The United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) will host a webinar with seminars on mountain flying, helicopter wake turbulence, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wire strike study, and go/no-go decision-making.
The event will take place on 1 November and is free to join, but attendees must register in advance.
FAA Aviation Safety Coordinator Lee Roskop will begin the event with a 10-minute overview of helicopter accident statistics. The numbers help provide context as to whether any accident trends have emerged, allowing for data-backed responses.
Helicopter wake turbulence has received a lot of attention after a 2022 video was posted online and attracted more than 1.8 million views. The video shows a small plane landing nose first into the tarmac after encountering helicopter wake turbulence at a California airport; the pilot survived. Colorado helicopter pilot Jessica Meiris will discuss helicopter wake turbulence and downwash and how pilots can avoid encountering them.
The USHST webinar also will focus on wire strikes following a spike this summer in aerial application accidents. The featured FAA study involves a focus group of 22 agricultural operations pilots whose aircraft collided with wires during routine flights. The FAA researchers identified cognitive risk factors that included situational awareness, decision-making choices, and pressure to perform – internal or external.
The USHST is developing a helicopter safety enhancement: Professional Preflight Planning & Go/No-Go Aeronautical Decision Making. Go/no go decision-making has emerged as an area that the USHST believes the helicopter community needs to address to improve safety. Representatives will discuss their reasoning for conservative go/no-go decision-making during a 15-minute presentation.
Meiris will also present recommendations for safe flying in mountainous terrain; several high-profile accidents have occurred in mountainous areas during the past few years.