NTSB Identification: ERA10LA484
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, September 18, 2010 in Covington, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2011
Aircraft: BELL OH-58A, registration: N38FA
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
During the initial climb on an aerial application flight, the helicopter's engine lost power while at 30 feet above ground level and in translational lift. The pilot stated that the engine began surging and the helicopter began losing altitude and impacted the ground. A postaccident examination of the helicopter's fuel system by the owner revealed particulate matter in the fuel nozzle. When the nozzle was examined by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) it had no carbon deposits, indicating that it had been cleaned prior to shipment. An examination of the fuel nozzle after a postaccident engine run revealed carbon deposits on the surface. The engine was then placed in an engine test cell and operated normally with no hesitation or abnormalities noted. The NTSB's materials laboratory determined the particulate matter to be torque stripe material. Although it could not be determined where the particulate matter came from, it is likely that it restricted the fuel supply to the engine and resulted in the loss of power.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power due to contamination of the helicopter's fuel supply. Full narrative available
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