The U.S. helicopter safety team (USHST) last week said the current accident rate of 3.94 accidents per 100,000 flight hours, measured over the first seven months of this year, represents a 51-percent decline compared with the 2001-2005 baseline determined by the International Helicopter Safety Team, the group’s parent organization. These numbers represent a 22-percent reduction compared with the 5.06 rate posted for 2009 alone and a 12-percent reduction from the 4.46 rate posted for 2012.
This year’s accident picture is looking worse than last year’s. The number of fatalities from business jet accidents worldwide in just the first half of this year exceeds the number for all of last year, according to statistics gathered by AIN. In the first six months of this year, 29 people died in seven fatal crashes involving U.S.- and non-U.S.-registered business jets, compared with 23 people killed in eight fatal mishaps in all of last year.
The number of fatalities from business jet accidents worldwide in this year’s first half has already exceeded the total number for all of last year, according to statistics gathered by AIN. In the first six months of this year, 29 people died in seven crashes of U.S.- and non-U.S.-registered business jets compared with 23 people killed in eight mishaps in all of 2013.
U.S.-registered turbine business airplanes were involved in fewer total accidents in the first half of this year, but corporate jets recorded more fatalities over the first half of this year than in the same period last year. According to preliminary data tabulated by AIN, there were 21 total accidents involving business turboprops and jets in the first six months, compared with 27 in the same period last year.
The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team warned rotorcraft pilots to be extra cautious while flying next month because July typically sees more fatal accidents than any other month of the year, usually three or four accidents, representing approximately 13 percent of the annual total. The industry normally records approximately 20 fatal accidents during the rest of the year. The helicopter safety team believes the reasons for these July accidents vary, although the following three primary causes appear to stand out: collisions with wires or trees, mechanical problems and poor weather.
As part of its ongoing mission to reduce accidents, the United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) analyzed, by state, data from U.S. civil helicopter accidents that occurred between 2008 and 2013.
The total combined number of accidents, incidents and fatalities declined for the worldwide U.S. and non-U.S. turbine business-aircraft fleet in the first three months of this year versus the same period last year, according to data compiled by AIN. However, some individual segments were inconsistent with the overall results.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has described the results of its 2013 annual safety report as “very positive for global aviation safety outcomes.” The report, released on April 10, showed the 2013 global accident rate to have declined to 2.8 per million departures last year versus 3.2 per million in 2012. The number of fatal accidents among scheduled air carriers, however, remained steady at nine last year. Fatalities plummeted 55 percent from 2012, to 173 from 388. Compared with a 2010 baseline, fatalities are down 74 percent.
Accidents in the first quarter involving U.S.-registered turbine business airplanes resulted in 15 fatalities, compared with 22 in the same period last year, even though the corporate jet segment did not reduce its number of fatal and nonfatal accidents. According to data assembled by AIN, five people were killed in two crashes involving N-numbered business jets in the first quarter versus seven in two accidents in the year-ago period–all under Part 91 operations.
Troubled by an increase in the number of helicopter accidents in the last several years, the FAA has launched the Rotorcraft Safety Initiative (RSI), an effort to curb helicopter fatal accidents.
From Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013, the U.S. helicopter industry experienced 38 fatal helicopter crashes, a 100-percent increase over the same period in 2011-2012. These accidents resulted in 76 fatalities, 95 percent more than the same period the year before and the highest number of fatal accidents since 1994.
- Page 1