Friday, October 30, 2015
Report: Air Methods Plans Fuel System Upgrades
Air Methods plans to upgrade its Airbus Helicopters H125s and H130s with crash-resistant fuel systems as soon as next year, according to a Denver TV station. KUSA said the Englewood, Colorado-headquartered company sent a statement that it "is committed to retrofitting 100% of our Airbus AS350/EC130 (H125/H130) fleet” and is working with a third party to seek "certification for a crash-resistant fuel system for the entire Airbus line." The statement added that Air Methods expects "a crashworthy system to be certified in 2016" for the Airbus H125 and H130, according to KUSA. The TV station, dubbed "9Needs to Know," has reported extensively on fuel-system safety since a July 3 Air Methods-operated Airbus AS350-B3E crash in Frisco, Colorado. The crash killed a pilot, severely burned a paramedic and injured a flight nurse. The FAA plans to launch a working group next week to examine options for retrofitting crash-resistant fuel systems on current helicopters and requiring their inclusion in newly built ones. Current rules only require the use of such systems on helicopters type certificated after October 1994.