ایمنی ، بهداشت و محیط زیست ( HSE ) - ایمنی - HLO

ایمنی ، بهداشت و محیط زیست ( HSE )

Safety / Occupational Health / Environment*** HSE***

ایمنی - HLO





This course is designed to meet the initial training requirements, including emergency response, for offshore helicopter landing officers. Successful completion of the course will demonstrate the achievement of a level of competence enabling the delegate to work as an HLO offshore, under the supervision of a competent HLO for further installation specific training and development.


Target Audience

This Course is aimed at delegates who have previous experience as Helideck Assistants offshore or similar experience onshore.



All delegates should be in possession of an emergency Helideck Team member (or equivalent) certificate and VHF certificate. A VHF radio operators Course is also available from Ocean Training Systems.


The Applicant shall:

  • Have a reasonable command of the English language
  • Have a mature decision making skills including an assertive personality
  • Have mature decision making skills
  • Some previous offshore experience would be a definite advantage


Course Content

On completion, participants will be able to demonstrate competence in the theory and practice of the following:


  • Transmit and receive radio messages between the helicopter and platform
  • Advise the helicopter pilot of weather, wind and sea conditions on site
  • Understanding of helideck operations safety requirements/procedures
  • Ascertain and advise the helicopter pilot as to whether safety requirements related to aircraft operation have been adhered to
  • Supervise the movement of passengers , baggage and cargo to and from helicopter
  • Familiarity with different helicopter types and their operation and emergency procedures
  • Advise shore station of helicopter movements,
  • Actual time of departure (ATD)estimated time of arrival (ETA)and manifest details
  • Ensuring adequate fire protection is provided for each take off and landing
  • Familiarity with management of dangerous good(DC)
  • Helicopter refueling and procedure (offshore)
  • Basic marshalling signals
  • Shutdown and security of aircraft on helideck
  • Ensuring that the platform meets the safety requirements for helicopter operations
  • Introduction to specialized operations (Search and Rescue, Winching ,medivac, night operations)
  • Supervision of refueling of helicopter
  • Preparation for helicopter emergencies


Demonstration of competency

Participants are required to pass an assessment of practical skills and a written or verbal examination of theory.

On successful completion of the HLO Course, the applicant will be issued with a HLO certificate that is valid for two years.










Offshore Helicopter Operation Description


This manual has been compiled to primarily cover offshore helicopter operations in the oil and gas industry. Helicopters may be operated in a variety of roles that fall outside the scope of this HLO course.


Helicopters support the offshore hydrocarbon throughout the world and have proven to be very safe and efficient compared to sea going vessels.


Helicopters used in the offshore oil industry generally have 2 engines to provide continuous power and safety in the event of an engine failure or power loss. Most offshore support helicopters are flown by 2 crew but this is generally a requirement by oil companies looking for optimum safety margins, rather than legislation. Larger helicopters that can operate in most weather conditions are usually always flown by 2 crew.


Helicopters can be used in a variety of tasks in the oil and gas industry and atmospheric conditions can severely limit the payloads offered when considering safe approach and takeoff paths available. Under slung loads impose a greater demand on the pilot skills and cross winds or tail winds will severely limit these operations.




Helicopters can be configured for passengers (Pax) flights or freight. Although Pax and freight can be often mixed, the freight needs to be separate from the Pax and tied down with and approved strapping system.

Offshore helicopter flights need a procedure in place for flight following to ensure the location of the aircraft is known at all times and how many people are on board.


The flight following procedures will also have a comprehensive rescue plan in place that the may include the HLO.


The HLO needs to be familiar with the rescue procedures and the chain of events to follow in the event of an emergency.


Helicopter may also be fitted with the following equipment to expand their roles:


  • Winch: generally used for lifting lowering people or stores when a landing is not available.
  • Floatation: Mandatory for over water flights.
  • Load hailer: To use voice instructions in a noisy environment.
  • Hook: For under slung loads.
  • Auxiliary tanks: To extend the useful range.
  • Night Sun: To search and rescue   







General Helicopter Requirement


All helicopter operators, including Middle East Operations, are required to comply with the regulation and certification in the country of the aircraft registration. Most countries have similar standards and when operating overseas the operator is obliged to also abide by the standards and regulations of that country.


All countries have minimum requirements for crew standards and the safety, survival equipment carried. Most oil companies have a contractual arrangement with the helicopter operator that will also define the experience levels of the pilots and the standards that are expected. Commercial pressure and oil company audits have pushed most offshore helicopter companies to accept high standards.



Helicopter Equipment:


  • As a minimum, one approved helicopter life jacket for each person carried
  • First Aid kit
  • Life rafts to accommodate everyone on board
  • Floatation equipment
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Survival equipment. (Usually in the rafts)
  • Safety Briefing Cards
  • Intercom or a headset to communicate with the passengers



Pilot experience:


The Captain will have an Air Transport Pilots License ( ATPL) and instrument rating and have considerable experience on that kind of aircraft .2 pilot are normally on board each flight but occasionally the helicopter may be flown with only one pilot.

