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IHST Sees 2014 as a Pivotal Year for Helicopter Safety  
IHST Sees 2014 as a Pivotal Year for Helicopter Safety

IHST Sees 2014 as a Pivotal Year for Helicopter Safety;
U.S. Data Shows Decrease in Accidents, But Also a Recent Upward Spike


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.

Year  Total Accidents    3-Yr. Rolling Avg.
2000 194 ----- -----
2001 175 ----- -----
2002 190 2000-02  186
2003 205 2000-03  190
2004 170 2000-04 188
2005    185 2000-05  187
(International Helicopter Safety Team is established.)
       
2006 154  2004-06            170 (decrease of 10%)
2007 171         2005-07    170      
2008 143 2006-08  156   (decrease of 8%)
2009 152    2007-09    155
2010 134       2008-10    143   (decrease of 10%)
2011 129      2009-11  138
2012 148    2010-12         137
2013 147   2011-13   141
(During past 10 years, total accidents have decreased about 25%.)

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.

Percentage Share of U.S. Helicopter Accidents by Industry/Mission Type

Personal/Private

  18.5 percent

Instructional/Training 

  17.6 percent
Aerial Application   10.3 percent
Emergency Medical Services   7.6 percent
Commercial   7.5 percent
Law Enforcement   6.5 percent
Air Tour/Sightseeing   5.9 percent
Business   4.8 percent
Aerial Observation   4.2 percent
Offshore   4.2 percent
Firefighting   3.6 percent
Logging   2.7 percent
External Load   2.7 percent
Utilities Patrol/Construction   2.1 percent
Electronic News Gathering   1.7 percent

 

 


Posted on Friday, March 21, 2014 (Archive on Monday, January 01, 0001)
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