Increase in global helicopter accidents

Helicopter accident, Getty images

The US-based International Helicopter Safety Foundation (IHSF) has released data on helicopter accidents around the world, revealing a year-over-year increase in fatal accidents and virtually no change in non-fatal accidents – though, overall, the long-term trend remains positive.

The IHSF is a government and industry co-operative effort to promote helicopter safety and work to reduce accidents and fatalities. The findings compared data from 50 countries, including 32 countries in Europe; US, Canada and Mexico – North America; India, 11 countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States/Russia; Brazil; New Zealand; and Japan.

It analysed both fatal and non-fatal helicopter accidents between 2013 and 2018. Using combined data from these 50 countries, it exposed that total civil helicopter non-fatal accidents in 2018 were unchanged compared to the prior year and fatal accidents were up by 36 per cent year-over-year. The study also highlighted that total accidents have increased by seven per cent year-over-year.

Despite these negative statistics, the IHSF does note that, comparing 2018 to 2013, non-fatal accidents have decreased by 29 per cent and fatal accidents have been cut by 22 per cent.

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