Becker Helicopters Supports the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST)

The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) and its worldwide partners in government and industry have developed wide-ranging safety “toolkits” aimed at helping members of the helicopter industry to enhance their safety practices and reduce the current accident rate.  These toolkits are free and available on the IHST web site at www.IHST.org.  They include:

Safety Management System (SMS) toolkit – This toolkit provides a system that proactively promotes safety through a continuous improvement program. It helps in assessing risk and managing safety as a proactive organizational behavior, and it supports the development of a positive and systemic safety culture.  The toolkit uses an advanced, integrated method of implementing standards identified by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the FAA Flight Standards Service (AFS-900).  It provides assistance for organizations to achieve improved safety performance using a “performance based approach,” and it encourages organizations to choose the solution that best suits their needs and performance objectives. The toolkit helps organizations determine their level of compliance and develop an action plan that includes the necessary components.

Training toolkit – This toolkit provides a standard for pilot training that focuses on operational specific scenarios, human factors, and the use of simulators and flight training devices.  It also provides guidance in identifying and utilizing training aids, training devices, and simulators to improve aircraft and mission specific proficiency.  The document is designed to assist organizations in understanding the fundamentals of effective training, serves as a guide in implementing a functional training department for small to medium size organizations, and will improve training effectiveness and safety by both preventing accidents and mitigating the severity of accidents.

Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring toolkit – This toolkit is designed to provide a summary of existing flight data monitoring guidance and to serve as a step-by-step guide to helicopter operators considering or currently implementing a Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring (HFDM) program. It is also intended to address some unique challenges specific to helicopter operations.

The document includes case studies, a discussion on Health Usage and Monitoring Systems (HUMS), industry best practices from the Global HFDM Steering Group, detailed information of management decisions, and a new common event set for helicopters.

Maintenance toolkit – This toolkit is intended to provide helicopter operators with a framework of guidance material to ensure that they can safely maintain their aircraft in airworthy readiness for operations in the most cost-effective manner possible.  No matter what size company or how many helicopters are involved, it is essential for all the stakeholders, including the owners, operators and their customers, to agree on how maintenance is to be done and to document that agreement to assure a shared understanding and consistent execution.  The intent of this document is for helicopter operators to assess their existing maintenance activities; address the purpose, scope, responsibilities, policies, and resource requirements of a helicopter operator’s maintenance organization; and offer guidelines for maintenance procedures, quality assurance, training & competence assurance, record keeping, HUMS, maintenance support equipment, and fuel systems.

Information about these cornerstone areas, the IHST, its reports, and its safety tools, can be found on the IHST web site: (www.IHST.org).

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