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HeliTorque :: View topic - Fixed Wing v Rotary Accident Stats.
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Flight Safety

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Fixed Wing v Rotary Accident Stats.
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ALFA8C
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 10:32 am    Post subject: Fixed Wing v Rotary Accident Stats. Reply with quote

Guys,
I was just wondering pro rata, are there more or less private rotary accidents to fixed wing?
I have searched for the stats but can't seem to locate them.
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James T Lowe
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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anecdotally, from checking the AAIB reports each month, I'd say there is at least 10 fixed wing incidents to one rotary. Often more. I'm also completely ignoring the type of flight part, as well. (Private/Commercial, etc.)

However, it might be useful to look at it as a ratio of of registered aircraft types. I'd guess that the ratio of incidents rotary to fixed wing, is pretty similar to the ratio of registered craft.

With regard to that, on the UK register, at 1st Jan:
Helicopters: 1260
Fixed Wing: 10099
Microlight: 4045
(10099 + 4045=14144)

(This ignores Airships, Balloons, Gliders, and various other "niche" classifications)

So 1260/14144 is around 9%, or very approximately, rotary:fixed = 1:10.


I dare say statistics for type and number of flights would be pretty tricky to find. Wonder if they even exist anywhere?
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ALFA8C
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that James.
What I was trying to work out was: is rotary flight is more dangerous than fixed wing but perhaps your posts suggest that pro rata there is probably a similar amount of accidents in both.
And maybe a post for another day but.............is the R22 as accident prone as many 'pilots' on another forum make out or, once again, is it just that we hear of more on that type as there are more of them around?
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I reckon the R22 gets a bad rep! I reckon the R22 gets a bad rep!

The UK numbers show that R22 has had more incidents than any other type

Yes, there are more around...*** but by its cost effective nature, it's a machine which is often selected to operate in a training environment.

*** Actually, no there aren't. G-INFO stats below show more R44 on UK register than R22. And globally, Robinson have produced more R44 than R22. So it might seem like more, but I'm wrong! It's just not true!

I don't know that all that many accidents occur in R22 whilst in training, but pilots training on it, will often go on to self-fly hire, or own an R22. You then have a whole load of low houred and relatively inexperienced pilots flying them...!

I guess you'd need to compare numbers to how many on the register - a quick search on G-INFO shows R22 registrations currently at 161 (and including de-registered craft, 412).. actually, let's put this into a bit of a table for some of the most reported types:

Code:

                       Registrations           Incident Ratio
Type    Incidents   Current  inc. De-Reg    % Current   % De-reg
R22        101        161        412          62.7%        24.5%
R44         47        251        316          18.7%        14.8%
B206        28        116        506          24.1%         5.5%
AS332       23         28         62          82.1%        37.0%
H269        22         42        137          52.3%        16.0%
AS355       15         60        167          25.0%         9.0%


This isn't particularly scientific (and I'm not entirely sure I've found all the aircraft of certain types on GINFO - JetRangers are variously Agusta Bell, Bell, 206B, 206A, etc...). Also it's a cumulative number of incidents between '97 and '10. Perhaps incidents per year per type, against number of registered craft for that year would be more accurate? But really, I think the numbers probably give a reasonable illustration of 'type' safety.

What it does lead me to think, is that you could probably 'spin' the numbers anyway you wanted, with sufficient data. What about accident rates per flying hour? (Wildly different flight hours between a busy flight school's R22 and a privately owned R44!)

Looks like the SuperPuma is more accident prone than an R22...! Confused

Have a look around veeany's helicopter safety site for various different (statistical) views of UK incidents.
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