...Rotorheads Hit Hardest...

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Possibly the biggest impact will be on helicopter stats. The NPRM removes an exclusion for ground damage to rotors and tail rotors, and now requires that all such incidents be reported as "accidents." Helicopter Association International (HAI) President Roy Resavage is urging members to forward comments to both HAI and the NTSB by March 7. The NTSB apparently doesn't accept comments electronically, so they must be mailed to: Mr. Deepak Joshi, Lead Aerospace Engineer (Structures), National Transportation Safety Board, 490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Washington, D.C., 20594. The NPRM will also affect fixed-wing operators through the inclusion, as reportable "incidents," of in-flight propeller failures, turbine failures that result in debris escaping from anywhere besides the exhaust path, the loss of information from a majority of an aircraft's electronic primary displays, and any airborne-collision-and-avoidance system (ACAS) alarms that occur during IFR operations. The NTSB says both propeller and turbine failures can cause serious problems and that it needs to know about them to help prevent accidents. As for the PFD/MFD (primary flight display/multifunction display) section, it's mostly a case of the regs catching up to the technology. Finally, the NPRM says that ACAS alerts are being added so the NTSB is quickly notified and can assemble the necessary radar and anecdotal data to determine where the air traffic control system broke down.