Crash-Resistant Fuel System Effectiveness in Civil Helicopter Crashes

Crash-resistant fuel systems (CRFS) have proven close to 100% effective in preventing burn fatalities in survivable crashes of military helicopters, but this technology has not been adopted by the civil helicopter arena. This article reports on a study undertaken to determine whether crashes of civil helicopters with CRFS are less likely to result in post-crash fire than crashes of those with the CRFS. The authors analyzed crashes of civil helicopters during 1982-2004, comparing Bell 206 helicopters manufactured with CRFS with Aerospatial 350 helicopters manufactured during the same period (post-1981) but lacking CRFS. The Bell 206 helicopters with CRFS were also compared with earlier models without CRFS. Results showed the highest proportion of crashes with post-crash fires (11.3%) was in AS-350s manufactured after 1981 (non-CRFS) and the lowest (3.7%) was in Bell 206s (with CRFS). The authors conclude that CRFS should be used more widely in civil helicopters to prevent some thermal fatalities and serious injuries.

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  • Authors:
    • Hayden, Mark S
    • Shanahan, Dennis F
    • Chen, Li-Hui
    • Baker, Susan P
  • Publication Date: 2005-8


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01010592
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 18 2005 6:47AM