On May 18, 1995, at 1915 eastern daylight time, a Helio H-250, N5460E, was substantially damaged during a forced landing after takeoff from the Para-Tech Airport, Clarkson, New York. The private pilot received minor injuries and the three passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, for the personal flight that originated from the Para-Tech Airport (8NY8). No flight plan had been filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In the NTSB Form 6120.1/2, the pilot stated the purpose of the flight was to demonstrate the capabilities of the H-250 to a parachute organization, and the right door and seat were removed for the evaluation flight. The pilot and passengers boarded the airplane, and the engine start and run-up were normal. The pilot taxied out for takeoff, applied power, and takeoff occurred "just over 40 MPH." The engine began to lose power as the airplane flew over the end of the runway, at 60 MPH, and about 50 to 75 feet above the ground. The pilot initiated a turn back to the runway due to trees ahead of his flight path.
The pilot further stated:
...The turn went well, but when I tried to level off before flare, I could not pick the right wing up. No matter what pressure I applied, the wing would not come up, and we were mushing-in.
In the Federal Aviation Administration Inspector's report, he stated that examination of the wreckage revealed fuel in the line from the wing tanks to the engine driven fuel pump. No fuel was detected in the line from the fuel pump to the carburetor, or in the carburetor bowl. He estimated the wing tanks contained about 30 gallons of fuel.
The FAA Inspector examined two electrical fuel boost pumps installed in the airplane. The outboard pump was inoperative, while the inboard pump was operational. The engine mechanical fuel pump was also examined. When the mechanical pump was tested, it did not pump fuel.
In the pilot's statement, he said that he did not have either of the fuel boost pumps [on], and that the Helio Courier Owner's Manual did not state that they should be [on]. A review of the Owner's Manual revealed that the boost pumps were only described as a component of the fuel system. The use of the pumps during normal and emergency procedures are not discussed.
On September 21, 1995, the engine driven fuel pump was examined at the Textron-Lycoming Aircraft Engine Facility, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in the presence of an NTSB Air Safety Investigator (ASI). The examination revealed the engine pump was manufactured prior to 1978. The ASI's report stated that the internal components of the pump appeared normal up to the slot in the pull rod. The report further sated:
The slot in the pull rod, which holds the link, showed evidence of wear. There was a 'shinny' spot on the rod slot. Additionally, the link 'hook' showed wear. Several attempts to reinstall the rod onto the link were unsuccessful. The rod became dislodged from the link each time, and jammed the pump.