Bell 206L-1 LongRanger, Venice, La., Dec. 29, 2007–One of the passengers of the Air Logistics LongRanger was killed and the pilot and the two other passengers injured when the helicopter crashed after a loss of control in the Gulf of Mexico.
Bell 206B JetRanger, Zuzenhausen, Germany, Jan. 7, 2008–The German-registered JetRanger, on a pipeline patrol flight, was destroyed when it crashed under unknown circumstances in IMC. The pilot had minor injuries and a passenger was killed. The German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation is investigating.
Mike Redenbaugh took over the CEO’s office at Bell Helicopter’s Fort Worth, Texas headquarters in May and now faces some formidable challenges–including getting the military V-22 tiltrotor program on track and completing certification of the BA609 civil tiltrotor in cooperation with partner Agusta Aerospace of Italy.
A Bell 206L3 owned and operated by Petroleum Helicopters crashed on its way to an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico on October 10, killing the pilot and two passengers aboard.
Bell Helicopter is restructuring its product line to accelerate deliveries of aircraft in high demand, namely the Bell 412, 407 and 429. The Fort Worth manufacturer is increasing production of these models while ending production of the Bell 206B3 JetRanger, 427, 430 and 210 by 2010. Bell anticipates that the change will enable it to build a larger number of commercial helicopters each year.
Robinson Helicopter dealers who attended yesterday’s press conference said they are ready to place orders for the turbine-powered R66 currently under development at the Torrance, Calif. company’s headquarters.
Bell Helicopter announced upgrades for the in-service 206L LongRanger and the Model 407 and 412 during a press conference here Monday. The U.S.-based manufacturer also said the 429 should gain certification late this year.
Bell Helicopter is “optimizing” its product line to accelerate deliveries of its high-demand aircraft, namely the Bell 407, 412 and 429. While the Fort Worth, Texas manufacturer is increasing its manufacturing capacity in these models, it is ending production of the Bell 206B3 JetRanger, 210, 427 and 430 by 2010.
ATA Execujet’s new fixed-wing Part 135 operation is likely to succeed, if its rotorcraft Part 135 operations are any indication. The company’s helicopter fleet currently includes a Eurocopter AS 355 TwinStar, Bell JetRanger and Bell LongRanger. The department also manages a Bell 407 for a private owner. Three rotorcraft pilots share the approximately 1,200 hours of flying time per year.
Bell 206L-1, Venice, La., Jan. 16, 2003–At approximately 8:30 a.m. CST Bell 206L-1 N3194P, operated by Air Logistics, was destroyed when it crashed on an offshore platform approximately 14 nm northeast of Venice, La. One passenger was killed and the two remaining passengers and the commercial pilot were seriously injured. The helicoper was operating under Part 135 and was on a company flight plan.