On 21 February 2012, the helicopter manufacturer released
Service Bulletin (SB) 78A that brought forward the date of
compliance as stated in SB 78 from 31 December 2014 to 31 December
In conjunction with the United States Federal Aviation
Administration, the manufacturer is also examining other methods to
ensure greater compliance with that upgrade while taking into
account the rate at which the bladder-type fuel tanks, and the
other associated components, are able to be manufactured. The issue
of an Airworthiness Directive is being considered.
On 21 February 2012, the manufacturer also released SB 82 that
required the replacement of the rotor brake switch to reduce the
chance of a possible ignition source in the event of a fuel leak.7
The stated time of compliance was 'within the next 150 flight hours
or by 31 May 2012, whichever occurs first'.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) generally proposes
corrective or precautionary action in response to an occurrence
only where it is justifiable on the basis of established or
probable facts. Although work remains to be done to establish the
facts of this accident fully, the circumstances are consistent with
the consequences of the accident being significantly exacerbated by
the fuel-fed fire.
The ATSB therefore draws the attention of all R44 operators to
the following advisory notice, on the basis of prudence, until such
time that the mechanism(s) contributing to the accident are fully
established and understood. All R44 operators will receive a copy
of this report and advisory notice.