Final report: Cause of fatal Bell crash eludes Canada's TSB

 - December 29, 2009, 8:43 AM

Bell 206B, Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, May 13, 2008–Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) was unable to determine the cause of the power loss that led to the crash of the JetRanger.

The 206B was traveling at about 120 feet above the city on a power-line inspection flight when a sudden decrease in rotor rpm caused it to plunge uncontrolled to the ground.

According to the manufacturer, autorotation was not possible due to the helicopter’s low altitude and airspeed. Examination of engine and drive-train components revealed no abnormalities that would have directly led to the power loss, and the ferocity of the post-accident fire hinted strongly at the presence of abundant fuel. According to the TSB, the operator did not apply for a Transport Canada permit to conduct the low-level survey flight over the built-up area.

The pilot, two passengers and a pedestrian at the point of impact were killed.