NTSB Identification: ERA14LA269
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 30, 2014 in Whitefield, ME
Aircraft: GARLICK HELICOPTERS INC OH 58A+, registration: N650MH
Injuries: 1 Minor.
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 May 30, 2014, about 1437 eastern daylight time, a Garlick Helicopters Inc. OH-58A+ helicopter, N650MH, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and terrain during a forced landing after a total loss of engine power while on approach to Maine Helicopters Helipad (ME59), Whitefield, Maine. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the positioning flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
In a written statement, the pilot reported that the flight was "uneventful" until the master caution light "flashed." He was unable to decipher a fault associated with the brief illumination of the caution, and shortly thereafter, the helicopter experienced a total loss of engine power over wooded terrain. The pilot entered autorotation, maneuvered the helicopter to an area of the shortest timber, and cushioned that landing as the helicopter entered the trees. The helicopter came to rest upright, and the pilot egressed without assistance.
The pilot told the responding police officers that he "had an issue with fuel" and told his employer immediately following the accident that he "ran out of fuel."
The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for rotorcraft-helicopter and instrument helicopter. His most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) second class medical certificate was issued on June 19, 2013. The pilot reported 3,723 total hours of flight experience, of which 1,475 was in the accident helicopter make and model.
According to FAA records, the helicopter was manufactured in 1971 by Bell Helicopter for the U.S. Army as an OH-58A and was later remanufactured by Garlick Helicopters for civilian use. According to company records, its most recent 100-hour inspection was completed March 24, 2014, at 10,726 total aircraft hours. The helicopter had accrued 91 hours since that date.
A preliminary examination of the wreckage was performed by an FAA aviation safety inspector. He reported substantial damage to the fuselage and tailboom, and confirmed flight and engine control continuity. Operation of the fuel boost pump was also confirmed, and approximately 11 gallons of fuel was recovered from the helicopter.
A detailed examination of the helicopter was scheduled for a later date.
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