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Safety Investigation Authority Finland gives an accident risk warning concerning rocket parachutes on aircraft

Published 31.5.2017

On 31 May 2017, the Safety Investigation Authority Finland (SIA) submitted a notification according to the Safety Investigation Act to the Finnish Transport Safety Agency on an accident risk concerning rocket parachutes on aircraft. The accident risk was detected during an on-site investigation of an ultralight aircraft that crashed in Laajasalo, Helsinki, on 30 May 2017.

The on-site investigation carried out by SIA revealed that the rescue service, emergency medical services and the police still had no information about the built-in rocket parachutes of ultralight aircraft. If the device explodes, it puts the lives of everyone in the vicinity at risk.

The cartridge of the rocket parachute and the firing cable and handle in the cockpit of the ultralight aircraft that crashed in Laajasalo were damaged. There were appropriate warning signs of the rocket parachute on the body of the aircraft. Experts of the Helsinki Police Department exploded the cartridge under controlled conditions on 30 May after SIA’s on-site investigation.

In 2014, the Safety Investigation Authority Finland gave a security risk warning on the same matter after an air crash in Nummela.

Today there are rocket parachutes on nearly two hundred aircraft registered in Finland. Without required competence and knowledge, their handling for example in connection with accidents will put lives at risk.

Further information:
Veli-Pekka Nurmi, Executive Director, tel. +358 (0)295 150 701
Ismo Aaltonen, Chief Safety Investigator, tel. +358 (0)2951 50703

Twitter: @OTKES_SIAF