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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 206938
Last updated: 18 September 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic B47G model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bell 47G-5
Registration: N7800S
C/n / msn: 7854
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Tulare County near Pixley, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Pixley, CA
Destination airport:Pixley, CA
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot reported that, after landing and during the loading for the next chemical agricultural application flight with the engine running, he exited the helicopter to speak to the owner of the property he was spraying. He could not remember if he had instructed the ground crewman to fuel the helicopter or not. Additionally, the pilot stated that, before takeoff, he failed to check the fuel level and was unaware that the ground crewman had not refueled the helicopter. After takeoff and completing only one spray pass, the engine lost power. The pilot opined that he “just ran out of fuel.” Unable to make it back to the loading area, he landed in a grove of trees, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage. The pilot also mentioned that due to the approaching rain, he was in a hurry to get the field sprayed before it arrived.
The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical anomalies with the helicopter or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause: A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation, which resulted from the pilot’s failure to ensure that adequate fuel was on board for the flight. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s self-induced pressure to complete the flight due to impending rain.


FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 months
Download report: Final report


Photo: NTSB

Revision history:

02-Mar-2018 04:46 Geno Added
21-Jun-2018 19:59 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
22-Jun-2018 06:14 ASN Update Bot Updated [Source]
23-Jun-2018 09:49 harro Updated [Source, Narrative, Photo, ]

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