NTSB Identification: ERA09FA414
14 CFR Part 133: Rotorcraft Ext. Load
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 22, 2009 in Franklin, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: HUGHES 369, registration: N61735
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The helicopter was proceeding to a nearby landing location with an external load of seismic monitoring equipment. Several individuals on the ground heard the pilot talking on their communication frequency. Most of the communication was inaudible; however, several witnesses heard the pilot say that he was "going into the tree[s]." The helicopter was located in an open area near the edge of a tree line. The wreckage was confined within the immediate crash area, except for the external load; which was located 281 feet away in the wooded area. The helicopter had come to rest upright. The main rotor and tail rotor blades exhibited little damage to the leading edges. Approximately three drops of fuel was located throughout the helicopter's fuel system, and no fuel was located in or around the helicopter. No evidence of precrash mechanical failure of the helicopter structure, flight controls, systems, or engine were found.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot's fuel mismanagement.

Full narrative available

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