Bell 429

Operational Evaluation Report

 Bell 429 Helicopter

TCCA Report Prepared and Submitted by: Alex Roberts

Date: October, 19, 2011

Alex Roberts
Team Leader, Bell 429
Operational Evaluation Board
Transport Canada, Safety and Security
Certification and Operational Standards
Standards Branch
Place de Ville, Tower C, 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

Telephone: (613) 990-1090

TCCA Co-ordination Sheet

Roman Marushko
Program Manager, Flight Technical
Transport Canada, Safety and Security
Certification and Operational Standards
Standards Branch
Place de Ville, Tower C, 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

Telephone: (613) 993-4692

Doug Ingold, Acting for Roman Marushko
Date: October 20, 2011

Arlo Speer
Chief, Commercial Flight Standards
Standards Branch
Transport Canada, Civil Aviation

October 21, 2011


Jacqueline Booth
Acting Director Standards
Transport Canada, Civil Aviation

October 26, 2011


Revision Record

Revision No. Section Page # Date
Original All All  



ADAHRS Air Data Attitude Heading Reference System
ADC Air Data Computer
ADF Automatic Direction Finder
AD Attitude Director
ADI Attitude Director Indicator
ADIU Aircraft Data Interface Unit
AFCS Automatic Flight Control System
AHRS Attitude Heading Reference System
BIT Built In Test
CAR Canadian Aviation Regulations
CAS Crew Alerting System
CAT Category
CHFD Course Heading Flight Director
DU Display Unit
EASA European Aviation Safety Agency
ECU Electronic Engine Control Unit
EICAS Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FD Flight Director
FLIR Forward Looking Infrared
FMM Fuel Management Module
FMS Flight Manual Supplement
FSB Flight Standardization Board
FSTD Flight Simulation Training Device
FTD Flight Training Device
HSI Horizontal Situation Indicator
HV Height-Velocity
HYD Hydraulic
IAS Indicated Airspeed
ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization
IFR Instrument Flight Rules
IGE In ground Effect
ILS Instrument Landing System
JOEB Joint Operational Evaluation Board
JOET Joint Operational Evaluation Team
KIAS Knots Indicated Airspeed
KTAS Knots True Airspeed
LDG Landing
MCP Maximum Continuous Power
MGT Measured Gas Temperature
NG Gas Producer RPM
NP Power Turbine RPM
NR Rotor RPM
N-ESS Non-essential
OE Operational Evaluation
OEI One Engine Inoperative
OGE Out of Ground Effect
OVRD Override
PEDL STOP INOP Pedal Stop Inoperative
PSI Pounds per Square Inch
PSI Power Situation Indicator
Q Engine Torque
RCCB Remote Control Circuit Breaker
RPM Revolutions per Minute
RTR Rotor
RFM Rotorcraft Flight Manual
SCAS Stability Control Augmentation System
STBY Standby
TAWS Terrain Awareness and Warning System
TCCA Transport Canada Civil Aviation
TC Transport Canada
TCAS Traffic Collision Avoidance System
TCDS Type Certificate Data Sheet
TRQ Torque
VFR Visual Flight Rules
VNE Velocity Never Exceed Speed
VS Vertical Speed
VSI Vertical Speed Indicator
VY Best Rate of Climb Speed
VYI Instrument Climb Speed
WAT Weight Altitude Temperature
XFER Transfer
XMSN Transmission
XPNDR Transponder
ZFW Zero Fuel Weight

Executive Summary

The Bell 429 is manufactured in Canada and Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) is the Regulatory body for Canada. Bell Helicopter requested that Transport Canada convene a Joint Operational Evaluation Board (JOEB) for the Bell 429 type helicopter and TC convened a Joint Operational Evaluation Team (JOET) consisting of the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Transport Canada (TC), as per International Agreement dated June 2000. Each jurisdiction elected to create separate Evaluation Reports, however information and perspective was constructively shared between the FAA, EASA and TC during the evaluation.

