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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 144730
Last updated: 20 October 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Hughes 500D (369D)
Owner/operator:Dah Aircraft Llc
Registration: N868W
C/n / msn: 1000800D
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Near South Mine Street, McCormick, SC -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Mccormick, SC
Destination airport:Aiken, SC (AIK)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot was en route to his destination airport and had not obtained a weather briefing. A weather front came through, and the wind changed from a tailwind to a headwind, so he could not reach is destination and diverted to an alternate airport to refuel. However, he landed at the wrong airport, and that airport did not have any Jet A fuel. He observed an automotive gas station and flew to it and landed in the grass nearby, even though he did not know what the approved alternate fuel was for the turbine engine. He purchased 25 gallons of 87 octane automotive fuel and placed it in the helicopterís fuel tank. According to the engine manufacturer, automotive fuel is not an approved fuel on the list. He started the engine and departed. He was about 150 to 200 feet above the ground when the engine lost power. The engine-out audio and low-rpm audio sounded. He lowered the collective pitch as much as possible to clear a power line and reach an open field. Once clear of the power line, he lowered the collective pitch to the full-down position. The helicopter touched down hard in a tail-low attitude. The nose pitched downward, the tail boom separated, and the helicopter slid forward and rolled over on its right side. No preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures were found that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The pilot's decision to use automotive fuel instead of the approved alternate fuel, which resulted in a total loss of engine power.



Revision history:

31-Mar-2012 07:01 gerard57 Added
31-Mar-2012 07:49 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
10-Apr-2012 11:53 Geno Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 20:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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