Schumer urges FAA to require data recorders in helicopters

The Senate's top Democrat called on the Federal Aviation Administration Sunday to heed warnings from federal safety investigators and require all helicopters be equipped with flight data recorders, commonly known as a "black box."

News 12 Staff

Jun 16, 2019, 6:56 PM

Updated 1,809 days ago

Share:

Schumer urges FAA to require data recorders in helicopters
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate's top Democrat called on the Federal Aviation Administration Sunday to heed warnings from federal safety investigators and require all helicopters be equipped with flight data recorders, commonly known as a "black box."
Sen. Charles Schumer's call for action comes days after a helicopter crashed on the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper , killing the pilot. The helicopter was not equipped with a flight data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder, according to federal investigators.
The National Transportation Safety Board has pushed the FAA to implement its data recorder safety recommendation for years. In documents reviewed by The Associated Press, the NTSB said the FAA has maintained it has been unable to justify the mandate because "the benefits of recorders are difficult to identify and quantify because the absence of a recorder will never cause an accident."
Large commercial planes and some private aircraft are required, under FAA regulations, to have two so-called "black boxes" that record information - a flight data recorder that monitors altitude and other instrumentation, and a cockpit voice recorder, which records radio transmissions and sounds in the cockpit. But there is no such requirement for helicopters.
"To know that the NTSB has been trying for years, without success, to compel the FAA to take action as it relates to making helicopters more valuable to safety by installing flight data recorders is cause for serious concern," Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement to the AP.
The FAA said in a statement it was supporting the NTSB's investigation into the New York crash and that it was "premature to consider any actions pending the outcome of the investigation."
The NTSB has been recommending data recorders on helicopters for several years and pushed the FAA to enact new regulations after a medical helicopter crashed in Missouri in 2011, killing four people. Safety investigators said the pilot had been texting and recommended the FAA require all newly manufactured nonexperimental helicopters be required to have both flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders.
The FAA has not enacted any such requirement.
 
"In the name of safety, the FAA must take another look at the NTSB's reports on chopper crashes similar to the one in New York City just last week and propel the safety measures that have been collecting dust for far too long," Schumer said.
In a notice to the FAA last year, the NTSB said 159 aircraft involved in crashes from 2005 to 2017 had no form of recording equipment. The NTSB, which is charged with investigating transportation crashes across the U.S., said it was more difficult to investigate with the lack of information.
Of those 159 crashes, the NTSB was not able to determine the probable cause for 18 of them, the agency said. It argues federal investigators would have more information to conduct critical safety probes if the data recorders were installed.
This week's crash was the second in Manhattan in a month and led renewed calls for restricting helicopter flights over the city.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat who represents the area where the crash occurred, said last week that the FAA must ban "non-essential" flights over Manhattan and pledged to hold the FAA "accountable" for the crash.
Officials have said the helicopter's pilot, 58-year-old Tim McCormack, was not authorized to fly in limited visibility, raising questions about why he took off in the first place in rain and dense fog.
(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 


More from News 12
1:47
Hicksville man accused of charging at Nassau County PD with car

Hicksville man accused of charging at Nassau County PD with car

1:42
Some showers, possible thunder overnight into Thursday

Some showers, possible thunder overnight into Thursday

1:37
EXCLUSIVE: Stew Leonard’s working to stop water falling on food from pipe condensation

EXCLUSIVE: Stew Leonard’s working to stop water falling on food from pipe condensation

0:18
Stony Brook University president to step down for job as next Yale president

Stony Brook University president to step down for job as next Yale president

2:16
Nassau police announce stepped up security in response to threat against Cricket World Cup

Nassau police announce stepped up security in response to threat against Cricket World Cup

1:48
Hempstead Animal Shelter sent 4 dogs to FL trainer with a history of animal violations

Hempstead Animal Shelter sent 4 dogs to FL trainer with a history of animal violations

1:02
Sewanhaka High School changes mascot to Ravens

Sewanhaka High School changes mascot to Ravens

0:18
Police: Wantagh man arrested in connection to fatal hit-and-run

Police: Wantagh man arrested in connection to fatal hit-and-run

0:16
2 men wanted for stealing $1,500 worth of wine from Medford store

2 men wanted for stealing $1,500 worth of wine from Medford store

0:36
Police: Man arrested for hitting woman in face, stealing phone and purse in North Lawrence

Police: Man arrested for hitting woman in face, stealing phone and purse in North Lawrence

1:32
Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Exclusive Deals – Up to 50% OFF!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas: Exclusive Deals – Up to 50% OFF!

Is your dad awesome? Long Island tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? Long Island tell us why your dad rocks!

1:39
What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's eggplant rollatini

What's Cooking: Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace's eggplant rollatini

2:37
Garden Guide: This classic flower is becoming very popular

Garden Guide: This classic flower is becoming very popular

0:27
Stop & Shop to close underperforming locations by 2028

Stop & Shop to close underperforming locations by 2028

0:23
Ex-NYPD officer sentenced to time served for menacing in connection to friend’s death

Ex-NYPD officer sentenced to time served for menacing in connection to friend’s death

0:17
Police: 19-year-old man killed, 1 other critically injured in Stony Brook crash

Police: 19-year-old man killed, 1 other critically injured in Stony Brook crash

2:15
Long Islanders search for cricket stars at practice in Hicksville ahead of World Cup

Long Islanders search for cricket stars at practice in Hicksville ahead of World Cup

2:23
West Babylon School District holds budget workshop after spending plan fails

West Babylon School District holds budget workshop after spending plan fails

2:27
Nassau County family awarded Purple Heart for their late Navy veteran relative

Nassau County family awarded Purple Heart for their late Navy veteran relative