The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team warned rotorcraft pilots to be extra cautious while flying next month because July typically sees more fatal accidents than any other month of the year, usually three or four accidents, representing approximately 13 percent of the annual total. The industry normally records approximately 20 fatal accidents during the rest of the year. The helicopter safety team believes the reasons for these July accidents vary, although the following three primary causes appear to stand out: collisions with wires or trees, mechanical problems and poor weather.
Aviation alphabet groups slammed USA Today’s “sensationalistic” story published yesterday about general aviation safety. The story, “Unfit for Flight,” “fails to acknowledge the significant progress general aviation manufacturers have made to improve safety,” noted GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “The reality is that the number of fatal accidents in general aviation aircraft has declined substantially in recent years. In fact, the goal of one fatal accident per 100,000 hours flown by 2018 now appears increasingly likely.”
The number of aviation accidents in Brazil in 2012 rose by 5.6 percent to 168 from the previous year’s 159, as reported by the country’s Center for Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautical Accidents (Cenipa). Last year’s figures–designated as preliminary at this point by the agency–represent the highest accident totals since record keeping began in 2000.
Total accident numbers have been rising over the past decade. In 2002, for example, there were 61 accidents.
Criminal prosecution in the wake of aviation accidents is on the rise, although not as much in the U.S. as in some other countries, at least for now.
General aviation as a whole was a stain on an otherwise excellent year for aviation safety in Europe, according to 2010 accident figures released by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The European helicopter safety team (Ehest) released the preliminary results of the first European-wide helicopter accident study on October 13, during a conference in Cascais, Portugal. The Ehest is now transitioning from analysis to the development of an action plan. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the helicopter accident rate by 80 percent by 2016, consistent with the goals of the international helicopter safety team (IHST).
Those who don’t learn from the mistakes of the past are destined to repeat them. That’s why the FAA today announced the establishment of a new online safety library that teaches lessons learned from “some of the world’s most historically significant transport airplane accidents.” Many of the lessons learned from these tragedies are timeless, the FAA said, and are applicable to all pilots regardless of what airplane(s) they fly.
Last month’s annual meeting of the Association of Air Medical Services was its usual low-key success as some 2,500 aeromedical professionals, a record number, assembled in the Kansas City (Mo.) Convention Center for three days of conferences and trade show exhibition.
The Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) announced a new addition to its popular series of professional development workshops offered each year at the organization’s annual maintenance symposium. “Maintenance Resource Management” will focus on reducing the number of accidents and incidents while increasing safety and professionalism.
In addition to much healthier sales, GAMA had some other good news to share with attendees at its annual industry review and outlook meeting. Despite the high-profile accidents at the end of last year, the NTSB’s preliminary statistics on the number of general aviation accidents last year show a decline of about 8.7 percent. Fatal accidents were down 11.6 percent.