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USHST Schedules November 1 Webinar Covering Safety Topics

Alexandria, Va. (October 20, 2023) – The United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) will host a webinar November 1 with seminars on mountain flying, helicopter wake turbulence, an FAA wire strike study, and go/no go decision-making.

The event will kick off at 1 p.m. Eastern; Noon, Central, with the latest helicopter accident data. The webinar is free and open to the public, but attendees must register online prior to the webinar.  

The FAA, along with industry groups, has supported the USHST for years. Outreach is an important part of the USHST’s safety mission, said Robert Reckert, USHST government co-chair, and FAA Air Transportation Division manager. Webinars are part of that effort, he said.

“We’re trying to communicate safety information,” Mr. Reckert said. “We’re trying to reach the widest audience possible. Webinars create an opportunity for an interactive exchange of safety information.”

Helicopter wake turbulence has received a lot of attention after a 2022 video was posted on the Internet that attracted more than 1.8 million views. The video shows a small plane landing nose first into the tarmac after encountering helicopter wake turbulence at a California airport. Amazingly, the pilot survived. Colorado helicopter pilot Jessica Meiris will spend about 20 minutes discussing helicopter wake turbulence and downwash and how pilots can avoid encountering them.

The USHST webinar also will focus on wire strikes given a spike this summer in aerial application accidents. The featured FAA study involves a focus group of 22 agricultural operations pilots whose aircraft collided with wires during routine flights. The FAA researchers identified cognitive risk factors that included situational awareness, decision-making choices, and pressure to perform (internal or external).

The USHST is developing a helicopter safety enhancement: Professional Preflight Planning & Go/No-Go Aeronautical Decision Making. Go/no go decision-making has emerged as an area that the USHST believes the helicopter community needs to address to improve safety. Representatives will discuss their reasoning for conservative go/no go decision-making during a 15-minute presentation.

Ms. Meiris will also present recommendations for safe flying in mountainous terrain. Several high-profile accidents have occurred in mountainous areas during the past few years.

As is typical of many USHST webinars, FAA Aviation Safety Coordinator Lee Roskop will begin the event with a 10-minute overview of helicopter accident statistics. The numbers help provide context as to whether any accident trends have emerged, allowing for data-backed responses.

If helicopter community members have questions or want a webinar on a particular topic, please let the USHST know through its general email at [email protected] or contact the organization’s communications specialists Dan Sweet from the Helicopter Association International at [email protected] or Gene Trainor from the FAA at [email protected].

About the US Helicopter Safety Team
The USHST is a volunteer team of US government and industry stakeholders formed to improve the safety of civil helicopter operations in the National Airspace System. The USHST is a partner of the Vertical Aviation Safety Team (VAST). The USHST vision is a civil US registered helicopter community with zero fatal accidents.

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Created 184 days ago
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