It would appear the US rate is better than Australia and New Zealand. They have about 10,000+ civil choppers whereas Australasia has about 1,600.
Overall, we have almost twice their accident rate. However, before you throw bricks at this post, remember our larger percentage of light machines. This group has a much higher loss rate, due to the type of work they do.
To summarise, the US rates are generally lower; which goes to prove it is not regulation but education that seems to make the difference.
With accident statistics, you really need to compare apples with apples. For example it is no good comparing a mustering R22 in north Australia with a S76 flying offshore on the North Sea. You must compare helicopter types plus the type of work they are doing plus factors such as topography, weather, etc. I refer to civil accidents only as military ones have a totally different criteria. Also the experience level of pilots is important, not just the total time but hours on type & role. For example I expect a pilot with 10000 hours S61 offshore in GOM or the North Sea, would not be much use flying a Bell 47 on crop dusting compared to a 47 pilot with 500 hours total all crop dusting. Obviously any good pilot can be taught a different role but that would involve training & gaining experience and unfortunately that is not always taken into account either by the pilot or the operator.
New Zealand Report Card – Jan to Mar ‘05
(From CAA NZ website)
Ten year overview. For all aircraft types, hours flown in this quarter was 248,000 whereas a decade ago the figure was 179,000. Aircraft on the register have increased from 3,3378 to 3,828. Private pilots have remained static at 3,600. Commercial licences are now 3,484 an increase of only 200. All ATPL licence holder have grown by only 250 to 1,750. Engineers have moved from 1,800 to just over 2,000.
Overall the helicopter segment is showing continued strong growth measured by CAA NZ at 11.7% per year. This is above the Australian figure of about 8% per year. In both countries, aeroplanes below 5,670 kg are losing ground, despite the increase in airline activity.
Accidents rate down. The CAA NZ quarterly safety summary ending 31 Mar ’05 shows the overall the accident rate for GA is currently below the CAA NZ target at 7/100,000 flying hours.
Helicopters had only three accidents in the quarter, compared to seven last year, an encouraging trend.
More helicopters. Helicopters increased from 541 to 604 over the year, an increase of 11.6%. The register gained another 63 helicopters, and although the helicopter rate of increase has slowed over the Christmas/New Year period, the trend is still very positive.
Aeroplanes mixed bag. All categories flew 12% more hours than last year. However, the smaller the aeroplane the worse business appeared to be. Light aeroplanes are following the Australian trend of an almost stagnate growth rate of 1.7%.
It can be said the helicopter fleet is growing six times faster than GA aeroplane fleet.
Social costs. An interesting NZ study is the social cost of accidents. Over the past decade 102 aircraft have been destroyed, 213 people killed and 122 suffered serious injuries. A total cost of $677 million or $67.7m a year. The life of a person is valued at $2.842 million.
95% of losses are from GA. The below 5,670 kg aeroplanes, helicopters and sport groups cause 95% of the accidents and associated costs to the community. Helicopters cause losses of about $18 million per year averaged over ten years. That is $1.5 million each month.
There is an old saying: “If you think safety education is expensive, try having an accident.”
It is assumed that the Australian costs would be higher as the NZ people are not able to sue for compensation, as Australians and Americans do automatically.
Commercial operators. The accident trend is below the CAA NZ target set some time ago. This is good news for the insurance companies. The current rate is about 3/100,000 hours.
Aerial work. The NZ rate is about 11/100,000 hours, still slightly below the target for this group. It is just below the equivalent Australian rate. Combined, the NZ rates are now below the Australian rates. However, they are still higher than the USA. (Congratulations to the NZ community.)
Private owners. Although they will protest their innocence, the private owners are not doing so well and are above the target set by the CAA NZ. The current rate is 25/100,000 flying hours. The past quarter has shown an improvement, so fingers crossed.
The private loss rate in NZ is similar to the Australian rate.
Mechanical defects. These are hard to define. The past year has shown a major decrease in major defects in the helicopter fleet, despite flying more hours.
Thought I would pass these facts onto to this thread while I was drafting an article for a magazine. It sort of helps with the debate, and may be of interest to the professional aviation community.
As an aside, the reason for the high loss rates amongst private owners, a world wide problem (both FW and RW) is simply: low hours, low rate of flying and lack of currency and check rides.
As the machines get faster and more technobabble, the rates go up!
Can anyone tell me if it is possible to do the JAA/H cpl ground school in New Zealand using one of the flight training schools .. I am at the moment finishing my jaa/h ppl and hope to return to nz early next year and would like to carry on with the jaa system. The reason for this is i plan at some stage to return to Europe and i dont want the problems of having to convert back to the jaa licence on return....Thanks
I have just returned from NZ and was an instructor there for 5 years. I haven't come across anyone doing JAA instruction. I'm now in the process of doing my NZ to UK JAA conversion. Not a simple task as you probably know. Wish I could have found more work in NZ or Aussie and I would have stayed! Best of luck for the future.