The Co-Pilot is often another captain or pilot with similar experience and qualification.


Note: The CAPITAIN of the helicopter has TOTAL COMMAND of the aircraft and its operation.


The captain may rely on one of the passengers abroad the aircraft to relay information to the other passengers as required from time to time.


If the helicopter is not fitted with an intercom system, then a passenger will be required to wear a headset that is connected to flight crew to relay information to the other passengers.


Although passengers may find most helicopter trips quiet routine, it is important that passengers are aware of that is required from them at all times, especially in an emergency.


The passenger wearing the headset is responsible for passing on all relevant information from the crew to the remaining passengers. For this reason alone, that passenger should be fluent in the English language and also in the language of the passengers in general.



















Offshore Helicopter Limitations

Gross Weight:

  • Every helicopter has a maximum weight that it can operate at.
  • This weight is called the maximum all up weight.
  • Helicopter performance is directly affected by the weight.
  • Helicopters are not permitted to operate above the MAUW.
  • The difference between MAUW and the operating weight is the Payload.


Understanding weather:

Air Pressure:

Is the weight of the air, which decreases with height and is measured in Hectopascals. The air pressure is higher at sea level than at altitude and is denser. Dense air is better for the rotor system. The normal pressure at sea level is 1013 Hectopascal. A Barometer set to indicate exact height above sea level is called QNE.



The heat content of the atmosphere is measured as temperature in Degrees Centigrade. The colder the temperature; the more dense the air. Dense air is better for the rotor system.



Moisture or Relative Humidity is the quantity of water in the atmosphere. 80% humidity would feel very wet and warm, whereas 15% humidity would feel very dry. Humid air is less than dry air.



Wind is the horizontal movement of air across the surface of the earth. Wind is caused by the unequal cooling and heating of the earth's surface, which causes a temperature and pressure gradient. As heat rises, cooler air slides in underneath to replace the rising air. Wind in the hover can reduce the amount of power a helicopter needs because the rotors have a greater mass flow of air passing through them in any given moment.

Wind is measured by an Anemometer and is expressed as a Vector. Wind has both speed and direction. The direction being expressed first as a compass bearing and the wind speed is Knots. The compass bearing is the direction the wind is blowing from. (NOT TO) For example: 350 at 12 knots OR 180 at 20 knots OR Light and Variable.



Clouds and Fog are visible moisture in the atmosphere.

Clouds can be low, high or middle level and their names describe the type of cloud.

Clouds are created when moist air rises and cools and water condense around dust particles to form tiny water droplets or ice crystals.

There are 10 main types of clouds that are classified on the basis of their shape and height in the atmosphere at which they from. The types of clouds give clues to the atmospheric conditions.


Density Altitude:


  • Density altitude is pressure altitude corrected for temperature.

            (The normal seal level temperature is 1013 Hectopascals at 15Degrees Centigrade.)

  • If the pressure is lower than this or the temperature is higher, then the density of the air is less.
  • Dense air decreases the performance of the helicopter.
  • Less dense air is the equivalent of being higher in the air.
  • Temperature has a greater effect on helicopter performance than the pressure.


Wind velocity:



The helicopter requires less power as its air speed increases.


When the rotor system has about 10 to 15 Knots of wind passing through it, a factor called "Translational Lift" increases the efficiency of the rotor and less power is required to hover, take off or land. Generally speaking, pilots always operate into the wind. The helicopter may tend to "weathercock" when turning downwind and then the power requirement will be increased. Wind blowing through the rig structures can often be turbulent or even hot when passing over heated funnels or smoke stacks. In these situations, the payload offered may be less than when the airflow is smooth. Turbulent air through the rig structure may prevent the helicopter from departing into the wind, which may also limit the takeoff weight.


Pitch Roll and Heave:


Any floating vessel or structure is affected by sea conditions. The motions that a vessel is subjected to may be described as Pitch, Roll and Heave.


To dip and raise and raise the bow stern alternately


To turn from side to side along the longitudinal axis


To rise and fall with a swell or wave, all helicopters have a limit to the amount of Pitch, Roll or Heave they may accept. The following is a typical example that might apply to a helicopter landing on a floating vessel, such as a barge, ship, semi submersible or a Rig under tow.



Pitch limit +/- 2 degrees Roll limit 4 degrees Heave limit 4 meters


The HLO or RO would give the Pitch, Roll, Heave with the Wind and Landing Clearance. The pilot will then determine if any of these exceed the Aircraft Limitations.


Other consideration:

Deck height: A high deck (120' and above) provides a helicopter with a better escape path in the event of an engine failure after takeoff. Departure obstructions: The pilot may limit the payload if the departure path is obstructed by another rig or sea vessel. Small ship: Pitch, Roll and Heave may exceed the maximum limits of the helicopter.




















