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Articles for category Safety




Nov
11
2018

Mentor Tips Worth Heeding

Posted by jhadmin

I was a full-time municipal firefighter 20 years ago, while at the same time flying helicopters on my days off. In 1999, I was offered a job as a pilot flying helicopter air ambulance (HAA.) It seemed a perfect fit as I not only had experience treating patients in the streets and setting up HAA landing zones, but I was a local pilot with significant experience. In in the life of an HAA call, there are two major decision points that are singular moments that can change the arc of history. The first moment is when the pilot must decide whether or not to launch. When everything’s normal, (i.e., weather, crew, and maintenance) the decision’s easy; you launch. The second moment happens when en route and some part of the flight begins to degrade. The pilot finds himself at a crossroad: keep going or turn around and head back to base? [Read More...]



Categories: categorySafety categoryOpinion-Editorial



Oct
02
2018

Question for helicopter pilots: Why not fly higher?

Posted by jhadmin

Question for helicopter pilots: Why not fly higher? Every few years, I use this platform to push for change. One of my pet peeves and favorite topics to kick around involves the altitudes at which we fly our helicopters. The fiction writer, Tamara Cohen, once wrote: “People don't change. The world carries on spinning inexorably around but people don't spin with it. They dig their heels into the shifting sand and cling on for dear life.” I feel like we as an industry are sometimes incapable of changing our behavior. We continue to do the same things over and over that cause us problems. This really applies to helicopter altitudes. I travel monthly to South Florida to fly an AW109E as a contract helicopter pilot. I stay at the home of a family member. Almost daily, helicopters fly over the house at 500 feet or below. The culprits range from light single-engine training helicopters to medium-twin engine IFR helicopters. Because I am a helicopter pilot, many of the neighbors ask me, “Do they have to fly over us that low?” My answer is always a resounding NO! [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter altitudes helicopter flying altitudes Helicopter Safety
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categorySafety



Oct
01
2018

USHST - An Open Letter to the U.S. Helicopter Community

Posted by jhadmin

Our U.S. helicopter community just went through the worst short-term surge in fatal accidents we’ve experienced within the past six years. With four fatal accidents within a 10-day span, the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team feels that there is a benefit to informing our broader community of this information. We also feel that it is appropriate timing for some straightforward reminders that can contribute to safe flying. We would appreciate your help in communicating this important message to our community. We invite you to tailor it accordingly as you think would be most effective. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Accidents Helicopter Safety USHST
Categories: categorySafety



Jul
16
2018

Electronic Flight Bag

Posted by jhadmin

Since tablet computers first became mainstream products, electronic flight bag (EFB) solutions have developed some critical mass also in the domain of helicopter operations. Multiple helicopter operators all over the world have, to some extent, implemented EFBs, and a decrease in the use of paper-based flight deck documentation is being witnessed. At CHC, EFB solutions were first introduced in the U.K. in 2014 and have since expanded across its global operations. “Our EFBs include all necessary flight information, including operations manuals, weather information, and helideck data and approach information that is easily accessible at the fingertips of flight crews via iPad”, says Dave Balevic, CHC’s senior vice president of engineering and operations. “They include our operation flight planning system (OFPS), which has been used to plan more than 100,000 flights across our fleet. Our OFPS is made in-house, with extensive input and direction from our pilots and is currently on its fifth generation as we work to constantly improve it and make it a more efficient tool.” [Read More...]



Tags: Electronic flight bag Helicopter Electronic flight bag
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety



Jun
12
2018

8 Ways to Enhance Helicopter Training and Reduce Fatal Accidents

Posted by jhadmin

8 Ways to Enhance Helicopter Training and Reduce Fatal Accidents Many fatal helicopter accidents involve causes from actions or non-actions that may have occurred months or years before during initial or recurrent instruction sessions. The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (www.USHST.org) has determined that these training initiatives could improve safety and potentially save lives. Promote the Teaching of Threat and Error Management – Traditional decision-making models focus largely on reactive and proactive means of flight crew situation management. Threat and Error Management (TEM), however, focuses on a predictive process to eliminate threats and errors before, during, and after each flight. Since its inception and introduction to airline operations, TEM has, as part of larger safety efforts, drastically reduced total accidents within the worldwide airline community. Although TEM generally is taught in conjunction with Cockpit Resources Management (CRM), TEM is actually the latest evolution/iteration of the CRM concept: It is defined as “the process of detecting and responding to threats and errors to ensure that the ensuing outcome is inconsequential, i.e., the outcome is not an error, further error, or an undesired aircraft state.” [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Safety Helicopter Safety Training IHST USHST
Categories: categorySafety



Apr
30
2018

Simulation Scenario Building

Posted by jhadmin

An old flight training adage recites, “Train as you fly, fly as you train.” Helicopter simulation training is not immune from it, and indeed the adage should be the primary consideration for effective use of simulation. In response to the growing complexity of helicopter operations, more sophisticated automation, and generally increased scrutiny of rotary-wing safety, simulation training is seeing its standard continuously rise. This is making the training organizations ever more sophisticated at setting up helicopter simulation scenarios. [Read More...]

