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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 33067
Last updated: 24 August 2021
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Time:20:30 MDT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206B-3 Jet Ranger III
Owner/operator:Ray Burney t/a Rotorcraft Partnerships Ltd
Registration: N33EA
MSN: 2255
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:18 miles S of Harlem, Montana -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Harlem, Montana
Destination airport:Harlem, Montana
Investigating agency: NTSB
On June 19, 1993, at approximately 20:30 hours MDT (Mountain Daylight Time), a Bell 206B-3, N33EA, registered to Rotorcraft Partnerships Ltd., and being operated/flown by Ray E. Burney, a certificated commercial pilot, was substantially damaged during an in-flight collision with terrain following a complete power loss while beginning a spray run of chemical over an agricultural field approximately 18 miles south of Harlem, Montana. The pilot, who was ejected from the aircraft during the impact, sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight, which was for the purpose of chemical dispersion over an agricultural field, was to have been operated in accordance with the requirements set forth in 14CFR137, and originated from a staging point near the accident site.

During aerial application work, the helicopter's engine lost power at the start of a spray run when it was flying at about 60 mph some five to six feet above the ground. The pilot attempted to carry out a forced landing but the helicopter struck the ground hard and rolled over. Just before the run the helicopter was refueled using the last of the fuel from the on site fuel truck.

After the accident, water was found in a sample of fuel taken from the helicopter's fuel line. When the helicopter's fuel tank was defueled, the owner retrieved approximately 2.5 gallons of water out of a 40 gallon quantity.

The NTSB determined the probable cause to be: The improper refueling system procedures which allowed water to
contaminate the fuel and the pilot's inadequate pre-flight checks.


1. NTSB Identification: SEA93LA135 at
2. FAA:

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
28-Aug-2016 16:09 Dr.John Smith Updated [Date, Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]

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