The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) has reorganized its safety work groups as part of what the government-industry organization says is a plan to intensify efforts to reduce the number of civil helicopter accidents in the United States.
In a statement released Tuesday, the USHST said its goal is to see a fatal accident rate of 0.61 per 100,000 flight hours by 2019. The goal for 2016 was 0.73 fatal accidents or fewer per 100,000 flight hours; preliminary data for the year show that the actual rate was 0.51 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours.
The new structure includes:
- The USHST Steering Committee, which will provide “strategic guidance, management of safety plans and direction for outreach and communications”;
- The Safety Analysis Team, which will guide work groups designed to address the most frequent types of fatal helicopter accidents — loss of control–in flight, unintended flight into instrument meteorological conditions, and low altitude accidents; and,
- The Outreach Team, which will coordinate focus groups dealing with personal and private flying, air ambulance operations, commercial operations, aerial application, infrastructure and training.