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A Step Backwards in 2018 for Helicopter Accidents in Key Global Regions

A Step Backwards in 2018 for Helicopter Accidents in Key Global Regions
But Long-Range Trend Still Shows a Decline in Total and Fatal Accidents

After gathering accident information from countries around the world, the International Helicopter Safety Foundation (www.IHSF.aero) is seeing a temporary setback for the industry’s objective of safer civil helicopter operations.  Preliminary 2018 data from 50 countries show a year-over-year increase in fatal accidents and virtually no change in non-fatal accidents.  However, the long-term trend remains positive.  Fatal accidents during the three-year period of 2016-18 are down 19 percent compared to 2013-15 and non-fatal accidents are down 25 percent when comparing the past three years to the previous three years.


North America - United States North America - Canada
2018:   97 non-fatal, 24 fatal accidents 2018: 24 non-fatal, 1 fatal accident ***
2017: 103 non-fatal, 20 fatal accidents 2017: 25 non-fatal, 1 fatal accident 
2016:   89 non-fatal, 17 fatal accidents 2016: 26 non-fatal, 2 fatal accidents
2015: 104 non-fatal, 17 fatal accidents 2015:              28 non-fatal, 5 fatal accidents
2014: 117 non-fatal, 21 fatal accidents 2014:              34 non-fatal, 0 fatal accidents
2013: 116 non-fatal, 30 fatal accidents 2013: 21 non-fatal, 6 fatal accidents


Europe  (32 countries)  ** North America - Mexico
2018: 43 non-fatal, 16 fatal accidents 2018: 2 non-fatal, 2 fatal accidents
2017: 46 non-fatal,   8 fatal accidents 2017: 9 non-fatal, 3 fatal accidents
2016: 40 non-fatal, 12 fatal accidents 2016: 5 non-fatal, 2 fatal accident
2015:              67 non-fatal, 17 fatal accidents 2015:                5 non-fatal, 3 fatal accidents
2014:              83 non-fatal, 15 fatal accidents 2014:                6 non-fatal, 1 fatal accident
2013:          78 non-fatal, 25 fatal accidents 2013:   5 non-fatal, 3 fatal accidents


India CIS/Russia  (11 countries)  **
2018: 1 non-fatal, 0 fatal accidents 2018:   6 non-fatal, 10 fatal accidents
2017: 1 non-fatal, 1 fatal accident 2017:   7 non-fatal,   4 fatal accidents
2016:              0 non-fatal, 1 fatal accident 2016: 18 non-fatal, 12 fatal accidents
2015:              1 non-fatal, 3 fatal accidents 2015: 12 non-fatal, 10 fatal accidents
2014:              0 non-fatal, 0 fatal accidents 2014: 11 non-fatal, 12 fatal accidents
2013:              5 non-fatal, NA fatal accidents 2013: 12 non-fatal,   7 fatal accidents


Brazil New Zealand
2018: 14 non-fatal, 7 fatal accidents 2018: 10 non-fatal, 3 fatal accidents
2017:   8 non-fatal, 2 fatal accidents 2017: 12 non-fatal, 2 fatal accidents
2016: 14 non-fatal, 5 fatal accidents 2016: 10 non-fatal, 2 fatal accidents
2015:               11 non-fatal, 6 fatal accidents 2015:              14 non-fatal, 3 fatal accidents
2014:               14 non-fatal, 6 fatal accidents 2014:              11 non-fatal, 5 fatal accidents
2013:  21 non-fatal, 4 fatal accidents 2013: 18 non-fatal, 3 fatal accidents


Japan Total from 50 countries
2018: 3 non-fatal, 1 fatal accident 2018: 199 non-fatal,  64 fatal accidents
2017: 6 non-fatal, 3 fatal accidents 2017: 198 non-fatal,  47 fatal accidents
2016: 2 non-fatal, 0 fatal accidents 2016:               204 non-fatal,  53 fatal accidents
2015: 2 non-fatal, 2 fatal accidents 2015:               244 non-fatal,  66 fatal accidents
2014: 1 non-fatal, 0 fatal accidents 2014:               275 non-fatal,  60 fatal accidents 
2013: 3 non-fatal, 0 fatal accidents 2013:               279 non-fatal,  78 fatal accidents 




Total from 50 countries – long-term average


2016-18: 200 non-fatal, 55 fatal accidents -25% non-fatal, -19% fatal accidents
2013-15: 266 non-fatal, 68 fatal accidents


Using combined data from these 50 countries, total civil helicopter non-fatal accidents in 2018 were unchanged compared to the prior year and fatal accidents were up by 36 percent year-over-year.  Total accidents increased 7 percent year-over-year. (263 vs. 245.)  Comparing 2018 to 2013, non-fatal accidents have decreased by 29 percent and fatal accidents have been cut by 22 percent.


The IHSF was formed in 2005 to lead a government and industry cooperative effort to promote helicopter safety and work to reduce accidents and fatalities.  More information about the IHSF, its reports, safety tools, Reel Safety audio/video presentations and YouTube safety videos can be obtained at its web site at www.IHSF.aero and on the IHSF Facebook page.


(**)  Reporting countries in Europe include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom)


(**)  Reporting countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) include: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Russia.


(***)  2018 accident total from Canada is preliminary.






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