HLO Duties and Responsibilities


A helicopter Landing Officer (HLO) will be appointed to each crewed offshore installation or ship where helicopter operations are to be conducted.


The HLO has TOTAL control over any person who is near the landing area. Any dispute between the HLO and any other person on the installation should be resolved after the helicopter has departed, in the main time, the HLO shall have the authority to make safety decisions on behalf of the welfare of the helicopter passengers.


The HLO is encouraged to contact the helicopter crew by radio if additional information is required to enhance the safety of that flight or safety in general.


The HLO is the appointed person responsible for the day-to-day management  of the offshore installation helideck and must be in control of the associated deck operations and the helideck crew.


The HLO shall perform the helideck inspection prior to any helicopter operations and determine if the helideck is suitable for a landing and advise the Radio Operator.


A Helideck Inspection is required prior to any helicopter operations and shall include:


  • Landing area is clear of all obstructions and loose items.
  • All cranes should be clear or  in the parked position
  • Only essential personnel are in the vicinity of the landing area
  • Trained Fire Fighting crew is adequately dressed and prepared
  • Standby rescue Vessel should be in position
  • Perimeter Safety Nets should be secured and in good condition
  • All emergency exits safe and free of obstructions
  • Radio Communications to be established before giving a landing clearance
  • Landing clearance given
  • Record all movements in the Radio Room Log Book


The Applicant should have some experience or qualifications in the following:


  • First Aid course (Senior First Aid Qualification is preferred)
  • Basic Fire Fighting(With Reference to ships)
  • Breathing Apparatus (As in the H2S Certificate)
  • Helideck Fire and Rescue
  • Radio Operator License


The HLO primary Duty is to provide emergency assistance to the helicopter occupants and the crew.


Although an actual emergency would be very rare, in fact most HLO's will never experience a real helicopter emergency, the HLO needs to be trained and ready for this eventuality.

Each offshore installation will have documented operational procedures that the HLO may use as a reference.


The HLO shall wear suitable clothing as to be visibly recognized as the HLO.It is common practice for all HLO's to wear a high visibility fluoro type vest that stands out from a distance.


Emergency Procedures:


The OIS is generally in charge overall of all installation safety and emergency response and takes charge over all others in the case of an emergency


The HLO shall inform the OIS at any stage an emergency occurs or is predicted to occur.


The Radio Operator (RO) often shares some of the above duties depending on the installation .in many cases, the RO does not have a clear view of the out side areas and the HLO must pass this information on to the RO as required.


When reviewing a landing clearance for the helicopter, consider in following

Factors to consider are:

  • Visibility
  • Pitch and Roll of the vessel
  • Status of the cranes
  • Sea State
  • Vessels near the helideck
  • The standby safety vessel may take 30 minutes to get into position
  • For night operations, check all lighting
  • All non-essential personnel shall be asked to clear the area
  • Increase your Situational Awareness by looking around the helideck before speaking.




From the time the helicopter arrives till the helicopter leaves:


  • The helicopter pilot shall be advised if there is any change to the weather, passenger loadings or Helideck conditions
  • Maintain positive control over all personnel on or around the Helideck
  • Supervise all incoming and outgoing passengers, including baggage and freight to a suitable arrival facility
  • Supervise provision of services to the helicopter while it is on deck, including fuel, refreshments, chocks, ties downs etc
  • Provide the outgoing Manifest to the pilot for checking
  • Ensure correct compliance with the dangerous Goods Requirements
  • Check the security of all Doors, Hatches and Panels
  • Check for fluid leaks, smoke and any unusual noises or vibration
  • Keep all Non- essential personnel clear of the helideck


The HLO shall SUPERVISE the helideck at all times and not engage in general Loading/Unloading unless he needs to intervene for safety reasons or while training other HLO's or HAD's.



After Takeoff:


  • Observe the Takeoff until the helicopter is in a safe clime and report any unusual occurrences to the pilot
  • Check the Radio Flight Watch is being maintained after departure
  • Check the helideck for any loose objects and general security
  • Check all equipment that was used is returned to storage in a serviceable condition
  • Complete all post flight documentation




Emergency Procedures:

The individual Company Emergency Procedure Manual will determine the HLO's duties.


 Recurrent Training:

The HLO course is normally valid for 2 years and the HLO shall make every attempt to notify his company prior to this HLO rating lapsing to arrange a renewal course.



The HLO is directly responsible for the helideck and the Supervision of the helideck team.

The HLO is required to overview the entire operation and also be in full view of the pilot.


The HLO shall not normally be involved in the actual passenger and baggage handling, rather as a deck supervisor.



Refueling Team

The fuel Team shall be positioned so they can control the pump assembly and shut it down if a problem develops. The fuel Team shall take signal instructions from the HLO in regard to pumping fuel or not pumping .The fuel Team shall ensure the pilot can see the "before and after" fuel water checks and receive a "thumbs up" confirmation from the pilot.


