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After analyzing dozens of helicopter accidents that resulted in fatalities for pilots and passengers, the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team has determined that further development and wider usage of these four flight technologies will improve safety across the helicopter industry and save lives.
1. Develop autopilot equipment for light helicopters
Current light helicopters have flight characteristics that are challenging and demanding of pilot work load. The development and certification of a stability augmentation system (or autopilot device) for light helicopters will increase flight stability and mitigate loss of control issues.
The USHST believes that current equipment used in the aviation industry can be adapted for light helicopters and be an effective safety tool during low visibility, low ceiling and unintended IMC conditions.
2. Develop full authority idle protection devices
The use of full authority idle protection devices in helicopters would increase safety by reducing the risk of engine stoppage in a piston helicopter. The device would be capable of ensuring that the engine remains running at nominal RPM despite the pilot making a rapid throttle reduction. The USHST believes that current technologies can be adapted for the development of this device.