FAA Issues Hydraulic Safety Alert
The FAA has issued a Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) regarding the functional testing of helicopter hydraulic systems before flight. According to FAA accident investigators, some operators are not testing the helicopter hydraulic systems in accordance with the rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) or published and approved guidelines. Tests on helicopters that had been involved in an accident would have shown that the systems were malfunctioning or inoperative before flight.
The FAA recommends directors of operations and chief pilots ensure that all training requirements for testing of aircraft hydraulic systems are emphasized during initial and recurrent training. All pilots of aircraft equipped with a hydraulic system should test the function of the hydraulic system in accordance with the RFM and published and approved guidance as part of an accepted aircraft checklist.