Ensuring Offshore Helideck Safety - Addressing Obstructions for Helicopter Pilots
Offshore helidecks, although vital for transportation and logistics, can present significant risks when obstructed. These obstructions may include equipment, structures, antennas, or other objects that can impede the safe landing, take-off, or taxiing of helicopters. The consequences of such obstructions cannot be underestimated.
In the past decade, approximately 10% of all offshore helicopter accidents have been directly linked to obstructions on helidecks.
These accidents have resulted in injuries, loss of lives, damage to aircraft, and disruption to operations. Each incident serves as a stark reminder of the criticality of maintaining obstruction-free helidecks.
Safety Factors for Helicopter Pilots include:
Visual Identification: Obstructions on the helideck can reduce pilots' ability to visually identify critical reference points during landing and take-off, making accurate judgment more challenging.
Maneuverability Constraints: The presence of obstructions limits available space for helicopter movements, increasing the risk of collisions with structures or equipment, especially during ground operations.
Emergency Response: In the event of an emergency, obstructions hinder quick and safe egress from the aircraft, potentially jeopardising the lives of the crew and passengers.
Environmental Conditions: Combined with adverse weather conditions or restricted visibility, obstructions can exacerbate the challenges faced by pilots during offshore operations, requiring heightened situational awareness and precise decision-making.
As aviation professionals, it's our collective responsibility to prioritise offshore helideck safety. By addressing obstructions and implementing robust safety measures, we can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and ensure the well-being of helicopter pilots and personnel.
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ISO 9001:2015 Qualified Aviation Auditor/Risk Assessors and Companies approved by LRQA to ISO 9001:2015 standard for:
Flight Safety Pty Ltd & Flight Safety Africa Pty Ltd
External Aviation Safety Audit and Inspection, Risk Assessment, Consultancy (including independent accident, incident and organisational system
investigation) and Training services. Helideck, Helicopter Landing Site, and Helipad – Layout Design Appraisal, Helicopter Landing
Structure Suitability Assessment, Friction Testing, Safety and Operational Assessment and Certification.
Flight Safety Helideck Certification Pty Ltd & Helideck Certification–Africa Pty Ltd
Helideck, Helicopter Landing Site, and Helipad – Layout Design, Friction Testing, Training, Safety and Operational Assessment and Certification.
Training and Consultation.
Flight Safety refers to the Flight Safety group of Companies that include; Flight Safety Pty Ltd (ACN 108 080 208), Aeronautical Enterprises Pty Ltd (ACN 116 737 878) and Flight Safety Helideck Certification Pty Ltd (ACN 134 088 878), Flight Safety Africa, Helideck Certification - Africa, Flight Safety New Zealand Pty Ltd.
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