BECOME A MEMBER DONATE TODAY

NTSB: Recent crashes involving tour aircraft underscore need for FAA to tighten safety regulations

When tourists climb onto a sightseeing plane to fly over Alaskan glaciers, or hop on a helicopter to tour the Grand Canyon, they have no reason to wonder whether the aircraft is held to different safety standards than the commercial plane they took to reach their vacation destination.

The National Transportation Safety Board says that perhaps they should.

Such tourist jaunts, some small airline commuter flights, virtually all helicopter travel and ?on-demand? flights, such as those taken by the rich and famous who have a plane at their beck and call, are governed by different ? and what some say are less stringent ? Federal Aviation Administration regulations than commercial aircraft.

READ MORE

After fatal accident, senators ask FAA to speed up aviation safety directives

In the wake of a fatal accident onboard a Southwest Airlines flight, four Democratic senators are demanding to know why it took the FAA two nearly two years to mandate additional inspections of a suspect engine part.

A fatigued engine blade on an April flight from Laguardia to Dallas led to an engine failure while the Boeing 737 cruised at 32,000 feet.

Pilots performed an emergency landing in Philadelphia, but a woman died when debris broke the window and she was partially sucked out. Other passengers managed to pull her back in, but the medical examiner said she died from blunt force trauma of the head, neck and torso.

ABCNews.go.com