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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 42596
Last updated: 29 September 2020
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Date:06-JUL-1997
Time:17:03
Type:Silhouette image of generic B06 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 206L-1 LongRanger II
Owner/operator:USDA Forest Service - USFS
Registration: N27591
C/n / msn: 45273
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Highland, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Unknown
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The pilot was conducting water dropping operations as part of an ongoing forest fire fighting effort. A firefighter reported that the helicopter made two water drops before the accident. A battalion fire chief, who was directing the effort, reported that he saw the helicopter making water drops on a slope. After a water drop which involved an abrupt pull up and turn after the water was released from the bucket, he reported hearing the words 'May Day,' 'I have a flame out' and finally 'I'm going down'. Several other people who were monitoring the common frequency also reported hearing a transmission with the phrase 'flame out.' The helicopter impacted the bottom of the canyon. An inspection revealed that the lines from the engine fuel nozzle to the fuel control and the airframe fuel filter contained fuel. The lines and in-line filters contained both fuel and particulate matter in the bottom of both filter housings. Testing revealed that the manifold check valve leaked from both inlet ports. When the valves were disassembled additional foreign material was found. The material was found to be a combination of organic and inorganic materials. A 5-gallon fuel sample was taken from the refueling truck on the day of the accident. The analytical report stated that the sample submitted was that of aviation turbine fuel. No contamination was noted. According to historical records, there have been a series of engine flameout related accidents and incidents related to this engine make and model. Controlled tests have demonstrated that should entrapped air migrate through the fuel system to the engine, an engine flame out can occur. CAUSE: Loss of engine power due to fuel contamination. Also causal was the ingestion of entrapped air that occurred during an abrupt maneuver and fuel-borne contamination that caused the fuel system check valves to leak, resulted in a lower than expected fuel level in the main fuel cell. A related factor was mountainous terrain.

Sources:

NTSB: http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001208X08415


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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