It is hard to believe that despite the passage of more than nine years since that hot July night, the discussion continues about TWA Flight 800, which crashed off the coast of Long Island in July 1996.
Flight data recorder
In part because of two-high profile fatal crashes–one involving eight federal government employees and the other a U.S. senator–the National Transportation Safety Board held two days of hearings in late July on its recommendations that a cockpit image recorder (CIR) be installed in nearly all turbine-powered aircraft.
The NTSB last month issued a scathing report highly critical of the FAA and the transport-helicopter industry for not embracing flight data recorders (FDRs). The Safety Board criticized the FAA for its lack of enforcement of Part 135 helicopter FDR requirements, the wording of those requirements that enable operators to avoid compliance by removing seats and for granting numerous requests for exemptions from helicopter operators.
The NTSB has recommended to the FAA that all U.S.-registered turbine helicopters certified to carry at least six passengers be required to have terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS). The recommendation stems from the investigation of the crash of an Era Aviation Sikorsky S-76++ in the Gulf of Mexico, which killed all 10 people on board and destroyed the helicopter.
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