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The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) is calling for more helicopter safety experts to join the organization’s efforts to reduce fatalities in the industry.
Teams of safety experts have been working on 16 active safety enhancements aimed at reducing fatal helicopter accidents. The focus of the safety enhancements include issues such as loss of control in-flight, unintended flight into instrument meteorological conditions, and low altitude operations. The USHST also is placing a special emphasis on four industry sectors: personal/private flying, air ambulance operations, commercial flights, and agricultural aerial application. A brief explanation of each active safety enhancement can be found here: http://www.ushst.org/Portals/0/H-SE%20Simple%20List.pdf.
The industry-wide efforts are producing some positive results. Looking at three-year time periods between 1985 and today, total accidents and fatal accidents are moving on a downward trend.
Support to strengthen the safety culture is coming from every corner of the helicopter industry. Safety experts from the following organizations are participating in USHST efforts: Air Methods, Bell, Boeing Company, Dallas Police Dept., Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the Federal Aviation Administration, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association Intl., the Helicopter Safety Alliance, L3 Technologies, Life Flight of Maine, Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky, the MITRE Corp., the National Transportation Safety Board, Prism Helicopters, and Robinson Helicopter Company.
The USHST works with its parent organization, the International Helicopter Safety Foundation, to promote safety and reduce helicopter accidents.
The USHST has also begun a search for an industry co-chair to succeed Raj Helweg, chief pilot of Air Methods, who is nearing completion of his second two-year term as co-chair. Helweg will remain with the USHST Steering Committee. The USHST government co-chair is Wayne Fry, FAA Flight Standards Division Manager for General Aviation Safety Assurance.
For information and criteria on how a helicopter safety expert can join the USHST effort, contact Chris Hill via email at [email protected]