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206B down in Texas. 3 dead

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206B down in Texas. 3 dead

Old 10th Aug 2020, 12:44
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206B down in Texas. 3 dead


3 Parks and Wildlife employees died in a helicopter crash Saturday while surveying the landscape for desert bighorn sheep, according to state officials.

The victims were identified as wildlife biologist Dewey Stockbridge, fish and wildlife technician Brandon White, and veterinarian Dr. Bob Dittmar, according to a release by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) on Sunday.

“No words can begin to express the depth of sadness we feel for the loss of our colleagues in this tragic accident,” said Carter Smith, TPWD Executive Director. “These men were consummate professionals, deeply liked and highly regarded by their peers and partners alike for the immense passion, dedication, and expertise they brought to their important work in wildlife management and veterinary medicine."

The trio had been flying over Black Gap Wildlife Management Area, located northwest of Big Bend National Park when the helicopter crashed. The pilot, who was a private contractor, survived and was taken to El Paso for medical treatment.

Smith added that the state employees were carrying out their calling to help "survey, monitor, and protect the bighorns of their beloved west Texas mountains" when they were killed.

On Sunday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement offering condolences to the victims' families.

“Our hearts ache today for those who died in this tragic accident," he said. "I ask all Texans to keep these families in their thoughts and prayers.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety, Federal Aviation Administration, and the Texas Game Wardens are currently investigating the incident, according to the press release.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board announced Sunday it was investigating the crash of a Bell 206B helicopter but was “not traveling to the scene of the crash at this time," according to the Houston Chronicle.

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Old 28th Aug 2020, 00:19
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This morning, I spoke with good friend who is a retired helicopter mechanic and who worked the California fire seasons with the accident pilot, George ........ . George is expected to survive, but was pretty well banged up in the crash. He reported that about 5 minutes out from their fueling stop, a vibration started at approximately 800 ft. AGL. It apparently could be seen that at least one of the main rotor blades was delaminating. An emergency descent was immediately begun, but control of the helicopter was lost before it could be safely landed. The main blades of the B-206 were reportedly not produced by Bell, but by an approved (PMA) after marked manufacturer.

This information is preliminary in nature, and, of course, more details are yet to come.

Have any contributors to this Forum heard anything (positive or negative) about the all-composite aftermarket main rotor blades for the Bell 206?

The loss of the three Wildlife Agency personnel was a tragedy. R.I.P.

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Old 28th Aug 2020, 02:23
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All composite rotor blades for the Bell 206 would likely be made by Van Horn. They just upgraded to a version 12. https://vanhornaviation.com/206b-ver...-rotor-blades/
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