Firefighting Team


The Fire Team shall be on standby, on location for All Helicopter movements.

The 3-person Fire Team man the foam monitors and the control assembly.

When refueling, one fire team person stands next to the Refueled with an extinguisher, CO2 or foam for an instant reaction on a fire breaking out. That person shall wear afire protective suit.


Radio Operator

The RO would normally remain in the radio room but is often responsible for the manifest and weighing of all passengers and freight. Depending on the offshore installation, the RO often also arranges the Video Brief.



















Helicopter safety and briefings


Helicopter safety is an intensive subject but starts with a safety aware corporate culture and attention to detail and a sound passenger brief. Following the Standard Operating Procedures will protect you and your staff from unexpected dangerous.

The standard brief shall be the Video Brief.



The following points are to be considered for any helicopter operation:


  • Passenger Briefing(video brief or verbal brief)
  • Safe ways to approach and depart the helicopter
  • Use of life jackets
  • Use of Life Raft
  • Use of survival equipment
  • Loose items in and around the helicopter
  • No Smoking Policy




Especial attention should be paid to Non-speaking English passengers who may have trouble understanding the video brief. these passengers should be given a brief next to the aircraft and have the emergency exits and survival equipment pointed out to them at the aircraft whenever possible.


If possible have a multilingual interpreter available to assist in the brief.


All passengers, regardless of how experienced they may be or their status, are required to be fully briefed each time they fly. Passengers caught talking during the briefing, or not paying attention, shall be taken aside, council led and be given the brief again.



If possible, conduct the Verbal Brief from a pre-prepared checklist


Verbal Briefings:

  • Do not approach the helicopter when the red anti-collision light is on or if given a "thumbs down"
  • Do not touch any exposed aerial system
  • Do not raise arms or wave when under the rotor system
  • Do not move to the near of the aircraft beyond the doors
  • Do not step on the floatation bags if they are exposed
  • Do not wear hats, caps etc anywhere around the helicopter
  • Do not go towards the tail ever or any exhaust system.
  • Do not carry newspapers on board the aircraft




Also include the following:


  • Secure items of clothing, glasses and loose objects
  • Operation of the normal and emergency exits
  • The operation of the head set
  • The wearing and operation of the life jackets
  • The location and activation of the life rafts
  • The location and activation of the EPIRB beacons.(Emerge position indicating radios.(optional)
  • The location of the first aid kits, Fire Extinguisher and additional survival equipment.
  • The "BRACE" position for crashing and ditching
  • No smoking anywhere near the helicopter
  • Carry long objects horizontally and at waist height



Passenger Safety Brief


A full and comprehensive Safety Brief is to be given EACH TIME a passenger flight takes place. Keep in mind that many rig workers who do speaks some English may have difficulty understanding the more complex instructions regarding the use of emergency exits and the deployment of life jackets and life rafts.


As a reminder:


The Pre-Departure helicopter brief shall cover the following:


  • Danger areas around the helicopter/Rotor Hazard
  • Emergency Exits/Door/Windows
  • Seat belt operation
  • Life jacket operation
  • Head Set operation
  • Life  Raft operation
  • Location of Safety briefing cards
  • Brace Positions for Emergency Landing
  • Emergency Beacons
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • No Smoking
  • Follow all commands as directed by the helicopter captain
























The degree of urgency is indicated by the words, distress being of the highest alert. Generally, the SAR response is activated at any time the helicopter safety or position is uncertain.


Other KEYWORDS may be:





An aircraft that cannot be raised after the next expected radio call should be considered to be in an uncertainly phase.

If the RO can not raise the helicopter through other means and through other aircraft, it should be assumed that an Alert Phase would be entered.


The RO should notify all stations, including the Company and also the destination platform that should advise the HLO.

The HLO should prepare the Helideck for an emergency at short notice if an emergency landing is required.


The RO should notify all stations, including the company and also the destination Platform that should advise the HLO.

The HLO should prepare the Helideck for an emergency at short notice if an emergency landing is required.


An Aircraft SAR should be considered when the following conditions apply:

  • The aircraft calls MAYDAY or PAN
  • The helicopter fails to report at the nominated time
  • The helicopter is known to have, or believed to have a problem
  • The helicopter is reported by another station to have experienced an emergency
  • The aircraft fails to land after receiving a landing clearance
  • Any information from another source that the aircraft has ditched or is facing imminent fuel exhaustion



The HLO is normally not involved in the SAR phase except for preparing the helideck Crew and the helideck for landing.


Emergency Transmission


Either the offshore installation or the helicopter may initiate emergency calls.

Helicopter emergencies can result in various actions being taken.





