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Safety

Our chief priority





Safety vision

Airbus Helicopters' chief priority is to support flight safety for the thousands of men and women around the world who are transported in its aircraft every day.

This commitment is reflected across all company activities involving the lifecycle of a helicopter. From design, engineering and production, to maintenance, training and partnerships, all of Airbus Helicopters' activities are focused on meeting and exceeding industry safety standards and supporting the safe operation of its aircraft.

Carrying out this commitment are Airbus Helicopters’ people, who strive every day toward ensuring safety above all else, and its supply chain partners, who share the same understanding of customer requirements.

Safety Documents

Safety by aviation SMS

Safety by aviation SMS
A safety management system (SMS) is an important tool for supporting safe helicopter operations through a reactive, proactive and predicative organizational approach to safety risks. One of its aims is to actively promote a “safety” culture – employing safety-driven decision making and risk management.

Airbus Helicopters has already deployed an aviation SMS, which it is now rolling out across its global network because of its strong belief that SMSs contribute greatly to improving helicopter safety.

The company has likewise contributed to several international working groups aimed at raising the standards of aviation SMSs.
 
SMS for operators
Implementing a safety management system is an important step for operators, as defined by the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST).

Airbus Helicopters works with its customers to introduce safety management systems within their organizations as part of its commitment to improving global flight safety and decreasing accidents.

The company provides information on the importance of hazard identification and risk management to reduce risk levels on-the-ground and in-flight, and also establishes a method to define specific daily operational hazards, identify the potential consequences of these hazards, and propose corrective and protective measures to prevent or mitigate such hazards.

Airbus Helicopters fully supports industry-wide initiatives like the IHST and works with its customers to introduce safety management systems as part of its commitment to improving global flight safety and decreasing accidents.

For more on Airbus Helicopters’ assistance in introducing an aviation safety management system, see the Information Notice IN2255-I-00 (.pdf format) and visit Airbus Helicopters International Services.
 
visit Airbus Helicopters International Services

Safety by training

Safety by training
As part of its commitment to improving aviation safety, Airbus Helicopters provides realistic mission-focused training for its complete product line, which prepares flight personnel and maintenance crews for real-world situations.

Quality training is directly linked to pilots and flight crews’ proficiency, as well as their ability to safely operate in a full range of conditions.

To ensure customers have access to world-class training, Airbus Helicopters continues to make significant investments in full-motion simulators, procedural training devices, computer-aided training and e-learning systems.

With an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) data package, Airbus Helicopters can ensure that the latest rotorcraft developments and improvements are reflected in its simulator network. In addition, the implementation of an extended field of view (210° H by 80° vertical with -50° below the horizon) in the full-flight simulator (FFS), along with the integration of real aircraft data tested by Airbus Helicopters' flight test pilots (flight loop, avionics models, vibration and sound, engine models, etc.), guarantee a real-to-life full flight simulation.

In parallel, Airbus Helicopters focuses on expanding the catalogue of services it offers – particularly for recurrent and mission training – with on-site flight operations support deployed worldwide to increase safety. This provides a comprehensive suite of services, including customer help desks and flight operations support and analysis – all tailored for individual operator’s needs.

More on Training at Airbus Helicopters

 
A worldwide network
In order to remain close to its customers and provide cost-effective solutions for fleets to remain operationally available, Airbus Helicopters – with its customer centers and affiliates – operates a network of 26 training centers and 22 full-flight simulators in all regions of the world, including Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, and South America.

Four additional full-flight simulators are scheduled to commence operations in 2015 and 2016.

To learn more, view our interactive global network map.
 

Safety by design

The technological leadership of Airbus directly supports the safe operation of the company’s rotorcraft in missions around the world.

Airbus Helicopters has developed a reputation for constant innovation, ensuring the latest advances are incorporated on its rotary-wing aircraft, which cover important safety aspects in the air and on the ground.

From cutting-edge aircraft design, to state-of-the-art systems and displays, Airbus Helicopters has developed a full range of technological improvements to increase safety, with highlights including:

Aircraft design

Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor
Developed by Airbus Helicopters in the 1960s, the Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor introduced a new level of helicopter safety on the ground and in the air. It is used on the H120, H130, H135, H145, AS365 and H155 helicopters.

