NTSB Identification: LAX05CA313.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 21, 2005 in Five Points, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Hiller UH 12-E, registration: N141HA
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.
All engine power was lost while the pilot was maneuvering at a low altitude during an aerial application flight. The pilot made a hard forced landing in an open field and bounced. Thereafter, the main rotor blades severed the tail boom. The accident occurred during the third aerial application flight. For the first flight he had refueled with 25 gallons of fuel, and the helicopter was carrying a full load of insecticide. On the second flight he took on only insecticide. On the third (accident flight), he again only took on insecticide. The pilot reported that his normal procedure is to refuel on the second flight, which he did not do. He reported that with 25 gallons of fuel on board he could fly about 20 minutes with a 10-minute reserve. The pilot acknowledged that he should have refueled after the second application, but failed to do so and experienced fuel exhaustion. No mechanical anomalies were reported with the helicopter.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to refuel the helicopter, which resulted in fuel exhaustion. Full narrative available
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