NTSB Identification: DFW05CA044.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 09, 2004 in Patterson, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/2005
Aircraft: Bell B206L-1, registration: N5007F
Injuries: 1 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 lifted off and approximately 50 feet above ground level (agl), the engine lost power. The helicopter was at an airspeed and altitude combination (below height/velocity curve), and the pilot was unable to execute a successful autorotation. The helicopter contacted the ground in a high rate of descent, resulting in the main rotor blade contacting the tail boom. At the time of the incident the helicopter contained less then 200 pounds of fuel and the pilot had not engaged the fuel boost pump circuit breakers before liftoff. The Bell 206L-1 flight manual, revision 21, indicated the following: "Warning: If both fuel boost pumps fail, unusable fuel may be as high as 150 pounds due to inability to transfer fuel from the forward cells."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of engine power due to fuel starvation resulting from the pilot's failure to activate the fuel boost pumps prior to takeoff. A contributing factor was that the helicopter was at an airspeed and altiutude combination (below height/velocity curve) which precluded the pilot from executing a successful autorotation.
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