Advantages include good protection against ground obstacles and foreign object damage, increased safety for ground personnel working around the tail boom, high damage tolerance and the ability to continue in flight after a tail fan loss.

The Fenestron also contributes to aerodynamic efficiency with high thrust capability and high yaw maneuverability, the reduction of turbulence and vortex-shedding, less operating penalty in crosswinds, and the elimination of yaw control load for the pilot in cruisse
 
Starflex and Spheriflex main rotor hubs
Airbus Helicopters' Starflex and Spheriflex bearingless main rotor hubs ensure very fast response to pitch changes, while also offering excellent maneuverability and stability. Used across Airbus Helicopters' product line, they have a fail-safe design through the application of composite materials, and are practically maintenance-free.
 
Crashworthy seats
Crashworthy seats on Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft are designed to stroke and/or plastically deform upon severe impact, absorbing all or a portion of the crash energy transmitted to the seat. They are equipped with a 4-point safety belt system, and the harness restraint system incorporates an automatic inertial reel and a device for manual locking of the shoulder belts.
 

Systems and displays

Vehicle and engine multifunction display
The Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD) is an Airbus Helicopters development for the management and control of the primary aircraft and engine parameters. It reduces pilot workload and fosters a "heads-up" approach to flying, giving the pilot more time to focus on the external environment thanks to a quick and easy scan, excellent visibility and optimized ergonomics.

This fully-duplex system allows the display of three modes: Operating Mode, which is used mainly in flight to display engine and aircraft parameters, along with engine power checks and weight performance computation; Maintenance Mode, used on the ground to display the flight report page, over-limit page and avionics system failure page; and Configuration Mode, which allows the operator to configure the system to integrate optional equipment in the VEMD.

The VEMD is integrated on Airbus Helicopters' AS350, H120, H130, AS355, H135, H145, H155 and H225 helicopters.
 
Modular aircraft recording monitoring system
The Modular Aircraft Recording Monitoring System (M'ARMS) is an integrated maintenance assistance system based on data recording and proactive monitoring. It is the HUMS (Health Usage Monitoring System) for the H155 and H225 helicopters, and also equips the H135, H145 and AS365 N3. Complementary functions are its use for cockpit voice and flight data recording, and as the usage and quick-access recorder.

M'ARMS improves safety margins through reduced maintenance and operational errors, greater pilot awareness of flight limitations, and the effective early detection of mechanical failures.
 
Vision 1000 flight data monitoring system
The Vision 1000 device collects inertial and positioning data, ambient acoustic data and cockpit imagery, which are stored on a crash-hardened memory module, as well as a removable secure digital card. This information is processed internally for use in Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) and flight training.

Vision 1000 is also critical in supporting accident investigations – helping Airbus Helicopters to construct its innovative Enhanced Virtual Environment (EVE), which provides investigators with a virtual pilots-eye view of what happened.

Airbus Helicopters partnered with Appareo Systems to develop and provide the Vision 1000 flight data collection device as standard equipment on all new-delivered AS350 helicopters since 2010. In 2014, the company announced its intention to expand Vision 1000 across its entire product line, beginning with the H130.
 
Helionix®
The Helionix® system is an advanced avionics suite that offers unrivaled pilot assistance in an intuitive human-machine interface, improving overall safety through reduced pilot workload and unique flight envelope protection.

Featuring high levels of redundancy with four multifunction displays, Helionix® offers an innovative alerting system, extensive self-monitoring functions and on-demand vehicle monitoring display, as well as Airbus Helicopters’ dual-duplex 4-axis Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS). For enhanced situational awareness, Helionix integrates features such as digital maps, Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System (HTAWS), synthetic vision systems and more.

Airbus Helicopters’ state-of-the-art Helionix® system is standard on the next-generation medium-twin H175 and the lightweight twin H145.
 

Safety by maintenance

Safety by maintenance
Following proper maintenance practices plays a crucial role in supporting helicopter safety. Airbus Helicopters has decades of maintenance expertise and is well equipped to address the full spectrum of operator maintenance needs, from providing the best maintenance tools, to promoting adherence to approved maintenance procedures and schedules.

