NTSB Identification: CEN11LA318
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 03, 2011 in Yancey, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/17/2011
Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER R22 BETA, registration: N927SH
Injuries: 2 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.

While maneuvering at a low altitude, the pilot heard the engine noise change and the low rpm warning horn sound. The helicopter settled to the ground and rolled onto its right side. While exiting the helicopter the pilot noted that the fuel shutoff valve had been moved 3/4 of the way towards the closed position. The pilot concluded that either the passenger's clothing or seat belt had inadvertently closed the fuel valve when the passenger had moved near the valve which resulted in the loss of engine power. Due to the low altitude, the pilot was unable to perform an autorotation in time. A postaccident examination of the helicopter did not reveal any preimpact anomalies. The helicopter was equipped with an older style fuel shutoff valve that had a handle that could be easily moved; however, a newer spring-loaded fuel shutoff valve was available that would have prevented inadvertent valve actuation.

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

The loss of engine power due to the unintentional closure of the fuel shutoff valve.

Full narrative available

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