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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-10-145
Details
Synopsis: On January 4, 2009, about 1409 central standard time, a dual-engine Sikorsky S-76C++ helicopter, N748P, registered to and operated by PHI, Inc., departed controlled flight and crashed into marshy terrain about 7 minutes after takeoff. Both pilots and six passengers on board were fatally injured, and one passenger was seriously injured. The helicopter was substantially damaged. The helicopter departed Lake Palourde Base Heliport in Amelia, Louisiana, en route to the South Timbalier oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. No flight plan was filed with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)1 for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 air taxi flight, nor was one required.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION: Require operators to include simultaneous dual-engine power loss scenarios in both initial and recurrent ground and simulator training for pilots of dual-engine helicopters.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Aviation
Location: Morgan City, LA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: CEN09MA117
Accident Reports:
Report #: None
Accident Date: 1/4/2009
Issue Date: 11/23/2010
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FAA (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s): Engine Out,Flightcrew,Simulator,Training and Education

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/23/2014
Response: Thank you for reconsidering your previous position regarding this recommendation. We are encouraged that you now plan to revise FAA Order 8900.1 to require the recommended training, in light of information we provided in our November 14, 2012, letter regarding similar helicopter accidents we investigated between 1982 and 2010 that resulted in a total of 14 fatalities. Pending completion of the revision, Safety Recommendation A-10-145 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/9/2014
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Administrator: As a result of the Board's November 14, 20 12, letter, the FAA reconsidered requiring scenario-based pilot training in a helicopter simulator for a simultaneous dual-engine power loss event. In addition, the FAA published an airworthiness directive (AD) that will reduce the chance of similar accidents. Based on additional information provided by the Board, and the FAA's latest review, of this issue, the FAA believes operators must require simultaneous dual-engine power loss scenarios in both initial and recurrent ground and simulator flight training for pilots of dual-engine helicopters in their training programs. Pilots need to be able to recognize dual-engine failure by referencing instrument indications, and then apply proper recovery procedures. The FAA plans to update FAA Order 8900.1 to include this training. The FAA has learned that FlightSafety International, one of the largest FAA-approved part 142 training centers located in West Palm Beach, Florida, has already incorporated pilot training program scenarios with dual-engine fa ilures into their training. FlightSafety trains 2,900 dual-engine helicopter pilots per year. In our letter dated August 2, 2012, we mentioned AD FAA-2012-0340, which was subsequently published on November 15,2012. The AD is available at the following Web address: http:/ /go. usa.gov/ZBVh. This AD applies to Sikorsky S-76C++ overhead engine control levers and incorporates a damper and a positive detent for the fly position. We believe thi s will decrease the likelihood of an accident, like the one that triggered this recommendation, of occurring again. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by January 31 , 2015.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 11/14/2012
Response: The NTSB remains concerned that pilots of dual-engine helicopters are not required to receive initial and recurrent ground and simulator training on how to recognize and react appropriately to simultaneous dual-engine power loss scenarios. We point out that, during training and operations, dual-engine helicopter pilots are accustomed to one engine failing at a time. However, a simultaneous dual-engine loss of power exhibits different characteristics, such as the sound of engines slowing and a different feeling of vibrations in the cockpit, and will require different techniques for taking corrective action. Between 1982 and 2010, we investigated 52 accidents of dual-engine helicopters, of which 24 experienced loss of power in both engines, resulting in a total of 14 fatalities. We recognize that simultaneous dual-engine loss of power does not occur frequently; however, if it does occur, immediate corrective action is necessary to prevent serious injury to the flight crew and passengers, and damage to the helicopter. We further point out that, on May 22, 2012, the NTSB submitted comments to the FAA in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) titled “Airworthiness Directives; Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Helicopters.” We continue to support the proposed AD, which, if implemented, would satisfy the intent of Safety Recommendation A-10-136. However, we do not believe that this AD will satisfy Safety Recommendation A-10-145. Accordingly, pending a requirement for simultaneous dual-engine power loss scenarios in both initial and recurrent ground and simulator training for pilots of dual-engine helicopters, Safety Recommendation A-10-145 is classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 8/2/2012
Response: -From Michael P. Huerta, Acting Administrator: The FAA reviewed the feasibility of requiring scenario-based pilot training in a helicopter simulator for a simultaneous dual-engine power loss event. We also evaluated the need for both initial and recurrent ground simulator training for helicopter pilots on simultaneous dual-engine power loss. The FAA believes that there is a very small likelihood that an accident scenario leading to dual-engine power loss will occur again. Therefore, we do not plan on requiring this training. We are taking other actions in response to this accident, including issuing an airworthiness directive for the Sikorsky S-76C++ overhead engine control levers that incorporates a damper and a positive detent for the fly position. We believe that this will prevent the specific accident sequence that triggered this recommendation from occurring again. On March 29, 2012, the FAA published an Airworthiness Directive Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FAA Docket No. F AA-20 12-0340) to mandate this design change on S-76C++ rotorcraft. The comment period closed on May 29, 2012. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress on this safety recommendation and provide an update by March 2013.

From: NTSB
To: FAA
Date: 7/11/2011
Response: The FAA indicated that it plans to review the feasibility of the recommended requirement and will determine an appropriate course of action based on this information. Pending our receipt and review of the FAA’s findings, Safety Recommendation A-10-145 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FAA
To: NTSB
Date: 1/31/2011
Response: CC# 201100057: - From J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator: The FAA will review the feasibility of requiring scenario-based pilot training in a helicopter simulator for a simultaneous dual-engine power loss event. The FAA will also evaluate the need for both initial and recurrent ground simulator training for helicopter pilots on simultaneous dual-engine power loss. Based on the review the FAA will determine an appropriate course of action. I will keep the Board informed of the FAA's progress and provide an updated response to this recommendation by January 2012.