FAA Grounds Helicopter Flights Like One That Crashed in NY

Breaking In Response to Recent Deaths FAA Halts “Doors-Off” Helicopter Flights Nationwide Alexander Breindel

The announcement comes in the wake of the NY helicopter crash in which five passengers died.

In the wake of this week's deadly helicopter accident involving passengers who were harnessed into their seats for an "doors off" photo flight over NY, the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday said it was placing new restrictions on aircraft operators.

Jack Harter Helicopters operates five helicopters, four of which are flown with the doors removed.

The crash was particularly tragic as all six people aboard the helicopter survived the impact, but as the New York Medical Examiner determined, the five passengers died of drowning after the helicopter turned over in the water and they could not release their restraints. "Our passenger restraints can be released quickly in an emergency". "Until then, the FAA will order no more "doors off" operations that involve restraints that can not be released quickly in an emergency". The agency is also conducting a "top to bottom review" of the rules governing the operations.

Doors-off photography flights have grown in popularity as the air-tour industry continually tries to come up with new ways to market itself. Only the pilot escaped.

FAA Grounds Helicopter Flights Like One That Crashed in NY
FAA Grounds Helicopter Flights Like One That Crashed in NY

The helicopter was owned by Liberty Helicopters.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, including whether an emergency fuel shut-off switch was accidentally triggered and whether the helicopter's flotation pods failed to fully inflate. "This includes using FAA-approved seatbelts with quick releases on our flights as well as conducting specific passenger safety training prior to each flight".

On Kauai, there are several different companies who offer tours.

Liberty Helicopters has referred all inquiries to federal officials.

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