Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Public Service :: NTSB

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July 25, 2016
The No. 1 525 prototype’s main rotor blades appear to have struck its tail and nose during a high-speed, engine-out test that ended with the July 6 crash that killed its two pilots, Rotor & Wing International has learned. “We saw signs consistent with a blade strike on the tailboom,” the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigator-in-charge for the probe, John Lovell...
January 20, 2016
Accident investigators said that engine modifications made to an air ambulance helicopter may have left it more susceptible to icing and contributed to its fatal crash in 2013.    The Airbus Helicopters AS350 B2, operated by EagleMed, had taken off early on Feb. 22, 2013, from Integris Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City to commence an inter-hospital patient transport flight. It appeared to suffer...
December 2, 2015
Videos from mobile phones and airport security cameras show an AS350 B3e pilot making three failed attempts to land on a movable helipad Nov. 18 before crashing on the fourth try, killing himself and a passenger, according to a new NTSB report. The preliminary report, which is subject to change, cites video recordings from the mobile devices of witnesses at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad...
November 24, 2015
The FAA’s new focus on improving helicopter occupant survivability got a boost this week with the declaration by the Air Medical Operators Assn. (AMOA) that its members are committed to installing crash-resistant fuel systems on both new and existing helicopters. Current FAA rules only require such systems on helicopters type certificated after October 1994, but the National Transportation Safety...
November 17, 2015
There is more at stake in the current Washington debate over privatizing the U.S. air traffic control system than who controls the nation’s airspace, said Ed Bolen in opening the National Business Aviation Assn.’s annual convention in Las Vegas Tuesday morning. The NBAA president/CEO acknowledged that control clearly is a huge part of the debate. U.S. airlines have spent years and hundreds of...
October 28, 2015
A U.S. rulemaking advisory subcommittee will start work soon on options for increasing crash-resistant fuel systems use in newly built helicopters and existing ones, the FAA’s Jorge Castillo told R&WI’s Rotorcraft Certification Summit yesterday. Castillo, the FAA’s Rotorcraft Directorate manager of rotorcraft regulations and policy, was one of 16...
October 23, 2015
Two U.S. congressmen are calling on the FAA to act immediately on requiring all new-build helicopters to have crash-resistant fuel systems. Those systems are the focus of next week’s Rotorcraft Certification Summit opening session; NTSB Director of Aviation Safety John DeLisi will brief summit attendees on the fatal 2014 Bell Helicopter 206L1+ air ambulance crash that led to the safety...
October 14, 2015
Procedural and equipment options for meeting current safety equipment mandates for helicopters, and certification hurdles in complying with those deadlines, are the focus of an afternoon panel discussion at Oct. 27's Rotorcraft Certification Summit in Irving, Texas. You can find more information about the summit and can register for the event here. The "Meeting the...
October 14, 2015
A key question since Lockheed Martin said it is buying Sikorsky Aircraft is whether the aerospace and defense giant has any interest in selling civil helicopters. The deal was announced July 20, with a key civil market (offshore oil and gas support) slumping and the general economy lagging, which hurt sales of...
October 2, 2015
New international agreements promise to remove obstacles for manufacturers offering helicopter improvements to operators in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Officials of the FAA, European Aviation Safety Agency and Transport Canada signed the agreements Sept. 15; the FAA announced them Sept. 28. Once they go into effect, the pacts enable aviation...
October 1, 2015
The FAA has started work to apply crash-resistant fuel system standards to all helicopters, its chief has told the National Transportation Safety Board. In a Sept. 28 letter, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart that he has tasked the agency’s Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee with acting on the safety board’s...
September 30, 2015
A top NTSB official will open Oct. 27's Rotorcraft Certification Summit with a briefing on the safety board's call for the FAA to require all newly built helicopters to have crash-resistant fuel systems regardless of when their type certificate was issued. The director of the NTSB's Office of Aviation Safety, John DeLisi, will give the morning keynote presentation from 8:10 to 9 a.m. to kick off the...
September 23, 2015
Operations, engineering and flight test experts will debate the real-world certification challenges facing the rotorcraft industry and its regulators at Oct. 27's Rotorcraft Certification Summit.  "The Most Daunting Certification Challenges Before Us" is among the panel discussions in the program for the one-day executive forum at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel in Irving, Texas.   Among...
September 22, 2015
Sikorsky Aircraft S-76 operators have inspected their aircraft for control-system discrepancies implicated in an Aug. 12 Bristow Helicopters crash that killed six people near Lagos, Nigeria. The inspections came in response to a Sept. 14 FAA emergency airworthiness directive that ordered inspections with 5 hr time in service of main-rotor and tail-rotor servo input control pushrod assemblies on all S-76...
September 9, 2015
Long-time offshore oil and gas industry leader Bill Chiles will present the keynote speech at Rotor & Wing International's Rotorcraft Certification Summit Oct. 27 at the Sheraton DFW Airport in Irving, Texas.    At the one-day summit, top industry and regulatory executives will discuss ongoing work toward consensus among the General Aviation Manufacturers Assn. and the AeroSpace and Defence...
September 2, 2015
Nigerian and U.S. accident investigators are at NTSB Washington headquarters to review flight recorder data from a Bristow S-76C+ that crashed Aug. 12 on approach to Lagos. Nigeria's Accident Investigation Bureau asked the NTSB to assist it in reviewing data from the cockpit voice and flight data recorders, which were...
July 8, 2015
A Scottish judge’s order releasing an accident recorder to criminal investigators threatens “the open safety culture it has taken decades to create” in aviation, the British Airline Pilots' Association said, declaring it will appeal the June 19 ruling. BALPA said the threat lies in the prospect that safety data might be “used...
July 6, 2015
The NTSB has completed recovering wreckage of a Flight for Life Colorado Airbus AS350 that crashed July 3 in Frisco, Colo., killing the pilot and injuring a flight paramedic and nurse. The aeromedical helicopter appeared to begin...
July 6, 2015
In a case of significance for flight data monitoring initiatives, look for the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) to decide this week if it will appeal a U.K. court’s decision ordering an accident flight recorder’s release to criminal prosecutors. Many in aviation believe flight recorder data is controlled by safety investigators and always kept confidential, but legal procedures may...
July 1, 2015
An NTSB investigation is underway after six-year-old boy started a medical transport helicopter at an air show. Mayo One, an EC145 operated by the Mayo Clinic's air medical transport service, was on display at Mankato...
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