Legislation seeks to prevent deadly helicopter crashes like 2015 one in Colorado that killed Flight for Life pilot
July 12, 2017
Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House seeks to require that all new helicopters be built with crash-resistant fuel systems, in an effort to prevent fatal crashes like the one in 2015 that left a Flight for Life pilot dead and two others critically hurt in Frisco.
U.S. Reps. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, and Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada, are sponsoring the Helicopter Fuel System Safety Act, which would also require the Federal Aviation Administration to expedite the certification of retrofit kits to shore up fuel systems on older helicopters.
"We have known for decades how to make helicopter fuel systems safer," Perlmutter said in a written statement, "yet we continue to allow new helicopters to be manufactured without crash resistant fuel systems."
The July 3, 2015, crash stemmed from a preflight hydraulic check in which pilot Patrick Mahany turned off a switch, thereby cutting hydraulic pressure to the tail rotor hydraulic circuit, according to the National Transportation Board. The helicopter made it into the air for about 30 seconds before spinning out of control and crashing into a parking lot and bursting into flames.