Changes to the USFS aviation program following the fatal Iron Complex fire helicopter crash

Shortly before the National Transportation Safety Board held their December 7 meeting about the crash of the Carson helicopter on the Iron Complex fire in which 9 people died, the U. S. Forest Service sent a “briefing paper” to the NTSB that detailed the changes they made to their aviation program as a result of some of the findings of the investigation.

The changes include:

  • hiring 11 new Aviation Maintenance Inspectors, Helicopter Inspector Pilot, and airworthiness engineer;
  • the USFS has a 5-year strategy to achieve International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) certification;
  • changes to helicopter contracts in regard to seat belts and seats;
  • helicopter weighings will be witnessed by a USFS Maintenance Inspector;
  • passengers will not be transported on Type 1 (large) helicopters until a new “action plan” is completed and an acceptable level of risk is achieved; and
  • new requirements for inspecting contract helicopter pilots.

The “briefing paper” is below. Click on “Fullscreen” to see a larger version.

USFS Aviation Changes After Iron Fire Helicopter Crash

The NTSB’s “Operations Factual Report” is HERE. Their final report should be issued sometime in 2011.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.