Which U.S. Helicopter Industries Have the Best and the Worst Accident Records?

WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (www.USHST.org) looked at 10 years of helicopter operations data from Jan. 2009 through 2018 and compared the share of flight hours of every industry type with the percentage share of total accidents and fatal accidents.

During this period, U.S. civil helicopters flew more than 31 million flight hours and experienced 1,298 total accidents and 209 fatal accidents.

Comparing the share of flight hours with the share of accidents within each industry area, the USHST developed these lists showing which industry areas have the best and worst records for total accidents and fatal accidents.

Industry Ranking for Fewest Total Accidents

(Ranked by Share of Accidents vs. Share of Flight Hours)

1. Air Ambulance

2. Aerial Observe/Police/News

3. Air Tour/Sightseeing

4. Offshore/Oil

5. Other (positioning, proficiency)

6. Firefighting

7. External Load

8. Business/Corporate

9. Instructional

10. Commercial (air taxi, for hire)

11. Utilities/Construction

12. Aerial Application

13. Personal/Private Industry Ranking for Fewest Fatal Accidents

(Ranked by Share of Accidents vs. Share of Flight Hours)

1. Instructional

2. Aerial Observe/Police/News

3. Air Tour/Sightseeing

4. Other (positioning, proficiency)