Re-post following the Kobe Bryant tragedy.

(click to enlarge)

In 2018 we called on the FAA to step up and regulate helicopters after delaying for two years to study the issue.

Safety features are avoided by loopholes in regulations, including structural elements, impact-resistant seating, and systems to prevent fuel from igniting on impact.

Bryant’s helicopter was a Sikorsky 76B variant, which was first introduced in 1987 with grandfathered in regulations. estimated that 50 lives per year could be saved with the adoption of these changes.

A Note by FlyersRights’ President:


FlyersRights is saddened by the death of basketball great Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash in California.

We call on President Trump, who has lost people close to him in a helicopter crash and FAA Administrator Dickson to finally close the ridiculous loophole that allows continued evasion of 25 year-old FAA helicopter crash-worthy standards, and to ground all helicopters without them.

Commercial aircraft are generally required to have ground avoidance warning systems, but not private aircraft and helicopters.

As a result, crashes into hillsides in bad weather (controlled flight into terrain or CFIT in FAA jargon) are exceedingly rare for commercial airliners but common causes of fatal crashes for other aircraft.

Paul Hudson
Member, FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (1993-present)

There have been several prolific incidents involving the Sikorsky S-76 , most recently a 2017 crash in Turkey.

Turkey Helicopter Crash Sikorsky S-76
Investigation team is seen at the crash scene after an helicopter crashes in Istanbul’s Buyukcekmece, Turkey on March 10, 2017. 
Metin Pala/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images