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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Look for FAA Move Next Week on Fuel Systems

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 speakers featured at the daylong event near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. A member of a panel discussion on “Keeping Pace With Technology,” Castillo said the Occupant Protection Working Group of the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee also will look at how to increase the use of crashworthy seats that comply with Parts 27.562 and 29.562 of the Federal Aviation Regulations in newly built helicopters and retrofitting them on existing ones. The directorate got FAA Headquarters approval Oct. 9 to stand up the working group, he said, adding that a public notice should be published in the Federal Register by the end of next week. That notice would be the green light for the working group to start work. Recent NTSB and FAA investigations have found low percentages of helicopters flying in the U.S. have crash-resistant fuel systems and dynamic seats. The rules requiring them were adopted 15 years ago or more. But they only applied to newly certificated helicopters, not newly built ones. 

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