Bell 206L-4, Sabine Pass, Texas, Dec. 11, 2008–The Rotorcraft Leasing Company LongRanger was destroyed and the commercial pilot and four passengers were killed when it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico soon after takeoff while on its way to an offshore drilling platform. The pilot had filed a flight plan for the 20-minute Part 135 flight from Sabine Pass to the platform.
Bell 206B, Auberry, Calif., Jan. 5, 2010–The JetRanger, registered to Palm Springs Aviation and operated by the California Department of Fish and Game, was on a deer surveying flight in VMC when witnesses saw it flying through a valley spanned by power lines. As the helicopter approached the vicinity of the lines it was seen to “rear back” and immediately descend.
Bell 206L-4, Conroe, Texas, Oct. 13, 2008–After lifting off from Houston Hobby Airport to cover a police chase, N6ZV crashed in the W.G Jones State Forest, killing the commercial pilot and the news videographer, who were ejected from the wreckage.
Bell Helicopter CEO John Garrison told a press conference here yesterday that he did not expect an uptick in the company’s civil helicopter sales until 2012 and called the company’s 2009 “quite a year in a very challenging environment.”
Bell 206L-3, White Plains, N.Y., Aug. 26, 2009–The pilot’s failure to disconnect the ground power unit (GPU) before takeoff caused the crash of the helicopter, according to the NTSB. The pilot stated that during takeoff from a dolly, the LongRanger nosed down and hit the ground, collapsing its landing skids.
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.
Bell 206L-1, Gulf of Mexico, Nov. 1, 2009–The LongRanger, operated by Rotorcraft Leasing, was substantially damaged after a loss of engine power forced a water landing shortly after liftoff from an oil platform. Just before touching down, the pilot inflated the pontoons but the helicopter rolled over as it settled in the water. Preliminary examination of the recovered helicopter indicated a loose compressor discharge pressure line.
Dart Helicopter Services has announced that affiliated partner Dart Aerospace has received Transport Canada and EASA certification of its expanded line of interior trim panels, cabin floor and baggage compartment protectors for the Bell 206A/B and 206L series and Bell 407.
Bell 206B, Nokomis, Fla., Sept. 11, 2007– The helicopter was destroyed when it crashed into the ocean offshore of Nokomis around 10 a.m., while serving as an aerial photography platform. The pilot received serious injuries and the two passengers were killed in the accident.
Bell 206L-1, Breckenridge, Colo., July 2, 2009–N38AZ, owned and operated by Mile High Helicopters, was substantially damaged after it rotated during an external lift operation. Although the commercial pilot jettisoned the load, he was not able to regain control of the helicopter and it landed heavily and rolled over. The pilot suffered serious injuries and one person on the ground sustained minor injuries.