Civil Helicopter Operators Help Accident Prevention

Civil Helicopters

Civil helicopter operators voice their opinion on the best way to help reduce accidents

The International Helicopter Safety Foundation (IHSF) is collecting data with its sixth annual survey of civil helicopter operators. The purpose of the survey is to better understand where safety initiatives are being implemented and if they are actually effective at reducing accidents. One of the programs being studied is the Aviation Safety Management System (SMS) in the hopes that it could be one of the best ways to eliminate helicopter accidents. 

Last year IHSF analyzed more than 1000 helicopter accidents. This survey indicated that there are eight areas that offer the best opportunities to reduce civil helicopter accidents:

  1. Structured programs to fully comply with manufacturers’ recommended maintenance practices
  2. The implementation of Safety Management Systems (SMS)
  3. A structured program for initial and recurrent training
  4. The implementation of Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) Programs
  5. Installation of wire strike prevention systems
  6. The implementation of manual Health & Usage Monitoring Systems
  7. The implementation of automated Health & Usage Monitoring Systems
  8. Usage of Night Vision Systems when appropriate

The current 2019/20 survey is designed to see where these best practices are being followed in certain segments of the helicopter industry. Last year’s results indicated that the sectors that were using the recommended safety practices the most were helicopter air ambulance, offshore/oil, and law enforcement. With the lowest implementation rates in the personal/private, and TV/radio news gathering segments.

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