IAD96LA067
IAD96LA067

On April 26, 1996, at 0945 eastern daylight time (EDT), a Bell 206B helicopter, N111PM, sustained substantial damage following a forced landing near Logan, West Virginia. The pilot and the two passengers reported no injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, no flight plan was filed. The business flight was conducted under 14 CFR 91, and originated in Huntington, West Virginia, at 0815 EDT. The intended destination was Rita, West Virginia.

The pilot told the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspectors that he was in cruise flight at 600 feet above ground level (AGL), when the helicopter engine lost power. He reported that he initiated an autorotational descent. The pilot stated that, due to rough and sloping terrain, he was forced to extend his glide to landing. The pilot stated: "Due to low rotor rpm, the main rotor flexed on touchdown and severed the rear portion of tailboom."

The FAA Inspector's report stated: "Interview with [the] pilot revealed [that the] engine flameout occurred due to fuel exhaustion. Pilot admitted to having inadequate fuel on board. Aircraft was approximately 2 minutes from intended fuel stop. Pilot stated [that he had] no recollection [of] low fuel warning/alert." Postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed less than 1 quart of fuel in the fuel cell. FAA Inspectors stated that the helicopter's fuel quantity and low fuel warning systems appeared to be capable of normal operation.

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