Kreindler Partners Comment on Deadly Bell 206 Helicopter Crash in East River
First, like all New Yorkers, our hearts go out to the Nicholson family and our thanks to the emergency personnel who assisted in the rescue. As to the question we have been repeatedly asked — what happened — we say it is simply too early to reach any conclusions, and there are more questions than answers. That said, if there is no evidence of a mechanical failure, we would expect the NTSB investigation to focus on the weight and balance of the aircraft, the wind conditions at the heliport, and the possible loss of tail rotor effectiveness (known as “LTE”) under the circumstances. The LTE issue has been a problem in the Bell 206B3 for years. This phenomenon occurs rapidly and without warning. The danger is greatest in situations like this one where the helicopter is most vulnerable — low, slow and using maximum power for take-off. This situation would be exacerbated by an overweight condition and is clearly even more dangerous when it occurs over water.
Photo Credit: Bell 206 B3 helicopter, Huhu Uet