Exactly one year ago, a pair of Bell 429 helicopters was captured during a demo flight.
During that day, on 11 May 2016, nobody could have guessed that within a year both helicopters # 143 OM-ATR, and # 202 OM-BYM would have been destroyed, killing 6 occupants, and severely injuring two. This is quite remarkable. Although the circumstances of the accidents are very different, both helicopters have a lot in common. An accident investigation report of the first crash on 7 September 2016 has not yet been published.
Approximately 300 Bell 429 Global Rangers are currently operating around the globe.
This was the fifth Bell 429 that was destroyed during a crash landing. The other airframes involved are:
This month, March 2017, saw several factory new, and some older aircraft being shipped to Australia to provide transport for some very large projects. One being the Ichthys LNG project on behalf of INPEX, Japan. Several others where added in the weeks thereafter. The HNZ-PHI helicopters operate from Broome heliport to offshore installations some two hours out.