Helicopters can be a great way to reach your destination quickly, in style, and with a terrific view. Especially in urban areas like New York City, they’re a great option for busy commuters to spend more time in the office instead of on the streets, or even for sightseers to take in the iconic skyline. The Downtown Manhattan Heliport, home of Saker JRB, is ideally located to provide these services for business and leisure alike. When choosing how to commute or travel, most people search for the most convenient, fastest option. But how do helicopters stack up when compared with other common means of transport? A number of factors must be taken into consideration, including safety statistics and the suitability of different modes of transportation for differing needs.
The first thing to consider is the cold hard data. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, last year there were just 0.82 helicopter accidents for every 100,000 hours in the air. The “general aviation” accident rate, which includes all forms of commercial and recreational air travel, was significantly higher with an accident rate of 1.029. Looking even deeper using data from the NTSB, the US DOT, and the NHTSA, the numbers show that helicopters don’t rank far behind commercial airlines, which are the safest mode of transportation in the world. Cars and SUV’s are far, far behind in this ranking. In fact, helicopters are 7.2 times safer than automobiles .
Numbers don’t lie, but it’s also important to think about situational and environmental factors that might influence this data. While the numbers undeniably show that commercial and charter airlines are safer than helicopters as a whole, certain factors skew this data. Because of their maneuverability, copters are used in dangerous emergency situations. Search and rescue, medical, government, police, and even news aircraft all might take risks and fly in bad weather as part of the job. As a result, accident rates appear higher than they would if only charter and recreational copters were being compared to airlines. And according to the United States Helicopter Safety Team, the fatality rate in US rotorcraft accidents has been cut in half over the past two decades.
Ultimately, everyone has to determine what level of risk they are comfortable with, whether traveling, commuting to work, or sightseeing. No mode of transportation is without risk, but the numbers show that climbing in a helicopter is much safer than getting in your own car. Saker Aviation places the utmost importance on the safety and comfort of our customers. So with that in mind, consider booking your next helicopter flight with us at Saker JRB.