Bell 525 Update

Bell Helicopter says it expects flight testing of its 525 Relentless “to resume within the next several months” as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation continues into the fatal loss of the first flight test aircraft on July 6, 2016.

A statement from the company to AIR International said: “Bell Helicopter continues to work closely with the NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration to complete the NTSB investigation of the Bell 525 accident. The NTSB and Bell Helicopter have focused the investigation on a sequence of events for which corrective actions are being implemented. Additional details will be released by the NTSB at the appropriate time.”

The statement added: “We continue to make solid progress with development activities, engagement with certification authorities, component testing, major structural fatigue tests, dynamics test, upgrades to our systems integration lab and production improvements. The 525 Full Flight Simulator is being installed in the Bell Training Academy and will be operational by Q3 2017. Maintenance manuals, flight manuals and support equipment are making good progress and will be ready for entry into service. Ten of 13 MSG-3 Maintenance Working Group meetings will be completed by year end.”