EASA Proposes Heli Crash-resistant Fuel Systems

 - November 14, 2022, 11:51 AM
Crash Resistant Fuel System installed on Airbus Helicopters AS350 AStar fuselage display during HAI Heli-Expo 2022 (Photo: Vector Aerospace)

Installation of a crash-resistant fuel system (CRFS) into in-production helicopters and retrofit into existing rotorcraft operated in member states is being proposed by EASA. The objective of the notice of proposed amendment (NPA) is to mitigate the risks linked to post-crash fires involving rotorcraft.

EASA is considering several options, all of which apply to small and large helicopters. One option would require installation of CRFSs starting in 2025 in new-production EU-registered rotorcraft and retrofit installations starting in 2030 for operating models certified on or after 1978. Another option would retain the 2025 date for newly manufactured rotorcraft, but would apply by 2030 to all operating models regardless of type certification date.

Under a third option, retrofit installations of CFRSs to the existing fleet of rotorcraft by 2030 would apply only to models with five or more seats. A final option would ensure that the remaining—and, subsequently, the entire—fleet would be compliant with the CRFS requirements by 2038.

EASA estimates there are 1,763 operators with only one rotorcraft, of which 605 have at least one rotorcraft in their fleet that is not compliant with CRFS requirements. Comments on the proposal are due by Feb. 13, 2023.