Helicopter Fuel Systems Still Vulnerable


Investigative reporter Chris Vanderveen, KUSA-TV (Denver), posted a follow-up story to his July 27, 2015, report about the July 3 medical helicopter crash in Frisco, Colorado. Mr. Vanderveen interviewed Slack & Davis aviation attorney Ladd Sanger for both stories.

Mr. Sanger has handled more than a dozen helicopter crash cases involving post-crash fires caused by compromised fuel systems in Robinson, Airbus Helicopters and Hughes/MD Helicopters. Mr. Sanger was instrumental in getting Robinson Helicopter Company to change the design of its fuel system to reduce the likelihood of post-crash fires.

As the news story mentions, “A report from the NTSB issued last month reported 85 percent of the US civilian helicopters built since 1994 do not have crash-resistant fuel systems that would meet 1994 standards established by the FAA. That’s more than 4,700 helicopters currently in use for everything from sightseeing to medical operations.”

Mr. Sanger adds, “The Frisco crash was survivable. If not for the compromised fuel system these injuries would have been much less severe and likely not fatal.”

Link to the 9News story.