Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 25 seconds.
After gathering accident information from countries around the world, the International Helicopter Safety Foundation (IHSF) is seeing reductions in accidents and progress for the industry’s objective of safer civil helicopter operations. Preliminary 2019 data from 39 countries show a year-over-year decrease in fatal and total accidents. In addition, the long-term trend remains positive.
For the 39 countries during calendar year 2019, total accidents decreased five percent from 249 to 236 compared to 2018, non-fatal accidents rose slightly from 192 to 194, and fatal accidents were cut 26 percent from 57 to 42.
The long-term trend also is positive. Comparing the most recent five-year period of 2015-2019 to the prior five years of 2013-2017, non-fatal accidents are down 12 percent and fatal accidents decreased by 10 percent. (See the chart below.)
The IHSF was formed in 2005 to lead a government and industry cooperative effort to promote helicopter safety and work to reduce accidents and fatalities. It engages in five worldwide safety initiatives:
- Gather and disseminate worldwide accident information.
- Distribute safety “tools” to the worldwide helicopter industry and facilitate the exchange of safety materials and methods between global regions.
- Engage with the global helicopter community via social media vehicles such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Advocate for the helicopter industry to pursue seven key safety practices:
- A structured program for initial and recurrent training
- The implementation of safety management systems (SMS)
- The implementation of flight data monitoring (FDM) programs
- Structured programs to fully comply with manufacturers’ recommended maintenance practices
- The implementation of manual or automated health & usage monitoring systems (HUMS)
- Installation of wire strike prevention systems
- Usage of night vision systems when warranted
- Produce a global survey measuring the implementation of safety practices.
(*) Reporting countries in Europe include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.