Damage to PSTASS Assemblies

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Average: 4 (7 votes)
Alert ID: 
Description of Process: 

Routine inspection of PSTASS units

Description of Incident: 

Severe damage has been caused to PSTASS assemblies Due to incorrect handling both on & offshore.  Excessive & unacceptable damage has resulted in pstass (EBS) failure. 


A recent incident occurred where the non-availability of serviceable PSTASS EBS units offshore led to a passenger having to be removed from a return flight. The EBS units in question after investigation were found to have sustained impact damage that ultimately led to a release of compressed breathing air. 

The impact damage found is relevant to the PSTASS units being dropped, thrown down or knocked against a hard surface.


The photos below show the excessive damage seen on a daily basis.

photo 1  damage to pressure gauges caused by regular impact against hard surfaces photo 2 - Ractet knob showing signs of impact damage and heavy wear & tear. Label to assit safe operation scraped and torn. photo 3 - charging port cover dented and part broken off as a result of impact
photo 4 -head of PSTASS showing dents and gauges caused by heavy impact photo 5 - internal pin which has bent due to the force of impact photo 6 - internal connector showing wear caused by impact against hard surfaces  

In addition, heavy impact damage causing internal O-rings to unseat which have led to expulsion of air from the PSTASS cylinder.


Good Practice Guidance: 

Bulletin to be distributed to all heliports & customers/users of the MK50 lifejacket & PSTASS EBS. All passengers, ground and offshore handling personnel to be made aware that failure to handle potentially life-saving survival equipment with adequate care may cause the equipment to fail to function correctly.

Equipment damaged by handling or user misuse will be recorded and reported for discussion with the applicable customer and helicopter operator.

Proposed improvements to the MK50 lifejacket transportation bag – recommend the use of a padded bag with inner liners attached that can be placed between each lifejacket/PSTASS to provide additional protection during transportation. Survitec will support a revised holdall for review and proposed introduction as standard.

Prominent display of this alert at heliports & offshore installations.  passengers & handling staff to be made aware of the importance of treating survival equipment with due care & attention

Survitec heliport staff to monitor & report all incidents of misuse & associated damage

Causes and consequences of incident or accident: 
Handling, lifting or carrying
Contributing factor: