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Recent trends in helicopter safety

At Kreindler & Kreindler, LLP, we understand that helicopter travel is a way of life for many New York residents. Whether you rely on a company helicopter, one that is privately owned, or one that is commercially available, your life and safety depend on the machine itself and the skill of its pilot.

The good news is that U.S. helicopter accident rates are decreasing. The Federal Aviation Administration reports that 106 helicopter accidents occurred in 2016, of which 17 involved fatalities. This is 12 percent lower than the 2015 numbers and 27 percent lower than in 2013.

The FAA and the helicopter industry have been working together to advance education and training in helicopter safety, and such efforts continue. In addition, new technology and collaborative policies are enhancing the ability of manufacturers and operators to install and use advanced safety equipment.

New rules and technology

Since 2014, the FAA has required that some commercial helicopter operators, such as air taxis and air ambulances, establish and enforce improved training and communications, stricter flight rules and procedures, and additional on-board safety equipment. By January 1, 2020, the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast system must be installed in any U.S. helicopter intending to operate in busy airspace. This technology gives latitude, longitude and altitude information about the position of the helicopter, as well as its size and direction, without radar-imposed geographic drawbacks.

While helicopter safety is improving, accidents do happen. Our page onĀ small planes and private aircraft canĀ provide you with additional information on this topic.

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