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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 208518
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Time:22:50 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic AS55 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Aérospatiale AS 355F1
Owner/operator:Southwest Helicopters
Registration: N911BB
MSN: 5099
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Rosebud, TX -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
While en route on a positioning flight in dark night visual meteorological conditions, the Emergency Medical Service twin-engine helicopter was diverted to pick up a patient who was involved in an automobile accident. Upon arriving in the vicinity of the accident, the pilot had trouble locating the accident site. After circling the area several times, the pilot was informed that the patient was transported by ground vehicle. The flight departed the area for the initial intended destination. The pilot filed a company flight plan with an estimated time of arrival of 30 minutes and 40 minutes of fuel on board. About 10 minutes from destination, both of the
helicopter's engines lost power, and the pilot initiated an autorotation. The pilot spotted what he believed to be a tree or bush and "flared a little high to miss the obstacle which caused a decrease in rotor rpm." During the landing, the helicopter touched down "hard," slid approximately 30-40 feet, before coming to rest on its left side following the separation of both landing skid tubes. Examination of the helicopter revealed that the fuel system was not compromised. During the examination of the fuel system, a total of 2 ounces of fuel was
drained from both fuel filters and the fuel lines, which lead to the fuel nozzles. A total of 2 quarts of fuel was drained from both fuel tanks. Toxicology testing of the pilot was positive for methamphetamine (>20000 ng/ml) and amphetamine (2642 ng/ml). The operator reported that "the pilot admitted to taking medicine prescribed for his wife, and was taking this medicine for 3 days prior to the accident."

Probable Cause and Findings
The pilots impairment due to drugs. Contributing factors were the dark night light conditions, the pilot's failure to refuel, resulting in the total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, and the pilot's misjudged landing flare.


Air International February 2002, p79

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

Revision history:

31-Mar-2018 18:17 TB Added
11-Oct-2021 18:09 harro Updated [Time, Phase, Nature, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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