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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-18-012
Details
Synopsis: On March 11, 2018, about 1908 eastern daylight time, an Airbus Helicopters AS350B2 helicopter, N350LH, was substantially damaged when it impacted the East River during an autorotation after a loss of engine power near New York, New York; the helicopter subsequently rolled inverted. The pilot egressed from the helicopter and sustained minor injuries. Five passengers remained inside the helicopter and were fatally injured. The doors-off aerial photography flight was scheduled for 30 minutes and was operated by Liberty Helicopters under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Helo Kearny Heliport, Kearny, New Jersey, about 1900.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Prohibit all open-door commercial passenger-carrying aircraft flights that use passenger harness systems, unless the harness system allows passengers to rapidly release the harness with minimal difficulty and without having to cut or forcefully remove the harness. (Urgent)
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Aviation
Location: New York, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: ERA18MA099
Accident Reports: Additional Harness Systems that Allow for Rapid Egress
Report #: ASR-18-02
Accident Date: 3/11/2018
Issue Date: 3/19/2018
Date Closed: 7/26/2018
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/26/2018
Response: We note that on March 16, 2018, based on initial findings from our investigation of the helicopter accident in New York, you publicly announced your intent to order a halt to open-door, commercial, passenger-carrying flights with restraints that could not be released quickly in an emergency. On March 22, 2018, 3 days after we issued this urgent recommendation, you issued an Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order, “Doors-off” and “Open-door” Flight Prohibition, effective immediately. This order prohibits the use of supplemental passenger restraint systems in doors-off flight operations if they cannot be quickly released in an emergency. It also prohibits passenger-carrying doors-off flight operations unless the passengers are properly secured using FAA-approved restraints at all times. We further note that, while this order remains in effect, you will initiate rulemaking to permanently ban the use of supplemental restraint systems that prevent emergency egress or impede the use of certified aircraft restraint systems. This action satisfies the recommendation, both for the specific prohibition in the order and the immediate action needed to satisfy an urgent recommendation. Consequently, Safety Recommendation A-18-12 is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/17/2018
Response: -From Daniel K. Elwell, Acting Administrator: The use of supplemental passenger restraint systems not approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), may have prevented passengers from exiting the aircraft quickly during the emergency. The FAA has determined that supplemental passenger restraint systems, such as the harness system used in the accident, could significantly delay or prevent passengers from exiting the aircraft in an emergency. Therefore, on March 22, 2018, the Acting Administrator issued an Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order, "Doors-off" and "Open-door .. Flight Prohibition, effective immediately. This Order prohibits the use of supplemental passenger restraint systems in doors-off flight operations if they cannot be quickly released in an emergency. It also prohibits passenger carrying doors-off flight operations unless the passengers are properly secured using FAA-approved restraints at all times. A copy of this Order is enclosed. This Order applies to all persons including, but not limited to, pilots conducting doors-off flights for compensation or hire in the United States or using aircraft registered in the United States to conduct such operations. While this Order remains in effect, the FAA will initiate rulemaking to ban the use of supplemental restraint systems that prevent emergency egress or impede the use of certified aircraft restraint systems. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by June 2019.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 3/19/2018
Response: On March 19, 2018, the NTSB adopted its urgent safety recommendation report Additional Harness Systems that Allow for Rapid Egress, ASR-18-02. The details of this ongoing accident investigation and the resulting safety recommendation may be found in the attached report, which can also be accessed at http://www.ntsb.gov. One urgent safety recommendation is issued to the FAA, which can be found on page 3 of the report. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate a response within 30 days, detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement this recommendation. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number. We encourage you to submit your response to correspondence@ntsb.gov. If it exceeds 10 megabytes, including attachments, please e-mail us at the same address for instructions. Please do not submit both an electronic copy and a hard copy of the same response.