HELICOPTER CRASHWORTHINESS PDF

Crashworthiness is one of the many considerations when inspectors certify a helicopter for flight. This has important implications for passengers if a crash later occurs. Crashworthiness refers to the ability of passengers to survive a crash in a specific aircraft. Commercial helicopters and any other helicopters used to transport passengers are required by the Federal Aviation Administration FAA to maintain a high level of crashworthiness.

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Crashworthiness is one of the many considerations when inspectors certify a helicopter for flight. This has important implications for passengers if a crash later occurs. Crashworthiness refers to the ability of passengers to survive a crash in a specific aircraft.

Commercial helicopters and any other helicopters used to transport passengers are required by the Federal Aviation Administration FAA to maintain a high level of crashworthiness. What defines crashworthiness? Crashworthiness determinations are based on a variety of factors. To be certified as crashworthy, the helicopter must have a structure that will withstand heavy forces.

This requirement exists to ensure that passengers onboard the aircraft have sufficient space during a crash and are not be crushed within the wreckage. Helicopters must also have a passenger restraint system that adequately protects passengers, much like a seatbelt system in cars.

The crash load distribution is perhaps the most complicated aspect of crashworthiness determinations. It looks at the forces experienced by humans during a crash and makes sure it is within the survivable range. Key Element of Helicopter Crashworthiness One of the key elements that enhances helicopter crashworthiness is the rubber bladder within the fuel tank of most modern helicopter.

This bladder is key to preventing fires during and after a crash. Before the invention of the bladder in the s, most fatalities in helicopter accidents were from fires after the fact.

By preventing the leakage of fuel during and after an accident, this bladder greatly reduces the rate of fatalities in helicopter accidents and contributes to its overall crashworthiness. Crashworthiness Investigations Crashworthiness is one of the key areas of investigation in the aftermath of a helicopter crash. Investigators examine the fuselage deformation, the ground scars, seating, restraints, and victim injuries to determine if the aircraft met its crashworthiness standards.

This allows the investigating agency to send adequate reports to the rightly involved organizations. The damage to the fuselage and the damage to the ground, also known as ground scars, help investigators determine the speed at which the helicopter struck the ground. This is then used to determine the force that the victims experience during a crash. Injuries Resulting From Differences in Crashworthiness If the investigation finds that the seating and restraints properly hold, the injuries are likely to be less serious as long as the forces were within acceptable levels.

However, if any one factor failed, the injuries sustained will likely range from serious to fatal as the aircraft lacked crashworthiness. Victims in crashes where parts fail, however, often sustain spinal cord trauma , brain injury , and extensive internal injuries. In some of these cases, these injuries are fatal. This can include factors like age, sex, weight, and general physical health. You can also reach me toll-free at I have been practicing personal injury and wrongful death law for 34 years.

During this time, I have always sought to identify all of the responsible parties. You can see my history of these:.

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Helicopter Crashworthiness Considerations

You can help by adding to it. August Aviation[ edit ] The history of human tolerance to deceleration can likely trace its beginning in the studies by John Stapp to investigate the limits of human tolerance in the s and s. In the s and s, the Pakistan Army began serious accident analysis into crashworthiness as a result of fixed-wing and rotary-wing accidents. Pilots were receiving spinal injuries in otherwise survivable crashes due to decelerative forces on the spine and fires. Work began to develop energy absorbing seats to reduce the chance of spinal injuries [1] during training and combat in Vietnam. Heavy research was conducted into human tolerance, energy attenuation and structural designs that would protect the occupants of military helicopters.

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