Archive for Wednesday, August 1, 2001

NTSB official says helicopter was low on fuel

August 1, 2001

An investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board said a July 22 helicopter crash that claimed the lives of two area men had about 12 ounces of fuel on board at the time of the crash.

Lenny Lawson, 58, Tonganoxie, and Richard Inlow, 59, Bonner Springs, died in the crash. The men were in Lawson's helicopter, traveling from Tonganoxie to Rolla, Mo., where the helicopter was to be left and leased for use in spraying cotton fields in the Sikeston, Mo., area. The helicopter crashed near Creighton, Mo., about 60 miles south of Kansas City, Mo.

"Each aircraft has usable and unusable fuel," said John Brannen, NTSB investigator who examined the downed helicopter at the crash site. "Twelve ounces is what we were able to get out in total. I haven't had the chance to find out what the unusable fuel quantity was on the aircraft."

Investigators are prevented from giving their opinions as to the probable cause of a crash, Brannen said.

"But we examined the helicopter and all the parts during that examination and we didn't find anything that we could say caused it," Brannen said.

His findings will be forwarded to NTSB officials in Washington, D.C.

"The safety board will review the report and issue the probable cause," Brannen said.

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