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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 33371
Last updated: 9 July 2021
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Time:07:45 PDT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206B-3 JetRanger III
Owner/operator:Rainbow helicopters
Registration: N5016G
MSN: 2624
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Lucerne Valley, California -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Riverside, California
Destination airport:Flagstaff, Arizona
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot had been flying for about 25 minutes when he noticed that the oil pressure gauge and torque gauge were fluctuating. He initiated an approach to a precautionary landing spot on an asphalt pad. About 150 feet agl, the engine quit and the pilot autorotated to touch down on a paved road.

The main rotor blades severed the tail boom aft of the horizontal stabilizer. The engine had received some maintenance work and had been reinstalled in the helicopter the night before the accident, at which time the pilot performed a test run and leak check of the engine, with no noted discrepancies. The pilot further stated that the engine had been running normally until the fluctuation of the oil pressure and torque gauges.

During an examination of the engine, the oil output line was connected, but loose, and oil was seen dripping from the fitting area. Oil was observed over most of the fuselage and underneath the engine. There was approximately 1 pint of oil found in the sump. Further tear down of the engine revealed that the number 8 bearing was destroyed and no oil was found throughout the lubrication system.

The Bell Helicopter maintenance manual specifies a torque value for the fitting on the oil output line; however, the mechanic who installed the engine reported that he did not use a torque wrench to tighten the line because he would have had to remove some other lines to get to it and he was in a hurry.


1. NTSB LAX98LA256 at
2. FAA:

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
08-Apr-2015 20:20 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
08-Apr-2015 20:28 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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