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USHST Schedules Webinar Focusing on Bird Strikes



Alexandria, Va.  The United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) will host a webinar June 7 about how pilots can better protect themselves and their passengers from bird strikes and what to do if they occur. The free webinar will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern. Register at: https://rotor.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8Ads83O3QOGCqr8eqtfzww#/registration.

Bird strikes have been in the news lately because airliners have had several such strikes in recent weeks. Bird strikes, however, are a recurring issue throughout the aviation community, especially among helicopters because pilots tend to fly them at lower levels than other aircraft.

USHSTThe FAA published a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) on September 13, 2021, to provide the helicopter community with some strategies to avoid bird strikes. FAA rotorcraft section manager Jorge Castillo will discuss the SAIB during the webinar.

He will be joined by Richard Dolbeer, wildlife consultant to the US Department of Agriculture, who will discuss bird migration. That will be followed by a review of bird strike accidents.

As is typical of many USHST webinars, the event will begin with a 10-minute overview of helicopter accident statistics to provide some context as to why safety is a paramount priority with the government-industry USHST.

Pat Niven of Chevron and Mark Colburn, a retired Dallas police officer, will follow with a 20-minute overview of USHST helicopter safety enhancement Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones) in High-Risk Environments. In certain situations, using a drone may provide a lower risk alternative when compared to a traditionally piloted helicopter, such as transmission and distribution line inspections. The bird strike discussion will then begin.

If helicopter community members have questions or want the bird strike seminar to cover a particular topic, please let the USHST know through its general email at safety@ushst.org or contact the organization’s communications specialists Dan Sweet from the Helicopter Association International at dan.sweet@rotor.org or Gene Trainor from the FAA at eugene.trainor@faa.gov.