helicopter vs airplane safety statistics

We have researched the Helicopter Vs Airplane Safety Statistics guide. Hence, this article on helicopter crash statistics. Below, in this article, you will find helicopter safety tips. Read on to discover them.

After the tragic helicopter crash that killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant along with eight others, travelers may be wondering about the safety of civilian choppers, a tourist staple in many destinations around the world.

But should you think twice before booking that “flight-seeing” ride over a waterfall or a copter trip to the airport?

helicopter crash statistics

Helicopter Vs Airplane Safety Statistics

Safety experts say that despite the publicity that such accidents draw, helicopter transportation has a good safety record, better than that of small private planes.

“It’s safe enough so that when one of these events happens, it’s a major story,” says John Goglia, an aviation consultant and former member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned about whether the crash was preventable, he added.

The NTSB has sent a team of investigators to the crash site of the helicopter that was carrying Bryant north of Los Angeles. There, they’ll examine the wreckage and look at all aspects of the accident, including whether the helicopter should have even been flying given a dense fog in the area that had grounded other choppers. The helicopter involved, a Sikorsky S-76, is a VIP craft often used for transporting heads of state, and aviation experts report that it has a solid safety record. Investigators are already concerned, however, that the chopper didn’t appear to have a voice or data recorder aboard, which would limit the amount of information available about the crash. 

Efforts to improve safety standards

While travelers shouldn’t be afraid to fly in a helicopter, according to Goglia, he hastened to add that more can be done to make this sector of the aviation industry safer. The NTSB in recent years has called for greater federal oversight of the helicopter tour industry following a spate of flight-seeing (a term used for sightseeing outings by air) accidents, including a chopper that crashed in New York City in March 2018 killing all five tourists aboard. The company that operated that flight was later cited for unsafe conditions, including a faulty passenger restraint system that prevented those aboard from escaping when the craft plunged into the East River. 

Last month, a helicopter crashed into a mountaintop during a flight over the Hawaiian island of Kauai, killing all seven people onboard. In the case of the Hawaii crash, the itinerary was designed to showcase the dramatic Na Pali coast. The popularity of such flights in places like Hawaii is that they offer a way to experience sights that would otherwise be inaccessible. But rough terrain and changing weather conditions can be challenging; the causes of the December crash are still under investigation.

Because of the risks, some members of Congress have proposed legislation that would require pilots to maintain a minimum altitude of 1,500 feet to avoid mountain peaks that are shrouded in mist. To put that in perspective, Bryant’s flight was at 1,085 feet when it slammed into hilly terrain, and investigators said that the chopper did not have terrain avoidance technology that could have warned the pilot of the danger ahead.

The odds of being in a crash remain low

Statistics show that, percentage wise, the odds of being in a crash are very low. In Kauai alone, tour flights can average as many as 100 a day, which translates into thousands of flights each year. And yet over the past 40 years, there have been just 20 fatal helicopter accidents in all of the Hawaiian islands, according to Hawaii travel site Beat of Hawaii.  

The fatal accident rate (the number of accidents that resulted in one or more fatalities) for all helicopters in the United States was 0.72 per 100,000 flight hours in 2018, according to the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team.

In contrast, the fatal accident rate for general aviation (an industry term for noncommerical or smaller private planes), was 1.029 accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2018, the most recent year for which NTSB data is available.

Safety experts say it’s also important to distinguish between private helicopters, such as the one Kobe Bryant was flying in, and ones that operate organized tours. Bryant reportedly frequently used the chartered craft to fly over Los Angeles’s notorious traffic.

Not all are convinced

Infrequent travelers can’t be expected to have an in-depth knowledge of helicopter safety standards, a factor that some consumer advocates have cited in calling for stronger oversight of airborne group tours.

Some operators are taking the initiative to reassure fliers. Take Uber, which recently launched its Uber Copter service from Manhattan to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. In promoting the service, which debuted last summer, the ride hailing service emphasized that the operator it’s contracting with, Newark-based Heli-Flight, meets the highest safety standards, with two pilots manning each flight, which is not a requirement. 

Even so, some local politicians aren’t convinced. Right before Uber Copter’s debut, a helicopter crashed onto the roof of a midtown high-rise in Manhattan; no passengers were aboard, but the pilot died. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio apparently is no fan of the growing passenger chopper services, and he recently called for a full ban on any helicopters flying over city streets. The airport choppers, however, generally take off from helipads on the river away from the city’s tall buildings.

For those who remain nervous about helicopter safety, there are certain indicators you can look for when researching a given helicopter operator. Helicopter companies should be very transparent about their safety standards. For instance, Hawaii-based Blue Hawaiian Helicopters has a “statement of safety” front and center on its homepage touting that the company goes above and beyond even FAA regulations for safety. That’s the kind of statement (with documentation to back it up) that you want to look for.

Also, there are certain questions you should ask the operator, including how long the helicopter you are flying on has been in service and what the safety record is for the aircraft, how much experience the pilot has (pilots should have at least several years of training and flying experience), what accreditations and certifications the company has, and how recent the last safety audit was.

helicopter safety tips

Eight Types of Private Jets: Which One Is for You?


