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How Safe Are Helicopters?

Worried About Flying?

Let me start by saying that personally as a helicopter pilot I would much rather be in a helicopter if the engine quit than in a single engine plane. From the very first day of learning to fly helicopters we are taught the age old saying “Safety First”.

Throughout our training we are taught and we practice over and over until we can expertly show our competency to execute the emergency procedures.


One of those and the most important and practiced of the emergency procedures is an autorotation, which brings me back to my first statement of I would rather be in a helicopter if the engine quit than in a plane. While engine failures do happen they are extremely rare and if the unfortunate was to happen the pilot has the ability to still fly the helicopter and with full control by entering an autorotation and if you were ever in this situation you would be happy to know that while you are now coming back down towards earth very quickly the pilot still has full control and only requires an area no bigger than the helicopter itself to land.


One of the greatest advantages of being in a helicopter is the ability to land anywhere and at any time which in an emergency can mean the difference between going home at the end of it or not. While not all emergencies can be planned and trained for there are times where a helicopter pilot may find him or herself in a situation that they would much rather not be and having the ability to land almost anywhere can make the difference. There are many examples I could talk about but there are two perfect examples where being in a helicopter is the safest option.

Running out of Fuel

No pilot goes out with the intention of running out of fuel but mistakes do happen and if while flying along the pilot realises that he or she is running low on fuel and is unable to land for refuelling before running out of fuel then the pilot has the ability to land while the helicopter still has fuel and has the ability to do so safely. Weather is another emergency situation a helicopter pilot may find him or herself in that requires immediate action to land for the safety of the helicopter and its occupants. In both these examples a helicopter can choose to land safely and everyone gets to go home at the end of the ordeal. In a plane for both scenarios given the pilot without the use of a runway has to make the decision to try and land somewhere that may or may not be suitable and if that decision to land is in an area completely unsuitable then the only option is to crash land, again I know what I would rather be in…

The Fleet at Sydney HeliTours

Helicopters at Sydney HeliTours are also serviced and inspected daily as per the service and inspection requirements set by the Helicopter Manufacturer and also Australia’s aviation governing body CASA. Every time we are going to fly our helicopters the pilot completes a full and thorough inspection of all the components and we are not talking about just walking around and giving the tires a kick kind of inspection. Every Helicopter has its own individual service requirements set by the manufacturer and an example of how often these service requirements are to be completed is the American made Robinson R44 Raven 2 that we operate at Sydney HeliTours. Every 50 hours of operation the R44 is serviced and inspected by a CASA approved and authorised engineer. This level of service and inspection is what makes Sydney HeliTours helicopters and indeed all helicopters so safe and reliable.

Helicopters have saved more people than those who have died while flying them and it is because of this fact that every search and rescue operation all over the world use and trust the engineering masterpiece that is the amazing helicopter to help people that need rescuing.

So how safe are helicopters… Very, I wouldn’t fly them let alone go near one if they weren’t.