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  • Bell 222UT

    This model is a version of 222

    c/n 47546

    Year 1985 to 1993

    Helicopter Bell 222UT Serial 47546 Register PT-HTO N31976. Built 1985. Aircraft history and location


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    Bell 222UT, cn47546, ff: 1985
    del US as N31976, unk



    1993-02-14xfer Brazil as PT-HTO, unk
    w/o 14Feb93 near tatui, Brazil
    Crash near Tatui, Brazil. I was on board. 20 years ago

    notes Basically the 222 scraped on a tree during a low pass.

    A bladetip of the tail rotor was ripped off as was the left landing
    skid and several fairings and other minor stuff. Also the right stub
    wing tank was pierced by branches. Due to the imbalance and the
    vibration, the tail rotor assembly with gearbox broke away shortly

    Since the 222 was at fairly high speed, the pilot managed to maintain
    control even without the tail rotor. He maintained about 100 ft AGL
    and turned right towards a more or less free field, asking us whether
    we had the safety belts on and told to brace for impact. As he touched
    down in a running landing, the 222 tilted to the left.

    As the rotor blades struck the ground, they all broke up into several
    pieces and the main reduction box also blew up spilling all the oil
    right into the running twin turbine air intakes, this all making a
    noise, a mixture of crrraaaack and swoooosh, I never will forget. One
    turbine was chocked, but the other one continued to run after the
    impact. Since the touch down was very smooth, without any undue
    acceleration forces, no one was hurt. The exit was a bit hectic, as
    you may guess.

    I was sitting in the middle seat, in the second row, and somehow leapt
    out of the left middle door, which was now the top middle door. I ran
    away a few steps but than noticed that the two guys in the pilot and
    copilot seats were struggling to open their door. I ran back and
    started to kick the wind-shield, which cracked, but didn't break.
    Luckily, I noted that my (middle) door was lying over the front
    (pilot's) door, preventing them from opening it. I swung it back, and
    the guys got out safely as well.

    The two guys in the back had left right after the crash, one of them
    even taking a picture from a considerable distance, showing still the
    smoke mushroom from the oil ingested by the turbines. At that time our
    friends started to arrive and were amazed and relieved to see
    everybody walk away unhurt.

    Some time afterwards, the thing burst into flames, probably due to
    some short circuit and the fuel leaking out, since all fuel drain
    valves on the belly were sheared off.

    The other day we had a look at the remains and found that two of the
    four tail boom attachment bolts were broken, as well as all bearings
    on the power shaft to the tail rotor gearbox. Probably the tail boom
    would have broken away as well, if the flight lasted a bit longer, and
    the results would have been quite different.

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