U.S. FAA Issues Emergency Safety Directive for Bell Helicopters

About 400 Bell helicopters would have to receive emergency inspections before flying after Canadian and U.S. investigators discovered a possible flaw while probing a fatal June 28 crash.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday issued a rare emergency airworthiness directive ordering the inspections. The action followed a similar order by Transport Canada on Monday after the crash in that country.

The order applies to about 140 helicopters registered in the U.S., the FAA said.

The order resulted from the failure of a pin that helps hold in place the main rotor that lifts the helicopter, Canada said. It applies to Bell 212, 204 and 205 models with specific serial numbers. Bell is a subsidiary of Textron Inc.

The copters are from a popular family known as the Huey in the military. They are also used in civilian roles by police departments and for firefighting and as air ambulances. The crash in Canada occurred during an effort to contain a wildfire west of Edmonton, according to news reports.

Representatives for Bell and parent company Textron didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

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