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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Industry Leaders to Meet on Crash Response

Industry leaders plan to meet in Montreal July 8 to discuss the ramifications of this week's midair collision of air ambulances in Arizona and other accidents. One area of concern is to how to inject into television and newspaper coverage the message that the industry has mounted a drive to improve helicopter safety. Another is to reinvigorate the entity undertaking that challenge, the International Helicopter Safety Team. That team, which aims to cut helicopter accident rates 80 percent by 2016, has done detailed analysis of helicopter accident causes and how to best mitigate them. That work continues. But the second phase of the effort, intended to implement the best accident-reduction measures, has lost steam in recent months through personnel changes and other factors. Some on the team argue that the June 29 midair of two EMS Bell Helicopter 407s, which killed six on the aircraft and injured two on the ground, highlight the danger to the long-term viability of the industry if current accident rates go unchecked. For related news

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