USHST addresses short-term surge in fatal helicopter accidents

With a ton of recent fatal accidents in the helicopter world. The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) has issued an open letter, which is saying that the U.S. helicopter community calling attention to the disturbing trend and reminding helicopter pilots, mechanics, operators and instructors of the need for enhanced vigilance.

The U.S. helicopter industry just endured the worst 10-day stretch of fatal accidents observed since late 2012, the USHST said in its open letter. Within the 50 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico, four fatal helicopter accidents and four fatalities occurred from June 29 to July 8, 2018, which at this pace of nearly one fatal accident every other day.

The USHST has offered the following safety recommendations to pilots

  1. Review your basic procedures. The simple, mundane practices are often what keep us safe;
  2. Think through what actions you would take for various aircraft emergencies;
  3. Consider what effect summer temperatures will have on the performance and limitations of your aircraft;
  4. Contemplate what factors may be subtly building up your cumulative fatigue. Days in the summer are long, often resulting in more activity and less sleep; and
  5. Practice real-time risk management, even with small decisions. Make a habit of mentally asking yourself, “What could go wrong with what I’m doing right now? What could I do to make sure the worst-case scenario doesn’t kill me?”

Fatal accidents in 2018 within a 10-day period

June 29, 2018: Sterling City, Texas; aerial observation; Robinson R22; one fatality
June 30, 2018: San Juan, Puerto Rico; personal/private; Bell 206B; one fatality
July 6, 2018: Morristown, Indiana; aerial observation; Bell/Scott’s 47G-2; one fatality
July 8, 2018: Williamsburg, Virginia; personal/private; Robinson R44; one fatality

(Photo owned by me)

2018 accidents

  • January:
    2nd - Ohio two killed in a MD-369.
    18th - New Mexico five killed in a UH-1H
    22nd - California two killed in a AH-64 “Apachie”
    25th - Florida Two uninjured after a Schweizer 269-C helicopter lost it’s tail.
    29th- Washington One killed, two injured in a Hughes 369D.
    29th - Colorado One injured after collision with a fixed wing aircraft, the helicopter is a Robinson R44, the fixed wing is a Bonanza.
    31st - California Three killed after helicopter crashes into home, the helicopter was a Robinson R44.

  • February
    1st - California Three injured after helicopter crashes, the helicopter was a MD369E.
    12th - Arizona four killed in crash, Aircraft was an Airbus H130/Eurocopter EC130
    13th - Utah Two with minor injuries after Elk takes down helicopter, the helicopter was a MD369D

  • March
    12th - New York Five killed after helicopter crashes into New York’s East River, the Aircraft was an Airbus H145/Eurocopter AS350 “AStar”
    16th - Tennessee No one hurt after striking power lines, the helicopter is a TH67 (Bell206B Jet Ranger)

  • April
    4th - California Four killed after their helicopter crashes, The helicopter was a CH-53E “Super Stallion”
    9th - Kentucky Two killed after crash, the helicopter was an AH63E “Apachie”
    10th - Utah Two killed,one injured during utility work, the aircraft was an MD500.
    11th - Pennsylvania Two killed in helicopter crash, the aircraft was an MD600N.
    25th - New York Experimental helicopter crashes after engine issues, the aircraft was a mosquito.
    30th - Wisconsin Three killed in a Lifemed flight, the aircraft was an Airbus H145/Eurocopter AS350B2

  • May
    1st - California One injuried after helicopter makes a precautionary landing, the helicopter was a Robinson R44.
    2nd - Oregon One injured after crashing, the helicopter was a R-22 Beta.
    3rd - North Carolina One injured after crashing, the helicopter was a Mosquito XE.
    10th - Arizona No one hurt after bird strike, the helicopter is a Bell 407.
    11th - Texas One injured after crashing helicopter, the helicopter was an Enstrom
    21st - Louisiana One killed, two injured after helicopter crash, the helicopter was a MD369.
    29th - Washington No injuries after tail broke from the helicopter, the helicopter is a UH1H.

  • June
    5th - Arizona no one injured after an Arizona National Guard UH60 makes hard landing.
    11th - Wisconsin One killed after hitting power lines, the helicopter was a Robinson R22.
    15th - New York One hurt after helicopter clips tower, the helicopter was a UH60.
    18th - Washington No one hurt after helicopter hits power lines, the helicopter was a Bell 206 Long Ranger
    20th - North Carolina Two injured in training accident, the helicopter was a Bell 206 Jet Ranger.
    26th - Virginia one killed after walking into tail rotor.

  • July
    1st - Puerto Rico One killed after helicopter crashes. The helicopter was a Bell 206 Jet Ranger.
    3rd - Texas One injured after having issues.
    9th - Virginia One killed after crashing into complex, The helicopter was a Robinson R44.
    9th - Illinois Four injured after helicopter crashes, the helicopter is an Airbus H135/Eurocopter EC135.
    16th - Indiana Pilot survives after crashing helicopter, the helicopter was a Bell 47.
    25th - California One survives after helicopter crashes inbound to fires, the helicopter was a UH1H.
    26th - Texas Two Major Two minor injured after crash at Fair ground, the helicopter was a Bell 206 Long Ranger.
    30th - Iowa One with minor injuries after crash, the helicopter was a Robinson R44.
    30th - Colorado One injured after crash, the helicopter was a Mosquito.

  • August
    1st - South Dakota One injured after Van struck a helicopter, the Helicopter was a Bell 47.
    16th - Arkansas One injured in accident, the helicopter is a TH-67(Bell206 Jet Ranger)
    16th North Dakota Pilot escape after accident, the helicopter is a R22.


This would make the skies much safer. Many helicopter accidents have occurred in my area in the last 10 days and I thought as well, “whats it with helicopters now?”

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I’m curious see the cause of all these incidents

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This could all be coincidences and they seem to have no correlation. But it is nice that they sent out letters to remind everyone.

It’s too soon to say what caused these accidents. This is s great reminder to pilots

List of US Crashes up to date.

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