Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Fuel Starvation: Bell 206B, N224KM; accident occurred July 06, 2018 in Bentley, Hancock County, Illinois

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Springfield, Illinois

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Bentley, IL
Accident Number: CEN18LA260
Date & Time: 07/06/2018, 1715 CDT
Registration: N224KM
Aircraft: Bell 206
Aircraft Damage: Substantia
Defining Event: Fuel starvation
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 137: Agricultural

On July 6, 2018, about 1715 central daylight time, a Bell 206B helicopter, N224KM, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Bentley, Illinois. The pilot was not injured. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Woodley Aerial Leasing LLC under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 as an aerial application flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which departed about 1705 from a load truck near Bentley, Illinois.

According to the pilot, he departed the load truck and flew about 1.5 miles east to an application area. While making a turn, he noticed the low fuel pressure light illuminate. After initiating a climb, he noticed the fuel quantity gage indicated 15 gallons and the fuel pressure gage indicated zero psi. The pilot initiated an autorotation in preparation for a forced landing. During touchdown, the helicopter nosed over, which damaged the main and tail rotors.

Examination of the helicopter revealed the fuel quantity gage read about 4 gallons. About 1.5 quarts of fuel were drained from the airframe and filter sumps, with no anomalies observed. The fuel valve switch was found in the on position. The forward and aft fuel boost pumps were tested individually, with normal pressures observed. The fuel tank was drained, revealing that about 9.5 gallons of total fuel were present in the tank. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal flight operations.

The helicopter's flight manual stated to land as soon as practical when fuel quantity was less than 20 gallons. The flight manual contained a warning that uncoordinated turns and maneuvers were to be avoided with a fuel quantity of less than 20 gallons and also stated that due to possible fuel sloshing in unusual attitudes or out of trim conditions and one or both fuel boost pumps inoperative, unusable fuel was 10 gallons.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 31, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Helicopter
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/10/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/05/2017
Flight Time:  3286 hours (Total, all aircraft), 977 hours (Total, this make and model), 3126 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 160 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 80 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Bell
Registration: N224KM
Model/Series: 206 B
Aircraft Category: Helicopter
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted
Serial Number: 1124
Landing Gear Type: Skid
Seats: 5
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/01/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Shaft
Airframe Total Time: 10389 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Allison
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 250-C20
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 400 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Agricultural Aircraft (137)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEOK, 671 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1715 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 305°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots / 12 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 60°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.3 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 18°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Bentley, IL
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Bentley, IL
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1705 CDT
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: 40.330000, -91.180000 (est)

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