The company follows the strictest standards and regulations defined by airworthiness authorities in all countries where Airbus Helicopters platforms operate.

Airbus Helicopters’ Customer Service teams are the customer’s primary entry point to maintenance activities and available services. The three main maintenance pillars related to safety are maintenance procedures, maintenance documentation, and maintenance training.

More on maintenance at Airbus Helicopters

 
Maintenance procedures
Airbus Helicopters works closely with customers to support their maintenance teams, whether ensuring adherence to existing maintenance procedures and inspection schedules, applying Service Bulletins and Airworthiness Directives, or developing new services that simplify and optimize customers’ maintenance organizations.

The company also promotes the proper use of maintenance technologies that aid operational safety. For example, the Health & Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) provide invaluable helicopter information that helps maintenance teams make the right decisions to keep an aircraft airworthy. How to use and interpret HUMS data is one of the key supports that Airbus Helicopters provides to customers.
 
Maintenance documentation
Airbus Helicopters’ online technical publications service, e-TechPub, available via the Keycopter customer portal, provides operators with complete, accurate and up-to-date documentation to support safe operations and maintenance of their helicopters.

The two types of maintenance-related publications shared on eTechPub are Maintenance manuals and Parts & Tools catalogs.

Maintenance manuals outline processes for the identification, maintenance and repair of helicopter parts. Parts & Tools catalogs contain lists and illustrations that identify parts and tools required for spares or repair.

e-TechPub subscribers receive notifications whenever a new publication is added or updated – including Service Bulletins, Airworthiness Directives, and Safety Information Notices. In this way, the customers have at their fingertips in real time the latest technical information that could impact the safe operation of their aircraft.

More on e-techpub and keycopter

 
Maintenance training
Airbus Helicopters offers a wide variety of classroom and hands-on courses designed to teach aircraft maintenance engineers how to maintain their helicopters in accordance with the aircraft maintenance manuals and regulations.

The courses cater to all levels, from new technicians in need of type rating training, to more experienced mechanics in need of periodic refreshers courses, known as recurrent training.

The company has aircraft mockups available for maintenance training at its 26 training sites around the world. Maintenance training for new products – such as the H175 and the H145 – is an indispensible part of an aircraft’s support package.

More on Maintenance Training

 

Safety by cooperation

To improve safety industry-wide, Airbus Helicopters is fully committed to working closely with its operators and suppliers, as well as key organizations such as the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) and the European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST). The company takes a proactive approach in listening to customers’ requirements in order to meet their expectations.

Airbus Helicopters is a responsible member of the international helicopter community, sharing its values with the industry and actively contributing to key rotorcraft safety goals. Supporting the safety initiatives of leading organizations, institutes, steering groups and governmental agencies around the world is a key company priority.

Further reinforcing the company’s cooperation in industry-wide safety initiatives, Airbus Helicopters has issued a Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) for H225 aircraft that are utilized for oil and gas missions, marking the first such source document created in the rotorcraft sector.

Airbus Helicopters works closely with the IHST – along with its European component the EHEST – which brings together government and industry leaders to reduce civil rotorcraft accidents. Formed in 2006, IHST aims for an 80 percent reduction in the international civil helicopter accident rate over ten years (by 2016).

The company also works with its customers to support the safe operation of their Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft. This includes regularly hosting and participating in symposiums and forums, distributing safety materials to help customers manage operational risks and supporting operators’ application of helicopter flight data management (HFDM) systems.

In addition, the company leverages the expertise and know-how of its supplier base to support safety and quality, engaging its supply chain through a collaborative approach and shared view of customer expectations.
IHST-EHEST

International Helicopter Safety Team

An industry-wide effort to improve rotorcraft safety is headed by the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST), which was formed in 2005.

As the world’s no. 1 helicopter manufacturer, Airbus Helicopters takes a leadership role in this important safety initiative. As part of this commitment, the company is a major sponsor of the organization’s annual safety symposium which is open to all aviation safety professionals within the helicopter community.

Aiming to realize an international civil helicopter community with zero accidents, the IHST works with global partners – such as Airbus Helicopters – and regional safety teams to develop strategies and harmonize safety efforts in key areas, including:

  • Educating target audiences on helicopter safety and accident causes;

  • Updating the progress toward IHST goals;

  • Conveying information about global partnership efforts within IHST;

  • And, raising awareness on IHST tools that can improve helicopter safety.