The JOET evaluated the Bell Helicopter, 429 Pilot Ground and Flight Procedures Transition Training Program offered by the Bell Helicopters Training Academy in Alliance Texas in March 2010. The course was conditionally approved suitable for a type rating restricted to day visual flight rules where applicable. The JOET also evaluated Bell 429 serial number 010 configured for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) for a FAA air operator while in Fort Worth Texas.

An evaluation team consisting of the JOEB Team Leader and a Senior Transport Canada (TC) Regional Inspector was formed to review the perceived shortcomings observed by the JOET in March 2010. This TC evaluation team attended the Bell Alliance facility and concluded that the pilot training course, as presented by Bell Helicopter in Sept 2011 was suitable as intended (no day visual restriction).

TC had the pleasure of interacting with the Bell 429 cockpit design and commercial implementation team, the Fort Worth Bell Training Academy training personnel, the EASA evaluation team, and the FAA evaluation team. The Fort Worth Bell Training Academy solicited input, affirmative professional input was offered and the Bell 429 pilot course continues to evolve.

The Report

1. Purpose and Applicability

1.1 This OE report specifies training, checking, and currency requirements applicable to crews operating the Bell 429 aircraft under Subpart 703 and 702 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs). Provisions of the report:

  • define pilot "type rating" assigned to the Bell 249;
  • describe any unique requirements applicable to initial or recurrent qualification;
  • describe acceptable training program and device characteristics when necessary to establish compliance;
  • set checking and currency standards including specification of those checks that must be administered by TC or Canadian air operators; and
  • list regulatory compliance status (compliance checklist) for applicable sections of Subparts 602, 605, 702, and 703 of the CARs.

1.2 This report includes:

  • minimum requirements, which must be applied by TC regions (e.g. Type Rating designations, etc.);
  • information which is advisory in general, but is mandatory for particular operators if the designated configurations apply and if approved for that operator; and
  • information, which is used to facilitate TC review of an aircraft type or variant that is proposed for use by an operator (e.g. compliance checklist).

1.3 Provisions of this report are effective until amended, superseded or withdrawn by subsequent TC determinations.

1.4 This report addresses the Bell 429 as specified in the TC Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) H-107.

2. TCCA Evaluation Personnel

Transport Canada Civil Aviation Joint Operational Evaluation Team Member:

Alex Roberts

Alex Roberts
JOEB Team Leader B429
Transport Canada,
Inspector Operational Standards - Rotorcraft (AARTF)
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8
Office: (613) 990-1090

3. Background

3.1 The Bell 429 is a normal category aircraft certified under Subpart 527 of the CARs – Airworthiness Requirements for Normal Category Helicopters. It is listed on TC Type Certificate Designator H107 (Appendix G). TC conducted an OE of the Bell 429 resulting in this OE Report.

The Bell 429 is certificated, as a twin turbine engine rotorcraft with a four bladed composite, soft in plane flex, main rotor system. When the basic configuration has the required optional equipment, it is certified for Category-A operations and capable of Dual and Single Pilot Instrument Flight Rules operations. The standard configuration of a three axis AFCS provides a fully coupled digital autopilot and flight director that controls functions in pitch, roll, and yaw axis. Additionally an optional fourth axis kit enables the AFCS to control the collective pitch.

The cockpit configuration contains an entirely new (to Bell Helicopters) avionics / navigation display system. The standard configured cockpit is equipped with two Display Units (DU’s) with a third DU available as an option (required for pilot operations from the left position). The DU’s are “smart displays” and include all the processing required to collect sub-system information and then generate the appropriate graphics for the following systems:

  • Primary flight and navigation instrumentation,
  • Flight director and autopilot status,
  • Engine and rotor drive system indications,
  • Electrical, hydraulic, and fuel system monitoring,
  • Crew alerting system as warning, caution, advisory, and aural alerts,
  • Navigation route mapping display,
  • Electrical, AFCS, and fuel weight and balance information,
  • Automated power assurance, Category “A” performance and hover performance information,
  • Exceedance recordings,
  • Chip detection history, and
  • Optional WX Radar, FLIR, TCAS and TAWS inputs.