For Example:


  • Ditching, perhaps next to an offshore installation or vessel
  • Low on fuel, outcome uncertain
  • Fire, in flight or on the deck
  • Weather problems, returning to base or an alternate
  • Mechanical problems fly to an alternate, land as soon as possible or immediately
  • An Emergency call has immediate authority over all other calls. The relevant installation RO should respond accordingly and take the actions necessary for that emergency for that emergency. The radio channel should be kept free of radio traffic and a good listening watch maintained



Emergency Radio Calls


MAYDAY and PAN are the 2 emergency calls that determine the approximate nature of the emergency.


MAYDAY is defined as any life-threatening emergency where an aircraft or vessel is in danger and requires immediate assistance.


PAN is defined as a problem that may require assistance or could develop into a more serious problem.


MAYDAY and PAN calls are made by repeating the words 3 times.

The amount of information in the message is determined by the time available for the transmission.


For Example:

MAYDAY  MAYDAY  MAYDAY this is VAB ditching near the Ocean Blue.

MAYDAY MAYDAY  MAYDAY this is VAB sever vibration , ditching alongside unknown fishing boat 10 miles south of kish island,11 POB.

PAN PAN PAN, HBX has had an engine failure, returning to Port, presently 15 north of Peel inlet,10 POB, ETA at time 35.

PAN PAN PAN , Pandora, this is HSR, very low on fuel, require immediate landing clearance.

In the example above, the MAYDAY calls require immediate assistance, whereas the PAN calls may require assistance.


An accurate flight following will be able to offer assistance more quickly if the RO has all the required information.


  • Aircraft call sign
  • The problem or fault
  • Position altitude and heading
  • Intention
  • Persons on board (POB)
  • Fuel quantity or technical information



During an emergency, the controlling authority or the RO or HLO will impose a radio silence until the problem has been resolved.


For Example:

"All stations this is the Alpha Delta, cease transmitting on this frequency, Distress traffic. Out"


For Example:

"All stations this is the Alpha Delta, Distress traffic has ended, normal radio operations. Out."

For Example:

"All Helicopters near the PS1, we have a general alarm, DO NOT LAND ON TH PS1"


Any helicopters in the vicinity should immediately move to the upwind area.


The pilot will then advise of his intentions. If fuel permits, then the helicopter may loiter in the upwind area to provide possible assistance.

Under no circumstances may a helicopter re-approach or land while a general alarm is in force


Radio Silence

Radio Silence is often imposed when explosives are being used or prepared.

Radio Silence directly affects helicopter operations and all helicopter movements must cease unless there is a dire emergency.

A helicopter that needs to land during radio silence may do so by visual hand signals given by the HLO. It is important that the Transmitter is turned OFF and only the receiver is left on if this option is available.


Route Map

The Installation shall keep a route map of the area that shows all possible Rigs and Routes that helicopter may operate to in the normal course of operations.

It is important that the HLO or RO knows the route the helicopter will be flying and when the last radio call was made. A log should be kept and the RO should know when to expect the next call.

In the event of a missed call, the RO should call the helicopter for a number of minutes before declaring an INCERFA. (Uncertainty Phase)

Learn to judge how far the helicopter covers the map in any given time.

For Example:

At 120 Knots, the helicopter will cover 2 nautical miles per minute, or2O miles every 10 minutes.
Therefore if your rig is 70 miles from departure point, then it will take about 35 minutes from departure till destination. Learn also to gauge the times between installations.

Visual Signals

If radio communications are not available, then visual signals will need to be used.
Visual signals are by their nature very intuitive and can take the form of hand signals or colored lights. The HLO should use the standard signals whenever possible, however he may vary the hand signals if necessary as long as the signals are clear and unambiguous.

Hand signals illustrated in the CD provided . Each file contains one hand signal , they are as follows:

1)      fire in engine one

2)      fire in engine two

3)      sling load still attached

4)       release sling load

5)       move left

6)       move right

7)       come forward

8)       go backwards

9)       stay on deck

10)   ground power connected

11)   ground power disconnected

12)   Move up

13)   Clear to fly away

14)   Land here-  wind is at my back

15)  Shut down

16)  Do not land

17)  Fight the fire

Possible lamp signals are shown below:

STEADY GREEN-                      Clear to land

STEADY RED-                          Do not land - Orbit — Wait

FLASHING RED-                      Do not land - Return to Base

In an emergency, the Pilot may signal that he needs to land by signaling with the     landing lights or making hand signals through the window if possible.


Remember that the HLO needs to be in sight of all persons on the Helideck to communicate visually.

Most helicopters are very noisy on the Helideck with the engines running and the rotors turning. Do not try to attract someone’s attention by calling out, instead, gently walk up to the person, hold a part of their clothing and escort them to a safe area.










Using VHF Radio: Portable VHF radio transceivers that operate in the Aeronautical frequency are generally used by HLO’s. In most countries, there is a legal requirement to have a VHF radio license to operate in the Aeronautical Band. The local authority will also allocate a frequency for offshore operators to use.
The aviation VHF communications band is: 110.00 to 136.975 MHz

Radios may be either low powered hand-held radios or larger installation units. In any cases, VHF is line of sight only (LOS). The higher the helicopter is the greater range of its radio to another station.

