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FAA Rotorcraft Monthly Accident Briefing - August 2023

Attached is the Rotorcraft Monthly Accident Briefing (11th month of FY23).

11 FY2023 Aug
Download PDF • 1.08MB

**Please access the information from this briefing directly anytime at the FAA’s publicly available, Rotorcraft Accident Dashboard.**

Find “Dashboard Navigation” near the top of the default page and click either “Historical Briefing” or “Make Model Breakdown” for access to all 3 pages of visualized and interactive data.

Monthly Summary

August Totals: 15 accidents, 4 fatal accidents, 7 fatalities

- For the second consecutive month, there were 4 fatal accidents during the month.

- The 4 fatal accidents during the month were distributed between 4 different industry sectors: aerial application, firefighting, instructional/training, and a law enforcement a/c performing an air ambulance flight.

- The 15 accidents during the month were comparable to the monthly totals for August in FY21 (13 accidents) and FY22 (14 accidents) and within 1 standard deviation of the average for the past 10 years (13 accidents).

- Over 50% (8 out of 15) of the accidents in the month were attributable to 2 industry sectors: firefighting (4 accidents) and instructional/training (4 accidents).

FY23 Summary

FY23 Totals: 99 accidents, 18 fatal accidents, 36 fatalities

- Most count and rate metrics for the 11 month period of Oct-Aug showed improvement when measured against the same period for both the previous FY and the 5 year average. However, the number of fatalities and the fatality rate for FY23 are now worse than the previous FY.

- A fatal accident was added to the month of July, bringing the previous total of 3 up to 4. The pilot who had been seriously injured in an aerial application accident succumbed to his injuries within 30 days of the event.

Accidents (includes both fatal & non-fatal accidents):

- The FY23 estimated accident rate for Oct-Aug was 3.74 per 100K hours.

- The 22 accidents in July and the 15 accidents in August together accounted for 37% of the total accidents this FY. The accident rate was 2.78 per 100K hours at the end of June, so increased by almost 1 per 100K hours over the last 2 months.

- The Oct-Aug estimated accident rate is 20% lower than the same period in FY22 and 9% lower than the 5 year average for the same period.

- The count of 99 total accidents for the first 11 months of the FY is the third lowest for the 41 years on record, continuing to trail FY20 (90 accidents) and FY21 (93 accidents).

- 57% of the accidents resulted from the following industry sectors: 1) Instructional/Training (22%), 2) Aerial Application (19%), and 3) Personal/Private (16%)

Fatal Accidents:

- The FY23 estimated fatal accident rate for Oct-Aug was 0.68 per 100K hours (12% lower than the same period in FY22, 17% lower than the 5 year average for the same period).

- Jul and Aug each had at least 4 fatal accidents, something that has only happened 5 times over the past 41 years and only twice in the past 15 years.

- The 8 fatal accidents that occurred in the combined months of Jul and Aug in FY23 are 4 times higher than the same time period in FY22, when only 2 occurred during the same months (1 fatal accident each month).

- Before Jul 20, 2023, the U.S. was averaging 26 days between fatal rotorcraft accidents for FY23 (started Oct 1, 2022). From Jul 20 to Aug 31, 2023, the U.S. averaged a fatal rotorcraft accident every 5 days.


- The FY23 estimated fatality rate for Oct-Aug was 1.36 per 100K hours (3% higher than the same period in FY22, 16% lower than the 5 year average for the same period).

- 39% of the fatalities for FY23 occurred in the combined months of Jul and Aug (14 total fatalities, each month with 7 fatalities).

U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) Calendar Year Metrics

- Goal: Reduce the 5 year average fatal accident rate to 0.55 per 100K hours by 2025. The USHST uses the 5 year average fatal accident rate from CYs 2014-2018 (0.62 per 100K hours) as their baseline for measurement.

- The CY 2019-2023 5 year average fatal accident rate was 0.75 per 100K hours through August 2023.

Lee Roskop

Aviation Safety Coordinator (Rotorcraft)

Fleet Safety Section, AIR-723

Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division



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