Hughes 369HS, Hughes 500, G-LINC
The pilot’s initial fuel calculations, prior to departure, appeared reasonable, but they did not make any allowance for start up and taxiing. En route the pilot did not perform a fuel burn check. 10 nm from his destination the FUEL LOW caption illuminated indicating there was 35 lbs of fuel remaining. The pilot believed he now had 15 mins of flight time available. Due to other aircraft in the circuit the pilot elected to join the circuit at the end of the downwind leg. The helicopter’s flight manual states the action to be taken when a FUEL LOW caption illuminates as “Land as soon as possible”. Whilst on final approach, at 400 ft, the engine flamed out. The pilot commenced an autorotation and landed firmly short of the threshold. The pilot and his passenger vacated the helicopter uninjured. As a result of the firm landing the helicopter’s skids splayed. The tail boom was also chopped off by the main rotor. This is likely to have been a result of the pilot moving the cyclic rearwards in a bid to cushion the landing, causing the rotor disc to tilt down and make contact with the tail boom.
Hughes 369HS (Hughes 500), G-LINC 07-06.pdf (377.27 kb)