The right DU is the primary flight display depicting an attitude display (AD) with pitch, roll, and yaw data incorporating airspeed, altitude, and vertical speed indications. At the top of the ADI the engagement ques for the autopilot and navigation modes are annunciated. A Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI) is depicted under the Aircraft Data Interface Unit (ADI) with multiple navigations functions.

The Center DU displays the Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (EICAS). Sub screens depict the Power Situation Indicator (PSI), Crew Alerting System (CAS), and Systems Monitor Area. This DU depicts all engine and transmission parameters in a digital and analog format. Additionally the DU displays performance parameters as they approach limitations so that the first Parameter (MGT, TRQ, or NG), is prominently displayed.

The DU system features built in redundancy, should either display fail the operating display will depict the primary flight display and EICAS in a composition format.

The autopilot functions are controlled through the AFCS and Trim Push Button Annunciators Panel, the Course Heading Flight Director Panel, and a series of switches located on the pilots cyclic and collective control.

The autopilot can be decoupled and the flight director function will remain displayed allowing the pilot to manually manipulate the controls and perform normal flight maneuvers and instrument procedures.

3.2 TC developed the Bell 429 OE Plan, to define the scope of the OE, to establish acceptable means of compliance, and to provide regulatory reference for technical items pertaining to the following operational review items, issued by the TC:

  • ORI-1 – Type Rating Determination and Training, Checking and Currency Requirements
  • ORI-2 – Operational Acceptability
  • ORI-3 – Air Carrier Inspector Seating
  • ORI-4 – Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL)
  • ORI-5 – Training and Checking Simulator
  • ORI-6 – Operational Evaluation

3.3 TC adopted FAA AC 120-53 as an acceptable means for determination of type rating and evaluation of training, checking, and currency requirements for safe operation of the Bell 429.

3.4 Acceptable standards are assured for commercial helicopter operations by the completion of the Pilot Proficiency Test following the course completion.

3.5 TC performed a modified AC 120-53 Test T5 on the Bell 429. Concurrently, the FAA conducted a similar evaluation as part of their Bell 429 Flight Standardization Board Evaluation.

3.6 Bell Helicopters provides Bell 429 pilot and maintenance training courses at their Bell Training Academy, Alliance Airport, Fort Worth, Texas, 76177.

3.7 During March 2010, a HEMS equipped production aircraft destined for service within the United States, received interior evaluation from the EASA and TC representatives.

3.8 Between March 1 and 12, 2010, the JOET received maneuvers and flight procedures training utilizing aircraft N429NA in and around the Alliance Airport, Fort Worth, Texas. Bell Helicopters’ Training Academy instructors conducted the training. March 1, 2010 the JOET were presented with a proposed draft 429 Pilot Ground and Flight Procedures Transition Training Course. The proposed one-week course included a Flight Training Device (FTD) that was not available. Due to the number of pilot candidates assessing the course and the lack of FTD, the course endeavored to follow the DRAFT 429 Pilot Ground and Flight Procedures Transition Training Course, but covered a two- week period utilizing a serviceable helicopter in place of the FTD. The course was conditionally approved suitable for a type rating restricted to day visual flight rules where applicable.

3.9 September 8 to 10, 2011 the JOEB Team Leader and a Senior Transport Canada (TC) Regional Inspector returned to the Bell facility at the Alliance Airport Fort Worth, Texas and received classroom instruction, practical sessions utilizing the FAA certified Bell 429 Level 6 FTD. Maneuvers and flight procedures were also conducted utilizing the 4 axis equipped Bell 429 N429NA helicopter. The sessions focused on the shortcomings of the pilot training program as perceived by the JOET during the March 2010 evaluations. It was concluded that the pilot course as presented by Bell Helicopters in Sept 2011 was now suitable as intended, without the previous restriction to Day Visual Rules.

