Safety Initiatives


International Helicopter Safety Foundation

In 2005, the Vertical Flight Society's Montreal/Ottawa Chapter hosted the first International Helicopter Safety Symposium (IHSS). Subsequently, VFS worked with the Helicopter Association International (HAI), Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration, EASA and many other agencies worldwide to create the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST). VFS is the Secretariat for this international group and there has been significant improvements in safety through the efforts of IHST. IHST's goal was to reduce the worldwide civil helicopter accident rate by 80% in 10 years.

The goal has not yet been achieved, but IHST has formally incorporated into the non-profit International Helicopter Safety Foundation and continues to work towards zero accidents and zero fatalities. Go to to find out how you can help reduce helicopter accidents!

IHSS Proceedings: Technical papers and briefing charts from several years of International Helicopter Safety Symposium meetings are available to the public for free!

Drones: Are you an owner or operator of unmanned aircraft? Go to to be sure you fly safely!

Single Engine IFR: Read about the industry initiative to improve safety be allowing pilots of single-engine helicopters use their modern equipment in the event of less-than VFR conditions. 

Military Safety: For a detailed analysis of military helicopter safety, read the paper, "Study on Rotorcraft Safety and Survivability," published at the VFS 66th Annual Forum, Phoenix, AZ, 10-13 May 2010. Also available is the comprehensive study "DoD Helicopter Mishaps FY85-05: Recommendations," By (then) Colonel Pete Mapes, USAF, MC, CFS. The study describes all 917 US DoD Class A-B Rotary Wing Mishaps from FY 85 to 05. It studied 957 lost or severely damaged aircraft and over 3,800+ people exposed to the mishap situations, based on data archived in the mishap files of the Service Safety Centers.

Past Vertiflite Articles

Updated 2020-03-05