In a series of three tweets issued at 4:07 PM today, the Federal Aviation Administration announced a freezing of all “doors off” helicopter flights until operators “take immediate action to control/mitigate” the risks involved.
The move comes in response to a helicopter crash late Sunday night which killed all five passengers onboard besides the pilot. It was later determined that they had drowned, a result of being unable to break free from the heavy safety harnesses used in “doors off” helicopters which allow riders to “dangle their feet outside and share stomach-churning pictures of the skyline.”
News of the crash brought fallout for the industry as a whole, with an aviation lawyer, Gary Robb, telling the Times: “It’s not regulated and it should not be allowed…It’s like allowing someone to walk on the wings of an airplane, and in my judgment poses too much of a risk.” Apparently the FAA feels the same way.
No news on when the ban will lift, but in the meantime the FAA vows to “conduct a top to bottom review of its rules governing these flights.”
Here are the tweets in full: