Crash Resistant Fuel Systems

by camtsblog

In keeping with CAMT’s values of imposing standards to improve patient care and safety of transport, the 11th Edition of the CAMTS Standards will encourage all helicopters to have a Crash Resistant Fuel System (CRFS) that meet the crashworthiness requirements of 14 Code of Federal Regulations 27.952 or 29.952.

As an industry dedicated to continuously improving the level of safety for those that we transport, it is essential that we begin the process of incorporating the highest level of safety technology in the aircraft we operate. Incorporation of Crash Resistant Fuel Systems (CRFS) is a significant financial investment of a relatively simple technology that may have a profound impact on the patients we transport. Because of the significant financial impact of this requirement, it is strongly encouraged that any future helicopter introduced into service, whether purchased, leased or contracted, by a CAMTS program or vendor have a crashworthy fuel system meeting the requirements of 14 Code of Federal Regulations 27.952 or 29.952. As manufacturers make retrofit kits available, we should also begin the process of financial planning to retrofit existing helicopters.

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In recent years, there have been incidents of thermal fatalities due to post-crash fires in survivable accidents. In 1970, the U.S. Army required CRFS on all newly manufactured helicopters and began an extensive retrofit of all existing helicopters. The International Helicopter Safety Team’s Year 2000 report recommended “The use of helicopters with a CRFS should be encouraged and a requirement on contracted efforts.”  More recently, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended the FAA Require, for all newly manufactured rotorcraft regardless of the design’s original certification date, that the fuel systems meet the crashworthiness requirements of 14 Code of Federal Regulations 27.952 or 29.952, “Fuel System Crash Resistance.”.

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This proposed future revision of the CAMTS Standards was unanimously approved by the CAMTS Aviation & Safety Advisory Committee, comprised of industry safety experts including non-CAMTS Board members, and was approved by the CAMTS Board of Directors.