Of a broad range of discussions developing as result of post incident investigation of a helicopter crash in New York Harbor, where lives of passengers were lost , it is emerging, that the safety harnesses worn by the casualties involved, have jettison problems delaying removal of the safety harness .
In a previous discussion at ACE NEWS, the topic was covered, and now, the matter is officially recognized as a possible contributing factor amongst several involved in the fatal accident, by federal investigators of the National Transportation Safety Board, and, the Federal Aviation Agency.
To be specific, a helicopter flight or sortie , is actually based upon a military operation and requires the same exact training and operational deployment. All flight crew members and passengers must have sufficient proficiency to be able to, survive, the render assistance to others, and finally, get life raft and gear into the water. I would suggest wearing of a helmet. Crashes are violent. I have been in a couple of motorcycling accidents, and that would be close to what a helicopter crash would be like. I hate helmets and wore them to satisfy a legal requirement. A decade ago, my most recent accident, the back of the helmet absorbed an impact that I never could have survived without the helmet. A very hard teacher. Helicopter crashes, undoubtedly are equally as violent and without mercy. For helicopter passengers, certain items comprise what is minimal equipment and most important are, helmet, a sharp fixed blade knife, gloves, and inflatable life preserver having CO2 deployment device for when hitting the water. From that point, additional equipment can be carried.
Air crew personnel, needs to be qualified periodically for water emergency by the US Coast Guard, itself. No skimming. No wink, or “buddy don’t worry”. Why? Because I am a firm believer that you train the way you fight, and fight the way you train. Hardcore training, pays dividends, when the training is harder than the actual experience. I would suggest that those who would seek to be passengers on helicopters be able to obtain similar or some type of basic survival training. The FAA must do something to mandate the training. Pain in the rear end? Perhaps. But consider that lives were lost, and the best way to honor those lives, would be to save future lives.