Aircraft Accident/Incident Report

Rosebud, Texas 76570
Sunday, October 7, 2001 22:50 CDT

NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident

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."

NTSB Probable Cause Narrative

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.

Event Information

Type of Event Accident
Event Date 10/7/2001
Event Day of the Week Sunday
Time of Event 2250
Event Time Zone Central Daylight Time
Event City Rosebud
Event State TEXAS
Event Country --
Zipcode of the event site 76570
Event Date Year 2001
Event Date Month 10
MidAir Collision Indicator No
On Ground Collision occurred ? No
Event Location Latitude --
Event Location Longitude --
Event Location Airport --
Event Location Nearest Airport ID --
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airport Off Airport/Airstrip
Distance from airport in statute miles --
Degrees magnetic from airport --
Airport Elevation --
Weather Briefing Completeness Unknown
Investigator's weather source Witness
Time of the weather observation
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees) --
Weather Observation Facility ID --
Elevation of weather observation facility --
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?) --
Time Zone of the weather observation --
Lighting Conditions Night/Dark
Lowest Ceiling Height --
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height --
Sky/Lowest/Cloud Conditions Clear
Sky Condition for Lowest Ceiling None
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet) --
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles) --
Visibility (Statute Miles) 10
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius) 16
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit) --
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic) 225
Variable Wind Indicator Wind direction could be determined
Wind Speed (knots) 5
Wind Velocity Indicator --
Wind Gust Indicator Not Gusting
Wind Gust (knots) --
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) --
Density Altitude (feet) --
Intensity of Precipitation --
METAR weather report --
Event Highest Injury Minor
On Ground, Fatal Injuries --
On Ground, Minor Injuries --
On Ground, Serious Injuries --
Injury Total Fatal --
Injury Total Minor 2
Injury Total None 1
Injury Total Serious --
Injury Total All 2
Investigating Agency NTSB
NTSB Docket Number (internal use) 13475
NTSB Notification Source FAA Operations Center
NTSB Notification Date Oct 8 2001 12:00AM
NTSB Notification Time 10
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket information DMS
Date of most recent change to record May 30 2003 9:51AM
User who most recently changed record NTSB\MONR
Basic weather conditions Visual Meteorological Cond
FAA District Office Fort Worth, Texas

Aircraft Involved

Aircraft #1

Aircraft Registration Number N911BB
NTSB Number FTW02LA006
Missing Aircraft Indicator --
Federal Aviation Reg. Part Part 91: General Aviation
Type of Flight Plan filed VFR
Flight plan Was Activated? No
Damage Substantial
Aircraft Fire None
Aircraft Explosion None
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full Name Aerospatiale
Aircraft Model AS355F1
Aircraft Series Identifier --
Aircraft Serial Number 5099
Certified Max Gross Weight 5291
Aircraft Category Helicopter
Aircraft Registration Class U.S. Registered/U.S. Soil
Aircraft is a homebuilt? No
Flight Crew Seats --
Cabin Crew Seats --
Passenger Seats --
Total number of seats on the aircraft 3
Number of Engines 2
Fixed gear or retractable gear Fixed
Aircraft, Type of Last Inspection AAIP
Date of Last Inspection --
Airframe hours since last inspection --
Airframe Hours 5576.6
ELT Installed Yes
ELT Activated No
ELT Aided Location of Event Site No
ELT Type --
Aircraft Owner Name Southwest Helicopters, Inc.
Aircraft Owner Street Address 6666 S Plumer Ave
Aircraft Owner City Tucson
Aircraft Owner State AZ
Aircraft Owner Country USA
Aircraft Owner Zipcode 85706
Operator is an individual? No
Operator Name --
Operator Same as Owner? Yes
Operator Is Doing Business As --
Operator Address Same as Owner? Yes
Operator Street Address --
Operator City --
Operator State --
Operator Country USA
Operator Zip code --
Operator Code EJYA
Owner has at least one certificate --
Other Operator of large aircraft? No
Certified for Part 133 or 137 Operation --
Operator Certificate Number --
Indicates whether an air carrier operation was scheduled or not --
Indicates Domestic or International Flight --
Operator carrying Pax/Cargo/Mail --
Type of Flying (Per_Bus / Primary) Positioning
Second Pilot on Board No
Departure Point Same as Event No
Departure Airport Code 9F1
Departure City VALLEY MILLS
Departure State TX
Departure Country USA
Departure Time 2130
Departure Time Zone CDT
Destination Same as Local Flt --
Destination Airport Code 59XS
Destination City TEMPLE
Destination State TX
Destination Country USA
Specific Phase of Flight Landing - flare/touchdown
Report sent to ICAO? No
Evacuation occurred Yes
Date of most recent change to record Feb 2 2009 2:54PM
User who most recently changed record johb
Since inspection or accident --
Event Location Runway Number and Location --
Runway Length --
Runway Width --
Sight Seeing flight No
Air Medical Flight Yes
Medical Flight --