21-Mar-2014 Source: IHST
Fourteen years of accident data reveal that total U.S. civil helicopter accidents have decreased about 25 percent since the International Helicopter Safety Team (www.IHST,org) was established in 2006. From 2000 to 2005, an average of 186 to 190 helicopter accidents occurred each year in the United States. That annual average decreased to 170 during 2006-2007, to 156 during 2008-2009, and to about 139 to 140 annual accidents during 2010 to 2013.
However, in 2012 and 2013, the total number of U.S. accidents crept up to 148 and 147, both above the 134 and 129 marks reached in 2010 and 2011. Accident data during 2014 will be closely watched to see if the total will return to the 130’s level or continue to trend upward in the 140’s level. The following chart shows the past 14 years of U.S. accidents plus 3-year rolling averages.
Nearly half of all U.S. civil helicopter accidents involve personal flying, instructional operations, or agricultural aerial applications. Industries with the least amount of accidents include logging, external load operations, utilities work, and TV news and traffic reporting.
More information about the IHST, its reports, safety tools, and presentations from its 2014 safety symposium can be obtained at its web site at www.IHST.org and on the IHST Facebook page.