The Spectator

How dangerous is it to fly by helicopter?


Crime without borders

How many nations are signed up to the International Criminal Court?

124 signed the Rome Statute in 1998 and ratified it.

31 have signed it but never ratified it (includes Iran, Thailand, Ukraine).

2 (Philippines, Burundi) ratified it but have subsequently withdrawn.

4 signed the statute, never ratified it and have since withdrawn (US, Russia, Israel and Sudan).

41 have never signed (including China, India, Turkey). 

Chopper cropper

How dangerous is it to fly by helicopter as opposed to fixed-wing aircraft? It is hard to find comparable global statistics, but the National Transport Safety Board keeps figures for the US:

– In 2022 there were 7.2 accidents for every 100,000 hours flown by helicopter, of which 1.3 per 100,000 flying hours were fatal.

– The comparable figures for fixed-wing aircraft were 5.4 accidents per 100,000, of which 1 was fatal.

– The main causes of fatal helicopter accidents were:

Loss of control in flight 97

Failure of components 28

Low altitude operation 27

Engine failure 20

Issues with fuel 11

Loss of control on ground 7


Stepping down

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris became the 66th Conservative MP to announce that he will not seek re-election at the general election later this year. Is this an unusually high number? MPs (of all parties) who did not seek re-election:

1979 61

1983 77

1987 88

1992 79

1997 117

2001 78

2005 86

2010 149

2015 90

2017 31

2019 74

Source: House of Commons Library

Bouncing back

Has tourism in Britain and elsewhere recovered from the pandemic?

Foreign trips by residents

2019 93m

2020 23.8m

2021 19.1m

2022 71m

2023 86.2m

Foreign trips by overseas UK residents to UK

2019 40.9m

2020 11.1m

2021 6.4m

2022 31.2m

2023 38m

Source: Office for National Statistics