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Bell214

Rocky Mountain Helicopters

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After the fatal logging accident in the US last week involving a Kamax, many people are talking about their high accident rate compared to the number of hulls produced.

 

As mentioned above, Rocky Mountain (and many other operators) have had a relatively high accident rate with the few 214Bs that were built.

 

Do you think these were/are bad aircraft, or were/are some operators just asking too much from this "stump-puller" type of helicopter ??

 

Some operators can use them with good/safe results. What is their secret???

 

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Same as for any helicopter. Fly within the limits.

cough....didn't some famous guy once say "let he who is without sin cast the first stone..." :lol:

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The only thing that a 214 operator had to do to have a bad accident record was to operate the machine. It is a fabulous helicopter, but it only has one engine. The accident record for the 214 in logging is horrendous - it was simply not the right application for the machine, and never forget that Bell marketed this as a logging machine. They crashed in Canada, just as well as the US.

 

The same stands true for the K-Max. These are small fleets, with extremely high attrition rates in this application. The UH-1, 205 and 204 didn't do very well in this application either.

 

They are good helicopters, but working in an unforgiving and challenging environment - lose a motor and it won't be good.

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The only thing that a 214 operator had to do to have a bad accident record was to operate the machine. It is a fabulous helicopter, but it only has one engine. The accident record for the 214 in logging is horrendous - it was simply not the right application for the machine, and never forget that Bell marketed this as a logging machine. They crashed in Canada, just as well as the US.

 

The same stands true for the K-Max. These are small fleets, with extremely high attrition rates in this application. The UH-1, 205 and 204 didn't do very well in this application either.

 

They are good helicopters, but working in an unforgiving and challenging environment - lose a motor and it won't be good.

If I remember correctly, of all the 214's that have crashed in Canada about 1/3 of the wrecks were engine related. The rest of the aircraft didn't really want to be there either. The pilots made some contributions too.

The multi engined machined don't have a spotless logging record either...

I do agree that the 214 is a great aircraft and if its flown and maintained IAW the books it should live a long time ;)

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Here are some stats when it comes to 214's and logging

 

There have been a total 18 crashes of machines actually engaged in logging at the time resulting in 11 machines being wrote-off. 4 were fatal resulting in 7 fatalaties. 9 of the crashes were Rocky Mountain Helicopters. Of the 4 fatal crashes 2 were maintenance errors, 1 was pilot error, and only 1 was mechanical failure. The mechanical failure happened in 1977 when the vertical fin seperated from ship #004 (214B's were first certified in 1976). This resulted in an AD that mandated the replacement of one of the original aluminum fin spars to a steel one.

 

Since 1977 there has not been a fatal 214 logging crash as a result of mechanical failure. This cannot be said for most all other logging machines out there.

 

Here is how the causes break down for the logging crashes:

 

Engine failure - 6 (Improvements made to failure prone parts)

Maintenance error - 4

Cluth failure - 3 (Bell introduced a better clutch in 1980, no failures since)

Pilot error - 2

Tailboom failure - 2 (See above for the 1 failure)

Tranny spindle failure - 1 (Now time-lifed)

 

Through improvements and experiance the 214 is one of the best suited and safest helicopters in the logging enviroment.

 

 

 

 

 

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