EASA is recommending, but not mandating, that operators of Airbus AS350 and EC130 series turbine single helicopters install Airbus Helicopters modification (MOD 075101). This modifies the metallic top plate for the floor-mounted fuel shut-off lever (FSOL) by adding a lower detent as additional means to protect against external influences and keep the lever in the stowed position.
The modification is now available for retrofit on AS350B2 and -B3 helicopters through AH SB AS350-76.00.24. A similar modification is under development for the other models of the AS350/EC130 legacy fleet having a floor-mounted FSOL.
Airbus developed the modification following an NTSB safety recommendation (A-19-35) in the wake of the fatal ditching of a FlyNYON “doors off” helitour “photo flight” of an AS350B2 operated by Liberty Helicopters in New York in 2018 that killed five. The NTSB investigation determined that the accident sequence began with a loss of engine power triggered by the inadvertent activation of the floor-mounted FSOL by a front-seat passenger.