Where in the U.S. do helicopter accidents occur?

Usually, helicopter accidents occur in states where more helicopters are flying year round and where helicopters operate most often for industry purposes.

During the nine-year period from 2007 to 2016, a large percentage of helicopter operations took place west of the Rocky Mountains, and that is reflected in the accident totals. USHST Image

Helicopter accidents — 2007 to 2016

  1. California: 177
  2. Texas: 164
  3. Florida: 104
  4. Arizona: 87
  5. Washington: 57
  6. Alaska: 54
  7. Oregon: 46
  8. Utah: 40
  9. Colorado: 34
  10. Nevada: 32
  11. Pennsylvania: 32
  12. Hawaii: 31
  13. Minnesota: 31
  14. Louisiana: 30

Within nine states in the western U.S. (California, Arizona, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and Hawaii), there were 558 accidents in the nine-year period, accounting for 38.3 percent of all helicopter accidents.


Three states on the Gulf of Mexico (Texas, Florida, and Louisiana) totaled 298 accidents – 20.5 percent of all accidents in the country.

Two states in the north were on the list (Pennsylvania and Minnesota), totaling 63 accidents – 4.3 percent of the U.S. total.

In the remaining 36 states plus D.C. and Puerto Rico, there were 538 accidents – 36.9 percent of the total.

During 2017, the three states at the top of the list remain the same, but there are some differences:

  1. California: 21
  2. Texas: 12
  3. Florida: 9
  4. Indiana: 7
  5. Louisiana: 6
  6. Nevada: 5
  7. Illinois: 5
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  • This data is only good for knowing where to deploy accident investigator resources. It is useless for safety action without the numbers referred to at the beginning. It is not surprising that there are low numbers of accidents in areas where there are low numbers of helicopter operations.
    This is a common flaw with released data. Even accidents per flight hours is often flawed in the helicopter world. Short flights in high risk operations, I believe, would show good numbers if correlated correctly.
    Safety action data needs risk factor adjustments. All you can conclude without that, is, “nobody flies, nobody gets hurt.”

  • Good start. Next questions: How many helicopter flights by state ? How many flight hours by state ? Nature of flight: law,ems,fire,sar.uti,vip,tour ?