SimulationScenario_00_OPENER_FRASCA_AS350_Aero_Asahi-Night.jpg  SimulationScenario_01_FlightSafety_HelicopterSimulators.jpg  SimulationScenario_02_FlightSafety_Sikorsky_S-76D_simulator.jpg  SimulationScenario_03_FRASCA_H125-Cockpit-v2.jpg  SimulationScenario_04_CAE_Rotorsim_AW139_Exterior.JPG  SimulationScenario_05_FlightSafety_Bell412_Simulator.jpg  SimulationScenario_06_FRASCA_Bell429_Cockpit.jpg  SimulationScenario_07_CAE_AW139_CockpitProceduresTrainer.JPG  SimulationScenario_08_FlightSafety_Leonardo_AW139_simulator.jpg 

Tags: Helicopter Evidence Based Training EBT Helicopter Safety Helicopter Scenario Based Training SBT Helicopter Simulation
Categories: categorySafety



Apr
02
2018

Instrument Training - When Simulation Becomes Reality

Posted by jhadmin

On 17 October 2017, a flight instructor and commercially rated pilot were practicing instrument approaches at the Molokai Airport (Hawaii) when they were lost from radar. Debris from the helicopter was found floating on the water northwest of the shores of Molokai. Although they were operating on an IFR flight plan, the flight was being conducted under VFR as a Part 91 training flight. (NTSB Identification: WPR18LA010) Air Traffic Control had cleared the aircraft for a practice RNAV (GPS)-B instrument approach to the Molokai Airport. They were provided instructions for the missed approach procedure, which included a climb to 4,000 feet and a heading of 040 degrees. Following completion of the instrument approach, they reestablished radio contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC). They were then issued a clearance to PHNL (Honolulu International Airport) with instructions to fly a heading of 260 degrees, then 240 degrees and ascend to an altitude of 4,000 feet. They were to intercept the Victor 8 airway, which they confirmed with ATC. Shortly after, the controller noticed the flight had descended to 3,600 feet before radar and radio communication with the helicopter was lost. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Simulation Training helicopter training Randy Rowles
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining categorySafety



Mar
26
2018

My Two Cents - Why I do what I do?

Posted by jhadmin

“Why do you do what you do?” That’s a question Rick Weatherford, copy editor and staff writer for Rotorcraft Pro, asked me recently. Rick casts a discerning editorial eye over everything I write for the magazine, so I suppose he became curious about what motivates me. When I asked him exactly what he meant he made his query more specific: “Randy, what fuels your burning passion for promoting rotorcraft safety? Is it statistics, or your personal experiences? Do you believe helicopter safety is generally being addressed in the wrong way and you think you have a solution that’s been overlooked? Or is it some combination of all these issues as well as others that I didn't allude to?” I vividly remember the exact date and time I decided I needed to return to the USA to deliver a life-saving message. The date was August 31, 2010; the time: 10:00 PM. That’s when I learned of yet another air medical crash; a Bell Jet Ranger in Arkansas went into the clouds and came out the bottom in pieces killing the pilot and the two-person medical crew who had entrusted their lives to him. [Read More...]



Tags: Crew Resource Management Helicopter Safety Helicopter Safety Management Systems
Categories: categorySafety categoryOpinion-Editorial



Mar
06
2018

U.S. Helicopter Accident Rate Levels Off During 2017

Posted by jhadmin

WASHINGTON DC – Accident rates for the U.S. civil helicopter industry flattened out during 2017, but remained well below accident totals from three and four years ago. Preliminary data shows that the 2017 accident rate was 3.55 per 100,000 flight hours, compared to an accident rate in 2016 of 3.45. This 3 percent increase stems from a few months during 2017 with uncharacteristically high accident totals - - 18 accidents in February and 23 accidents in July. Compared to four years ago, however, the accident rate has been cut by one-third. The fatal accident rate also rose slightly year-over-year, but remained lower than the 2017 goal set by the United States Helicopter Safety Team (www.USHST.org). [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Accident Rate Helicopter Accidents US Helicopter Safety Team USHST
Categories: categorySafety



Mar
05
2018

SMS Best Practices

Posted by jhadmin

Safety management systems (SMS), have been implemented in helicopter operations for several years. Although safety management has been part of managing aviation operations ever since the industry took off, SMS have brought about a more structured approach to capture safety hazards and assess their possible consequences and impact on operations. Much of the success of SMS implementation depends on line employees being enabled by company management to make reports on all sort of safety events, including incidents and potentially unsafe conditions in the workplace. After several years of SMS implementation the time has come to assess where the helicopter operations industry stands in terms of safety reporting practices. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Safety Management Systems SMS Best Practices
Categories: categorySafety


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