Helicopter Accident Rate Drops Dramatically

Statistics show 50-percent drop in accident rates.

Initiatives within the helicopter community to reduce accidents appear to have yielded positive results. The United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST), an organization made up of representatives from government agencies, industry groups, OEMs and flight schools, has published statistics that show a dramatic decrease in helicopter accident rates in the past 10 years.

The statistics show that there are less than half as many accidents involving helicopters today compared with baseline data averaged from 2001 through 2005, which was published by the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), USHST’s parent organization. During the first seven months of 2014, there were 3.94 helicopter accidents for every 100,000 flight hours compared with the baseline number of 7.97.

While the most dramatic drop in accident rates happened in 2006, these most recent statistics show a slight improvement over 2013 and a 12 percent decrease over 2012. The fatal accident rate for the first few months have, however, decreased dramatically over last year’s, showing an improvement of nearly 40 percent. If the fatal accident rate remains at the same level it has during these first few months it will be the lowest in the 14-year data collection period.

In addition to the safety measures established by IHST and UHSHT, the Helicopter Association International has spurred initiatives to decrease helicopter accidents, such as their most recent “Land and Live” safety campaign.

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