Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>Bell</span>

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Pawan Hans Helicopter Makes Precautionary Landing in India due to Bad Weather

A Pawan Hans chopper had to divert and make a precautionary landing in Kelva, Palghar, Maharashtra, India, on August 27th.

The Bell 407 flying from Vedodara, Gujrat to Juhu, Mumbai, was diverted due to bad weather conditions.

The helicopter landed safely. All 6 people onboard remained unharmed.

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1 Killed in Graves County Helicopter Crash

A helicopter crashed at a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) site in Graves County, Kentucky, on July 11th.

The Bell 407 helicopter went down while it was attempting to land at the site located between Paducah and Mayfield.

The pilot, who was the only one aboard, was killed in the crash. He was identified as John Love of Maryville, Tennessee. TVA authorities confirmed that Love had been an employee for 17 years.

The cause of crash is being investigated.

Bell Prototype Experimental Helicopter Crashes in Texas

snapshot of prototype chopper in action
snapshot of prototype chopper in action

NTSB investigating fatal crash of Experimental B525 Helicopter

Two pilots died in the crash of the experimental Bell Helicopter 525 Relentless at 11:45 today. The names of the two pilots killed in the crash have not been released.

The helicopter crashed 45 miles south of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The FAA is en route, and the NTSB is investigating.


Read more about the Experimental Bell 525 Relentless Next Generation Helicopter here
The Bell 525 Relentless, featuring the ARC Horizon flight deck system, provides unparalleled crew situational awareness through the use of a fully integrated avionics flight deck coupled with an advanced fly-by-wire flight control system, resulting in enhanced safety levels and mission capabilities.

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1 Killed, 3 Injured as Helicopter Crashes in Indonesia

A Bell 206 helicopter crashed in Paniai district of Papua Province, Indonesia, on June 4th.

The aircraft went down when it was transporting three passengers from Nabire to a mining site in Degewo.

The pilot was killed in the crash while the passengers were taken to hospital with serious injuries. Spokesperson of Indonesia’s national police Agus Rianto said, “We have evacuated the passengers to the nearby city of Nabire so they could get medical treatment.”

The cause of crash is being investigated.

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Military Helicopter Crashes in Myanmar

A Myanmar Air Force helicopter crashed into a reservoir near Meikhtila, Myanmar, on April 26th.

Authorities said the Bell-206 helicopter, that took off from Meiktila airport, was on a training exercise when it went down due to engine failure.

There were two pilots aboard at the time; both of them were rescued by fishermen.

The incident is being investigated.

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Bell 206 Helicopter Crashed in Tennessee; 5 Killed

A Bell 206 sightseeing helicopter crashed close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Sevierville, Tennessee, on the afternoon of April 4th.

The helicopter caught fire right after hitting the ground. Five people lost their lives in the crash.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the cause of crash.

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Military Helicopter Crashes in Indonesia; 12 Killed

A military helicopter crashed during an enemy chase mission in Poso District, Sulawesi, Indonesia, on March 20.

The Bell 412-EP was on its mission to capture Indonesia’s most wanted militant Abu Wardah Santoso when it went down and crashed.

At least 12 soldiers and officials aboard the helicopter lost their lives and one soldier went missing.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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Helicopter Crashes into Pearl Harbor; 1 Critically Injured

A Bell 206 helicopter crashed and sunk near the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, on February 18.

The private helicopter went down while it was carrying five people, including the pilot and a family of four visiting from Canada.

All five occupants of the aircraft survived the crash. However, one of them – a 16-year-old boy- was trapped underwater and had to be extricated from his seat. He was taken to hospital in critical condition.

Authorities believe the helicopter belongs to tour operator Genesis Aviation.

The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the cause of crash.

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MTV’s The Challenge Helicopter Crashed in Argentina; 2 Killed

A helicopter working on MTV’s show The Challenge crashed in Mendoza, Argentina, on December 12.

The Bell 206 helicopter was traveling to a shooting location when it went down.

There were two people aboard at the time, including the pilot and a technician, both of them were killed.

The cause of crash is being investigated.

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Government Helicopter Crashes in Mexico; 2 Dead

Helicopter crashA state helicopter crashed in a rural area of Veracruz, Mexico, on October 6.

Authorities said the Bell 430 went down near El Lencero airport, Xalapa.

There were 2 people aboard the aircraft at the time; both of them were killed. They were identified as Capt. David Barrera and Capt. Fausto Calderon.

The cause of crash is being investigated.

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Pilot Killed as Crop-Dusting Helicopter Crashed in California

A crop dusting helicopter, owned by Gomes Farm Air Service, crashed in a field near Salinas in California, at around 9 a.m. on June 20.

FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer confirmed that the pilot of Bell 47-G5 helicopter was killed in the crash. He was identified as the co- owner of Gomes Farm Air Service, Frank Gomes Jr.

The cause of incident is being investigated by the FAA.

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Thai Military Helicopter Crash Kills 9

helicopterA Thai military helicopter crashed into a field in Muang district, Phayao province of Thailand on November 17.

The Bell 212 helicopter, heading from an army base in Phayao to Chiang Rai province, crashed just about 10 minutes into the flight.

