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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Helitech International Safety Workshop

The crucial importance of safety in rotary wing operations is highlighted with the Safety Workshop on the final day of Helitech International, taking place in Amsterdam RAI from October 14 to 16. Hosted by the European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST) and the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), the workshop will focus on the key elements impacting rotorcraft safety, including flight training, risk management, safety management systems and the benefits of technologies and technological solutions in alleviating safety concerns.

The proceedings will be opened by Michel Peters from the National Aerospace Laboratory NLR, who says, "Safety is not as obvious as one might think. Once a certain level of safety has been reached, this by no means is a guarantee that it will remain equally safe in the future. So keep a close watch on safety and stay on top of it."

Kim Smith, Manager/Rotorcraft Directorate, Federal Aviation Administration, will then provide an update on the current status of IHST in a presentation that will cover fatal accidents, the importance of Regional Helicopter Safety Teams and the importance of encouraging continued outreach across the globe.

The technological dimension of risk mitigation is the subject of the presentation by Joost Vreeken of the European Helicopter Safety Implementation Team (EHSIT) Specialist Team on Technology. Hewill speak on how technology can provide a variety of solutions to prevent different types of accidents and increase survivability. 

This will be followed by the 'EHEST Dissemination' when Francesco Parisi, Simulator and Flight Line Instructor Pilot, AgustaWestland, will present on EHEST's educational material for improving the safety of helicopter operations. The European Helicopter Safety Analysis Team (EHSAT) analysis confirms that a significant number of helicopter accidents are due to crew judgement and actions. EHEST's material provides pilots with the information necessary to achieve a basic understanding of the causes, prevention and recovery actions associated with accidents, enabling them to make better informed decisions.

A 'United States Helicopter Safety Team (UHST) Dissemination' will follow in which, Nick Mayhew, General Manager, Bristow Academy will provide an update on the United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) initiatives. These are currently in place in the USA and being managed by a professional group of rotorcraft experts from across the country. 

Nick Mayhew said, "I am excited to be presenting at Helitech International in Amsterdam. We shall be presenting 'Training - The Safety Vaccination', which is a unique view of why and where training should be used to develop a culture of safety across the industry and reduce helicopter accident rates".

The last session of the morning is entitled "Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring" and features Matthias Klein, Head of Corporate Aviation SMS, Airbus Helicopters; Mike Pilgrim, Managing Director, Helinalysis Limited; and Paul Spring, President, Operations Manager, Phoenix Heli-Flight, who are all members of the Global HFDM Steering Group. The dialogue over HFDM is increasing, but many operators and customers alike know little about this relatively recent addition to the safety toolbox. This presentation will illustrate what HFDM actually is and show why it is advisable to launch a program.

Mike Pilgrim said: "HFDM has been running in some companies now for over 10 years and the aim of the Steering Group is to promote its use across the global helicopter industry. We want to give helicopter operators the knowledge and understanding to realize that implementing an HFDM program in their operations can not only improve safety but can also enhance their profitability and can occasionally save them large amounts of money resulting from 'maintenance saves'. Further information is available at www.hfdm.org and the speakers can be engaged on a one-to-one basis at stand A23 in the exhibition hall."

A briefing by Stefano Burigana, Safety Manager, Elilombarda, on the "Safety Management System" will follow immediately after lunch. EHEST has developed SMS toolkits for complex and non-complex operators, consisting of a safety management manual, guidance document and emergency response plan. The tool-kits to be presented are specially adapted to European operators.

Signore Burigana will follow this with a safety management implementation training session dedicated to practical exercises on risk assessment and SMS implementation. A discussion on SMS implementation with feedback from the floor will form the last session of the day, before Matt Zuccaro, President, Helicopter Association International, offers some closing remarks.

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