Helicopter Safety

Helicopter Safety Helicopters are useful machines that perform almost every function in aviation: they transport passengers, serve as flight ambulances, perform agricultural work, are used in sight-seeing tours, aid in law enforcement, and conduct military operations. This is possible because of their great versatility: they can fly forwards, backwards, hover, descend and ascend vertically, and land and takeoff without runways.

The benefits of helicopters come with great burdens: they are intricate, complex machines that require the highest levels of design, construction, maintenance and operational skill. If any one of these components is absent, the results are usually disastrous for its occupants and their families. What was designed to help humans with their daily lives all too often causes great harm to those who use them. Although the helicopter industry has made great efforts at reducing helicopter accidents, they continue. Why?

Why Helicopter Ambulances?

December 9, 2010

Responding to Christine Negroni’s December 1 Huffington Post article on helicopter medical evacuation, I submit the following: For a short but interesting period, I was a helicopter pilot for an EMS operation in California. Much of our business was related to off-road recreational vehicle accidents, often in rugged terrain. We would be called and responded […]

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Helicopter & GA Pilots: Plan the flight…fly the plan

November 29, 2010

I’ve come to believe that most accidents occur when the pilot decides to do something, anything, that was not in the original plan for that flight. When I think back on the times that I’ve tried hardest to kill myself, it was generally because of that fact.

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Helicopter-EMS (HEMS) Safety Concerns

November 23, 2010

Medical helicopter crashes make headline news, receiving a lot of attention from the media and from viewers.  Perhaps because we can all feel the depth of the tragedy knowing this helicopter was on a mission of mercy to save lives – yet crew members and patients lose their lives. According to the NTSB, there were […]

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FAA’s Proposed New Helicopter Safety Rules

October 20, 2010

I applaud the FAA for these proposed changes which should help helicopter safety and should save lives.  Despite the efforts of manufacturers, operators and government agencies, the helicopter accident rate has not seen a major improvement. For years, although the technology is readily available, the FAA has not mandated flight data recorders and cockpit voice […]

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