NTSB Calls Attention to Helicopter Safety, Issues Recommendations for Improvement
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released a new “Most Wanted” list highlighting its top legislative priorities for enhancing safety in 2014.
One of the items on the list is the improvement of helicopter safety. According to the NTSB, the past decade saw 1,470 helicopter accidents in commercial, medical and search and rescue flights. These crashes resulted in 477 deaths and 274 serious injuries.
The board called attention to the importance of duty-time regulations for helicopter maintenance personnel. Unlike airline pilots, helicopter pilots are not usually on duty for extended periods. But maintenance and inspection personnel may work long shifts that could hinder their ability to identify crucial safety issues. The NTSB recommends regulations that account for factors such as shift start times, workloads and rest time to ensure maximum alertness.
The board also recommends that operators ensure that pilots are trained in hazardous situations, including inadvertent flight into inclement weather and autorotation. Autorotation is a state in which a helicopter’s engine fails and the only lift provided is by air moving upward through the rotors (as opposed to engine power driving the rotors). Skillful management of autorotation scenarios often means the difference between life and death after power loss in a helicopter.
When someone is killed or injured in a helicopter accident and another may be to blame, the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney is key. At the Lietz Law Firm, we have extensive experience in transportation accidents of all kinds. We know how to deal with federal and state investigators to uncover the truth of what happened and to get you the compensation you deserve.