There were 9 people aboard, including the Deputy Third Army Area commander, Maj Gen Songpon Thongjeen. According to the deputy army spokesperson Sirichan Ngathong, all 9 people aboard the ill-fated chopper were killed.

The cause of crash is not clear at the moment.

Helicopter Crashed on a Mountain in North Queensland

HelicopterA Bell Jet Ranger helicopter crashed on a big rock on Mount Cook, near Cooktown in north Queensland, Australia, on October 7.

Apparently, the helicopter got caught in a strong gust of wind which caused it to flip shortly after it took off about 12:45 p.m.

There were 6 people aboard the helicopter at the time of accident. One of them was airlifted to Townsville Hospital, while another man, aged 60, was taken to Cooktown Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A 40-year-old passenger was also taken to Cooktown Hospital but was later discharged.

The other 3 people aboard remained uninjured.

Bird-Struck Helicopter Makes Emergency landing Along Hudson River

HelicopterA bird-struck helicopter had to land in emergency at the West 30th Street heliport on the Hudson River, New York City, on the afternoon of October 3.

According to the FAA, the Bell B407 helicopter was hit by a bird while it was some 6 miles west-southwest of LaGuardia Airport.

The helicopter belongs to an aerial tour company. According to the General manager Kathleen Wiig, the incident happened when the helicopter was flying at around 1,500 feet and that the protocol requires immediate landing in such situations.

There were 7 people on-board at the time of incident, none of them required any medical attention.

The FAA is investigating.

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Head of Guatemalan Armed Forces Died in Helicopter Crash

A Bell 206 helicopter belonging to Guatemala’s Air Force crashed in a wooded mountainous area of the western province of Huehuetenango in Guatemala, on August 20.

The Interior Secretary Mauricio Lopez confirmed that Gen. Rudy Ortiz, the head of the Guatemalan military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as 4 other military officers died in the crash. Gen. Braulio Mayen, commander of the army’s 5th Brigade, was one of the other victims identified by Lopez.

The accident happened when the high level military officials were flying to the village of Ixquisis to inspect the troops. “They couldn’t land in Ixquisis and instead decided to go to the military base in Las Palmas and in that trajectory the helicopter crashed,” Lopez added.

Ortiz, 51, was due to retire next year after serving the army for 32 years. President Otto Perez Moline, a retired general, expressed his grief over Ortiz’s death and said, “His hard work and dedication during his military career served to strengthen the institution.”

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

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Bell #HelicopterCrash in China

A helicopter crash occurred in Miyun county in Mujiayu township, China, a suburb of Beijing.

The report was received from 11:40 at Beijing emergency center which sent a medical evacuation helicopter to the wreckage to transport the survivors.

Jinhaihu Landscape Man Park Aviation Club was owner/operator of the Bell 407 helicopter in which flight training was underway when it crashed.

Both injured pilots were hospitalized, one with hand injuries and the other with brain trauma. One of them died in the hospital.

No cause for the crash has been indicated. The accident is under investigation.

Utility Crew Perish in Cable Connection

The DBS Helicopters Bell 206L-3 LongRanger III helicopter in Silt, Colorado, that got tangled in power cables doing Holy Cross Energy powerline inspections crashed, killing the pilot and crew.

The accident occurred at 11:20 a.m. where the shared Holy Cross and Xcel Energy power lines cross Dry Hollow Road about 1.6 miles south of Silt. There were witnesses who saw the accident and attempted to help.

The poles that were being inspected were fifty feet high, and the helicopter was supposed to be flying thirty feet over that.

The small fifty-foot debris field is on rough hilly terrain.

Owner and chief pilot for DBS Helicopters, Doug Sheffer died in the accident. He had 22 years and 8,000 hours of flight time. Larry Shaffer who worked for Holy Cross Energy and Christopher Gaskill who worked for HotShot Infrared Inspections were also fatalities. They were filming the trouble spots along the route, and recording the locations on GPS.

I do not want to diminish the tragedy of this accident by saying that helicopter accidents such as this are common, but I will say they happen too frequently, even when the pilot has significant experience flying in mountain terrain, and rescue.

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Three Soldiers and Two Civilians Die in Colombian Helicopter Accident

On JAN 9 2014, a Sociedad Aeronáutica de Santander (SASA) Bell 206L-3 LongRanger
# HK-4462 en route from Puerto Berrío to Anori was north of Anori, Colombia when it suffered controlled flight into terrain, striking a mountain. No one aboard survived the impact. Three soldiers and two civilians died on the 9th when the helicopter went missing.

The Seventh Division of the National Army had made a public statement that the aircraft, affiliated with the Aeronautical Society of Santander was “transporting a priest and military personnel assigned to the Fourteenth Brigade”.

The helicopter crew failed to check in on Thursday afternoon and was located on Friday in rural Anori. Fatalities were two soldiers, one police, one military priest and the pilot.

Director of the Department of Care andPrevention of Disasters César Hernández confirmed the fatalities.

Honduras Crash in Rio Abajo

A Bell 407 helicopter carrying Honduran political candidate Juan Hernandez to a rally in Juticalpa developed mechanical problems.

