The week of July 12th a 48-year-old pilot of a Bell Helicopter, model 212 died near Evansburg, Alberta while battling a wildfire according to Canadian media. Subsequently, the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency directive requiring inspection of main rotor components on Bell models 212, 204, and 205 helicopters.
The investigation conducted by Transport Canada Civil Aviation found that one of the outboard main rotor hub strap pins sheared off during flight. When the strap pin sheared off, it caused the main rotor blade to detach, ultimately causing the aircraft to crash. An inspection of a similar Bell model 212 found a main rotor hub strap pin to be deformed after only 29 hours of flight time, this is according to Transport Canada.
Transport Canada also issued an emergency directive similar to the FAA. Currently, the directive affects about 400 aircraft worldwide and at least 140 in the United States. Operators must complete the inspection and replace certain model hub strap pins before further flights can be conducted.
Bell Helicopters is a unit of Textron, Inc. A spokesman for Bell Helicopters stated, “even though the investigation is still in progress, to ensure fleet safety, the main rotor strap pins identified… should be removed from service before the next flight” and that they are “not at liberty to discuss the details of the Transport Safety Board’s investigation”.
If you or someone you know has suffered due to an aviation-related injury or loss of a family member, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz, & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll-free at 1-800-594-4884.