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Letter to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand Regarding the March 2018 Liberty Helicopters Crash

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This letter provides an update on our actions in response to a March 19, 2018, letter from Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand regarding the March 11, 2018, fatal Liberty Helicopters crash in New York City. In their letter, the Senators requested that we—in consultation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)—determine how the safety restraint system used during the tragic East River helicopter crash received its original approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Additionally, they requested that we determine the role FAA has played in ensuring helicopters in use today meet modern safety standards. Since receiving the Senators’ letter, we have contacted NTSB about its investigation, reviewed the status of prior recommendations we have made on helicopter safety, and developed plans for reviewing additional helicopter-related issues. Specifically, we plan to follow up on our prior helicopter safety work with a review focused on FAA’s oversight of the helicopter air-tour industry.