|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : anq|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||ground : parked|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 21|
flight time total : 600
flight time type : 132
|Anomaly||non adherence : published procedure|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
After visually inspecting fuel level at smo, I approximated 20 gallons of fuel (1.5 hours) and departed for anq (approximately 40 mins). During cruise, I suspected fuel was lower than expected. Refueling showed only .6 gallons (approximately 5 mins) remained after shutdown. The possible causes: a) for the first time ever I failed to visually check the fuel level after an earlier refueling. B) the helicopter is consuming more than the published 13 gph. Mistakes I made: 1) 'a' mentioned above. 2) not making a precautionary landing. Future actions to take: 1) determine the actual fuel burn. 2) don't pass up refueling before departing an airport. 3) instruct passenger to be prepared to reset the starter circuit breaker (it is opened after engine start) if directed to do so. This would enable a possible engine restart. Although I fell into an obvious error chain, I did do some things right. 1) reduced engine power to conserve fuel. 2) kept emergency landing zones within range as much as possible. 3) avoided turns which might have prevented the fuel that was remaining in the tanks from being available at the tank outlet.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AN SMA HELI RPTR PLT DEPARTED FOR DEST ARPT WITH INADEQUATE FUEL. AFTER SHUTTING DOWN, RPTR DISCOVERED THERE WAS ONLY ABOUT 5 MINS OF FUEL REMAINING.
Narrative: AFTER VISUALLY INSPECTING FUEL LEVEL AT SMO, I APPROXIMATED 20 GALLONS OF FUEL (1.5 HRS) AND DEPARTED FOR ANQ (APPROX 40 MINS). DURING CRUISE, I SUSPECTED FUEL WAS LOWER THAN EXPECTED. REFUELING SHOWED ONLY .6 GALLONS (APPROX 5 MINS) REMAINED AFTER SHUTDOWN. THE POSSIBLE CAUSES: A) FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER I FAILED TO VISUALLY CHK THE FUEL LEVEL AFTER AN EARLIER REFUELING. B) THE HELI IS CONSUMING MORE THAN THE PUBLISHED 13 GPH. MISTAKES I MADE: 1) 'A' MENTIONED ABOVE. 2) NOT MAKING A PRECAUTIONARY LNDG. FUTURE ACTIONS TO TAKE: 1) DETERMINE THE ACTUAL FUEL BURN. 2) DON'T PASS UP REFUELING BEFORE DEPARTING AN ARPT. 3) INSTRUCT PAX TO BE PREPARED TO RESET THE STARTER CIRCUIT BREAKER (IT IS OPENED AFTER ENG START) IF DIRECTED TO DO SO. THIS WOULD ENABLE A POSSIBLE ENG RESTART. ALTHOUGH I FELL INTO AN OBVIOUS ERROR CHAIN, I DID DO SOME THINGS RIGHT. 1) REDUCED ENG PWR TO CONSERVE FUEL. 2) KEPT EMER LNDG ZONES WITHIN RANGE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. 3) AVOIDED TURNS WHICH MIGHT HAVE PREVENTED THE FUEL THAT WAS REMAINING IN THE TANKS FROM BEING AVAILABLE AT THE TANK OUTLET.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.