NTSB Identification: DFW06CA142.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, May 30, 2006 in Sheridan, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2006
Aircraft: Bell 47G-4A, registration: N4086C
Injuries: 1 Serious.
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 15,000-hour commercial pilot reported in a telephone interview that he departed a timber tract with 15 gallons of fuel on-board en route to another tract located about 13 miles away. When the turbine-powered helicopter was approximately three miles short of his destination, while at an altitude of 600 feet above ground level (AGL), the engine lost power. The pilot entered an autorotation for a forced landing to an open field. Examination of the aerial application helicopter at the accident site revealed that no fuel was found in the fuel nozzle and less than three gallons of fuel was found in the fuel tanks. The turbine engine was removed from the helicopter and shipped to the factory for a detailed examination and test run. A written statement provided by the supervising FAA inspector, who witnessed the engine examination and test run, stated that the engine started and ran for an hour and twenty minutes with no discrepancies noted.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate fuel management, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a subsequent loss of engine power. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing. Full narrative available
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