News: IHST Data Shows Global Civil Helicopter Accident Rates Fell in 2017
Civil helicopter accident rates worldwide were generally down in 2017, according to preliminary data released by the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST). The data, released on 6th March, showed that in most of the 49 countries providing data for the survey both fatal and non-fatal accident rates were 6 percent lower last year than in 2016, with the fatal accident rate being 17 percent lower. Comparing 2017 and 2013, total accidents decreased by 32 percent and fatal accidents by 44 percent. There were 239 accidents in the countries surveyed last year, of which 41 involved fatalities.
This year, IHST, which is a joint government/industry partnership formed to improve civil helicopter safety through worldwide regional teams, intends to focus on the following objectives:
- • Reducing risk and improving safety through distribution of educational materials.
- • Analysing accident causes and developing data-driven safety actions.
- • Encouraging aircraft manufacturers, operators, pilots and mechanics to adopt safety practices and equipment that will reduce the number of accidents.
Meanwhile, the recent trend of improved accident rates in the U.S. civil helicopter sector levelled off during 2017, according to the latest data released by the United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST). Preliminary data released in late February showed the 2017 accident rate to be 3.55 per 100,000 hours. This was slightly up on the 3.45 rate in 2016, but still significantly better than the 4.95 recorded in 2013, followed by 4.26 in 2014 and 3.67 in 2015.
According to USHST, which is part of the IHST structure, the slight uptick in the U.S. accident rate last year was based largely on unusually high numbers of accidents in February (18) and July (23).