IHST Global Survey Highlights Safety Strengths and Weaknesses

IHST Global Survey Highlights Safety Strengths and Weaknesses

6-Feb-2017 Source: IHST

The International Helicopter Safety Team (www.IHST.org) has compiled data from its second annual survey of civil helicopter operators located in key regions around the world in order to gain a broader understanding of where safety initiatives are being implemented.

The IHST’s worldwide regional teams have analyzed more than 1,000 helicopter accidents and have concluded that the following four areas offer the best opportunities to prevent helicopter accidents:

  • The implementation of Safety Management Systems (SMS),
  • A structured program for initial and recurrent training,
  • The implementation of Health & Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS),
  • Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) programs,
  • Structured programs to fully comply with manufacturers’ recommended Maintenance practices.


The recent IHST survey looked at where these best practices were followed within specific segments of the helicopter industry and within regions around the world.  Overall, the key recommended safety practices have been implemented most comprehensively by operators in the sectors of Offshore/Oil, Helicopter Air Ambulance and Taxi/Charter services.  The lowest implementation occurs in the Personal/Private segment of the industry.  From the 2016 survey, here is the complete list of segments most following to least following the best practices:

1) Offshore/Oil                              7)   Commercial Aviation

2) Air Ambulance                          8)   Agricultural Application

3) Air Taxi/Charter                        9)   Air Tours

4) External Load                            10) Other

5) Law Enforcement                      11)  Personal/Private

6) Training

Within key regions of the world, application of the best safety practices is patchy.  Here is a breakdown highlighting greater usage and lesser usage of the key safety recommendations:


Greater Usage                                         Lesser Usage

United Kingdom     Training, Rec. Maintenance                  Flight Data Monitoring

France                     Training                                                 Rec. Maintenance, Flight Data Mon.

Italy                         HUMS                                                   Training, Rec. Maintenance

Misc. Europe           Safety Mgmt Systems                           Flight Data Monitoring, Training

United States           Rec. Maintenance                                  Safety Mgmt Systems, HUMS

Canada                    Flight Data Mon., Rec. Maintenance     HUMS, Safety Mgmt Systems

Mexico                    HUMS, Flight Data Monitoring            Safety Mgmt Systems

Australia                  Rec. Maintenance                                  Flight Data Monitoring, HUMS

New Zealand           Flight Data Monitoring                         Training, HUMS

The detailed report for the IHST safety initiative survey can be found on the “Repository” page on its web site: http://www.ihst.org/Default.aspx?tabid=3094&language=en-US

The IHST was formed in 2005 to lead a government and industry cooperative effort to promote helicopter safety and work to reduce accidents and fatalities.

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