Privacy, time savings and unparalleled comfort are just some of the perks of flying via a private jet.
Cozy sleeping areas, contemporary showers, lavishly appointed board rooms, and plush seats with an abundance of legroom – these are the additional features you can enjoy depending on the private aircraft you are using.

Whether you are planning to buy your own business jet, or you wish to charter one, it is best to know which type will suit your needs and preferences to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable travel, every time.

1. Very Light Jets 


HondaJet Elite

The smallest type of private jet, Very Light Jets (VLJs) are cost-effective to operate and maintain in contrast with standard light jets. These are ideal for short-haul distances or up to a maximum of three hours of flight time.

Also known as Compact Light Jets, these can use shorter runways and fly into areas that are often inaccessible to commercial airlines. These jets typically accommodate four to seven passengers and carry a reasonable amount of luggage, but they have no room for a cabin attendant.

Popular types of VLJs include Embraer Phenom 100, Eclipse 500 and HondaJet HA-420.

AircraftEmbraer Phenom 100Eclipse 500HondaJet HA-420
Passenger Capacity4 to 7 people45 to 6 people
Range1,211 nautical miles1,294 nautical miles1,223 nautical miles
Baggage Capacity70 ft316 ft366 ft3
FacilitiesEnclosed rear lavatoryLeather seatingRear lavatory
Small forward galleyWork/dining tableFoldable table
Complimentary snacks and refreshmentsLED upper lightingOptional cabin management system

2. Small Light Jets


Cessna Citation CJ2

Offering better passenger capacity, small light jets can comfortably seat up to eight people, making it widely popular among business travelers. These jets also have a higher average flight distance, ranging from 1,400 to 2,500 nautical miles with a maximum speed of 500 miles per hour. These capabilities make them ideal for two- to three-hour flights, even for intracontinental routes.

Like their smaller counterparts, small light jets can access small airports and runways, giving business travelers more flexibility and freedom to use less busier airports instead of crowded commercial airports.

Although most small light jets do not have room for a cabin attendant, they can be outfitted with a lavatory, unlike most VLJs. Hawker 400 XP, Cessna Citation CJ2 and Dassault Falcon 10 are some of the popular jets in this class.

AircraftHawker 400 XPCessna Citation CJ2Dassault Falcon 10
Passenger Capacity6 to 8 people6 to 8 people6 to 8 people
Range1,400 nautical miles1,530 nautical miles1,520 nautical miles
Baggage Capacity53 ft374 ft341 ft3
FacilitiesEnclosed lavatoryLeather interiorExecutive seating with fold-down center
Galley and refreshment barPrivate lavatoryRear bench seat
Rear luggage sectionGalley and refreshment barLavatory

3. Super Light Jets


Embraer Phenom 300

Super light jets offer enhanced size, range and comfort compared with the small light jet class. With a more spacious cabin and luggage compartment, super light jets can accommodate an average of eight passengers in guaranteed comfort.

Though larger in size, super light jets can easily navigate short runways at private airstrips and small airports, so travelers who want to avoid the crowds at major airports can have alternative options for departure and arrival.

Notable aircraft in the super light jet class include Gulfstream G100, which can up seat up to nine people, and Embraer Phenom 300, which can carry a maximum of 11 passengers.

AircraftGulfstream G100Embraer Phenom 300Citation XLS
Passenger Capacity7 people6 to 8 people8 people
Range2,550 nautical miles1,692 nautical miles1,687 nautical miles
Baggage Capacity64 ft374 ft380 ft3
FacilitiesFull enclosed lavatory Executive seating with fold-out tableRefreshment center
Mini galleyRefreshment centerInflight conference room
Power outletsLavatoryLavatory and sink

4. Midsize Cabin Jets


Gulfstream G150

Mid-size private jets are the optimum choice for travelers who require longer flight capacity. With an average range of 2,200 nautical miles – or around five hours of non-stop travel – mid-size jets can easily manage short-haul and long-haul flights, ensuring transcontinental capacity.

Because it comes with a bigger cabin, it is ideal for passengers who want more headroom, full standing capacity and additional space for luggage. Mid-size jets also offer more stylish interiors and can provide utmost comfort and convenience for five to 10 passengers.

Mid-size jets generally have enough room for two pilots, a flight attendant, a service galley and an on-board lavatory, while some can even be outfitted with an enclosed shower and fold-out divans. Equipped with Wi-Fi and phone capabilities, mid-size jets are perfect for those who prefer to stay connected and productive during flights.

Mid-size private jets can still use smaller airports and are more cost-efficient to operate in comparison with heavy jets. If you are eyeing a mid-size private jet for your next travel, take a look at Gulfstream 150, Cessna Citation Latitude and Learjet 60.

AircraftGulfstream G150Cessna Citation LatitudeLearjet 60
Passenger Capacity7 people7 to 9 people7 to 8 people
Range2,760 nautical miles2,700 nautical miles2,250 nautical miles
Baggage Capacity80 ft3127 ft355 ft3
FacilitiesFully enclosed lavatory Spacious lavatory and baggage compartmentBusiness-class leather seating
Fully galleyExpanded refreshment centerRear modern lavatory
Entertainment systemStand-up flat-floor cabinExecutive fold out tables

5. Super Midsize Cabin Jets


Cessna Citation Sovereign

Larger cabin space and greater flying capacity are the upgrades that super mid-size cabin jets hold over standard mid-size private jets. The super mid-size cabin jet class can fly up to seven hours, covering an average of 3,500 miles.

