Medical Aspects of Helicopter Safety and Crashworthiness,
ARMY SAFETY CENTER FORT RUCKER AL
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Helicopters are being used in increasing numbers for military operations in countries throughout the world. In the U.S. Army, helicopters comprise approximately 94 percent of the active fleet. While medical considerations for helicopter operations are much the same as for fixed wing operations, there are some differences of emphasis that will be reviewed. A review of the past 5 years accident experience reveals that 80 percent are attributed to human error. It is shown that crew error is never a sufficient explanation for an accident. The relationship of errors to system deficiencies is established through human factors analysis. Once identifide, appropriate measures can be instituted to correct these deficiencies. Since current operational helicopters are not equipped with systems for inflight escape, crashworthiness is a key issue in their design. Principles of helicopter crashworthiness are reviewed, and the means for deriving these principles from crash injury analysis is discussed.