Contrary to the hopes of most French helicopter EMS operators, French doctors have issued a motion calling for the soon-to-be-mandatory second flight crewmember to be a trained paramedic. New rules at the European level will mandate such a second crewmember, for some operations, beginning in October next year.
Safety of emergency medical services flights
The most noteworthy accident event in the first quarter was the string of fatal Beechcraft Premier I crashes over a period of approximately three weeks, from February 20 to March 17. All three crashes, which killed nine people, involved Part 91 operations and occurred in VMC during takeoff or landing. The two accidents in the U.S. accounted for the only fatalities by U.S.-registered business jets in the first quarter of this year.
For 2012, the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) reported 148 rotorcraft accidents in the U.S. The 39 fatalities from those events were spread among three of the most consistently difficult sectors of helicopter operations: police; personal/private; and instructional/training flights.
In a recent letter, IHST member Lee Roskop said that the numbers simply reaffirm the uncomfortable reality that pilot lapses in judgment and decision making lead to most accidents.
If there is a drawback to the Internet, then it is the overwhelming amount of information being created and disseminated. Anyone interested in anything can find more articles, blogs, e-newsletters, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Instagram photos, Pinterest pins etc. about any subject, more than one person could possibly consume in a lifetime. For those who work on aviation safety issues, this presents a problem.
A total of 290 air accidents were reported to Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) in 2012. This represented a 13-percent increase from the 2011 total of 257 but was comparable to the 2007-2011 average of 292. There were 42 fatal accidents with 63 fatalities in 2012. Of the 42 fatal accidents, 25 accidents involved fixed-wing airplanes (including 17 private and six commercial), seven fatal accidents involved helicopters (including five commercial) and eight fatal accidents involved ultralights.
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.
Several helicopter EMS accidents occurred over the last couple of months in the U.S.
U.S.-registered business jets and turboprops experienced fewer nonfatal accidents in 2012 versus 2011, but N-numbered business jets incurred significantly more fatal accidents and fatalities last year than in 2011, recording the highest totals since 2008. Conversely, U.S.-registered turboprops incurred considerably fewer accidents and fatalities in the year-over-year comparison.
In a report released Thursday, the NTSB reported that no lives were lost in U.S. airline accidents in 2011. The total number of deaths in aviation did rise, however, with most of those occurring in general aviation, where the number grew to 491 in 2011 from 476 the year before.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) released the first of its top 10 ideas for reducing helicopter accidents, on July 10. Number one is to develop and install flight data monitoring equipment to record the actions of the flight crew.
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