Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms
Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Springfield FSDO-19
NTSB Identification: CEN16CA321
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Sunday, August 07, 2016 in Sparland, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2016
Aircraft: CONTINENTAL COPTERS INC. TOMCAT MK6B, registration: N17H
Injuries: 1 Serious.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
Prior to departure from the field service vehicle assisting with the aerial application flight, the pilot checked his fuel gauges and his personal timer for fuel load estimation. The pilot's plan was to complete a field he had been applying chemical and thought he had enough fuel to complete the short flight. While maneuvering in a slow left turn near the field, the engine experienced a total loss of power. The pilot maneuvered the helicopter to avoid trees and the helicopter experienced a hard forced landing to an adjacent field. The pilot sustained serious injuries and the helicopter sustained substantial damage to the fuselage. Examination of the helicopter by a representative of the operator showed the fuel tanks and fuel lines contained no fuel. The loss of engine power was consistent with fuel exhaustion.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's improper fuel management, which resulted in fuel exhaustion, a total loss of engine power, and a forced landing.