NTSB Identification: CEN12LA667
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 30, 2012 in Decorah, IA
Aircraft: MCDONNELL DOUGLAS HELI CO 369FF, registration: N530KD
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On September 30, 2012, at 0920 central daylight time, a McDonnell Douglas 369-FF helicopter, N530KD, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to a cornfield near Decorah, Iowa. The airline transport rated pilot and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Rogers Helicopters Incorporated, Fresno, California. A company visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that departed Fort Dodge Regional Airport (FOD), Fort Dodge, Iowa, about 0820, and destined for Decorah Municipal Airport (DEH), Decorah, Iowa. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the repositioning flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
The pilot said they departed with 305-310 pounds of fuel on board. Approximately 58 minutes into the flight, the low fuel caution light illuminated, which indicated there was at least 35 pounds of fuel remaining. The pilot said approximately 3 minutes after the light came on, the engine flamed out and he made an autorotation to a mature corn field with 8 to 10-foot-high corn stalks. The helicopter bounced upon touch down and rolled over on to its left side.
Examination of the helicopter by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed the tailboom had separated and the main rotor and tail rotor blades were damaged. The fuel tank was not damaged and there was no smell of fuel. Approximately two drops of fuel were drained from the fuel sump and a quarter-cup of duel from the fuel tank.
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