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Defective blade caused fatal Kapuskasing crash

Dec. 11, 2013, Kapuskasing, Ont. - The Transportation Safety Board has confirmed a defective rotor blade caused a deadly helicopter crash near Kapuskasing in 2011.


December 11, 2013
By CBC News

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The aircraft, a Bell 206, was conducting a timber survey when it went down, killing the pilot and two Tembec employees on board.

The Transportation Safety Board said the rotor blades on the
helicopter had flaws as they were manufactured with a defect, and the
report also said the helicopter manufacturer was aware of the problem.

The same issue caused a fatal helicopter crash in 2008 in Indiana that killed three people on board.

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As a result, in 2009, the TSB said Bell Helicopters came up with a new inspection procedure for the blades.

The TSB approved the inspection procedure, but has since revised its
regulation for the affected rotor blades, limiting how long they can be
used on a helicopter, rather than relying on inspections.

The president of Sunrise Helicopters, a North Bay company that
operated the fatal Kapuskasing flight, said doing an inspection was
common practice.

“But evidently, something fell in the cracks,” Chris Selk said. “It’s
been really hard. I’ve lost one of my key staff members. One of my best
friends. It’s definitely been very hard on the staff and family
members.”


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