U.S. Helicopter Safety Team Sets “20 by 2020” Target for Fatal Accidents

U.S. Helicopter Safety Team Sets “20 by 2020” Target for Fatal AccidentsThe United States Helicopter Safety Team (www.ushst.org) focuses major attention during the next four years on reducing fatal accidents within the U.S. civil helicopter community.

The industry-government partnership is targeting a goal of 0.61 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours, 20 percent less than the average since 2009. For a baseline comparison, the USHST is using a fatal accident rate of 0.76. This is the average fatal accident rate for the prior five years that have final and reliable data (2009-10 and 2012-14) derived from the FAA General Aviation Survey.

For 2016-2019, the USHST will measure fatal accident rate progress and focus on actions that will help keep the rate in a consistent downward trend. The team will use these “mile markers” as guides to measure progress:

  • 2016 0.73 or lower Fatal Accident Rate
  • 2017 0.69 or lower Fatal Accident Rate
  • 2018 0.65 or lower Fatal Accident Rate
  • 2019 0.61 or lower Fatal Accident Rate

During the past 15 years, the helicopter fatal accident rate is trending downward, but it has been below 0.61 only twice and has spiked up in 2008 and 2013.

As part of its ongoing effort to support a reduction in fatal accidents, the USHST will focus on the following actions:

  • Complete a thorough analysis of fatal accidents from 2009 to 2013 for the development of specific intervention recommendations
  • Enhance its outreach to all helicopter industry areas, with special emphasis on personal/private flying, aerial agricultural application, and emergency medical services
  • Concentrate its efforts in the safety areas of personal protection, aircraft equipage, pilot judgment, pilot decision-making and fostering a just culture

Since 2013, the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team has focused on the U.S. civil helicopter community and fatal accidents. Through 2015, total accidents have decreased for the second year in a row, and the helicopter accident rate has been cut by 52 percent compared to 10 years ago. In addition, fatal accidents are down 41 percent, and the fatal accident rate is down 60 percent compared to a decade ago.

More information about the USHST, the International Helicopter Safety Team, its reports, safety tools, and Reel Safety audio-visual presentations can be obtained at www.IHST.org and on the IHST Facebook page.