3.10 Reserved.

3.11 TC is responsible for conducting evaluations of future changes to the Bell 429 and its derivatives. The following particular systems, features, and types of operation were not part of the initial certification configuration, and therefore were not evaluated by the OE Team:

  • Flight Control and Rotor Blade Anti-ice and (or) De-ice System(s); and
  • Electronic Checklist (ECL), and Snow Landing System (s).

3.12 At a later date, when these systems / features, or any other flight critical item are certified; it may be necessary to observe the performance of these installations, systems, features, and types of operation. TC will determine the impact those installations, systems, features, and types of operation have on training, checking and currency, and will amend this report accordingly.

3.13 While the B429 is certified for Category A Operations, the required equipment for this specific operation is not part of the basic configuration of the aircraft. Therefore, operators contemplating Category A Operations must ensure that their aircraft is equipped as per the RFM Category A Operations Flight Supplement. Similarly the basic configuration contains only two DU’s, and a third DU is required for pilot operations from the left hand crew seat. Therefore, operators contemplating two pilot operations, or single pilot flight from the left hand crew seat will require the optional third (left side) DU.

3.14 Reserved

4. Pilot "Type Rating" Requirements

4.1 In accordance with TC Licensing “Type Designator Table”, the pilot type rating for the Bell 429 is designated as B429. This designator is consistent with the current ICAO Aircraft Type Designators Database. Bell Helicopters did not request TC to conduct a comparison between the Bell 429 and any other Bell Helicopter models; therefore, no credit may be given for training, checking, or currency between the Bell 429 and any other variant of helicopters.

5. “Master Common Requirements" (MCRs)

5.1 This section is reserved for future variants of the Bell 429.

6. “Master Difference Requirements" (MDRs)

6.1 This section is reserved for future variants of the Bell 429.

7. Acceptable "Operator Difference Requirements" (ODRs) Tables

7.1 This section is reserved for future variants of the Bell 429.

8. TC Specifications for Special Emphasis Training

Bell 429 Flight Deck

8.1 The type-rating course, as proposed by Bell Helicopter, offered by Bell Helicopter in September 2011, was found suitable for Canadian helicopter pilots to acquire a type rating for day visual flight rules, night visual rules, and/or instrument flight rules as applicable. For pilots not having previous experience with glass cockpits, Garmin GPS units and multi-engine helicopters, additional requirements may be appropriate depending on the intended operational environment. Additional training may be required to prepare a candidate for a pilot proficiency ride that includes a demonstration of Instrument Flight proficiency.

Pilot course completion standards:

  1. Ground School: The pilot must demonstrate adequate knowledge of the Bell 429 helicopter to pass a written, final examination, with a minimum score of 70%, corrected to 100%.
  2. Flight Training Device (FTD): The use of the FTD shall not be contemplated unless Transport Canada certification is in effect.

8.2 TC has identified aircraft systems and/or procedures that must receive special emphasis in the Bell 429 pilot ground and flight training courses:

  • Garmin 430 and/or 530 GPS as applicable
  • Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS),
  • Data Source Selection for the Display Units (DU), Air Data Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS), Data Control Unit (DCU), Electronic Engine Control Unit (ECU), Crew Alerting System (CAS), and Air Data Interface Unit (ADIU),
  • Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) and,
  • Traffic Collision and Avoidance System (TCAS).

8.3 In addition, the following characteristics of the Bell 429 should be emphasized throughout the training program:

  • Pilots must exercise crew coordination and proper flight management (task sharing and crosschecking) due to the high level of automation.
  • Pilots must be trained to handle Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) cascading messages by proper identification of which malfunction originated thereto-associated failure conditions.

8.4 The JOET and TC evaluation team found that early exposure to the AFCS and Garmin GPS is important, especially for pilots with no previous glass cockpit, or Garmin GPS experience. These candidates also will derive major benefits when spending time beyond the formal classes on an FTD or CPT in this regard. Establishing early confidence in manually flying the helicopter, converting back and forth from manual to coupled flight mode, is equally important due to heavy reliance on the AFCS during normal single or dual pilot operations. In the event of a flight path deviation due to input error or system malfunction, the flight crew must be able to comfortably transition from automatic to manual operation and back in an orderly fashion.

