NTSB Identification: DEN08CA134.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 06, 2008 in Aurora, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Enstrom 280FX, registration: N285SH
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 pilot was returning to land when he noted that the fuel level was low. Shortly thereafter, the engine lost power and the pilot attempted an autorotation to an open field, resulting in a hard landing, and substantial damage to the helicopter. The loss of engine power was due to fuel exhaustion. An examination of the remaining systems revealed no anomalies. According to the pilot, he departed with 19 gallons of fuel, and had calculated this represented 1 hour and 20 minutes of fuel.

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

The pilot's improper planning and decision making resulting in the loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's premature application of collective resulting in a hard landing and substantial damage.

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