Just had a thought. You could try emailing Cathy Penney at the NZ CAA on firstname.lastname@example.org She look after Part 61 auditing in NZ and knows everyone and everything and helicopter flying in NZ. If there is someone doing anything she will know! If you find out let me know. I might head back there myself.
Sadly you protectionist Poms dont allow anyone else to conduct the training... sadly to date only the odd compnay in the States can conduct JAA training.
There is no where else. There are a couple of freak exceptions... CTC here in NZ... but they have their own examiners (its the Easy Jet cadetship scheme) etc etc
To date the only company I have heard of that has even made a go of it is the West Australian Aviation College in Perth.
Good luck... its a great place to fly here... and cheap... if nothing else come have a holiday... I believe distance learnig etc for the chageover when you get home gets more user friendly all the time.
going back to the heli flight nz question!!! yes it is a good school and just because they look profesional dosn't mean that they are!! the place i went in chch say they are the MOST professional helicopter company in nz!!! as far as i'm concerned that is the biggest load of s t!!! they have been mentioned in this thread and yes they have a far from perfect record!! they don't do as many hours as heliflight and they have had a few incidents ( admitally no injurys though) in the past couple of years!! My advice would be to go to a smaller school where you can get more one on one flying!!!!
I am a PPL(H) living in Auckland NZ. I'm looking to start the CPL in the very near future (hopefully) and am investigating schools in the Auckland area. North Shore Helicopter Training is looking like a good option ..... If anybody out there has dealt with them/trained with them and can offer any opinions or advice it would be much appreciated.
I learned to fly @ heliflight..., yes i had to be proactive ....Always trying to get the best out of myself, Instructors and School. The instructors I had were of the highest Quality. The Wairarapa offered changeable winds...mountains ...Interesting cross country alternatives...social enviroment. Accidents will happen with such a large volume of students from different backgrounds ....and abilities. I am now working actively as a pilot..... and believe the ground work and perfection demanded by my instructors at heliflight was the basis for me to be able to keep up with the ongoing process of learning....that is helicopter flying. Good luck...gaining your initial licenses is just the begining ...learn the basics well ...most flying schools will offer that...Heliflight offers this and does it well.
I would recomend Bruce Harvey , who is located at Taupo Airfield in tne North Island. I did not train there , but have heard nothing but good things about him. I dont know much about Heli-flight , but i think Harvey Helicopters would offer more one on one flying than a larger training school could.
I trained with Garden City in Christchurch. They had good instructors with experience in the working environment. You will get problems with all training schools, flying training or otherwise. No school is perfect! You need however good access to aircraft and areas to train in, your time is valuable especially if you are coming from overseas. You also dont want to be flying a distance to training areas, as you want as much learning as you can. Don't know much about heliflight, we have only had one guy from that company look for work with us. He said it was ok, but quite busy and hard to get time with an aircraft. Weather is also a factor. You dont want to be sitting around waiting on weather as during intital training it makes life tough training in krap weather. Good luck.
I agree with going to somewhere small, however make sure they will also help you out with the theory as many one or two ship operators leave you on your own or dont have the infrastructure. Heliflight NZ hmmm. Very much a professional training and general commercial operator a few years ago and still are. However since they went heavily into student loans, attitudes students and machines have suffered. The Wairarapa base is rumored to be closing down now so the "we have two bases" harp will soon cease. It seems McKays huge student loan springboard to slay the Auckland corporate market has lost traction and things are getting more realistic. Heliflight students? Unless you become an instructor things can be difficult as the reputation has declined a little. Hopefully the people there will settle down after the student loan experience and they will return to the Wairarapa days.
Is a good school the only bad thing about it is the moaning students who expect it all the be handed on a plate to them,I trained there and am doing ok proberly because instead of moaning i got on and did it .If they put as much effort into there training as they did complaining maybe they might get some where..
If you want the real story on this lot PM me and Ill fill you in on a number of disatisfied students who have sadly seen their hard earned money tipped into a poor school.
By all accounts, they used to be good... the GM however has used it as a bit of a road to riches and the quality of staff and training is now substandard.
Along with a string of crashes, a never ending parade of overspeeds and moaning students, the place is best avoided.
Sadly, the lure of NZ's odd student loan system has seen a school, full of idiots, some of whom become instrcutors grow out of all proportions, all of this is hard to spot from so far away when you look at their slick web site etc
Go and train with someone who will give you the time you deserve for slaving away at some crap pounds per hour job to save up the cash to follow your dream. Theres lots of good ones... Heli-Flight is no longer one of them