Cause of Bell helicopter crash that killed two pilots in Texas released in final report

Severe vibration caused the crash of a Bell helicopter that killed two pilots during testing in 2016 in rural Ellis County, according to a final NTSB report published this week.

Officials at Fort Worth-based Bell Helicopter Textron say the company has made changes to the configuration of the pilot controls in response to the crash of the 525 Relentless, which occurred July 6, 2016, after the aircraft broke up in midflight near the town of Italy.

“Bell and the NTSB have carefully studied the cause of the vibration, which had never been encountered before,” company officials said Wednesday in a statement. “The vibration was the result of an unanticipated combination of very high airspeed with a sustained low rotor RPM condition.”

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