WASHINGTON (CN) – Certain hooks on helicopter hoists could fail during rescue operations, causing the rescued passenger to fall, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and a European safety agency. The FAA is requiring that helicopter operators switch out the unsafe hooks before performing up to 200 hoist lifts.
Rescue hoist operators had reported surface irregularities and discontinuities in hooks in D-Lok Hook Assemblies made by Lifesaving Systems Corporation that were made of cast material instead of forged material. This change in manufacturing was unapproved, according to European Aviation Safety Agency airworthiness information sent to the FAA. The FAA has noted that with the design change, the hooks are not approved for use in aircraft operating in the United States.
The part that must be changed out is from lot numbers 208 and 1108 of D-Lok Hooks assembly part number 410-A and 410-F. D-Loks are used on Goodrich and Breeze-Eastern rescue hoist assemblies, which, in turn, are used by Eurocopter and Sikorsky helicopters, among others.