The conference’s first day, April 21, will open with programs designed to appeal to the entire helicopter community with presentations by National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt, survivors of helicopter accidents or near-accidents and an FAA-led discussion on the patterns we see in fatal helicopter accidents. We will then break into separate sections in the afternoon for pilots and mechanics, with pilots discussing autorotations, and health and risk assessments. Mechanics will discuss installing NextGen technology, human factors in maintenance, supplemental type certificates and a planned website, where information and lessons learned will be shared. The dual format will continue April 22. The third day, “International Day,” will include presentations from the European Aviation Safety Agency, Transport Canada Civil Aviation, industry groups and the FAA.
The information gained at this conference could help you prevent a catastrophic accident. The event is free to encourage attendance. We also plan to offer 8 hours of Inspection Authorization credits, and we are working toward awarding WINGS credits. We will host a job fair and have rooms available for meetings and networking. We are committed to this conference’s success because personal / private, instructional / training and aerial application industries accounted for about 57 percent of all rotorcraft accidents in the United States during the past five years. Personal/private flights also accounted for about 27 percent of all rotorcraft fatal accidents – by far the largest percentage of fatal accidents of the 16 sectors examined.