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Super Puma safety

Super Puma safety

and the community

Safety history and steps forward

Safety partnership

Safety is Airbus Helicopters’ chief priority. This can be seen in the many initiatives that have been launched over the years, in close collaboration with the global community of operators, aviation authorities and industry experts.

In 2013, Airbus Helicopters launched its Safety Partnership in order to achieve safety excellence in close cooperation with the helicopter industry. The objective of this initiative has been to bring together all Airbus Helicopters’ efforts to implement and improve safety practices and standards in close cooperation with operators and industry stakeholders. In conjunction with its own expertise, Airbus Helicopters strives to learn from the experience and know-how of those who operate and maintain the aircraft to further improve the helicopters and services.

One aim of the Partnership is to propose and promote configuration changes beyond regulatory requirements which enhance continued airworthiness, enhance survivability and promote standardisation of operator fleet safety related capabilities. For example, incorporation of the Vision 1000 cockpit image, sound and GPS recorder is being progressively rolled-out in all new deliveries since 2015. 

Operational – the Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM)

In a separate initiative, Airbus Helicopters released at the end of 2014 the first Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) in the rotorcraft industry. A standard of the fixed wing airplane industry, the FCOM was created for H225 offshore operations to provide additional recommendations for the best use of the aircraft, especially in the use of automation. Since then, a specific FCOM has been designed and deployed for use with the H175 super-medium twin engine helicopter.

Airbus Helicopters has also been working with the offshore helicopter community to standardise the type rating and recurrent training on the H225 to make sure that the most consistent and current practices are applied in flight crew training.

Learn more about the H225 FCOM

Preventative – Automatic approach & situational awareness

H225 EXPH 0340 42 A4 © Airbus Helicopters / Anthony PECCHI
Helicopters 12 May 2012

H225 EXPH 0340 42 A4

Rig n’ Fly: Airbus Helicopters developed the Rig ‘n Fly Automatic Approach capability for the H225. Certified in 2015, it uses a combination of sensors (GPS, barometric altimeter, radar altimeter, weather radar, etc.) to provide enhanced flight precision and situational awareness for automatic VMC and IMC rig approaches. The system reduces workload for pilots, allowing them to focus on monitoring flight parameters and the outside environment.

AIS: The H225’s avionics also provide an enhanced situational awareness based on several overlays of the digital map. One of these is the Automatic Information System (AIS), which highlights the position of ships that could become an obstacle around the oil platform, detects any interference to the helicopter’s flight path and provides an easy and rapid flight approach modification if necessary.

Our approach to aviation safety

Design and engineering

EXPH 971 16 A4 © Airbus Helicopters / Anthony PECCHI
Helicopters 27 November 2014

EXPH 971 16 A4

The technological leadership of Airbus Helicopters and its Airbus Group parent company directly supports the safe operation of the company’s rotorcraft in missions around the world. By virtue of constant innovation, the latest design and engineering advances are incorporated on its rotary-wing aircraft, with highlights including Starflex and Spheriflex main rotor hubs, crashworthy seats, systems and displays.

Other highlights include the Vehicle and Engine Multifunction Display (VEMD), which manages and controls the primary aircraft and engine parameters and reduces pilot workload, fostering a "heads-up" approach to flying; and the Modular Aircraft Recording Monitoring System (M'ARMS), an integrated maintenance assistance system based on data recording and proactive monitoring (on the H225, it is the HUMS).

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.

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.

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. In parallel, Airbus Helicopters focuses on expanding the catalog of services it offers – particularly for recurrent and mission training – with on-site flight operations support deployed worldwide to increase safety.

In order to remain close to its customers, Airbus Helicopters – with its customer centres and affiliates – operates a network of 26 training centres 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.

Maintenance

Following proper maintenance practices plays a crucial role in supporting helicopter safety. 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 optimise customers’ maintenance organisations.

The company also promotes the proper use of maintenance technologies that aid operational safety, like the Health & Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) that help maintenance teams make the right decisions to keep an aircraft airworthy. Airbus Helicopters’ online technical publications service, e-TechPub, provides operators with complete, accurate and up-to-date documentation to support safe operations and maintenance of their helicopters.

Airbus Helicopters also 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. Trainees have access to aircraft mockups at one of 26 training sites around the world. 

Safety culture and safety management systems

A safety management system (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 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.

Partnerships/cooperation

To improve safety industry-wide, Airbus Helicopters is fully committed to working closely with its operators and suppliers, as well as key organisations such as the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) and the European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST), which brings together government and industry leaders to reduce civil rotorcraft accidents.

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. Examples include the annual national and regional customer service symposiums hosted by the company’s 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.

In addition, the company leverages the expertise and know-how of its supplier base to support safety and quality.

Super Puma Information Centre

Super Puma Information Centre

LN-OJF accident investigation status

Super Puma family and fleet

Safety and the community

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