Latest Helicopter Accident Numbers Are a Mixed Bag
New data released by the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) shows that the total number of civil helicopter accidents in the U.S. has declined since 2009. During the three-year period from 2007 to 2009, there were 466 helicopter accidents in the country. For the past three years, from 2010 through 2012, there were 411 U.S. accidents. However, the data also shows that the number of helicopter accidents involving personal/private flying increased during the same time period. Within the 2007-09 span, 21 percent of total U.S. helicopter accidents occurred during personal/private flying. From 2010 to 2012, personal/private accidents made up 25 percent of the helicopter accident total. In addition, over the past six years, the number of accidents occurring during instruction/training flights has decreased, but they continue to be a key focus for safety improvements, according to IHST.