Establishing Radio Communications

Apply the following procedures to establish radio contact with the helicopter

If the helicopter crew is on another frequency, there may be a short delay before the helicopter replies. Be patient.

• Select the correct frequency
• Conduct a short listening watch before transmitting
• Use the phonetic alphabet
• Think before you speak
• Be brief and concise

What to say on the radio and how to say it.
Use the helicopter call sign first followed by the Installation name, then the body of the message.
The Weather and other details are normally given by the RO on the main radio, whereas the HLO gives the landing clearance and any other last minute information, such as Cranes or workboats.

CLEAR TO LAND is the correct phrase for a landing clearance; however the phrase GREEN DECK is often used and is understood by all helicopter pilots.

Phonetic Alphabet: The English letters may be pronounced in a manner, which clarifies the sound of each word. For example, if you had to spell the name of a passenger over the radio, then you would use the phonetic alphabet. If you wanted to know if the passenger ‘Rosario’ was on board, you would spell out the name as: ‘ROMEO OSCAR SIERRA ALPHA ROMEO INDIA OSCAR’.

The phonetic alphabet appears below:
A—ALPHA           B—BRAVO       C--CHARLIE         D--DELTA            E--ECHO                          F--FOXTROT       G--GOLF            H--HOTEL             I--INDIA               J--JULIET                      K--KILO                L--LIMA            M—MI                   N--NOVEMBER   0--OSCAR                            P--PAPA                Q--QUEBEC      R—ROMEO           S--SIERRA           T--TANGO                  U--UNIFORM       V--VICTOR       W--WHISKY          X--XRAY              Y--YANKEE                 Z—ZULU


The NUMERALS have their own pronunciation:

0--ZERO          1--WUN          2--TOO             3--TREE            4--FO-WER         

5—FIFE           6--SIKIS        7--SEFEN          8--ATE               9--NINER

A Decimal point is pronounced as DAYSEEMAL (DAY-SEE-MAL)

One thousand is pronounced as TOUSAND

Signal Strength and readability:
Signal strength and readability depend on how a radio station hears and understands the other.
The scale is from 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest and 5 being the best quality.

1  WUN               UNREADABLE
2  T00                  INTERMITIANT
5  FIFE                VERY CLEAR
The following words are commonly used over the airwaves to clearly and concisely abbreviate a sentence to just one or two single words.

AFFRIMATIVE (OR) AFFIRM Yes or I understand or permission granted
NEGATIVE-- No or not understood or permission denied
OVER-- Finished talking, your turn to speak (Not used regularly anymore)
OUT-- Nothing more to say
ROGER-- Message understood
WILCO-- I will comply with request or order
STANDBY-- More of message will follow shortly. Waiting for more information
SAY AGAIN-- Repeat the transmission, not fully understood
CORRECTION--Error in transmission, I will correct the message

BREAK-- I will get back to you shortly or I wish to speak with another station
HOW READ-- What is my strength and readability (from 1 to 5)
SAY WORDS-- TWICE Difficult to read, say everything twice
COPIED-- I understood everything, no questions
ACKNOWLEDGE-- Did you understand my last transmission

A typical scenario follows:

·        The Helicopter departs on a route; Departing from Base, to A to B to C then returning to Base

·        Your installation could be either B or C

·        Carry out the pre-arrival checks and have all the crew ready

·        The main thing is to have a SITUATIONAL AWARNESS of where the helicopter is at any time and when you will expect it. Refer to the Route Map

·        You Installation should maintain a Listening Watch at all times

·        The Helicopter will eventually call for a landing clearance. A request for a landing clearance is also a request for the Wind Direction and Speed

·        Either the Radio Operator or the HLO may respond, gives the Wind and weather details first, followed by the landing clearance

·        If the Landing clearance is not yet available, then tell the pilot to ‘STANDBY’

·        If you forget to give the landing clearance, then the pilot will call again, as he gets closer

In the Examples on the next page, the HLO raises the helicopter first1 then a brief dialog regarding the conditions.

In the Examples below, the HLO raises the helicopter first, then a brief dialog regarding the conditions.

ALPHA BRAVO, This is the PANDORA, How do you read? OVER
PANDORA, This is ALPHA BRAVO, go ahead.
ALPHA BRAVO, We have a workboat to the South of the Helideck, the wind is 320 at 12 Knots, CLEAR TO LAND

Example 2:

HLO ALPHA BRAVO, This is the PANDORA, what is your ETA? OVER.

In the Example above, the Helicopter gave the time as 35; this is the minutes past the hour when the hour is obvious. Alternatively, the pilot may report the ETA as 1335, being 35 minutes past 1.

