Helo Accident Rate Drops
In 2005 the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) was formed with the ambitious goal of reducing helicopter accidents 80 percent by 2016. The group was modeled after the Commercial Aviation Safety Team, which is credited with a significant accident rate reduction among fixed-wing carriers. It now appears the IHST’s work may be having a measurable impact. Since 2005, the helicopter accident rate per 100,000 flight hours has been gradually declining, from an average of 9.4 between 2000 and 2005 to 6.2 in 2008. The organization expects further reductions this year toward its goal of 1.9 accidents per 100,000 hours by 2016. The IHST has developed online safety management, risk assessment and flight-monitoring toolkits aimed mainly at small to medium-size operators.