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    Spectrum Supports Helicopter Fuel System Amendment

    As cited in a recent article on rotorandwing.com, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its FAA reauthorization bill which includes a requirement for all newly manufactured helicopters to feature fuel system configurations that were provided through recommendations provided by the Rotorcraft Occupant Protection Working Group within 18 months.

    Click here to read the amendment.

    This requirement was included in the bill as the result of an amendment proposed by U.S. Representatives Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis.  Presently the FAA’s requirement is that all helicopters certified after 1994 be equipped with crash-resistant fuel tanks.  However, helicopters that are built according to production designs established prior to 1994 are exempt from featuring such equipment.

    A 2014 National Transportation Safety Board review found that only 15% of the more than 4700 newly manufactured helicopters since 1994 have included fuel systems that comply with 14 CFR 27.952 or 29.952. 

    According to NTSB, there have been at least 175 post-crash fires resulting in 80 deaths due to those fires since the standard was published in 1994.

    “By ensuring all newly manufactured helicopters meet today’s safety standards, we can significantly reduce the risk of post-crash fires and prevent needless injury or death”, said Perlmutter.

    Spectrum supports Representative Perlmutter’s statement above and his efforts towards legislation mandating all newly manufactured helicopters, regardless of original certification date, have fuel systems that meet crashworthiness requirements in accordance with NTSB safety recommendations.