The NTSB has ordered an immediate inspection of all Bell 407 Helicopters

Bell 407 [Courtesy: Bell Helicopter]
Bell 407 [Courtesy: Bell Helicopter]

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is urging immediate as well as more frequent inspections of Bell 407 helicopters stemming from an accident that took place inward Hawaii in June involving a tour helicopter.

The recommendation issued Friday asks both U.S. and Canadian aviation regulators to necessitate both immediate and more than frequent inspections of sure components on Bell Textron Inc.’s Bell 407 helicopters.

According to the NTSB, the crash of a Bell 407 near Kalea involved an inflight separation of the tail boom. The chief wreckage of the tour helicopter was plant 700 feet from the tail smash which came down in lava-covered terrain.

Tail boom with fractured remains of attachment fittings and hardware. Upper-left attachment hardware (bolt, washers, and nut) was not present. The lower left, lower right, and upper right attachment hardware (bolt, washers, and nut) remained installed. [Courtesy: NTSB]

The airplane pilot as well as 2 passengers were seriously injured inward the crash. Three other passengers received tiddler injuries.

“We’re calling on regulators to human action directly—before at that place’second another accident,” stated NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. “With hundreds currently inwards service, the Bell 407 helicopter is a pop model among tour operators, law departments, air ambulance providers, as well as many others, which is why our finding is so urgent.”

Investigation Leads to Recommendation

During the test of the helicopter wreckage, the NTSB institute that the upper left attachment hardware—installed inwards 1 of 4 fittings that attaches the tail smash to the fuselage—was missing together with could not be located at the accident site. The remaining three fittings in addition to hardware were plant with the tail nail, in addition to ane plumbing equipment had multiple fatigue fractures in addition to two fittings presented overload fractures.

In the recommendation the NTSB noted, “There may live additional Bell 407 helicopters with missing or fractured tail blast attachment hardware, and the potential for catastrophic failure warrants immediate together with mandatory activity.”

The upper-left tail boom attachment fitting is located in the aft fuselage
The upper-left tail boom attachment fitting is located in the aft fuselage. [Photo courtesy of the NTSB]

The electric current inspection interval for the tail boom per the manufacturer’s recommendation is 300 hours. The NTSB noted the accident occurred simply 114 hours following the terminal inspection of the helicopter tail blast in addition to did non plow upwardly any anomalies. 

The NTSB is urging the FAA together with Transport Canada to require Bell 407 operators to deport an immediate inspection of the tail boom attachment hardware and to trim the inspection interval from 300 hours to a more than conservative number to “increment the likelihood of detecting fractured attachment hardware before a catastrophic failure can pass.”

The NTSB farther asked the aviation regulators to postulate the operators to study their findings to their respective regulatory authority.

The NTSB released the preliminary findings on the accident before this yr. The terminal report has nevertheless to live compiled.

Dolph Nelson

Science and Technology enthusiast, obsessed with organic vegetables. He is intelligent and careful, but can also be very lazy and a bit grumpy.

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