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Partnership Produces Unique Rotorcraft Accident Investigation Course

Partnership Produces Unique Rotorcraft Accident Investigation Course

Students become familiarized with various helicopter types during TSI's hands-on Rotorcraft Accident Investigation Course
Students become familiarized with various helicopter types during TSI's hands-on Rotorcraft Accident Investigation Course

RITA's Transportation Safety Institute (TSI) recently achieved a milestone when they conducted a newly developed Rotorcraft Accident Investigation Course in Oklahoma City, OK. The course is designed to provide government accident investigators with the specific technical skills required to conduct thorough and comprehensive rotorcraft investigations. The course is 8 days in length and covers the entire spectrum of helicopter operations.

The national helicopter accident rate is at an all time high. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board currently lists "Improve Emergency Medical Helicopter Operations" at the top of their "Most Wanted" list. "This course is designed to improve helicopter safety and help drive the national accident rate down," said Ricki Thorpe, TSI course developer and manager. "A revision and update to this course could not be timelier."

The key to the value and effectiveness of the course is a cooperative partnership that involves bringing together multiple federal agencies, private industry, and local government. On the federal side, the course boasts instructors and presenters from the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Department of Defense, the Department of Interior, and TSI. Private industry brings invaluable experience and expertise to the table as well, with senior investigators from various hands-on local and state organizations. Local support and participation includes the Channel 4 News Chopper, Oklahoma City Police Department Aviation Division, Oklahoma University Medi-Flight, and the Oklahoma State Metro Technical Institute. This partnership and the collective expertise and resources it provides render the course a premier training and qualification event worthy of international note.

The course is fast paced, beginning day one with a comprehensive review of rotorcraft flight characteristics and aerodynamics. Follow-on training days include in-depth helicopter systems review, hazards unique to rotorcraft flight, multiple helicopter accident cases, and actual hands-on experience with several local helicopters landing at our training facility. The aggressive schedule is deemed necessary by TSI to produce qualified and well-rounded accident investigators. TSI has invested tremendous commitment into this new safety training tool-because the only good thing that comes from accidents is lessons learned to prevent future ones.

TSI delivers safety, security, and environmental training for all modes of transportation, and its courses can be tailored to the needs of public and private agencies world-wide. To learn more about TSI visit www.tsi.dot.gov or call 800-858-2107.