Safety & Training
IHST sees decrease in worldwide helicopter accidents
Feb. 3, 2014, Alexandria, Va. - The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) has gathered civil helicopter accident information from worldwide sources and is seeing a hopeful trend of improved safety.
By Carey Fredericks
The data collected by the IHST shows that from 1997 thru 2005, the average number of annual civil helicopter accidents worldwide was 570. In addition, this average was trending upward at an annual rate of 2.5 percent.
Since 2006, when the IHST cooperative effort was formed, the average number of annual civil helicopter accidents worldwide has been 515 and the average is trending downward at an annual rate of about 2 percent.
While there is no solid data on worldwide flying hour increases or decreases during the period since the IHST’s creation, the number of helicopters in the world is growing and the flying hours in many helicopter industries have been increasing. As a result, the IHST is fairly confident that the accident rate is declining by least as much as the accident count is declining. (down 2 percent)
Better access to safety methods and improved safety awareness are helping helicopter operators reduce the number of accidents and enhance safety programs, but more work needs to be done to eliminate preventable accidents.