HAI Chief Operating Officer Edward F. DiCampli met with the the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team Executive Committee and more than 50 other team members in Denver July 10-11. The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team has an impressive cross-section of industry professionals from the government, helicopter operators, educators, manufacturers, and associations dedicated to improving safety.
The highlight of the meeting was a review of results from a new Joint Helicopter Implementation Measurement Analysis Team examination of 104 fatal accidents from 2009 to 2013, which identified the most likely cause for each accident and the aircraft’s primary industry mission segment.
The top three categories were loss of control, at 18 percent; unintended flight in instrument meteorological conditions, at 17 percent; and low-altitude flying, at 16 percent. These categories account for half the fatal accidents and the USHST formed new working groups to focus in these areas.
The U.S. team set a goal of cutting the U.S. fatal accident rate by 20 percent by 2020. The five-year baseline rate is 0.76 accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2015. One year into this five-year program, the rate is significantly below the trend line, although there is not enough data to show whether this is a true trend or anomaly. The members plan to continue the work until the zero-accident goal is achieved.
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