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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation A-16-011
Details
Synopsis: On March 6, 2015, about 2310 central standard time, an Airbus Helicopters EC130 B4 helicopter, N356AM, operated by Air Methods Corporation, doing business as ARCH, struck the edge of a hospital building and impacted its parking lot near St. Louis, Missouri, during approach to an elevated rooftop helipad. The helicopter was destroyed by impact forces and a postcrash fire. The pilot was the sole occupant and sustained fatal thermal injuries. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135. The NTSB’s ongoing investigation determined that the accident was immediately survivable in the absence of a postcrash fire.
Recommendation: TO THE EUROPEAN AVIATION SAFETY AGENCY: Once Airbus Helicopters completes development of a retrofit kit to incorporate a crash-resistant fuel system into AS350 B3e and similarly designed variants, prioritize its approval to accelerate its availability to operators.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Aviation
Location: St Louis, MO, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: CEN15FA164
Accident Reports:
Report #: ASR-16-02
Accident Date: 3/6/2015
Issue Date: 4/19/2016
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: European Aviation Safety Agency (Open - Acceptable Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: European Aviation Safety Agency
Date: 5/11/2017
Response: We note that you approved Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) No. 10060852 to certify a CRFS in the Airbus AS350 B3e helicopter with certain limitations. We further note that additional flexibility to use this configuration is granted, if needed, by EASA STC No. 10061056. The improved CRFS is available for operators both in newly delivered aircraft and as a retrofit kit for aircraft already in service. Finally, we note that you are continuing to work with Airbus Helicopters to certify a design that may allow the installation of a CRFS without limitations. We were pleased to learn of these actions. Pending certification of a CRFS design without limitations, Safety Recommendation A-16-11 remains classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: European Aviation Safety Agency
To: NTSB
Date: 3/14/2017
Response: -From Rachel Daeschler, Deputy Strategy and Safety Management Director and Head of Safety Intelligence and Performance Department: As a result of a close and priority effort with Airbus Helicopters, EASA approved Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) No. 10060852 to certify a crash resistant fuel system in the AS350B3e under certain limitations. Additional flexibility to use this configuration is granted, if needed, by EASA STC No. 10061056. This design shall be available for operators both in new delivered aircraft and as retrofit kit for aircraft already in service. EASA continues working together with Airbus Helicopters on the certification of design solutions which may allow the installation of a crash resistant fuel system without limitations.

From: NTSB
To: European Aviation Safety Agency
Date: 8/24/2016
Response: We note that you are currently working to approve Airbus Helicopters’ retrofit kit for the AS350 B3e, and that, once a retrofit kit for other similarly designed variants has been developed and submitted, you intend to prioritize its approval as well. Pending your approval of the retrofit kits for these helicopters, Safety Recommendation A-16-011 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: European Aviation Safety Agency
To: NTSB
Date: 6/7/2016
Response: -From Rachel Daeschler, Deputy Strategy and Safety Management Director and Head of Safety Intelligence and Performance Department, European Aviation Safety Agency: EASA is already working with Airbus Helicopters to expedite the certification of a retrofittable design change to incorporate a crash-resistant fuel system into AS350 B3e. In addition, once Airbus Helicopters have completed the development and applied for the certification of retrofittable design changes for other similarly designed variants, EASA will prioritize its approval. Such aircraft configurations will be made available according to the manufacturer plans for its installation on new production and on already flying aircraft.