The Bell 525 Relentless program sadly suffered a fatal accident on a test flight yesterday, with two fatalaties. The subject helicopter – the orange prototype seen in the image here – was on a flight out of Bell’s XworX facility near Arlington. The accident happened near the town of Italy in Ellis County and not far from Interstate 35E.
The helicopter completely burned out in the accident, and footage of the accident scene shows a very concentrated debris field, suggesting it came down vertically without much, if any, horizonal component. One report also states that part of the tail boom was found around 500 metres away. Both crew members were killed, and have yet to be named.
This will put the 525 Relentless program on hold for some months while a thorough investigation is carried out. There are two other prototypes flying at present, and two more planned to join the program.
Bell provided the following statement “On July 6, 2016, a Bell 525 was involved in an accident while conducting developmental flight test operations south of our Xworx facility in Arlington, Texas. Unfortunately, the accident resulted in a loss of two crew members. This is a devastating day for Bell Helicopter. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our teammates and have reached out to their families to offer our support. Bell Helicopter representatives are onsite to assess the situation and provide any assistance to local, state, and federal authorities. At this time we ask for your understanding as we work through all of the details. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.”
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
The video below is a news report from YouTube filed by BDO News, and is their copyright.
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