05 June 2009

Bell 206 crash – photo interpretation

At approximately 2030 hrs local time, a Bell 206 belonging to Quinlan Brothers fish company crashed about 15 minutes east of Conne River on the south coast of Newfoundland.

The helicopter was apparently returning from a cabin in the Bay du Nord wilderness area when it crashed.  Three people remain in hospital in St. John’s.  They are reported to be in serious but stable condition.

nl-helicopter-crash-cbcThe Royal Canadian Mounted Police released a photograph late Friday of the scene.   

The Quinlan helicopter is in the foreground.  In the background is a Bell 206 belonging to Canadian Helicopters International.

In the picture at left (click on the photo to get the cbc.ca/nl story), it’s hard to see some of the detail.  The fuselage is intact, but the tail boom immediately aft of the fuselage is broken off  and one blade of the main rotor is apparently gone.  The helicopter reportedly struck a tree but it isn’t clear at this time from media reports if that caused the crash or was an incident that occurred while the aircraft came down due to another emergency.

The Telegram enlarged the main portion of the photograph.  Some of the detail is easier to see in that one.  We’ve added some coloured marks to help distinguish things a bit.

206 - conne river - marked

The red arrow points to the main rotor blade which is hanging by what appears to be a portion of the fibreglass material from which it is made. 

The yellow arrow points to the tail boom which sits pointed away from the fuselage, starboard side up.  You can make it out in between the top of the fuselage and the intact portion of the rotor blade. 

There’s no sign of the tail rotor at all but given the angle of this picture the thing could be intact but hidden by either the main fuselage or the tail boom.