Example 3:

HLO Bravo Tango, this is the Ocean Digger
Digger, Bravo Tango, go ahead
HLO Confirm you have John Carter on board?
HELICOPTER Ocean Digger, Bravo Tango , difficult to read, say again
HLO Confirm you have John Carter on board, that’s
Charlie Hotel Alpha Romeo Tango Echo Romeo
Digger, Bravo Tango, affirmative

In the previous example, the HLO wanted to know if Carter was on board.
The pilot found the HLO difficult to read, so the HLO used the Phonetic Alphabet to spell out Carter.

Wind Direction Conventions:

When giving the wind direction and speed, the following conventions apply.

 The direction is always FROM. In other words:
If the wind is 090, then it is blowing from the East.
If the wind is 220, then it is blowing from the South West.
If the wind is 360, then it is blowing from the North.

Wind speeds are always in Knots

When the wind is light and not coming from any particular direction, the wind is said to be LIGHT AND VARIABLE

When the wind is gusting from various directions, the wind is described as;
Northerly, gusting from 330 to 020, 30 Knots.
Easterly winds, gusting between 20 and 30 Knots

The helicopter will always attempt to land with a headwind component.


Often it is necessary or convenient for the HLO and Pilot to communicate just using hand signals. Using hand signals keeps the radio clear of clutter. Stand well enough away so the pilot does not have to look down on you.
At Night, use Light sticks or special light wands.
Some guidelines to follow:
• Wear Ear Protection. Safety Glasses and Yellow Gloves
• Stand where the pilots can see you clearly
• Keep all hand movements smooth and unambiguous
• When changing from one signal to another, make the stop sign first
• If the Pilot does not respond correctly, increase the hand motion to imply more correction is required
• Use small hand movements for small corrections, larger movements for larger corrections
• Use logical signals if you cannot remember the exact signal
• Try and imagine what the pilot needs to know and act accordingly
• Never use vague small signals such as circular motions or moving both hands in different directions

Remember to wear your:
• HLO VEST                                      

• Radio with Head Set

• Eye Protection
• Yellow Gloves (Optional)

• Keep arm and hand movements smooth and even

• Do not mix vertical and horizontal movements
The rate of hand movement should indicate the degree of movement or urgency                          

• Maintain eye contact with the pilot


The key to clear hand signals is to make slow movements that are unmistakable in their intention.
The main signals are Thumbs Up’ for 01< and Thumbs Down’ for unsafe, do not proceed, stay where you are etc

Starting engines:
Engines are started one at a time, the left engine being number 1 and the right being number 2.
By convention, the #1 engine is started on odd days and the #2 engine on even days.

If the HLO or Fire Crew detects a fire on Start, the HLO will give the engine fire signal.

Example Engine #1 or #2 fire on start: Indications are fire or smoke from the engine bay. The Engine-on-Fire signal is open and close fist, repeatedly. Fire sign; open and closed fist. Use repeatedly. Do not use the external Fire Extinguisher unless instructed by the pilot.     

Engine fires present considerable risk to the aircraft but occur very rarely.
The Engine is housed in a fire resistant area that can contain any fires that break out for a limited time only. The first indication to the pilot that there is an engine fire is usually an audible alarm and a 'fire light'

The captain can then activate an internal fire extinguisher system to attempt to extinguish the fire.
If unsuccessful the pilot will give the Fight the Fire signal to the HLO who will alert the Fireguard to fight the fire into the correct intake.
The Pilot will make the same Fire signal as the HLO, which is an Opening/Closing Hand motion to indicate, 'Go ahead, and fight the fire'.

Positioning or Sling Loading Signals

The same basic signals are used for positioning the helicopter; such as Lower, Higher, Stop as detailed above.
Additionally, The HLO may want to move the Helicopter either BACK or FORWARD

Releasing the Sling Load

When the helicopter is correctly positioned over the target and the load is resting on the ground, make the CUT or RELEASE signal by using a cutting motion. Never give the cut signal unless the load is resting on the ground .Remember that the Sling Cable is heavy and still has the Shackle and Ring attached to it. Remain well clear after the load has been released; give the ‘Thumbs Up’ signal for the helicopter to fly away. The HLO may need to move the helicopter one way or the other, either, Left, Right, Forwards or Backwards. Use the following signals, slowly and clearly. Do not mix signals together.  Rate of Hand Movement indicates required speed or response.

Helicopter Pilot Hand Signals
Helicopter pilot signals tend to be rather simple; basically a thumb up or a thumb down can convey a number of meanings.

Wait for a Thumbs Up’   before approaching the aircraft. Either Pilot may give the signals depending on the role of the crew.

Wait for the Pilots to have their heads up before issuing hand signals,  as they may be busy with their checks. After landing, if the HLO   cannot make required eye contact, use the radio or walk up to the cockpit door to attract the pilot’s attention.

 Quite simply put.

Thumbs Down                         can mean the following: (All negative)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Thumbs Up                              can mean the following: (All positive)

Using the Ground Power. (Battery Pack)

Other Pilot Signals can be Connect / Disconnect the Ground power unit, used for starting if the aircraft battery is flat. After the first engine has been started, the Pilot will indicate that the cable can be disconnected. After unplugging the ground power unit, close the small access door and then give the pilot the ‘Thumbs Up’ signal.

