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Sun, May 14, 2023

USHST Webinar to Address Bird-Strikes

Nevermore …

For purpose of addressing the exigency of bird-strikes and promulgating means by which to lessen the incidence thereof, the United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) will host a webinar on 07 June.

Free to all inclined to better protect themselves and their passengers from unwanted, high-speed meetings with inattentive or suicidal ornithoids, the webinar will begin at 13:00 EDT.

Owing to several such occurrences in recent weeks, bird strikes, of late, have featured heavily in both U.S. domestic and international news reports. Notwithstanding the short-term uptick, bird-strikes are a perennial challenge with which aviators have contended from the shores of Kitty Hawk to the wetlands of Boca Chica.

The low-altitude, high-vortex nature of rotary-wing flight renders helicopters disproportionately susceptible to bird-strikes and the incidents and accidents occasioned thereby.

On 13 September 2021, the FAA published a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) by which the helicopter community was provided a number of strategies conducive to the avoidance of bird-strikes. During the upcoming USHST webinar, FAA rotorcraft section manager Jorge Castillo will discuss subject SAIB.  Mr. Castillo will be joined by Richard Dolbeer, wildlife consultant to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who will discuss bird migration. Messrs. Castillo’s and Dolbeer’s presentations will be followed by a review of bird-strike accidents.

As is typical of USHST webinars, the 07 June event will begin with a ten-minute overview of helicopter accident statistics—a calculated and effective means by which the organization affords participants context vis-à-vis safety’s paramountcy in helicopter operations and the extent to which the USHST prioritizes attentiveness, adherence to procedure, circumspection, and continuous training and education.

Pat Niven of Chevron and retired Dallas police officer Mark Colburn will follow with a twenty-minute overview of USHST helicopter safety enhancements and the potential advantages of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones) in High-Risk Environments. To wit, in situations the likes of transmission and distribution line inspections, UASs may provide a lower risk alternative to conventional, manned helicopters.

Thereafter, bird-strike discussion will commence.



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