Fuel exhaustion Accident Hughes 369HS G-LINC, Monday 2 January 2006
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Date:Monday 2 January 2006
Type:Silhouette image of generic H500 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hughes 369HS
Owner/operator:Wavendon Social Housing Ltd
Registration: G-LINC
MSN: 43-0467S
Year of manufacture:1973
Engine model:Allison 250-C18A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Sywell Aerodrome, Hall Farm, Sywell, Northamptonshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Folkestone Racecourse, Folkestone, Kent
Destination airport:Sywell Aerodrome, Northamptonshire (EGBK)
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 02-01-2006 when the helicopter's engine lost power on final approach to Sywell Airport, Northamptonshire, and the helicopter touched down hard at the edge of the airfield. The loss of power resulted from fuel exhaustion. No injuries reported to the two person on board (pilot and one passenger). According to the following excerpt from the official AAIB report into the accident:

"The pilot reported that he did not physically check that the fuel tank was full, but it was indicating 'Full' at start up. The refueler of the helicopter also reported that he filled it up 'to the brim' after its preceding flight a few days earlier. Initially, the pilot flew 16 nautical miles from Sywell to Catthorpe, near Rugby in Warwickshire, in order to pick up his passenger.

After landing, the pilot kept the engine running while the passenger boarded. They then flew to Folkestone Race Course (113 nautical miles point-to-point) where they spent the day. The helicopter was not refueled at Folkestone because no fuel was available.

The flight back to Sywell was uneventful until just north of Luton Airport. At this point the 'Fuel Low' caution light 'flickered once or twice'. The pilot was not concerned as this had occurred to him before with a low fuel state. He attributed the flickering caption to the fuel moving around in the tank as a result of air turbulence.

Prior to this, the pilot had not made a fuel burn check while en route.When approximately 10 nautical miles from Sywell the 'Fuel Low' caution light came on permanently. The pilot was not too worried by this because his GPS indicated he was 6 minutes from Sywell.

He believed that when the 'Fuel Low' caution light came on, he still had 15 min flying time available. Due to a number of microlight aircraft in the circuit at Sywell, the pilot elected to join the circuit at the end of the downwind leg rather than fly a straight-in approach. Whilst on final approach, at 400 feet agl, the engine flamed out. The pilot commenced an auto-rotation and landed firmly short of the threshold of Runway 23".

Nature of Damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Tail boom separated and landing skids splayed". As a result, the registration G-LINC was cancelled by the CAA as "Destroyed", but not until 10-11-2011, almost six years later.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: EW/G2006/01/04
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5422f367ed915d137100046f/Hughes_369HS__Hughes_500___G-LINC_07-06.pdf
2. CAA: https://siteapps.caa.co.uk/g-info/rk=LINC
3. http://www.griffin-helicopters.co.uk/accidentdetails.aspx?accidentkey=33

Revision history:

20-Aug-2016 22:30 Dr.John Smith Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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