5-Feb-2020 Source: USHST
Total accidents and the number of fatal accidents for the U.S. civil helicopter industry remained flat during 2019, but the second half of the year reflected fewer accidents (69 vs. 53) and fewer fatal accidents (15 vs. 9) compared to the first six months. The annual numbers also remained below accident totals from five and six years ago.
Preliminary data shows 122 total U.S. helicopter accidents in 2019 compared to 121 accidents the year before. There also were 24 fatal accidents in 2019 compared to the same total in 2018. The total accident rate and fatal accident rate (accidents per 100,000 flight hours) for 2019 will be determined next month.
Total U.S. Accidents
2019 122 accidents, 24 fatal accidents, 51 fatalities 16% decrease in accidents
First half: 69 accidents, 15 fatal accidents, 27 fatalities compared to 2013
Second half: 53 accidents, 9 fatal accidents, 24 fatalities
2018 121 accidents, 24 fatal accidents, 55 fatalities
2017 123 accidents, 20 fatal accidents, 34 fatalities
2016: 108 accidents, 17 fatal accidents, 29 fatalities
2015: 121 accidents, 17 fatal accidents, 28 fatalities
2014: 138 accidents, 21 fatal accidents, 37 fatalities
2013: 146 accidents, 30 fatal accidents, 62 fatalities
Even though year-to-year data is static, long-term progress in accident reduction remains positive. Over the past two decades, the U.S. helicopter fatal accident rate has been cut in half, from 1.27 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours to 0.63. (based on a five-year rolling average)
Initiatives and Solutions
To reduce the number of fatal accidents even more, the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (www.USHST.org) has been working diligently on developing safety enhancements based on the accidents we have analyzed. Many of the initiatives are now advancing forward.
More information about the USHST, the International Helicopter Safety Foundation, its reports, safety tools, Reel Safety audio-visual presentations, and YouTube safety videos can be obtained at its web site at www.IHSF.aero and on the IHSF Facebook page.