Helicopter Accidents Prove Slow To Decline

AINsafety » December 10, 2012
The International Helicopter Safety Team is still striving to meet its 2006 goal of cutting helicopter accidents worldwide by 2016. (Photo: IHST)
December 10, 2012, 2:36 PM

The 2006 goal of the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) was bold: reduce helicopter accidents by 80 percent by 2016. Unfortunately, rotorcraft accident numbers have not dropped as precipitously as those of commercial transport aircraft.

“We are not finding new ways to kill people in helicopters,” an IHST representative told AIN. “We are making the same mistakes over and over again.”

The video of a helicopter striking a ground cable at New Zealand’s Auckland viaduct basin one year ago provides a stark reminder of how even the most simple of situations can quickly turn ugly. The pilot was helping to erect Auckland’s annual Telecom Christmas tree of lights when a ground worker pulled a nearby steel cable taut. It swung back in the opposite direction, catching the helicopter’s rotors just 15 feet above, bringing the machine down almost instantly. Video producer and photographer Murray Job happened to be on site recording the work and captured the accident in detail.

Miraculously, neither the pilot nor anyone on the ground was injured. The ground worker who yanked the cable later told Job that he thought he was helping keep the cable clear of the machine.

 

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Dave F Ryan
on December 11, 2012 - 1:19am

Having read the articles relating to Heilo accidents. i wonder if the pilots involved have both rotary and fixed wing licences and while flying rotary, fall back into the Driver of the mobil phone user, in that the phone call becomes dominant more than driving. In the Rotary example, a fixed wing pilot regresses to flying more than what craft is being flown and when eyes see a situation developing, brain reverts to a fixed wing recovery techniques under the flight and fright experience? I wonder if a profile of mental attitudes towards flying rotary winged craft has been conducted in relation to those pilots who have not had incidents and those pilots who have. (In this country, it is easy to convert fixed wing private to rotary commercial).

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walter hinkel
on December 21, 2012 - 3:12pm

Im 87 yrs old and thinking of building one to stay busy. Years ago I owned a bell 46 G2A . If there is anyone that had a similar experince I would enjoy hearing from you. Thank you. walter hinkel

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walter hinkel
on December 21, 2012 - 3:12pm

Im 87 yrs old and thinking of building one to stay busy. Years ago I owned a bell 46 G2A . If there is anyone that had a similar experince I would enjoy hearing from you. Thank you. walter hinkel

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