NTSB Urges FAA, EASA to Approve Crash-Resistant Retrofit

NTSB's report cites two 2015 accidents in which the impact forces were survivable for the occupants, but fatal and serious injuries occurred because of post-crash fires after the fuel tanks were breached. NTSB's investigations brought about the three safety recommendations in this report.

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a report that contains recommendations to both the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency, asking both to quickly approve a crash-resistant retrofit once it is ready. The report concerns the need for owners and operators of existing AS350 B3e helicopters and similarly designed variants to incorporate a crash-resistant fuel system into them.

NTSB's report cites two 2015 accidents in which the impact forces were survivable for the occupants, but fatal and serious injuries occurred because of post-crash fires after the fuel tanks were breached. NTSB's investigations brought about the three safety recommendations in this report.

One crash on March 6, 2015, involved an Airbus Helicopters EC130 B4 helicopter operated by Air Methods Corporation that struck the edge of a hospital building and hit its parking lot near St. Louis, Mo. during approach to a rooftop helipad. The helicopter was destroyed by impact forces and a post-crash fire and its pilot, the sole occupant, was killed. The second crash on July 3, 2015, involved an Airbus Helicopters AS350 B3e helicopter operated by Air Methods Corporation that partially impacted a parked recreational vehicle in a parking lot near Summit Medical Center in Frisco, Colo. The pilot and two flight nurses survived the initial ground impact. One flight nurse sustained a back injury, and the other sustained serious burn injuries, and a medical staff member on the ground near the crash site also sustained burns while attempting to rescue the pilot from the wreckage. The pilot ultimately died from his injuries.

Neither of the two helicopters was equipped with a crash-resistant fuel system; had such as system been installed, it may have prevented or reduced the risk of burn injuries, according to NTSB.

The recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration are: "Once Airbus Helicopters completes development of a retrofit kit to incorporate a crash-resistant fuel system into AS350 B3e and similarly designed variants, prioritize its approval to accelerate its availability to operators. Issue a special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) informing all owners and operators of AS350 B3e and similarly designed variants of the availability of a crash-resistant fuel system retrofit kit and urging that it be installed as soon as practicable. To encourage helicopter owners and operators to retrofit existing helicopters with a crash-resistant fuel system, the SAIB should also discuss the helicopter accidents cited in this report. Issue a special airworthiness information bulletin that is periodically updated to inform all helicopter owners and operators about available modifications to improve fuel system crashworthiness and urge that they be installed as soon as practicable. To encourage helicopter owners and operators to retrofit existing helicopters with a crash-resistant fuel system, the SAIB should also discuss the helicopter accidents cited in this report."

The recommendation to the European Aviation Safety Agency are similiar: Once Airbus Helicopters completes development of a retrofit kit to incorporate a crash-resistant fuel system into AS350 B3e and similarly designed variants, prioritize its approval to accelerate its availability to operators.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Comply with OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements

    Collect relevant incident data and generate accurate OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 regulatory reports, including 300A CSV files for easy electronic submission to OSHA.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus