Final Report: Helo running while refueling
BELL 206L-1 LONGRANGER, ESCALANTE, UTAH, JULY 23, 2004. After a “hot” refueling from a fuel truck on the ramp at Escalante Municipal Airport, the pilot got out of LongRanger N2758C, still running, to help the refueler with the hose. He heard a strange noise and the helicopter began to vibrate. As he grabbed the controls, the helicopter bounced and knocked him down. The main rotor dipped and struck the truck, damaging the main rotor blades, the tail boom and the truck cab. The pilot got up and shut down the engine. He reported that a gust of wind caused the helicopter rotor blade to dip down and strike the truck. Thirty minutes after the accident, the wind was reported as 210 degrees at 19 knots, with gusts to 27 knots. Approximately 34 minutes before the accident, a peak wind of 180 degrees at 30 knots was reported.
The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident, which resulted in one minor injury, was the pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control. Factors in the accident were high winds, gusts and the refueling truck.