The European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST) releases preliminary analysis results
The European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST) has released today its preliminary analysis report on helicopter accidents occurred in EASA Member States between 2000 and 2005. Analysis is the first step towards reducing the helicopter accident rate by 80% by 2016, an objective stated by the International Helicopter Safety Team. To reach this objective, EHSAT, the European Helicopter Safety Analysis Team, was formed with the purpose of identifying safety issues and intervention recommendations. The report presents the results of 186 accidents where a final investigation report has been issued by the responsible Accident Investigation Board.
Of the accidents analysed so far, 72 involve General Aviation operations, 66 Aerial Work, 40 Commercial Air Transport, and 8 State Flights.
68% of the fatal accidents and 34% of all accidents analysed by EHSAT occurred during the en route phase of flight. In 33% of the accidents, the pilot had less than 1,000 hours total helicopter experience. In 26% of the accidents, the pilot had less than 100 hours flight experience on the helicopter type involved in the accident. However, accidents also occurred to very experienced pilots.
The accident analysis aims at identifying all factors, causal or contributory, that played a role in the accidents. The top three identified areas are Pilot judgment and actions, Safety Management and Safety Culture, and Pilot situation awareness. Different patterns were observed for Commercial Air Transport, Aerial Work and General Aviation.
To tackle the variety of languages used in accident reports and optimise the use of resources, EHSAT has established nine regional analysis teams across Europe. Regional analyses are consolidated at European level. This initiative is unique in its efforts to conduct a European wide analysis of helicopter accidents.
EHSAT derived suggestions for safety enhancement, called intervention recommendations, from the analyses. Most of these address training and instruction, flight operations, Safety Management and Safety Culture, as well as regulations and standards. The EHSAT intervention recommendations are currently being processed by the European Helicopter Safety Implementation Team (EHSIT) launched on 5 February 2009.
EHEST is actively seeking new participants and all who are interested in taking part in this safety-enhancing work are encouraged to contact the EHEST secretariat.
Note to editors:
The preliminary results published in this report were originally presented in the EHEST 2008 Conference at Cascais, Portugal, on 13 October 2008, and in the 2nd EASA Rotorcraft Symposium, Cologne, Germany, on 4 December 2008.
EHEST was created in 2006 as one of the three components of the European Strategic Safety Initiative (ESSI). It brings together major helicopter airframe, engine and systems manufacturers, operators, regulators, helicopter and pilots associations, research organisations, accident investigators from across Europe and some military helicopter operators. More than 50 organisations participate in EHEST to date, of which around 30 are involved in the EHSAT.
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