Airmanship is defined by EASA Part FCL as: “The consistent use of good judgement and well-developed knowledge, skills and attitudes to accomplish flight objectives.”. The EHEST review of helicopter accidents 2000 to 2005 revealed 140 general aviation helicopter accidents in Europe identifying the following (causal and contributing) factors:
- Pilot decision making and risk assessment
- Mission Planning
- Pilot misjudged own limitations/capabilities, overconfidence
- Pilot inexperienced
- Inadequate consideration of weather/wind
- Failed to follow procedures
- Pilot control/ handling deficiencies
- Failed to recognise cues to terminate current course of action or manoeuvre
- Inadvertent entry into IMC, vision restricted by meteorological conditions
- Wilful disregard for rules and SOPs
The majority of these factors are related to airmanship.
Comprehensive knowledge, careful pre-flight preparations, frequent flying practice and avoidance of complacency are the best insurance against becoming an accident statistic.