SMS and the practice of safety reporting have made it possible to identify new types of operational safety issues that were not immediately explicit before. Safety reporting could involve errors that pilots or maintainers have made and that they report. It could include equipment failures or failure rates that might not be the same as expected. Additionally, safety reporting could cover areas where procedures are difficult to follow and therefore need to be improved. Sometimes it is about interfaces between different groups such as operators and air traffic controllers, and the ways these could be improved.

“With the implementation of SMS, all areas of operations feel that they have a safety voice that can change policies, procedures, and processes that impact their ability to complete the job safely and efficiency. In particular, ground support staff are more inclined to report on operational pressures from customers or from within the organization, that have

the potential to adversely impact operations,” Jacobs notes.

“We have had a few notable success stories, including wrong rig landings, autopilot dropouts, and employee personnel injuries,” Trapp adds. “For the landing issue, we were aware anecdotally and began measuring and reporting to modify the factors and behaviors that contributed to such events. For the autopilot dropouts, we again knew we had a problem and analyzed numbers to show a trend and then address it with other operators who were also having issues. We were able to share this information with other stakeholders to help find a global solution to benefit everyone. We are dedicated to sharing data with our partners to continue to help raise the bar for safety across the industry. Finally, we were able to identify the top drivers for personnel injuries and deploy targeted initiatives, which has led to a very strong performance in taking care of our team.”


Safety data sharing is developing some critical mass among helicopter operators, and this is allowing the identification of common industry issues, as well as the sharing of lessons learned. In this regard, HeliOffshore is playing an important role. HeliOffshore was founded by several leading offshore helicopter operators in 2014, and currently it has more than 100 members, including aircraft and system manufacturers, helicopter operators, and leasing companies.

“HeliOffshore is the focal point and portal

for information sharing across

the offshore helicopter industry. Their InfoShare online system allows for the wide distribution of de-identified safety information that allows individuals and organizations to be active participants in a worldwide safety program. With a pay-to- play approach, organizations understand and accept that success is user driven. There is still much to be done, but we have made significant progress in the past few years,” Jacobs says.

“We play an active role in a number of work streams, providing leadership and our expert technical resources. We also share certain data to help with industry-wide assessments of areas such as system reliability. The HeliOffshore information exchange

– InfoShare – is a key area where we can voluntarily share de-identified data that may be of interest and use to other operators. Some topics can be technical in nature while other information exchanges might be more operational,” Trapp says. “The HeliOffshore team is also developing protocols for the sharing of flight data monitoring (FDM) data, and this is being supported by a new system developed by GE. Other exchanges have revolved around the development of best practice manuals, with the most significant one being created for use in health and usage monitoring systems (HUMS).”

Indeed, more and more data sharing is occurring among helicopter day-to-day


operators data

today. This and FDM data

includes for

operational performance, as well as line operations safety audit (LOSA) data from observations of frontline performance. “After analyzing the reliability data, HeliOffshore is now working with the original equipment manufacturers on fleet-based priority lists for improvements that would reduce avoidable errors being made during maintenance,” Haskins shares. “We are working with the industry to further develop safety reporting capability and share data across the supply chain. HeliOffshore holds regular InfoShare meetings and discussions in an open forum. We also have our HeliOffshore Space as a collaboration tool that is designed to help 24/7 incident sharing.”


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