City Bch, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/24/2005
Aircraft: Enstrom F-28C, registration: N595H
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that he planned for a 45-minute sightseeing flight. He refueled the helicopter and brought the fuel level to 17 gallons. He and two passengers departed the helipad at 1422. About 38 minutes into the flight, when about 1 mile from the departure helipad, the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion. He entered autorotation and when about 5 feet above the beach he applied collective control to cushion the touchdown. The helicopter touched down on a westerly heading on the wet sand with forward motion causing a nose-low attitude. The main rotor struck the ground in front of the helicopter and then struck the tailboom, shearing it off. The pilot stated he had no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the helicopter.

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

The pilot's improper refueling of the helicopter resulting in loss of engine power do to fuel exhaustion and damage to the helicopter during the subsequent hard forced landing.

Full narrative available

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