Factors related to pilot survival in helicopter commuter and air taxi crashes

M. B. Krebs, G. Li, S. P. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We examined factors related to pilot survival in 167 consecutive helicopter commuter and air taxi crashes that occurred during 1983-88. Case fatality rates and adjusted odds ratios from multivariate logistic regression models were determined using data from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). During this 6-year period, 29 pilots-in-command died in 167 helicopter commuter and air taxi crashes, a case fatality rate of 17.4%. Factors significantly associated with increased risk of pilot fatality were aircraft fire [odds ratio (OR) 20.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.6-86.8], not using shoulder harnesses (OR 9.2, 95% CI 2.2-37.3), and aircraft with two engines (OR 4.8, 95% CI 1.3-17.4). In addition, we present data regarding success and failure of emergency flotation devices. The results suggest that the likelihood of pilot survival in helicopter crashes could be greatly improved by preventing crash associated fires and promoting the usage of shoulder restraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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