As of this month, USAIG (U.S. Aircraft Insurance Group, Booth No. 1730) has contributed more than $5.1 million toward Bell, American Eurocopter, MD Helicopters and AgustaWestland training programs through the company’s preferred policyholder program.
Operators who participate in the program receive up to $30,000 annually, or 5 percent of that company’s hull and liability premium in the form of USAIG “safety bucks.” The safety bucks can be redeemed at FlightSafety International or any of the manufacturers’ training programs.
“Everybody needs to raise the safety bar and it’s surprising that none of our competitors has offered to do the same,” said Mark Bryan, vice president and manager of the Seattle USAIG office.
Operators can qualify for safety bucks by completing a full year in the preferred policyholder program, satisfying all policyholder requirements and renewing their insurance with USAIG annually. Requirements include installing shoulder harnesses on all helicopter seats, ensuring that all maintenance technicians and pilots receive OEM training and ensuring that all flight-critical parts are assembled by the manufacturer.
In other news, USAIG chairman and CEO Michael Sweeney said the company “remains committed” to creating safety posters for the helicopter industry. Each year USAIG creates two new posters and mails them to HAI members. Topics have included pilot fatigue, recurrent training, risk management and security.
USAIG has created more than 350 posters in the past 30 years and distributed more than one million copies to industry members around the world.