MIA98LA051
MIA98LA051

On January 3, 1998, about 0840 eastern standard time, a Bell 47D1 helicopter, N59326, registered to a private owner, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91, local instructional flight, crashed during a forced landing near Bunnell, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The student pilot was not injured. The flight originated about 0730.

The student pilot was on a solo flight in the traffic pattern, practicing landings and takeoffs when the engine lost power. The pilot autorotated to an open field. The pilot said when he checked "the fuel indicator [it] was on 5/8 tank (sic), which was confirmed by the dip stick test." When he next checked the fuel gauge after doing some pattern work, it indicated "3/8 tank (sic)."

According to the FAA Inspector's statement, the student pilot was on a supervised instructional flight, and at an altitude of about 300 feet above the airport the helicopter's "engine stopped." The inspector stated, "...the fuel tank was drained and less then 12 ounces of fuel remained in the undamaged fuel tank...no other maintenance discrepancies were found which may have contributed to the accident."

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