8.5 The JOET and TC evaluation team anticipate that air operators will utilize quick reference check list(s) for normal and emergency operations as required.

8.6 Operators required to conduct Category A Operations should inform the Bell Training Academy that the Pilot course will require the inclusion of the appropriate Category A elements within the Bell 429 pilot training program as per the RFM Category A Flight Supplement.

9. TC Specifications for Pilot Line Indoctrination (PLI)

9.1 Applicants employed by Canadian air operators operating under Subparts 702 and 703 of the CARs, are not required to conduct PLI.

10. TC Specifications for Checking

10.1 Applicants shall meet the requirements of Part 4 of the CARs Personnel Licensing and Training, for the addition of a B429 type rating to a Canadian Commercial Helicopter Pilot License and/or an Airline Transport Pilot License – Helicopters as applicable.

10.2 Applicants operating under Subpart 702 of the CARs shall meet the proficiency and, or competency requirements of Sections 702.65 and 722.65 of the CARs including procedures specified in “Schedule II” of the Standard.

10.3 Applicants and Canadian air operators operating under Subpart 703 of the CARs shall meet the proficiency and, or competency requirements of Sections 703.88 and 723.88 of the CARs including maneuvers and procedures specified in the standard attachment titled “Helicopter Schedule - Pilot Proficiency Check (PPC)”.

10.4 Applicants and Canadian air operators operating under Subpart 703 of the CARs shall meet the qualifications of Sections 703.86 and 723.86 of the CARs with passengers on board in IFR flight with fewer than two pilots.

10.5 Reserved

11. TC Specifications for Currency / Recent Experience

11.1 Applicants and air operators conducting operations under Subpart 703 of the CARs must meet the specifications of Subsection 703.86 of the CARs, with passengers on board in IFR flight.

11.2 Applicants conducting operations under Subpart 703 of the CARs must meet the recency requirements of Subsection 703.88 of the CARs.

11.3 Applicants conducting operations under Subpart 703 of the CARs must meet the specifications of Section 703.91 of the CARs, Crew Member Validity Period.

12. Aircraft Regulatory Compliance Checklist

12.1 TC utilized production helicopter NA429NA to conduct its operational evaluation flights. It enabled TC to determine the Bell 429 compliance with the appropriate CAR operating requirements. The aircraft cabin area was unfinished (green) eliminating the possibility of evaluation of the passenger area. The JOET also evaluated Bell 429 serial number 010 configured for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) for a FAA air operator while in Fort Worth Texas. Appendix B provides the TC findings on those operating requirements.

12.2 Present and future Bell 429 air operators must demonstrate to TC that their aircraft fully complies with all applicable operating rules prior to that aircraft entering service.

13. TC Specifications for Devices and Simulators

13.1 The Canadian standard for simulator certification is contained in TP 9685 “The Aeroplane and Rotorcraft Simulator Manual”. The Bell Helicopter Training Academy received level 6 NSP FAA certification for the Bell 429 FSTD under SIM ID 1215, and level 6 Transport Canada certification for the Bell 429 FSTD under SIM ID 725.

14. Alternate Means of Compliance to this Report

14.1 Air operators should consult the TC Commercial Flight Standards Division and the Personnel Licensing Division when an alternate means of compliance, other than those specified in this report, are proposed. The alternate means of compliance will be required to provide an equivalent level of safety to the provisions of adopted FAA AC 120-53 and this TC report. The TC Chief of Commercial Flight Standards will review the application. Analysis, demonstrations, proof of concept testing, differences documentation, and/or other evidence may be required.

15. Supplemental Information

15.1 Reserved.

16. Lessons Learned

While the JOET constructively shared perspective throughout the OE, future evaluations should include a minimum of two Canadian Inspectors.

This lesson was partially remedied and reinforced when the Team Lead and TC Senior Regional Inspector formed a team in September 2011 to review the shortcomings of the pilot program as perceived by the JOET of March 2010.


Available upon request from the Program Manager, Flight Technical.

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