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Rocko

Bell Crashed The 214St Used To Test The 525 Rotor

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This is CHC's old 214ST, sn 28199 bought by Bell to test the M/R hub and Blade design slated for use on the new 525 Relentless. Wonder what Bell has up their sleeve for damage control on this one? The article below says 'T/R Failure'. Somehow I'm not in full belief of that statement.

 

Sad.. another ST bites the dust.

 

19215268_BG1.jpg

 

http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/08/07/helicopter-crashes-in-north-texas-field/

 

 

 

"ELLIS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – There were frightening moments for a pilot and passenger when a helicopter made an emergency landing in Ellis County Tuesday morning.

 

The aircraft, owned by Bell Helicopter, hit the ground hard.

 

“When the aircraft hit the ground it rolled onto its side,” Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford explained.

 

The 16-seat Bell 214 reportedly had a problem with the tail rotor.

 

In many cases the loss of a tail rotor can send a helicopter into an uncontrollable spin, but it isn’t known if that was the problem the pilot experienced.

 

“The FAA will be investigating to try and determine what happened,” Lunsford said.

 

The two-member crew had just taken off from the Bell plant in Arlington when the chopper went down. Neither person was seriously injured.

 

Lunsford said, “The aircraft sustained substantial damage.”

 

No one on the ground was injured."

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Seconded... no injuries is awesome!

 

No tail rotor visible in the pictures, and the gouge beside the machine looks like a swath cut with rotation, however that might have been rotorblades before they collapsed.

 

Not too many 214ST's left in this world... Too bad really.

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And you don't believe it was the T/R failure for what reason?

 

The picture does show a tail rotor missing from the aircraft, however...

I just thought it to be unlikely that the T/R would be the cause of an incident in an aircraft of proven design. And the odds go down even further when said aircraft is a test bed for a newly designed main rotor hub and blades. I worked maintenance on ST's for a number of years, and 214B's before that, and never did a T/R threaten to depart. Loosen up feathering bearings, play in pc links, brinnell trunnions .. yes, but actually get up and leave the aircraft? No. My theory is Bell is pinning this on the T/R to avoid negative criticism on the yet to be released 525 Relentless design.

 

Of course this is all just my opinion. I am however curious to see if any ASB's/AD's or IL's come out on the 214 in regards to this mishap. If not, I will stick to my theory. Definitely great to hear the crew was uninjured though.

 

Cheers!

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