Aviation safety issues and actions

Existing helicopters not fitted with a crash-resistant fuel system

Issue number: AO-2013-055-SI-04
Who it affects: All owners and operators of R44 helicopters not fitted with crash resistant fuel systems
Issue owner: United States Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency
Transport function: Aviation: General aviation
Background: Investigation Report AO-2013-055
Issue release date: 04 June 2015
Current issue status: Closed – Not addressed
Issue status justification:

The ATSB welcomes the ongoing action by the NTSB and FAA to increase the number of helicopters fitted with crash‑resistant fuel systems but notes that this action only applies to newly‑manufactured helicopters. Given the elapsed time since the safety recommendation was issued without advice of any safety action, the ATSB has closed the safety issue as not addressed.

Safety issue description

Many of the existing civil helicopter fleet are not fitted with a crash-resistant fuel system, or do not have an equivalent level of safety associated with post-impact fire prevention.

 

Response to the safety issue by the United States Federal Aviation Administration

No response was received from the United States Federal Aviation Administration in relation to this safety issue, or advice given of any safety action in response.

Response to the safety issue by the European Aviation Safety Agency

No response was received from the European Aviation Safety Agency in relation to this safety issue, or advice given of any safety action in response.

 

As a result, the ATSB issued the following safety recommendations.

Safety recommendation

Action number: AO-2013-055-SR-028
Action organisation: United States Federal Aviation Administration
Date: 04 June 2015
Action status: Closed

The ATSB recommends that the United States Federal Aviation Administration take action to increase the number of existing helicopters that are fitted with a crash-resistant fuel system or have an equivalent level of safety in respect of post-impact fire.

Safety recommendation

Action number: AO-2013-055-SR-029
Action organisation: European Aviation Safety Agency
Date: 04 June 2015
Action status: Released

The ATSB recommends that the European Aviation Safety Agency take action to increase the number of existing helicopters that are fitted with a crash-resistant fuel system or have an equivalent level of safety in respect of post-impact fire.

Last update 05 November 2020