During his keynote speech Tuesday at the 2010 Safety & Training Summit in Denver, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt called for helicopter operators to continue striving for perfection while praising the efforts of the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST). He also advocated enhanced training and safety management practices, improved pilot decision-making, more access to helicopter simulators and better maintenance as ways to lower the industry’s accident rate and reach the IHST’s goal of reducing helicopter accidents by 80 percent by 2016.
“In safety, good enough is never good enough. Greatness is our target here,” Babbitt proclaimed, noting that while helicopter accidents have decreased in recent years, operators need to constantly train and avoid becoming complacent in regards to accident prevention. “The safety record of this industry is absolutely headed in the right direction,” he said. “But when we’re headed in the right direction, that phrase in and of itself is not good enough. We need to keep moving in that direction, and that takes renewed focus, time and time again. We’re never close enough with safety.”
He continued: “Finding ways to improve pilot decision-making, better training, better access to helicopter simulators, adopting safety management practices and improving maintenance practices—all of these things put together add up to a safer operating environment.”
Look for the complete version of this story in the July 2010 print edition of Rotor & Wing. It will also appear on the website. For video segments from Randy Babbitt’s keynote speech, visit the Babbitt Keynote Speech Channel.