CHICAGO - The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), a worldwide organization leading a multi-year effort to reduce the civil helicopter accident rate, has added two new members to its Executive Committee – Bill Chiles, president and chief executive officer of Bristow Group, and Capt. John Steel of the Irish Aviation Authority.
Chiles heads Bristow Group Inc. (NYSE: BRS), the leading provider of helicopter services to the offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated, and one of two helicopter service providers to the offshore energy industry with global operations. The Company has major operations in the North Sea, Nigeria, and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, as well as most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world; including Alaska, Australia, Brazil, Russia, and Trinidad. In addition, the company provides search and rescue services and offers pilot training through Bristow Academy.
Capt. Steel serves as the Manager General Aviation Standards for the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). Prior to joining the IAA, he was a helicopter pilot and an instructor in the U.K. Royal Navy and operated in the anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue and amphibious assault roles. On leaving the Navy, he was involved in a variety of helicopter operations such as offshore operations in the North Sea, police air support, helicopter emergency medical service, lighthouse support, marine piloting, and has included training and testing in all these areas. His civilian career also has included positions such as chief pilot, head of training and quality manager.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) was formed to lead a government and industry cooperative effort to address factors that were affecting an unacceptable helicopter accident rate.
The group’s mission is to reduce the international civil helicopter accident rate by 80 percent by 2016.
This effort is co-chaired by a government member (the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration) and by an industry member. Major industry participants include AgustaWestland, the American Helicopter Society International, Bell Helicopter, Bristow Group, CHC helicopter, Eurocopter, the Flight Safety Foundation, the Helicopter Association of Canada, the Helicopter Association International, Shell Aircraft, and Sikorsky Helicopter.
IHST members also establish international partnerships in countries with significant helicopter operations and work to encourage the overseas industries to carry out accident analysis and develop safety interventions. Worldwide partners now supporting the work of the IHST include government and industry participants from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Australia, India, Russia, and multiple countries in Europe and in the Middle East/North Africa region.
More information about the IHST, its reports, its safety tools, and presentations from its 2011 safety symposium can be obtained at its web site: (www.IHST.org).