NTSB Identification: DFW07CA086.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 19, 2007 in Vernon, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/2007
Aircraft: Brantly Helicopter B2, registration: N5931X
Injuries: 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 3,696-hour pilot, who reported having accumulated a total of 96 hours in the same make and model as the accident helicopter, reported that while returning to the airport, following a short local flight, the engine lost power without warning. The pilot reported that the helicopter was at an altitude of approximately 75-feet above the ground when the loss of engine power occurred. The pilot added that he initiated an autorotation and due to his altitude, he did not have many forced landing options other than to continue straight ahead. The helicopter came to rest in the upright position in a field among mesquite trees. All three main rotor blades were destroyed and the fuselage sustained minor damage. Both the pilot and his passenger egressed the helicopter through the side doors without injuries. The helicopter was reported to have 15 gallons of fuel on board prior to its departure on the 15-minute flight. The reason for the reported loss of engine power could not be determined. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, who responded to the accident site, reported that the aircraft had been stored in a hangar with the airworthiness certificate removed for approximately 30 years prior to its re-issuance on February 15, 2007. The 1969 model helicopter was reported to have accumulated a total of 570 hours since new. Weather was reported as clear skies, wind from 200 degrees at 16 knots, and an altimeter setting of 29.90 inches of Mercury.

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

The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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