Splitting at regions of local thinning below die entry radii is a critically important mechanism of failure in hot gas-pressure forming of sheet materials. Local thinning is controlled by sheet-die friction and die geometry, as well as sheet material properties. In this study, local thinning is investigated at a particularly severe die entry radius during hot forming of a fine-grained AA5083 sheet at . Particular emphasis is placed on the relationship between local thinning and sheet-die friction conditions. A simple analysis of the mechanics of this thinning phenomenon is presented. Finite element simulation results are presented for different sheet-die friction conditions. Sheet thickness profiles measured from parts produced in forming experiments using three different lubrication conditions are compared with predictions from simulations. Simulation predictions agree well with experimental data for the occurrence and location of thinning below a die entry radius. Additional insights into sheet-die friction for controlling local thinning and preventing premature necking failure are detailed.