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N756H accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location 44.833889°N, 119.073056°W
Nearest city Ritter Butte, OR
We couldn't find this city on a map
Tail number N756H
Accident date 13 Jan 2016
Aircraft type Enstrom F-28
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On January 13, 2016, about 1000 Pacific standard time, an Enstrom F-28F helicopter, N756H, impacted terrain while maneuvering at a low altitude, about 5 miles southeast of Ritter, Oregon. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the passenger had no injuries. The helicopter was registered to BRD Equipment LLC of Adams, Oregon, and operated by Southern Helicopter Company of Pendleton, Oregon, as a personal local flight under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site about the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from and was destined to returned to a private residence near Ritter, OR.

According to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was for predator animal control in an area of adjoining ranches. The pilot stated that, during the flight, the fuel indicator began "bouncing back and forth and read erratically". The pilot reported that consequently, he used his watch to time his fuel burn to know when he had to return to the fuel point. As the pilot was about to return to the fuel point, the fuel indicator stabilized with about one quarter of a tank of fuel and the pilot flew in the direction of the fuel truck. The pilot stated he was about 100 feet above the terrain when the low fuel indicator illuminated and subsequently the engine lost power. The pilot estimated he had a 20 mile per hour tailwind and performed a 180 turn to point the nose of the helicopter into the wind while auto rotating. After completing the 180 turn, the pilot did not see any flat or open terrain and chose to land on a rocky outcropping trying to avoid landing in trees and impacted terrain.

During impact the helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and main rotor gear box.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s improper fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion and subsequent impact with terrain.

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