Transport Canada prohibits Bell helicopter take-offs following fatal Alberta crash

Transport Canada has grounded four models of Bell helicopters including one involved in a fatal Alberta crash.

Transport Canada grounded four models of Bell helicopters including one involved in a fatal Alberta crash near Evansburg.

The crash was a result of a detachment of the main rotor blade and main rotor head, reads a release by Transport Canada.

“Inspection of another Canadian Bell 212 helicopter found a main rotor hub strap pin of the same P/N, made by the same manufacturer, with the same serial number prefix “FNFS”, to be deformed after only approximately 29 hours in service,” Transport Canada said in a statement.

“Failure of a main rotor hub strap pin will result in detachment of the main rotor blade and loss of control of the helicopter.”

Bell has since required a replacement of all main rotor hub strap pins with the same serial number prefix involved in the helicopter crash.

To address this risk of detachment, Transport Canada issued an emergency airworthiness directive (AD).

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the U.S. issued their own AD on Wednesday.

According to the helicopter manufacturer, there are about 90 Canadian-registered aircraft affected by the directive.

Alberta Wildfire told CTV News Edmonton that all helicopters involved in firefighting are contracted. When the directive came into effect, Alberta Wildfire reached out to all contractors to ensure they were aware and switching out any affected parts.

The AD is applicable to four Bell helicopters:

  • Model 212, serial numbers 30501 through 30999, 31101 through 31311, 32101 through 32142 and 35001 through 35103;
  • Model 204B, serial numbers 2001 through 2070 and 2196 through 2199;
  • Model 205A-1, serial numbers 30001 through 30065, 30067 through 30165, 30167 through 30187, 30189 through 30296 and 30298 through 30332;
  • Model 205B, serial numbers 30066, 30166, 30188 and 30297.