The helicopter made noises indicating problems, fell, and lost its tail in Rio Abajo, Guaymaca. No injuries were reported of the six aboard: Hernandez, wife Ana Garcia, the president of Honduras, Rafael Leonardo Callejas, mayor of Tegucigalpa, Ricardo Alvarez and campaign coordinator, Oscar Alvarez.

The helicopter crashed from low altitude. No cause has been determined for the accident. Hernandez continued on the campaign trail in another chopper.

Bell Helicopter Crashes in Oregon

Around noon on Oct 28, a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter carrying two Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife employees who were conducting fish counts (counting spawning nests, also called redds) crashed in the South Umpqua River near Days Creek. Both passengers and the pilot were conscious.

Power lines were damaged, and the plane was leaking fuel. Three hundred twenty people lost electricity. The FAA and the NTSB will be on hand to check out the accident. A hazmat team handled the fuel leak.

Two passengers, Holly Huchko, 34 and Eric Himmelreich, 35 were taken to Mercy Hospital in Roseburg, and the pilot to Sacred Heart at Riverbend. Huchko broke her back, Himmelreich broke a vertebra and the pilot, Fred Wittlake, broke an arm and some ribs.

The Umpqua Fish District office counts fish to help determine fishing regulation.

Panther Bell Crashes

A Panther Bell Helicopter crashed en route from an oil rig. The Parent company of Panther Helicopters is John Wood Group PLC, based in Aberdeen, Scotland

Three men and the pilot were en route to shore when they went down 30 miles NE of Venice, Louisiana.

The pilot died in the crash, and two passengers sustained back injuries.

The injured were taken to LSU Medical Center New Orleans. A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 helicopter and crew assisted in the rescue as well as supply vessel, “Ridge.”

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First Responders Compromise Investigation

The first responders to the Sunday crash in India’s Naneghat Hills compromised the investigation of a crash by moving the wreckage before investigators arrived. The United Helicharters flight from Juhu to Aurangabad to Nagpur crashed in the Naneghat Hills at an altitude of 2,000 feet.

The bodies of the deceased and the flight data recorders were also removed before the DGCA arrived.

Two pilots and three passengers died in the twin-engine Bell 212 crash during a foggy flight. The crash occurred on Sept 29, 2013 at 8:15 a.m..

Protocol demands that except for rescue of survivors, the wreckage not be touched until the DGCA has arrived.

Police and fire teams removed the bodies of captain Anshu Kumar Matta, captain Surendra Singh Bhadauria, co captain Allen Martin, technician Dean D’Souza and engineer Yatin Wakde, whose bodies were burned in the crash. The recovery team also failed to record the recovery process which is a violation of protocol, just as in the Mangalore crash.

Logging Helicopter Crash Kills Pilot

Pilot William Bart Colantuono of Indialantic, Florida, was working for R&R Conner Aviation of Darby, Montana when his helicopter crashed while he was lifting logs in Oregon. Colantuono released the logs before crashing.

Witnesses saw a rotor separate before the helicopter flipped and crashed upside down. Colantuono, originally a navy pilot, had been flying privately for 25 years, and authored a book on “hell-logging.”

The accident occurred on Sept 17, 2013.


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Discovery Channel Helicopter Crash lawsuit

Three people killed during a Discovery Channel Reality Show filming probably died due to cost cutting measures by the Discovery Channel.

The “Crossbow Helicopters” Bell 206B Jet Ranger helicopter #N59518 was being used to shoot a reality show on the Polsa Rosa Ranch near Acton, California when it crashed at about 3:40 am. It broke into three pieces on impact in a rugged canyon area near Soledad Canyon Road.

Cast member Michael Donatelli, cameraman Darren Rydstrom and pilot David Gibbs died when the helicopter they were in crashed at the Polsa Rosa Ranch. The case alleges “conscious disregard of additional, unacceptable safety risk” and claims that the pilot and the various chopper companies were unfit to operate the Helicopter.

Grisel Donatelli, Amanda Donatelli and Dominic Donatelli named Discovery Communications, producers Eyeworks USA, Bongo Inc, Van Nuys Copters, Crossbow Helicopters and Orbic Air and others were named in the 23-page three count complaint.

Pilot Gibbs had a spotty safety record. His license had been suspended by the FAA several times.



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Fatal Helicopter Crash

On July 16, 2013, a Bell UH-1H Iroquois #N775AR flying for Kinder Morgan piloted by A.J. Blain was on a seismic testing mission when it crashed in Delores county in rolling hill country.

The helicopter coordinates with a ground crew to position seismic sensors looking for oil and gas deposits

The Bell UH-1H Iroquois belonged to Billings Flying Service.

The pilot died in the crash, and debris hit and injured a person on the ground. There was no fire, but the helicopter is a total loss.

The crash is under investigation by the Dolores County Sheriff’s office, the BLM, the FAA and the NTSB.

The preliminary data states that during a lift operation, N775AR BELL UH-1H ROTORCRAFT went on its side and crashed. The one person on board was fatally injured near Dove Creek Colorado.

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