The owner of the harness repair facility has advised that the manufacturing facility was upgraded with a computerised sewing machine in about 2005. The repairer also accessed the original manufacturer’s drawing of the harness, enabling the repairer to manufacture harnesses more accurately, rather than copying the design from a harness by hand. Since that time only a very small percentage of the repair facility’s work is done manually and only then if the particular harness drawings are not available.
The harness repairer also advised that since the harness failure, he had requested the helicopter operator to examine all of the harnesses in its fleet and to return any belts that did not comply with the known stitch pattern. The repairer committed to the replacement of any such harnesses with the correct harness.
The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by the harness repair facility adequately addresses the safety issue.