An ongoing investigation into the August 10 fatal crash of an S-76C+ in the Baltic Sea has led the NTSB to ask the FAA to take “urgent” action on several recommendations. Flight-data recordings show that the twin-turbine helicopter “pitched up and rolled to the left, followed by a series of rotations to the right before striking the water,” killing all 14 aboard.
Manufacturers should be required to determine if engine restart capability exists when core rotation speed drops to zero after high-power, high-altitude flameouts, according to the NTSB. For airplanes susceptible to engine core lock, manufacturers should be required to provide design or operational means to ensure restart capability.
Reacting to a pair of landmark NTSB recommendations addressing potential safety vulnerabilities in autopilots, the FAA this month is amending airworthiness standards for automatic flight control systems in transport-category airplanes. The revised standards cover newly certified business jets with an mtow of more than 12,500 pounds.
The corporate and business aviation segments are making progress toward improving their safety record, but there is still work to be done, Dr. Robert Matthews, the FAA’s lead analyst in the office of accident investigation, told the 400 attendees at the Flight Safety Foundation’s Corporate Aviation Seminar. He told AIN, “Corporate aviation, as the FAA defines it, is about as safe as you can hope to get.
- Page 4