National

Helicopters involved in over 50% of fatal air accidents in Japan

JIJI

Of the victims of fatal aircraft crashes that occurred in Japan between 2007 and September this year, 55 people, or 56 percent, were killed in helicopter accidents, according to the Japan Transport Safety Board.

In 2017, the death toll from helicopter crashes totaled 14, including the crash victims of a helicopter operated by the Nagano Prefectural Government, and a four-seat helicopter in the village of Ueno in the neighboring prefecture of Gunma, a survey by the board showed.

In August this year, a disaster response helicopter of the Gunma Prefectural Government crashed into a mountain in the town of Nakanojo, leaving nine crew members dead.

Fifty-five of the 63 helicopter accidents and near-misses investigated by the safety board involved human errors such as a lack of attention and misjudgment.

Of 20 major accidents, including collisions and crashes, 19 were linked to human errors.

According to the report, 20 of the 63 cases took place at airports and other landing fields, while 18 took place in mountainous areas.