Nearly 40 countries support the IHST’s efforts, with safety teams established in Europe, the United States, Canada, Brazil, India, Japan and the Middle East-North Africa region.

Visit the International Helicopter Safety Team’s official website for more information
 
Outreach to customers
Airbus Helicopters maintains a close relationship with customers to improve rotorcraft safety.

The company – and its worldwide network of customer centers and affiliates – regularly hosts symposiums and forums for its operators, allowing them to get the latest safety and technical updates, as well as provide feedback on key issues. Examples include the annual national and regional customer service symposiums hosted by company’s Airbus Helicopters, Inc. U.S. affiliate, as well as an oil and gas forum for Asian operators, among many other initiatives around the world which cover topics including safety and training.

Airbus Helicopters also reaches out to its customers through events that help operators establish a top-notch safety culture – such as the CHC Quality & Safety Summit, which brings together leading aviation, oil and gas, insurance and regulatory experts to promote aviation safety

As a leading helicopter manufacturer, Airbus Helicopters is committed to fostering a culture of safety within the company, and sharing it with the industry. Safe operation of its in-service rotorcraft is supported by the company’s outreach – which includes working with operators on such key topics as safety management systems, risk management, helicopter flight data management (HFDM) systems, comprehensive analysis of training systems, and more.
 
Supply chain
Airbus Helicopters works with its supply chain partners to leverage the strengths of this global network through a collaborative approach and shared view on safety and customer expectations.

This ensures that the company’s commitment to safety is aligned throughout the entire aircraft manufacturing process, to deliver quality aircraft that meet – and exceed – the requirements of a global operator base.
 

Safety news

Changing aviation culture with Safety Roadshows

21 April 2017

As technologies and tools evolve to improve aviation safety, accident rates still remain high. Airbus Helicopters has launched its Safety Roadshows to address and improve the number of accidents due to operational factors, the main cause behind most rotorcraft accidents.
Watch the Video

Aviation safety takes to the road, worldwide

3 February 2017

Safety seminars and workshops are becoming a tool for addressing safety issues in aviation. Airbus' helicopter division has taken the concept further; over the past year, the manufacturer’s “safety roadshows” have drawn on the resources of its locally-placed customer centres to reach operators one by one, on their home turf. The results have engendered change within the safety management systems of operators. Further, an improved safety culture has emerged thanks to a different dialogue between employees within the same company. Feedback from participants has shown signs of a growing awareness of the need for greater proficiency.
Read More

New EASA committee dedicated to rotary wings

26 January 2017

Airbus Helicopters is a member of the new Rotorcraft Sectorial Committee. This advisory committee of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is dedicated to rotary wings and met for the first time in Cologne, France at the end of January. The committee comprises 25 representatives of the European rotorcraft community.
Read More

Safety events

Airbus Helicopters actively supports initiatives to improve fleet safety around the world. This involves close interaction with its customers to obtain feedback on their needs and challenges, along with active participation in meetings, symposiums, forums and other industry events.

Check back regularly for the latest safety-related events from Airbus Helicopters.

Rotorcraft Asia 2017 in Singapore

April 18-20, 2017

Airbus Helicopters is sponsoring Rotorcraft Asia 2017, with discussions on innovation led by Mr. Jean-Brice Dumont
Executive Vice President, Engineering & Chief Technical Officer at Airbus Helicopters, and a panel about innovation in safety management systems.

Find the full schedule of events here.

2017 CHC Safety & Quality Summit in Dallas, Texas, USA

September 27-29, 2017

Airbus Helicopters has contributed to and sponsored this CHC Safety and Quality Summit for the past several years. The summit is a powerful lever to impact others in the industry and promote a high level of aviation safety through “safety by cooperation and collaboration.” Airbus Helicopter safety experts will also actively contribute as speakers at this event.

Learn more about the CHC Safety & Quality Summit

Watch videos from the 2016 CHC Safety & Quality Summit:
About the 2016 CHC Safety & Quality Summit
CHC CEO Karl Fessenden 2016 Keynote Speaker
CHC 2016 Plenary Session