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Communicate Risk Issues in the Cockpit – The flight environment is often dynamic and not every contingency can be anticipated or scripted in advance. The pilot in command is ultimately responsible for the safety of a flight, however, non- flying crew and passengers can and should work with the pilot to ensure safety. When unexpected changes are encountered, it is paramount that the pilot and crewmembers/passengers try to detect the elevation of risk, communicate it to each other, and collectively work through a reasonable resolution or mitigation. The USHST believes that effective practices are needed for each stage in the process – detection, communication, and decision.


Get Solid Training for Make and Model Transitions – Transition training in the helicopter community is not uniformly applied, and this is leading to accidents because of unfamiliarity with airframe and/or equipment. The USHST believes that documentation related to helicopter transition training can be developed into a new, unified guide that would offer recommended practices and a “toolkit” to support standardized use.


Understand the Hazards of Over-the-Counter Medications – Because over-the-counter medications are readily available, pilots frequently underestimate the deleterious effects and the impairment caused by these sedating drugs. In spite of specific federal regulations and education efforts regarding flying while impaired, over-the-counter medication usage by pilots remains a factor in 10 to 13 percent of aircraft accidents. The USHST believes that the helicopter community needs an increased awareness of the potentially disastrous results of operating an aircraft while taking these medications.


Make a Safe Attitude Your Overriding Priority – Safety in the aviation world can be defined in many ways. From the reactive point of view, safety essentially means a lack of accidents, an absence of injuries, and a general environment where things don’t go wrong. From the proactive point of view, this environment doesn’t exist for any consistent amount of time unless certain safety-related active principles are put in place and specific safety attitudes are fostered and strengthened. Whether we are strengthening a person’s safety attitude, bolstering a team’s safety convictions, or nurturing an entire safety culture, focusing every member of an aviation team at every level on clear and tangible convictions needs to be a central goal.


60 Nov/Dec 2017


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