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FAA Rotorcraft Monthly Accident Briefing - September (End of FY21)

Attached is the Rotorcraft Monthly Accident Briefing for September 2021 (end of Fiscal Year). The FAA’s General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey results were finalized for 2020 and will be posted to the FAA’s website soon. In this month’s briefing, the revised rotorcraft flight hours were used to update all previous rates calculated for 2020. Since the hours were lower than all previous 2020 estimates, all rates increased for 2020. The estimated total flight hours for 2020 were 2,408,316. This was a 19.6% reduction from 2019 and the lowest rotorcraft flight hours for the U.S. since 2003. The following table summarizes how the 2020 rotorcraft flight hour totals for various GA Survey categories compared to the most recent 5-year averages.

Monthly Summary Totals: 13 accidents, 2 fatal accidents, 4 fatalities Cumulative FY21 Summary FY21, Totals: 106 accidents, 17 fatal accidents, 34 fatalities Accidents: - The FY21 total accident count of 106 was the 2nd lowest of the 39 FYs on record, trailing only the 97 accidents in FY20. - The estimated accident rate for FY21 was 3.65 per 100K hours. - Two industry sectors accounted for 53% of all accidents in the FY: Personal/Private (32%) and Aerial Application (21%). - While Personal/Private and Aerial Application historically been among the top 3 for percentage of accidents each year, the FY21 percentages were about 10% higher for Personal/Private and about 5% higher for Aerial Application. - No other industry sector accounted for more than 8% of accidents. - Month with highest number of accidents: (tied) August and September, each with 13 - Month with lowest number of accidents: December, with 4 Fatal Accidents: - The 17 fatal accidents in FY21 were 7 fewer than FY20. Also, FY21 shared a 4 way tie for the second lowest fatal accident count in the last 39 FYs, second only to 15 in FY88. - This was the first time since FY17 the annual fatal accident count has been below 20. - The estimated fatal accident rate for FY21 was 0.58 per 100K hours, with the rate calculated using the FAA’s Forecast of 2,908,000 flight hours (released in July 2021). - 16% of the rotorcraft accidents in FY21 had a fatality. This was a 9% improvement over FY20’s historical high of 25% and closer to long-term historical averages. - Just under half of the fatal accidents occurred in two categories, Personal/Private and Aerial Application. Each had 4 fatal accidents. The remaining fatal accidents were spread across 5 other industries, with none of them having more than two fatal events. - Month with highest number of fatal accidents: (tie) April and May, each with 3. -- For only the 2nd time in the last 10 years and first time since FY12, there was no month in the FY that had more than 3 fatal accidents. - Month with lowest number of fatal accidents: (tie) October, November, and January, each with 0. -- FY20 was one of only 6 years in the last 39 FYs where there were at least 3 months in the FY without a fatal accident. Fatalities: - The estimated fatality rate was 1.17 per 100K hours. This was an improvement over FYs 18-20 where each of those 3 years had a rate over 1.5 per/100K hours. However, FY21 still lagged behind FY14-17 where fatality rates were near or below 1 per 100K hours. - Month with highest number of fatalities: (tie) March and May, each with 6. - Month with lowest number of fatalities: (tie) October, November, and January, each with 0. 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 fatal accident rate from CYs 2014-2018 (0.62 per 100K hours) as their baseline for measurement. - The CY 2017-2021 5 year average fatal accident rate was 0.73 per 100K hours through September 2021. Lee Roskop Fleet Safety Section, AIR-723 Operational Safety Branch, Compliance & Airworthiness Division 817-222-5337 We value your feedback. Click here to send us your feedback. Attachments area


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