Final Report: EMS A119 lost power

 - March 9, 2007, 9:54 AM

Agusta A119, Mancos, Colo., June 30, 2005–The NTSB determined that the crash of the EMS A119 was caused by the loss of engine power for undetermined reasons and by the pilot’s inability to autorotate. A factor was the helicopter’s low altitude when power was lost. The A119 had arrived to pick up an injured logger. When it was about 220 feet above tree level, it “dropped straight down,” according to a fireman at the scene.

Investigators found the fuel control unit had a one-sixteenth-inch gap at the mating flange between the flow (fuel bypass passage) and drive (air pressure passages) bodies. One of four retention bolts was backed out and the packing was partially extruded. The bolt was too short, another bolt was too long, and the other two bolts were insufficiently torqued. Additionally, the flow and drive bodies were not perfectly flat.
The pilot, flight nurse and paramedic were killed and the helicopter was substantially damaged.