… for your contributions to safety.

As another year draws to a close, many of us will pause and take a moment to give thanks for the blessings in our lives and offer gifts of love and gratitude to our family, friends, and colleagues. In this month’s Spotlight on Safety, the HAI team would like to offer our sincere thanks to you and everyone who has dedicated their time, energy, and expertise to elevate safety in the vertical lift community. Your gifts to the industry, given through individual efforts, volunteer entities, and commercial solutions, are—and this is no exaggeration—priceless!

While many contributors are well known, most of you are content to work in the background without recognition. We wish to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to you all. Whether you provided a prevention tip, reporting tool, or safety application, your contributions have and will continue to raise awareness, protect property, and save lives in our rewarding and sometimes unforgiving field.

Despite an apparent reluctance of some in the public to appreciate the value of your contributions, many operators, pilots, and maintainers indeed do recognize the worth of your work. So, as our industry evolves and we usher in the next generation of fantastic flying machines, keep doing what you do to elevate safety. The stakes couldn’t be higher.

Use the proven safety resources available to you now, or go out and discover a new or creative way to manage risk. Then, share it with others. A growing number of safety stakeholders has already accepted the challenge. Will you join us?

Below are just some of the safety “gifts” HAI and others offer:

  • Vertical Aviation Safety Team (VAST): VAST is a public–private initiative to enhance worldwide flight-operations safety in all segments of the vertical flight industry. Team members comprise international regional safety teams; safety authorities, including civil aviation authorities; and other industry stakeholders that work to improve global vertical flight safety. The VAST website includes links to a wealth of valuable information in the form of videos, articles, tools, and other resources, with a growing number of translations in various languages recently available. To learn more about VAST and access the team’s resources, visit vast.aero.
  • US Helicopter Safety Team (USHST): 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 vision is a civil registered helicopter community with zero fatal accidents. To achieve this vision, the team is in the final stages of completing its work on 16 helicopter safety enhancements focusing on addressing the most common causes of US rotorcraft accidents. Visit ushst.org for more information.
  • Flight Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT): HAI introduced this free basic FRAT capability at HAI HELI-EXPO 2022 in partnership with NGFT Solutions. The tool’s simple question-and-answer format helps you objectively evaluate the potential risks of an upcoming flight. Once those risks are identified, a mitigation prompt helps you think through possible strategies to reduce the risks to an acceptable level. HAI members can also create and save fully customized FRAT capabilities free of charge. To learn more, go to rotor.org/resources/frat-program.
  • Safety Management International Collaboration Group (SM ICG): Hosted by Skybrary, the SM ICG provides several valuable safety management system (SMS) implementation and guidance products, chief among them the SM ICG SMS Evaluation Tool. This tool is used to review an organization’s SMS using a series of questions to assess the SMS’s performance, as well as compliance with its regulations, in order to manage safety risk effectively. The tool was developed to harmonize and standardize global SMS oversight and is supported by dozens of resources.
  • Spotlight on Safety (SOS): HAI spotlights critical safety topics through our monthly SOS message. This year, we had several dedicated industry stakeholders contribute their time and talents to highlight the topics that meant the most to them. To find an SOS message that might resonate with you or your organization, visit rotor.org/sos.
  • HAI Framework for Safety Guidebook: HAI published the HAI Framework for Safety Guidebook in 2021, providing members with quick access to tactical steps to elevate safety in their personal and professional lives. With examples and self-assessment checklists useful to pilots, mechanics/engineers, owners, operators, and flight schools, this guide has been shared with hundreds at safety conferences and has been viewed or downloaded over 120 times. To get your copy, go to rotor.org/resources/hai-framework-for-safety-guidebook.

The resources above only scratch the surface of what’s currently available for anyone to use and share—at no cost. To discover additional free and discounted safety program services available to HAI members, visit rotor.org/safety or contact the HAI safety team at safety@rotor.org.

Author

  • Chris Hill

    After an aviation career in the US Army and Coast Guard, Chris Hill oversaw aviation safety management systems throughout the USCG as aviation safety manager. He holds an ATP rating and has logged more than 5,000 flight hours, primarily in military and commercial helicopters. Chris joined HAI in 2018 as director of safety.

Chris Hill

Chris Hill

After an aviation career in the US Army and Coast Guard, Chris Hill oversaw aviation safety management systems throughout the USCG as aviation safety manager. He holds an ATP rating and has logged more than 5,000 flight hours, primarily in military and commercial helicopters. Chris joined HAI in 2018 as director of safety.