WASHINGTON DC – Accident rates for the U.S. civil helicopter industry rose slightly along with summer temperatures during the first half of 2017. As spring turned into summer across the country, the total accident rate from January through June was 3.37 per 100,000 flight hours, compared to an accident rate in 2016 of 3.16.
This breaks a downward trend in helicopter accidents since 2013, but there is hope that a reduction will be achieved by the end of 2017 in order to maintain an improving safety record for the industry.
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U.S. Helicopter Accident Rate
From 2016 through 2019, the United States Helicopter Safety Team (www.ushst.org) is focusing major attention on reducing fatal accidents within the U.S. civil helicopter community. The industry-government partnership is targeting a reduction by 2019 to 0.61 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours. The fatal accident rate goal for 2017 is 0.69 or lower.
In addition, safety data for July, which is usually the worst month for accidents, is basically unchanged. Preliminary accident numbers are lower than the 10-year average for July, but slightly above the past two years. Using safety enhancement proposals that will be announced soon, the USHST and the industry will work to reduce accidents during the pivotal month of July.
More information about the USHST, the International Helicopter Safety Team, its reports, safety tools, Reel Safety audio-visual presentations and YouTube videos can be obtained at its web site at www.IHST.org and on the IHST Facebook page.