Publication:
Enhancing public helicopter safety as a component of homeland security

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Authors
Fitzgerald, William Denis, Jr.
Subjects
public helicopter safety
law enforcement helicopter safety
public helicopter risk management
public safety aviation
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
safety culture
New Mexico State Police
Alaska State Trooper
Maryland State Police
Advisors
Wollman, Lauren
Simeral, Robert
Date of Issue
2016-12
Date
Dec-16
Publisher
Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The wide range of missions performed by public safety helicopters makes them a valuable asset for the public and to the homeland security environment. The high-risk missions, lack of regulatory oversight, and minimal standards of safety put public-safety helicopter aviation in the crosshairs of the National Transportation Safety Board. This study addresses how public safety aviation units' exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration regulations is a contributing factor to helicopter accidents. The study uses a qualitative analysis called coding to identify the common traits among accidents and then makes recommendations to prevent future accidents. There is currently no industry research identifying the commonalities among accidents like this research does. This thesis also identified the safety culture in the public safety units as a contributing factor to the accidents. The nature of public safety personnel is to accept high levels of risk to help those in need. When this attitude is applied to aviation, it leads to unnecessary accidents. The recommendations provided in the last chapter of the thesis provide techniques and solutions to help reduce the risk in public safety aviation. The recommendations, if adequately implemented, may help save lives by preventing future accidents.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
Organization
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
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Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
Copyright is reserved by the copyright owner.
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