RICHMOND HILL, ON, Dec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - The Transportation Safety Board
of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (A11O0205) into
the November 2011 collision with terrain of a Bell 206L helicopter in
On 2 November 2011, a Bell 206L helicopter, operated by Sunrise
Helicopters Inc., departed Kapuskasing, Ontario. The aircraft was
chartered by a forestry company for a local timber survey flight. On
board were the pilot and 2 passengers employed by the forestry company.
At 10:48 Eastern Daylight Time, the helicopter experienced an in-flight
separation of a main rotor blade and the helicopter crashed. All
occupants were fatally injured and the helicopter was destroyed. There
was no post-impact fire.
The investigation found that the main rotor blades were manufactured
with defects. As several fatigue cracks developed, one of them
progressed until the occurrence main rotor blade separated in flight. A
similar accident occurred in August 2008. After that accident, Bell
Helicopter implemented a damage tolerance approach for the main rotor
blades. This approach did not provide adequate inspection criteria to
prevent this accident. As a result, a fatigue crack progressed
undetected until the blade failed.
In February 2012, Transport Canada mandated a life limit of 1400 hours
air time for all affected main rotor blades, regardless of previous
inspections performed. Consequently, all affected main rotor blades
were to be removed from service prior to the accumulation of 1400 hours
The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline,
railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the
advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the
Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
SOURCE: Transportation Safety Board of Canada