IHST Update – March 2015

International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) Update – March 2015

At the HAI Heli-Exp0 2015 in Orlando, Aerossurance attended the IHST Regional Partners Panel as one of the European representatives.  The session featured presentations from different national and regional teams supporting the IHST:


IHST Regional Partner Panel Introductory Slides


Rotary Wing Society of India: The RWSI presented the results of a highly successful 2014, with zero helicopter accidents in India, compared to 5 per annum in each of the previous 3 years.  The key initiative was Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGACAir Safety Circular 09 of 2013 that prohibited punitive action against pilots who made precautionary landings (see also this article).  This concept was echoed in HAI’s 2014 Live and Land initiative.

New Zealand

New Zealand Helicopter Industry: Safety Update: There are 512 commercial helicopters in New Zealand, mostly light singles.  The New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (NZCAA) do, rather uniquely, require operators not only to report flying hours annually but also hours broken down into about 20 usage categories, so they do have very good rate data.  According to the NZCAA, 47% of local operators have only 1 or 2 aircraft.  This creates challenge for effective SMS implementation and safety promotion.   The NZ CAA described their solution of analysing accidents and creating informative safety bulletins in conjunction with the New Zealand Helicopter Association.

South America

Safety Road Show: Airbus Helicopters‘ presentation highlighted that the accident rate in the region has been 2-4 times higher than in other areas (something sadly underscored by a mid air collision in Argentina a few days later).  AH described a 2 day road show approach that they have been supporting in the region, culminating in a workshop to identify actions.

Helicopter Safety Team – Brazil:  In Brazil 55% of helicopters belong to owners/operators with just one helicopter. In their review of accidents, safety management and regulatory issues were even more significant than in US and European studies.

North America

USHST Update: Among the interesting items of data is study on night accidents.  Pilots with less than 500 hours of night experience make were involved in 61% of night accidents and pilots with less than 100 hours 30% of all night accidents.  The presentation also discussed the  USHST’s Reel Safety audio visual safety initiative.

US General Aviation & Part 135 Activity SurveyFAA contractor Tetra Tech describe the process for gathering flying hours data in the US.

Canadian Update: The Helicopter Association of Canada noted that in their analysis, they noted a disproportionate number of piston-engine helicopter accidents.  The HAC has been busy developing best practice guides for various specialist operations.  Encouragingly they noted that in 2-14 they had no fatal helicopter accidents in Canada.


European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST):  Highlighted a number of engagement activities and a series of publications.

The EHEST web site, with access to all EHEST publications, can be found at: www.ehest.org

EHEST also has a LinkedIn Discussion Group.

EHEST is part of the European Strategic Safety Initiative (ESSI), an aviation safety partnership between the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), other regulators and the industry.

Aerossurance is a specialist aviation consultancy.  For expert advice on helicopter safety, accident analysis, operations, airworthiness and contracting matters, contact us at enquiries@aerossurance.com