The U.S. helicopter accident and fatal accident rates have fallen for the third consecutive year, according to data released by the FAA. In fact, the overall accident rate fell to 3.19 accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2016, compared with 3.67 in 2015.
The fatal accident rate fell slightly to 0.51 accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2016 compared with a 0.52 rate in 2015. The rate is down from 0.65 in 2014 and 1.02 in 2013.
There were 106 helicopter accidents in 2016, including 17 fatal accidents. That is a 12 percent decrease year-over-year and a 27 percent decrease compared with 2013.
“The FAA and the helicopter industry have worked together to educate the civil helicopter community about safe practices, to drive these improved results,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “The FAA and the industry also are taking an active role in advancing safety through new technology, collaborative policy changes and proactive outreach.” In recent years the FAA has worked closely with the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team to promote various related initiatives.