High Accident Rate in US Based HEMS

The Admin

Staff member
Thread starter #1
So whats causing the high accident rate in US based EMS helicopters, is it just normal or is there something chronically wrong with the system. Do they need to go to an all twin operation or does the single still suffice.
It’s multiple issues. Previously being twin engine was an advantage and still is in Europe as required by law but with advances in reliability, avionics and automation in modern singles then a h125, aw119, 407GXP etc are suitably equipped for most operations. Longer legs and transfer ops would be best remain twin such as Reach and LA Children’s or Arkansas Children’s.

A major factor is the lack of proper safety culture in many operations and in some instances a complete absence of CRM. That can happen anywhere but from experience FAA land is about 20 years behind EASA land in terms of CRM.

I’m sure there are other factors and opinions. These are just from my experience/knowledge base.
I would agree; a lack of safety culture. In the last few articles detailing some of the recent accidents I see that poor weather and visibility is a major contributor to the scenario. Perhaps there is a good percentage of pilots who push the limits in favor of getting the patient home, or maybe they misjudge their abilities in IMC/IFR conditions?

I just hope that the HEMS world is able to recover as it's getting pretty hard to stand up for vertical lift services when there are so many reports of crashes and fatalities.