Super mid-size jets feature spacious standing and walking room and have ample space for an enclosed lavatory and service galley. Featuring enhanced avionics that enable a quieter operation, super mid-size jets provide a higher level of comfort for travelers while delivering greater speed and range.

Gulfstream 200, Cessna Citation Sovereign and Bombardier Challenge 350 are premier choices in this class.

AircraftGulfstream G200Cessna Citation SovereignBombardier Challenger 350
Passenger Capacity8 to 10 people9 to 12 people10 people
Range3,130 nautical miles2,620 nautical miles3,200 nautical miles
Baggage Capacity150 ft3135 ft3106 ft3
FacilitiesForward full-service galleyRefreshment centerFully enclosed rear lavatory
Read enclosed lavatoryPrivate lavatory with vanityRefreshment center
Versatile cabin layoutsCenterline closetDivan layout or double-club seating options

6. Heavy Jets


Bombardier Challenger 605

First-class seats, more spacious legroom, and pull-out tabletops are just a few of the upgrades that heavy jets present to elite travelers. Boasting significantly larger cabin sizes, heavy jets envelop 10 passengers or more in a high level of aviation comfort and elegance, with all the privacy and exclusivity available in private travel.

Standard heavy jets can easily accommodate two flight attendants to manage full in-flight catering, while still having more than enough space for entertainment facilities, enclosed bathrooms and dedicated sleeping areas. In-flight productivity is guaranteed with convenient Wi-Fi and phone capabilities.

These king-size private jets pack in power too, with a superior flying capacity of up to nine hours non-stop and a range of 4,000 miles. Bombardier Challenger 605, Gulfstream 450 and Dassault Falcon 900 are a few top-of-the-line models in this class.

AircraftBombardier Challenger 605Gulfstream 350Dassault Falcon 900
Passenger Capacity9 to 12 people14 to 16 people12 to 19 people
Range3,834 nautical miles3,680 nautical miles3,590 nautical miles
Baggage Capacity115 ft3169 ft3127 ft3
FacilitiesExecutive layout with divan option availableEnclosed lavatorySpacious customizable cabin
Full-service galleyEntertainment centerFull-sized galley
Rear enclosed lavatoryFull-sized galleyFull vanity rear lavatory

 7. Ultra-Long-Range Heavy Jets


Bombardier Global 6000

If you are looking for something even better than heavy jets, then the ultra-long-range heavy jet class is probably the right choice for you. Renowned for offering the best in private travel, ultra-long-range jets provide generous cabin space with different areas dedicated to dining, work, entertainment and relaxation.

Complete with enclosed bathrooms, lie-flat beds, full-service galley and a roomy luggage area, this segment of private jets is designed to offer the highest levels of comfort and extravagance for the most discerning travelers.

With lavishly appointed interiors and ultramodern amenities, these jets ensure a relaxing and enjoyable trip, comfortably accommodating an average of 14 to 17 passengers. Capable of flying distances of 6,000 to 6,500 miles, ultra-long-range jets are the optimum choices for long-haul travels.

If you are looking to invest in an ultra-long-range jet, these are the top models you can explore: Gulfstream V, Dassault Falcon 7X and Bombardier Global 6000.

AircraftGulfstream VDassault Falcon 7XBombardier Global 6000
Passenger Capacity16 to 19 people12 to 16 people8 to 19 people
Range6,250 nautical miles5,950 nautical miles5,890 nautical miles
Baggage Capacity226 ft3140 ft3195 ft3
FacilitiesUp to four living spaces Three spacious lounge areasPrivate stateroom
Full-sized galley Forward/rear lavatoriesFull-service galley
Separate lavatories for passenger and crewRefreshment centerSeparate crew area

8. Executive Liners/Bizliners

Airbus ACJ320 photo by Comlux Aviation Group

The crème de le crème of private air travel, executive liners, or bizliners, are commercial aircraft modified for business travel or private use. Featuring a high level of customization, these are the most expensive private jets in the market.

From opulent and bespoke interiors, to spacious private suites, en-suite shower and on-board cocktail lounge, this aircraft class takes elite travel on a whole new level. Even with all these exclusive amenities, bizliners offer plenty of space for dining areas, conference rooms, overhead storage compartments, walk-in cupboards and full-service galleys manned by flight attendants.

As these private jets can navigate higher altitudes, they can operate in most weather conditions and cover great distances, making them the ideal choice for intercontinental flights or trips that last up to 10 hours or more without a stopover.

Depending on how the aircraft is customized, it can seat around 19 to 48 passengers in first-class comfort and pure elegance. Both Airbus and Boeing offer wide-body and narrow-body bizliners, such as Airbus ACJ380, Airbus ACJ319, Boeing B747-8 and Boeing BBJ.

Leave a Comment