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Helicopter Safety

Helicopter Safety

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

H175 Snow Test 2016

Safety documents

Airbus Helicopters makes available key information for improving helicopter safety throughout the industry. This covers:

Safety media & e-learnings

Airbus Helicopters provides a selection of videos from our Safety Conferences, Approved Training Center and Maintainability Analysis team, along with e-learnings to support your operational safety.

Please?click here?to view the full list of Safety media and e-learnings, or click on the itemised links below for specific media.

Safety by SMS

With support for industry-wide initiatives like IHST, Airbus works with its customers to introduce safety management systems (SMS) as part of its commitment to improving global flight safety and decreasing accidents. An SMS is an important tool for supporting safe helicopter operations through a reactive, proactive and predicative organisational approach to safety risks. One of its aims is to actively promote a safety culture – employing safety-driven decision making and risk management.

Airbus has deployed an aviation SMS because of the company’s strong belief that SMSs contribute greatly to improving helicopter safety. Likewise, it has contributed to several international working groups aimed at raising the standards of aviation safety management systems.

Airbus works with its customers to introduce safety management systems within their organisations 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.

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

Safety by training

As part of its commitment to improving aviation safety, Airbus 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 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 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 (in the full-flight simulator (FFS), along with the integration of real rotorcraft data tested by Airbus test pilots guarantee a real-to-life full flight simulation.

In parallel, Airbus’ helicopter division 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 needs.


In order to remain close to its customers and provide cost-effective solutions for fleets to remain operationally available, Airbus – with its customer centres and affiliates – operates a network of 23 training centres and 26 full-flight simulators in all regions of the world, including Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, and South America.

To learn more, view Airbus Helicopters' 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.

From cutting-edge aircraft design to state-of-the-art systems and displays, Airbus has developed a reputation for constant innovation that ensures the latest advances in safety are incorporated on its rotary-wing aircraft. A full range of technological improvements to increased safety include:

Aircraft design

Fenestron? shrouded tail rotor

Developed by Airbus 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.?

Main rotor hubs

Airbus Starflex and Spheriflex bearingless main rotor hubs ensure very fast response to pitch changes, while also offering excellent manoeuvrability and stability. Used across Airbus’ rotorcraft product line, they are practically maintenance-free and have a fail-safe design through the application of composite materials.

Crashworthy seats

Crashworthy seats on Airbus helicopters are designed to absorb a portion of the crash energy that would otherwise be transmitted to the occupant. They are equipped with a four-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

Helionix Instrument Panel INAER H145 EMS


The Helionix? system is an advanced avionics suite that offers unrivalled 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’ 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’ state-of-the-art Helionix system is standard on the next-generation medium-twin H175, the multi-role twin-engine H135 and the lightweight twin H145.?


Project Eagle aims at improving safety and automation capabilities for existing and future platforms.

The Eye for Autonomous Guidance and Landing Extension (Eagle)

Airbus is developing an experimental on-board image processing management system aimed at performing automatic approaches and landings in challenging conditions. The Eye for Autonomous Guidance and Landing Extension system, or Eagle, feeds all of a helicopter’s image processing functions into the avionics system, thus improving the crew’s situational awareness and reducing the pilot’s workload.

Vehicle and engine multifunction display

The Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD) is an Airbus 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 optimised ergonomics.

The VEMD is integrated on Airbus helicopter models 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.

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

Safety by maintenance

Maintenance Babcock H145 EMS 2017

Proper practices

Proper maintenance practices play a crucial role in supporting helicopter safety. Airbus 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.

Airbus 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.


Maintenance procedures

Airbus 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 optimise customers’ maintenance organisations.

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. Guidance on how to use and interpret HUMS data is one of the key supports that Airbus provides to its customers.

Maintenance documentation

Airbus’ online technical data service, available via the AirbusWorld collaborative platform – provides operators with complete, accurate and up-to-date documentation to support safe operations and maintenance of their helicopters.

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

Maintenance training

Airbus 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 hardware and systems available for maintenance training at its 23 training sites around the world. Maintenance training for new products – such as the H175 and the H145 – is an indispensable part of an aircraft’s support package.

Map of Airbus Helicopters' extensive network of training centres.

Safety by cooperation

Airbus 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 organisations, institutes, steering groups and governmental agencies around the world is a key company priority.

Airbus works closely with the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) – and its European component – which brings together government and industry leaders to reduce civil rotorcraft accidents. Formed in 2006, IHST aims to dramatically reduce the international civil helicopter accident rate.

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

Airbus takes a proactive approach in listening to customers’ requirements in order to meet and surpass their expectations. The company also works with its customers to support the safe operation of their Airbus 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.

?Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) for H225 aircraft




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 events


Changing aviation culture with Safety Roadshows

Technologies and tools have evolved to improve aviation safety, but accident rates still remain high. Airbus has launched Safety Roadshows to address and reduce the number of accidents due to operational factors, the main cause behind most rotorcraft accidents. Watch the video to learn more.

Safety Roadshow


CHC Safety and Quality Summit

Airbus 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.

Airbus has sponsored the CHC Safety and Quality Summit for the past several years, an event that promotes a high level of aviation safety through “safety by cooperation and collaboration.” Airbus helicopter safety experts also actively contribute as speakers at this event.

Learn more about the CHC Safety & Quality Summit.

Check back regularly for the latest safety-related events from Airbus’ helicopter division.



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