Aim for Excellence: Lives Are in Your Hands
WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team has completed its comprehensive analysis of the root causes of fatal accidents and has developed 22 measurable safety enhancements aimed at reducing fatalities.

The 22 safety enhancements can be grouped into four categories:
  • Competency Six safety enhancements
  • IMC and Visibility Four safety enhancements (announced on Sept. 6)
  • Loss of Control Five safety enhancements (announced on Sept. 11)
  • Safety Management Seven safety enhancements (announced on Sept. 18)
Within the topic of Competency, the USHST will be working to implement these five safety enhancements (plus one more still in development). They encompass in flight and training actions.
  • Development of Airman Certification Series for Rotorcraft Action: Develop and publish the new Airman Certification System (ACS) Rotorcraft-Helicopter series to replace the current Practical Test Standards (PTS) for internal and external industry stakeholders for airman certification.
  • Simulations for Safe Decision Making Action: Increase the use of relevant simulation to rehearse at-risk scenarios to educate and to develop safe decision-making.
  • Competency-Based Training and Assessments Action: Provide guidance on improved initial helicopter pilot training to competency in the following areas: 1) aircraft performance and limitations; 2) in-flight power and energy management training, to include prevention and recovery, if required, from settling with insufficient power; 3) basic maneuvers not defined in current guidance but essential to positive aircraft control; 4) threat and error management; 5) mission planning; 6) aircraft systems; and 7) familiarity with the Pilot Operating Handbook.
  • Make & Model Transition Training Action: Improve make and model transition by ensuring familiarity and the understanding of new "model specific" equipment.
  • Safety Culture and Professionalism Action: Develop a definition of an effective safety culture that is more applicable and relatable to the day-to-day work of frontline helicopter professionals. Once developed, promote an understanding of this application-based definition to the helicopter Community.
The USHST will be announcing the remaining proposed safety enhancements still in development in the coming weeks.

Initial focus for all the safety enhancements will be in these four sectors of the industry: Personal/Private, Air Ambulance, Commercial, and Aerial Application.

From 2016 through 2019, the USHST 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. Initial figures for the first six months of 2016 show an actual rate of 0.58 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours.

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 and on the IHST Facebook page.

Posted on Monday, September 25, 2017 (Archive on Monday, January 01, 0001)
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