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Though the precise causes of yesterday’s helicopter crash in Vauxhall – which resulted in two fatalities – are yet unknown, MP Kate Hoey seemed to suggest on Radio 4’s The World At One yesterday that an increase in the number of helicopter flights had made the London skyline less safe.
She was challenged by Martha Kearney who retorted “if you look back at January 2007 there were 67 [helicopter flights] per day, whereas January last year [there were] 33 per day.” Though Ms. Hoey admitted her source was “apocryphal stories,” she added that there was no doubt about the increase.
helicopter vs car safety
Helicopter Vs Motorcycle Safety
The MP for Vauxhall also raised the issue in Parliament yesterday, and exhorted the government to “look much more closely at where, how and why helicopters fly through our central city.” The Prime Minister agreed that “it is inevitably something that has to be carefully looked at.”
But is it true that the number of helicopter flights have been increasing in the last few years? And how dangerous are helicopters exactly?
Figures released by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – and also published by the Guardian – reveal that in December 2007, the London skyline saw an average of 58 helicopter flights per day. June 2008 saw a peak of 4,310 flights, or an average of 143 per day.
In December 2012, there were on average 36.5 chopper flights per day.
It is clear from the graph below that monthly flights over London Heathrow and London City control zones decreased fairly consistently in the year 2012, as compared to the past five years.
How dangerous are helicopters compared to other forms of transport?
Yesterday’s incident was the first fatal helicopter incident in London since records began in 1976. The Civil Aviation Authority also told us that, nationwide, there have been 33 fatal civil helicopter incidents since 1998. This is out of a total of 16,354 chopper flights for the year 2012, up to and including Octoer 2012.
The European Aviation Safety Agency publishes an Annual Safety Review. In their 2011 report it emerged that out of approximately 100-120 civil helicopter accidents a year in Europe, an average of 16 fatal accidents were reported per year between 2006 and 2009.
So how does this safety record compare to other modes of transport?
While we know that in 2011 32 people died in cars in London, and that 16 died on their bikes, this doesn’t tell us anything about whether road fatalities are more likely to occur than helicopter fatalities.
In fact, the data released by the European Aviation Safety Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority, and other organisations which concern themselves with aviation safety, isn’t directly comparable to other accident data as it doesn’t account for the different distances covered by the different modes of transport.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Slate.com attempted to answer this question after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie argued that his use of taxpayer-funded helicopter flights was justified because they had a better safety record than cars.
helicopter vs private jet safety
Top 10 Luxury Helicopters in the World
Most people have heard of personal and charter jets, but luxury helicopters are the genuine gems. Not only are these aircraft comparatively less expensive, but helicopters can approach places that bulky jets can’t. Having a private or commercial helicopter is expedient, more environment friendly, and a symbol of status. Celebrities including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Donald Trump own a luxury helicopter, and this slot market has grown considerably in recent years due to demand from the rich.
They are well-appointed with all the newest technology, and interior seating marks that are designed in fine Italian leather upholstery.
Therefore the list of top 10 luxury helicopters is given below:
1. Augusta Westland AW119 Ke Koala:
The Koala is chiefly used by law enforcement, but it can easily provide accommodation to a group of corporate directors traveling on business. It has a VIP services quite adequately, with premium leather upholstery and seating for about 6 passengers and 2 operators. The Koala reaches a top speed of 166 mph (267 km/h) and a range of 618 miles (995 km). Price ranges from $1.8 to $3 million.
2. Eurocopter Hermès EC 135:
Though this brand of luxury helicopters is not suitable for long distant trips, is has a class apart built. The typical EC 135 will cost you a mere $4.2 million, but the one with the interior design from the best in class designer will cost you up to $6 million. The top speed is 178 mph, but the range is just 395 miles.
3. Augusta Westland AW109 Grand Versace VIP:
Augusta Westland teamed up with the Italian fashion house Versace to produce a super luxury interior for this fancier version of the AW109. The top speed is about 177 mph and a range of 599 miles. The mere difference is that all 599 of those miles will be more luxurious for the VIP passengers. Hence, will cost you $6.3 million price tag and the helicopter is fully covered in Versace leather, design and exterior.
4. Eurocopter Mercedes-Benz EC 145:
If you’re a Mercedes fan, now you can fly your preferred brand helicopter too. A regular EC 145 costs about $5.5 million, so the Mercedes version is going to cost anywhere around $7 million. But it’s totally worth it. No other Mercedes can go 153 mph while flying 17,000 feet above the ground. It has all the luxury of the famous German sports.
5. Eurocopter EC 175:
The EC 175 made its wonderful first appearance at the Paris Air Show in 2009. The chief feature of the EC 175 is that it can hold 16 passengers contentedly inside. The top speed reaches 178 mph (286 km/h), with a range of 345 miles (555 km). It costs whooping $7.9 million.
6. Eurocopter EC 155:
This is a luxurious chopper. Its top speed is an impressive 200 mph with a range of 533 miles. It can seat as many as 13 passengers; this spacious EC 155 aircraft will cost you $10 million.
7. Sikorsky S-76C:
The Sikorsky S-76C is more generally known as Black Hawk. The massive interior is large sufficient to fit up to a dozen passengers, but the seating occupies 4 passengers in Black Hawk model. It reaches a top speed of 178 mph (286 km/h) and has a range of 473 miles (761 km). It would cost you a $12.95 million.
8. Augusta Westland AW139:
The AW139 is appropriate for law enforcement, armed patrol and firefighters. It has a capacity to seat 8 passengers. The AW139 can reach an unbelievable top speed of 193 mph (310 km/h), with a range of 573 miles (922 km). It carries a beautiful interior costing you a hefty $14.5 million.
9. Bell 525 Relentless:
Like the Gulfstream 650 jet, the Bell 525 Relentless helicopter isn’t on the market currently. This chopper is going to cost $15 million. They predicted that the seating will be for 16, a top speed of 162 mph, and a range of 460 miles. This bright yellow Relentless with amazing seating will cost you a fortune.
10. Sikorsky S-92 VIP Configuration:
The S-92 can safely accommodate 9 passengers in its extensive interior cabin. The prices vary exponentially if you plan on decking the interiors with gold or crystal. The top speed of the S-92 is around 194 mph (312 km/h), with a range of 594 miles (956 km). The prices range from $17 million to $32 million.
Helicopter charter can be the most stress-free travel familiarity you will ever have. Which includes being able to travel outside of airports to reach vital meetings or even other flights in a different airport. Though rich class can afford these luxury helicopters, they are worth the investment.