This video shows the top helicopter crashes of 2016, which poses the question: Why are helicopters always crashing?
Most airplanes operate in a controlled environment (e.g. runways) because they’re used in risky operations. By contrast, helicopters are used to reach areas that cannot be accessed by plane. Helicopters are able to land pretty much anywhere, which is why they are useful for military operations, search and rescue, medical evacuations, and other dangerous missions. These are all events wherein conditions can be unpredictable.
Helicopters are more vulnerable than planes in bad weather. They are also easier to shoot down and are more likely to encounter obstacles that suddenly appear because they fly lower to the ground. Because of their primary uses, helicopters take off and land a lot more than planes and the majority of accidents in any aircraft occurs then.
Helicopters have more moving parts than planes, which means that there are more chances of something malfunctioning in a helicopter. These parts are also in constant motion so they wear out more quickly. If anything breaks down, the machine can spin out of control.
It is also more tricky to maneuver a helicopter because there are more things to take into consideration. As a result, the rate of accidents during instructional flights, when pilots are just learning, is twice as high for helicopters than for airplanes: 12.69 accidents per 100,000 hours versus 6.08 accidents per 100,000 hours.
It is true that overall, helicopters crash at a slightly higher rate than other aircrafts, according to data collected by the National Transportation Safety Board. The crash rate for helicopters alone is 9.84 per 100,000 hours. That means helicopters crash about 35 percent more often per hour in the air than your average aircraft.
However, helicopter crashes are less likely to kill you. The fatality rate in helicopter crashes is 1.3 deaths per 100,000 flight hours as opposed to 1.4 deaths for aircraft in general.