Bell 206B JetRanger III, Sustenlimi, Switzerland, March 26, 2005–The JetRanger, carrying three skiers to the Steinfletscher glacier, crashed in the glacier plateau, killing the pilot and three passengers. Their bodies were recovered but worsening weather conditions delayed inspection of the wreckage.
Elling Halvorson, chairman of Papillon Airways, and a team of investors composed of helicopter industry executives have acquired Soloy Corp., an engine mod company. Soloy will operate as a stand-alone company and will remain located in Olympia, Wash., according to Halvorson. Soloy was founded in 1970 by Joe Soloy, who died in February at age 78.
Bell 206B JetRanger, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, Oct. 20, 2007–Bell N345TV lost power while hovering out of ground effect and was substantially damaged during its emergency descent and landing. The commercial pilot was seriously injured and the boom operator had minor injuries. The USA Airmobile helicopter was on a “series of local utility maintenance flights” to clean electrical power line insulators.
Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation Services (FAS) last month gave an update on its fleet expansion. A second Eurocopter EC 130B4 will be delivered in April, with a third to follow in July. Two AS 365N3 Dauphins are pegged for delivery in January and October. A second AgustaWestland Grand will be introduced in July. In addition, a Bell 206L3 LongRanger will join the fleet under a two-year lease agreement.
Earlier this year, Bell Helicopter celebrated the 40th anniversary of its popular single-turbine light helicopter, the JetRanger. The Bell JetRanger is the most ubiquitous turbine single-engine civilian helicopter in the world.
Bell 206B JetRanger, Walford, Iowa, June 30, 2006–The pilot of the photo helicopter, filming a movie, failed to maintain clearance from power lines while flying at 50 to 60 mph about 30 to 50 feet above the ground, following a car on the highway below, according to the NTSB.
Bell 206B JetRanger, Waialeale, Kauai, Hawaii, July 23, 2003–The NTSB said that in the Jack Harter Helicopters air tour crash inside a mountainous crater the pilot failed to maintain adequate terrain clearance/altitude while descending over mountainous terrain, and he continued flight into adverse weather. Factors contributing to the accident were clouds and a low ceiling.
Bell 206B JetRanger, Nokomis, Fla., Sept. 11, 2007–On a racing boat photo shoot for Powerboat magazine, the helicopter was flying about 85 mph at about seven to 10 feet off the water, about 100 yards ahead of the boat. It was crabbing about five degrees, with the photographer shooting out the back door.
On September 16 Bell Helicopter Textron officially filed its intent to appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit the OEM had filed against Able Engineering and Component Services, a Phoenix component overhaul facility. The U.S. District Court Western District of Washington at Seattle dismissed the suit August 15.
Bell 206L-3 LongRanger, Whiteriver, Ariz., July 26, 2003–The NTSB found that the crash of the LongRanger firefighting ferry flight was the result of the commercial pilot’s failure to maintain a minimum translational lift airspeed while maneuvering in high density-altitude conditions (calculated to be 11,968 feet) at near maximum required torque and above the in-ground-effect hover altitude.