The number of U.S. helicopter accidents dropped 17 percent during the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year, according to data from the United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST). From January through the end of June this year, there were 62 civil helicopter accidents compared with 75 during the same period last year. During the first six months of this year, nine helicopter accidents resulted in 15 fatalities, compared with 18 fatal accidents that resulted in 41 fatalities during last year’s first half.
The USHST is calling for renewed emphasis on operational safety during the “deadly” month of July as well as for the rest of the summer months. The number of fatal accidents in July nearly always surpasses the average number of fatal accidents during the other 11 months of the year.
July, August and September continue to be a peak time for helicopter operations, and that usually raises the accident toll, but the early part of 2014 is showing a downward trend, creating optimism about improved safety in the helicopter community.