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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 138211
Last updated: 8 May 2019
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Date:26-AUG-2011
Time:18:41
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS50 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Eurocopter AS 350B2 Ecureuil
Owner/operator:LifeNet of the Heartland
Registration: N352LN
C/n / msn: 3728
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:near Mosby-Midwest National Air Center (KGPH), MO -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Ambulance
Departure airport:Bethany, MO
Destination airport:Mosby, MO (GPH)
Narrative:
The Safety Board’s full report is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/reports_aviation.html. The Aircraft Accident Report number is NTSB/AAR-13/02.

On August 26, 2011, about 1841 central daylight time, a Eurocopter AS350 B2 helicopter, N352LN, crashed following a loss of engine power as a result of fuel exhaustion near the Midwest National Air Center (GPH), Mosby, Missouri. The pilot, flight nurse, flight paramedic, and patient were killed, and the helicopter was substantially damaged by impact forces. The emergency medical services (EMS) helicopter was registered to Key Equipment Finance, Inc., and operated by Air Methods Corporation, doing business as LifeNet in the Heartland, as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 medical flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a company visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The helicopter was not equipped, and was not required to be equipped, with any onboard recording devices. The flight originated from Harrison County Community Hospital, Bethany, Missouri, about 1811 and was en route to GPH to refuel. After refueling, the pilot planned to proceed to Liberty Hospital, Liberty, Missouri, which was located about 7 nautical miles (nm) from GPH.
Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to confirm that the helicopter had adequate fuel on board to complete the mission before making the first departure, his improper decision to continue the mission and make a second departure after he became aware of a critically low fuel level, and his failure to successfully enter an autorotation when the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion. Contributing to the accident were (1) the pilot's distracted attention due to personal texting during safety-critical ground and flight operations, (2) his degraded performance due to fatigue, (3) the operator's lack of a policy requiring that an operational control center specialist be notified of abnormal fuel situations, and (4) the lack of practice representative of an actual engine failure at cruise airspeed in the pilot's autorotation training in the accident make and model helicopter.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20110827X00428&key=1

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report


Images:


photo: NTSB

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
27-Aug-2011 00:00 gerard57 Added
27-Aug-2011 00:55 RobertMB Updated
27-Aug-2011 14:32 Geno Updated
09-Apr-2013 19:00 harro Updated
09-Apr-2013 19:04 harro Updated
29-Mar-2015 12:51 Aerossurance Updated
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated
27-Nov-2017 17:06 ASN Update Bot Updated

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