On July 31, 2010, approximately 1200 central daylight time, a Garlick OH-58A, N305SD, operated by Coastal Air Service, Panama City, Florida, was substantially damaged when the pilot made a quick-stop landing after the engine lost power 10 miles east of Kountze, Texas. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident. The aerial application flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 137 without a flight plan. The pilot, the sole occupant on board, received serious injuries. The local flight originated near Kountze, Texas, approximately 1130. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported the helicopter yawed from side-to-side, then the engine lost power. The pilot performed a quick-stop landing, severing the tail boom. The pilot told FAA inspectors that he normally fueled to 200 lbs each time he loaded chemicals, and this gave him approximately 30 minutes endurance. He did not recall the 20-minute fuel warning light or any other warning lights illuminating. He thought he had flown only 15 minutes. FAA inspectors found no fuel in the fuel line and only 1/2-cup of fuel in the fuel filter. The fuel tank had been compromised.
An FAA inspector responded to the accident site and found the helicopter in an upright position. He could not access the fuel filler cap to see how much fuel was in the tank. There was no fuel in the line between the fuel control and the engine fuel nozzle. When the main fuel filter was opened (and after letting the fuel filter drain back into the housing), less than 1/2-cup of fuel was noted. There was no fuel smell in the area.