HAI President Speaks Before Congress on Hudson Collision

Matt Zuccaro, president of the Helicopter Association International, told Congress on Sept. 16 that no one recommendation was a "silver bullet" in solving issues arising from the collision last month of a tour helicopter and a fixed-wing Piper Lance. Zuccaro agreed that the FAA was acting prudently with its recommendations to standardize the floor of the New York Class B airspace above the Hudson corridor at 1,300 feet. He also concurred that it was a good idea to make mandatory the voluntary reporting practices that have kept operations safe for 26 years. And finally, the HAI head recommended consolidating Unicom frequencies used by helicopter tour operators, reducing frequency congestion and increasing the level of communication among pilots operating in the corridor. Zuccaro further stressed that training is the cornerstone to any effort to reduce accidents and increase safety. Zuccaro has almost 30 years' experience as a pilot and executive manager for flight operations in the New York area and has served on a number of study groups, including the recently convened FAA New York Airspace Task Force.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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