Sunday, February 24, 2019

Bell 47G-2A, registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local solo-instructional flight, N9526: Accident occurred August 20, 2017 at St. Marys Municipal Airport (KOYM), Elk County, Pennsylvania

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N9526



Location: St Marys, PA
Accident Number: ERA17LA285
Date & Time: 08/20/2017, 1200 EDT
Registration: N9526
Aircraft: BELL 47G
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On August 20, 2017, at 1200 eastern daylight time, a Bell 47G-2A, N9526, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at St Marys, Pennsylvania. The student pilot was not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local, solo-instructional flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at St Marys Municipal Airport (OYM), St Marys, Pennsylvania about 1000.

The pilot reported that he arrived at OYM and performed his preflight inspection. He determined that the fuel tanks contained between 25 and 30 gallons of fuel, and then he added 12 gallons before the flight. He departed the airport and flew for about 2 hours when the helicopter "ran out of fuel." He performed an autorotation to a level, grassy lot and the helicopter landed hard. He exited the helicopter and was met by first responders. The pilot reported there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the helicopter.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration reported that the helicopter came to rest upright in a grassy lot, about 2.6 miles west of OYM. The fuselage was structurally damaged. The landing gear skids were spread and forced up, against the fuselage. The main rotor blades were bent. There was no fire.

The inspector examined the fuel system and determined that both fuel tanks were intact and undamaged. The fuel lines remained in place and there were no fuel leaks. He estimated that both fuel tanks contained 1 gallon or less of fuel, which was the unusable fuel quantity for each tank.

The pilot also reported that he used an average fuel burn for estimating his fuel status, with no adjustment for pressure, temperature, or other performance metrics.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 60, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/12/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/09/2017
Flight Time:   57 hours (Total, all aircraft), 57 hours (Total, this make and model), 34 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: BELL
Registration: N9526
Model/Series: 47G 2A
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1954
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 1288-16
Landing Gear Type: Skid;
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/29/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2850 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 10 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  13300 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: VO-435-A1D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 240 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: FIG, 1516 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 22 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1154 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 180°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 200°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: St Marys, PA (OYM)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: St Marys, PA (OYM)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1000 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 41.407778, -78.561667 (est)

NTSB Identification: ERA17LA285
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 20, 2017 in St Marys, PA
Aircraft: BELL 47G, registration: N9526
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 20, 2017, at 1200 eastern daylight time, a Bell 47G-2A, N9526, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at St Marys, Pennsylvania. The student pilot was not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local, solo-instructional flight. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at St Marys Municipal Airport (OYM), St Marys, Pennsylvania about 1030.

The pilot reported that he had been flying in the local area for about 90 minutes when the engine abruptly stopped running. He selected a small, grass lot to perform an autorotation. During the touchdown, the helicopter landed hard. He egressed from the helicopter and was assisted by first responders.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration reported that the helicopter came to rest upright in a grassy lot, about 2.6 miles west of OYM. The fuselage was structurally damaged. The landing gear skids were spread and forced up, against the fuselage. The main rotor blades were bent. There was no fire.

The wreckage was retained for further examination.

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