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That was my take on this Artic Front. When the Americans started to bring back the old airframes from the military mainly for fire fightingand vertical reference work ,say about 20 years ago, one of the restrictions on the single engine 205 series, was a limit of 9 pax.

I cannot remember why, but it probably goes back to the original FAA certification of the 204, and being ex-military, nobody wanted to go to the expence of re-certifying an ex-military 205 to civilian specs.

I would further suggest the reason why it made it,s way north, was Cap,s explanation, but it definatley originated down south.


You are partially correct in that the change originated with the FAA, but TC also have made the same change. The 205 is certified as a transport category aircraft and falls under under FAR part 29 and CAR 529. Have a look at the Airworthiness Manual Chapter 529 at the following TC web address: http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/Regserv/...b-ab.htm#529_87 and check the top in Subchapter A General


You will see that single engine transport Category rotorcraft of gross weights less than 9000 Kg and 9 or less passengers can only be certified as Category B rotorcraft. Transport Category rotorcraft of 9000Kg or less and 10 or more passengers can be certified as Category B as long as certain requirements of Category A rotorcraft are met. One of those requiremnets has to do with OEI operation, in other words it must be a twin engine helicopter.


The 205 is grandfathered to allow Category B operation with 10 or more passengers, and of course the 212 would meet the Category B with more than 10 because it is a twin. However, once you make it a single, thus requiring new certification, it no longer qualifies for the category B with more than 10 passengers, soooo you have to go with 9 or less. Since the 210 was a new certification, it too had to be the 9 passenger or less Category B certification because it was a single.


That's the long and the short of it.




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All I know is this. For the vast majority of my time flying in Mediums in the civilian world the 205 was a 13 pax a/c. As a result of that one accident mentioned, those flying the 205, etc no longer had it over those flying the 204 as far as the number of passengers that could be carried and that potential selling-point on some occasions. It was also done LEGALLY over all those decades and was in the USA also. The only restriction that existed for eons in the States was on their use of ex-military 205's and they operated in the "Restricted' category and could carry cargo only.......never any passengers.

I know this also because I had fought fires south of the 49th also and used all the pax seats on a multitude of occasions and again.....it was also legal then. Then again, I fought fires ONLY in States that allowed the use of a single-engined Medium because a particular highly placed person with the Department of The Interior in Boise, ID wouldn't 'touch' a Medium at all unless it had two 'stoves'. So as a result, if you flew an single-engined Medium and were hired south of the 49th, you were working for a State and definitely not the Feds unles they were 'in it' up to their armpits.


I also know that TWO days after that accident I've already mentioned, the 'Restriction' to 9 pax ONLY was instituted by OMNR and spread like wildfire from that point on. Before long, insurance companies were 'climbing onboard' and "wway we go from there". ONE occasion was all it took and at that point it was considered unsafe after a host of pilots worldwide had been doing it for 30+ years. As far as I'm concerned a pax lost their life in an accident because time wasn't taken to show them how to exit their position in the a/c if there ever was an accident and NOT because the position was inherently unsafe. EVERY seat in an a/c is unsafe and nobody should be allowed to sit in that position UNLESS they are shown how to extricate themselves from it in an emergency situation. The fact that the a/c shouldn't have even been flying on that occasion only compounded the mistake of not having 'Briefed' the pax on how to save his life


As a result of that accident on that particular day, whenever I have occasion to do safety 'walk-arounds' to passengers on any a/c, I advise them of that occasion and what might happen to them should they not pay attention to what I'm demonstrating......regardless of where their seat is.

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Silly thing is, you kinda need to haul 14 guys on seismic drills.


Pretty much throws a huge wrench in the operation if you can't take your whole crew out with you in the morning. I know they are too cheap to pay for two trips or a second smaller machine to move the guys...


Oh well, I guess seismic is only a small part of the work out there and they will have to just stick to 212's or the normal old 205's.

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Does that mean that the well seats are off limits or can you have five on the bench and four in the wells? Provided of course your within C of G.( I know, I know, four on the bench before any in the wells.)

I've just been out of Mediums in Can for a while so I'm ut of the loop.



The Eagle 212S pax configuaration's are as follows 4man aft facing + 5 across the wall, 4 in the wells + 5 across the wall, or 4 aft facing + 4 in the wells + 1 center on the wall.........soooooo I don't know that the said accident in the US of A is a good enough arguement for the 9 pax limitation. It would be nice if either the TC inspector that limited the S to 9 pax or some one like JC from Eagle could shed some light on this situation. I worked at a company that was running a 205A!, 205B and the S and those seating configurations were right out of the S flight manual.




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The 9 passenger limitation is in palce as the result of an accident with a 205 on a fire many years ago. It went into place with one particular fire service and spread to other fire services from there. MoT merely 'climbed onboard' from there.....and used the same reason.


There didn't have to be a limitation to 9 passengers and was the result of a 205 pilot deciding that he would take-off in 0/0 visibility and a T/O a straight-out over a lake. Loosing visibility very quickly, the pilot made a very sharp turn, the M/R blades struk the water and the 205 catapaulted into the lake. In one of the back two side facing seats was a fire attack officer. Once it started to sink, he tried to get out, but hadn't been shown how to knock-down the back of the forward-facing seat in order to extricate himself from his position. The result was that he drowned and that particular fire service made the now well-known restriction and turned all the rest of the Bell Medium category of a/c into Bell 204's with regards how many pax they can take.


I was there the day of the accident and it never should have happened. Without that stupid accident that didn't have to happen, there would be no restriction to 9 pax that we see almost everywhere today. So for this one gentlemen, it's one of your peers who caused that rule and wasn't instigated by MoT.


hey cap, small world but i was in the neighbourhood that day too. 1995 i think or 96? man, that seems so long ago. the fire officer was in the front seat and two firefighters in the back that were lost as i recall. but that's how it went down. everyone said NO, we can't fly in 0/0 but one guy had to try to please the customer.....


and yes, i too have used that incident as part of my safety briefings to snap some to attention!


funny thing, while negotiating a CP position years later, the point that caused me to walk away from the job was that same guy. i refused to have him on my roster. so i left and a different CP (under too much pressure i think) signed him off and that guy put a medium into a lake on his very first fire that summer while bucketing, luckily he was alone.......... <_<

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