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Hello all, I'm fairly new to Vertical Magazine, and I thought a forum on safety would be a good thing for all of the helicopter folks out there. I'm currently the safety officer at Coast Guard Air Station Miami, and I've had quite a bit of safety training with the US Navy and CG, and several civilian schools. My opinions are my own, and do not reflect that of the CG.


Hopefully the safety professionals out there can use this forum to discuss safety issues, post helpful information to improve upon our safety programs and help each other out. Also, one great thing we do in the CG is review mishaps that occur at our units, large or small and write out what happened and why and lessons learned. If anyone has a good story and something to learn from it, let's hear about it, learn from each other to help each other do our jobs that much better.


Also, if anyone has any ideas for stories, or would like me to look into anything of interest, post it here, and hopefully we'll get you answers, links or some sort of useful information.


Fly Safe,


Brent Bergan

Contributing Editor

Vertical Magazine


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Hi, from a safety point of view this is not applicable unless you intend to have a accident, but having said that I am including the folloowing post from an aspiring pilot asking the following questions which he wrote to the higher echelons of our gouvernmet.


I would appreciate your comments and thoughts.



to the minister of transport canada civil aviation,


hello, name is Taylor M. Im an 18 year old commercially licensed fixed wing pilot,helicopter AME apprentice, and aspiring commercial helicopter pilot. A great concern within the helicopter industry regarding the safety of helicopter crews and passengers in respect with post crash fires has been rumbling over the last month (more so than has been since the first ever post helicopter crash fire). Over the last month (as im sure you are well aware of) there have been 2 crashes in canada and one in the US that have involved post crash fires. Sadly, Both of the crashes in canada have taken a total of 5 lives (all most likely due to post crash fires). Luckily, the US crew managed to escape their blazing machine. These are definately a small percentage of helicopter crashes that have taken lives that most likely resulted from post crash fires. The problem that is being greatly discussed is the fact that todays fuel tanks and bladders in helicopters do not stand up at all in crashes and everyone is asking, " how many more lives have to be taken before TC mandates the use of self sealing or rupture/puncture resistant fuel tanks". I know they are available, yet operators choose to spare the $5,000 or $10,000 in fuel tank upgrades over the safety of thier employees and customers. My question to you sir/madame is, Why doesnt TC mandate the use of these tanks or even take any action in preventing or reducing the risk of these post crash fires? How many more lives hve to tragically be taken before TC becomes proactive in this matter? If you have a few minutes in the coming days would you please take the time to look on www.verticalmag.com/forums , look under the canadian helicopter operation sections, and read through the threads titled "self sealing tanks" aswell as "another bird down". If you could also take a minute and respond to this e-mail that would be greatly appreciated. This isnt meant to be an agressive letter to TC but an inquiry from a concerned canadian citizen and aspiring pilot.

end "QUOTE"


Comments please.


Thanks Don




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Kudos Gents


I think this is a great idea; the amount of traffic on this site could be a very useful tool to safety professionals and ultimately the industry as a whole.


JHSAT © is working on these exact issues, this is an active group which meets 4-8 times a yr it includes TC, Airframe and Power plant manufacturers, Operators, Military and the TSB.


The goal is to analyze past incidents/accidents in great detail using HFACTS and other tools to try and stem the climbing accident rate not only in Canada but globally. Unfortunately there are no new accidents just the same ones being repeated in different locations.


Education and programs such as SMS/FOQA are inexpensive and effective ways to deal with the prevention of these accidents. Self sealing tanks are a requirement for latest’s generation aircraft JAR-FAR 27/29 and should be standard on all aircraft; unfortunately this is not always the case.


It would be a bit like asking you to install ABS airbags on your 73 VW van? What is the cost and availability, how long will the A/C be AOG? How much revenue will be lost during this time? How many hours have to be flown to gain the lost revenue back? And how much more risk do we put the crew and passengers at by actively flying more, to regenerate these costs? Albeit when those item’s approach there TBO the new tanks should be made to meet current JARS-FARS approval standards which are self sealing.


These are the realities of Safety professionals today. Hazards & Threats equate to losses, a term which everyone understands especially the CFO/CEO or Owner. It is how the safety culture is perceived and has evolved within your organization and being able to illustrate the dollar value, the potential cost savings of installing these tanks. ROI (Return on Investment) is good for the owner as the safety advantage will always have the higher moral ground especially when facing an accident outcome that could have prevented fatalities.


It may make more sense to try and incorporate education, SMS & FOQA to try and prevent the accident from occurring, not to say that I strongly agree the post crash survivability is paramount in all flight operations and self sealing tanks are a great start.


My hat is off to that young aviator for voicing his concern! This is a team sport it needs participation from all who play the game including everyone on this forum!


Just my humble thoughts,




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