Helicopter Safety

Topics: Warning systems, Ground proximity warning system, EGPWS Pages: 1 (361 words) Published: April 2, 2013
The constant high-profile of helicopter accidents, such as the recent crash of the deadly medical helicopter in Oklahoma City, suggests that they are potential risk-makers. With a well-trained pilot and a helicopter that will operate properly, these incidents would most likely not occur. The major reasons that cause the helicopter accidents are the helicopter’s inherent flexibility, low visibility conditions, and the fact that they usually maintain a short distance to the ground. Due to these reasons, new technologies emerged to try to improve helicopter safety, and prevent helicopter crashes from happening. Recently, more advanced technology are offered by avionic companies to help the pilots to have a better understanding of their surroundings ,and give them warnings about approaching terrains and known obstacles. For example, the Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems and the Enhanced Ground Proximity warning Systems are both the latest advances in technology which are more accurate than the systems in use currently and provides a clear idea of the geography around the helicopter. Although they are helpful to improve helicopter safety, there is still a weakness about them. If the system is not updated recently, then it would not be able to display obstacles that are not in the database. Luckily, there is also technology that can provide the pilots with the ability to see through visual obstacles such as fog and rain. For example, the Enhanced Vision System and the Max-Viz help to give the pilots a realistic picture of the obstacles near the helicopter. But, there is not any aural or visual warning. If the pilot is not paying attention to the system, then he will not know about the alert. In summation, new technologies are invented to lower the risk of the pilots during their flight in their aircrafts. Even though there are helpful technologies that can minimize the chance of them at risk, the pilots might not use them. Research indicates that pilots...
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