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N535HA accident description

Arkansas map... Arkansas list
Crash location 33.548055°N, 92.523611°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Hampton, AR
36.123684°N, 92.754333°W
178.4 miles away
Tail number N535HA
Accident date 10 Aug 2005
Aircraft type Hiller UH-12E
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 10, 2005, at 1117 central daylight time, a Hiller UH-12E agricultural helicopter, N535HA, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Hampton, Arkansas. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Summit Helicopters, Inc., Cloverdale, Virginia. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the helicopter, was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. The local flight originated from a field heliport near Hampton, Arkansas, at 0837.

According to a GPS (Global Positioning System) log of the helicopter's flight provided by the operator, the helicopter was refueled with 35 gallons at 1002. The pilot in a written record of a telephonic interview provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector stated: "The fuel gauges are not real reliable so they pump a known quantity and go by time. There are no low fuel lights on the aircraft." On the fourth flight to load chemicals at approximately 1110, the pilot was asked if he wanted additional fuel. The pilot replied in a negative way and said that he had enough fuel to spray an additional load.

Examination of the helicopter by an FAA inspector, who traveled to the accident site, confirmed substantial damage. The helicopter came to rest on it's left side, facing to the north. The main rotor system separated from the rotor mast and one main rotor blade was broken in half. The tail boom and tail rotor assembly also separated from the main fuselage. The fuel tank and fuel lines were all intact and checked for evidence of fuel. There was no evidence of fuel spillage nor fuel in the tank or fuel lines to the fuel control unit.

NTSB Probable Cause

A loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot's failure to refuel. A factor was unsuitable terrain to complete a successful autorotation.

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