Transport Canada has temporarily banned single-pilot operations from the right seat in the Bell 505 helicopter after a collective stick failed during a preflight check earlier this year. The measure was included in an emergency AD that also increased inspection intervals from an earlier AD issued last month. TC said the stick and one other exhibited fatigue cracks after “very low” flight hours and said measures to modify all the sticks in the fleet could be on the way.
In the first AD, TC required a one-time visual inspection of the stick but the second AD said that further investigation revealed that was “not adequate.” The new AD requires fluorescent penetrant inspection before next flight and every 25 hours after that. In response to the AD, Bell has revised the flight manual prohibiting single-pilot operations from the right seat. The helicopter was certified by TC in 2016 and is a clean-sheet update of the venerable Jet Ranger light helicopter.