The transport safety bureau has urged helicopter owners to take action in the wake of a fiery crash that killed two celebrated film-makers at Jaspers Brush last month.
Andrew Wight, 52, and 60-year-old Mike deGruy died when the Robinson R-44 chopper they were riding in hit the ground and burst into flames at an airstrip on February 4.
The fire was so intense witnesses said helpers struggled to even approach the wreckage.
In an update published this morning, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is investigating the crash, urged R-44 owners to ‘‘actively consider’’ replacing the chopper’s fuel tanks to lower the risk of fire.
‘‘[The ATSB has] issued a Safety Advisory Notice suggesting that operators and owners of R44 helicopters fitted with all-aluminium fuel tanks actively consider replacing those tanks with bladder-type fuel tanks,’’ the bureau said.
Last month, US law firm Slack & Davis said Robinson knew of a fault that included the all-aluminium fuel tanks and increased the risk of fire in the event of a crash.
In December 2010 the manufacturer introduced design modifications for new R-44s and a $6400 kit for retrofitting to existing R-44s via a "service bulletin".
It is not known publicly at this stage whether the R-44 in which Mr Wight and Mr DeGruy were killed had been retrofitted with the modifications.
The ATSB investigation remains in its early stages, and could take up to 12 months to finalise.