Rotorcraft Life Cycle

Accident summaries organized relative to the life cycle element most prevalent in each accident.

Rotorcraft Life Cycle
Design / Manufacturing
Photo: Rotorcraft in a manufacturing process

A helicopter design is defined in and approved by the issuance of a "Type Certificate" which is normally issued by a civil aviation authority to a manufacturer when the design is found to comply with all relevant design requirements. The design is then manufactured in accordance with the helicopter configuration and is defined by this certificate.

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Operational
Photo: Helicopter on a runway

Once manufactured, the helicopter is delivered to an individual or an operator to begin service. In the Operational phase, the helicopter is operated in accordance with the operational requirements specified by the country responsible for overseeing that activity. These operational requirements usually include all ground and flight operations, including the training and certification of the personnel conducting these operations.

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Maintenance / Repair / Alteration
Photo: Engineer working on an helicopter

As the helicopter continues to be operated, maintenance is performed which is intended to keep the helicopter in an airworthy condition. Repair may be necessary in order to correct damage or other events that might have occurred. Alterations may be also desired which change the configuration of the original design.

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