Starting the Engines

Another Signal could be a small Circular wave with one finger to indicate the engine will be started, either engine 1 or engine 2. In any case, the hand signals will be simple and clear.

Helicopter Engines are referred to as Engine 1 or Engine 2 when viewed from behind, so the #1 engine is on the HLO Right Hand side.

Engine Compartment Fire

 In the event of an engine compartment fire, the pilot shall attempt to extinguish the fire first using the onboard extinguisher. If this is unsuccessful, then activate the portable fire extinguisher into the engine compartment when directed by the pilot. Only fire into the correct fire slot, not into the engine intake! Every type of helicopter has a particular intake where to fight an engine fire, ask if you are not sure.





Manifest and Loading


The primary role for helicopter offshore operations is to transport personnel to and from the installations. Freight may also be carried but must be loaded in such a way as not to present a hazard to the helicopter passengers or to prevent easy access to emergency equipment and escape paths. There are regulations at various levels to ensure the safe passage of passengers and freight and these regulations are reflected in the Helicopter Operators Manuals. Additional regulations can be found in the International Air Transport Association and ICAO documents. Some Freight is considered Dangerous and may not be carried under any circumstances and these articles are covered in the ‘Dangerous Goods Regulations’.

As a general rule, freight and passengers are not mixed unless the freight is:

• Essential
• Properly secured
• Does not obstruct any access or door
• Is not considered ‘Dangerous Goods’
• Has approval from the local authority

A passenger manifest includes details about who and what is onboard the helicopter once it becomes airborne. Not only does this confirm the Take Off weight for the helicopter crew, but aids in statistics and provides details to search and rescue crew in the case of an emergency. The manifest is a legal document that is signed by the Pilot and the person that prepares it. Manifests are designed to easily identify Passenger names, their body weight, Baggage and Freight. The totals must be clearly displayed and unambiguous. Some countries use only Kilograms whereas in the Middle East, Pounds are used. In any case, ensure the totals supplied are what the operator requires. When dealing with “Dangerous Goods’, then only metric system may be used.
The HLO or the R0 will sign the Manifest before handing it to the pilot.
False or misleading entries that lead to overloading or the carriage of prohibited items may result in criminal prosecution and dismissal.

Remember that the Manifest is a legal document.




The following Manifest details are normally required:

·        Date

·        Aircraft Registration

·        Departure/Arrival Point

·        Flight number

·        Departure time (ETD or Actual/ATD)

·        Rout/Destination

·        Name of passenger

·        Passenger Weight

·        Baggage Weight

·        Freight Description

·        Freight Weight

·        Total weights

·        Passenger briefing conducted

Note: All passengers, Baggage and Freight must be individually weighted!

In some cases, additional passenger details may be required, such as passport numbers, Nationality and H2S/Dunker Training Certificate Numbers. The manifest should be signed by the person who prepared the document. Remember that the manifest is a legal document. Manifests may be computer or manually generated, in any case, the required details will be the same as Passenger Loading

Every Passenger's name and weight MUST be recorded on the manifest. Remember that this is a legal document. Standard weights will not be accurate enough when approaching the maximum loading of the aircraft. Standard weights may only be used with the express permission of the Captain of the helicopter

Dangerous Goods Signs must be posted at convenient places near the embarkation point, clearly displaying prohibited items. The HLO should bring this to the passengers' attention and warn of the consequences of not complying with these regulations. Passengers should be suitably dressed for transport and baggage restrictions adhered to. Shoes should be of a substantial nature. Items such as large Suitcases are considered unsuitable, as are large musical instruments, long fishing rods and the like. Experienced rig workers keep their baggage to less than 10 kilograms in a small soft bag.

Identify a suitable English speaking person to wear the Headset in the cabin. Large passengers should never be seated near the emergency exits where they can block the exits.

Large Passengers:

An obese passenger may be assumed to be a handicapped person in the event of an emergency.  Most companies have procedures for carrying large passengers and in some cases a seat belt extension may be required. Never seat an overweight passenger near an emergency exit when other passengers are on board the aircraft.

Passengers that have  completed an   Underwater Escape Training Course     should always be seated near the emergency exits!    Newspapers and other such articles that can reduce visibility in the cabin if it fills with water are not permitted. The   HLO  should also check for other loose articles that may fly off such as hats,  scarves etc.       Many passengers    will  put themselves at risk by attempting  to recover a flyaway cap or a newspaper.


The HLO is responsible for the safe movement of all passengers from the waiting area to the helicopter. At no time may the passengers be allowed to move around on the deck without supervision.

Freight Loading
All freight must be loaded in accordance with the Helicopter Operators’ standards. If in doubt, ask the pilot.

Helicopters are made of lightweight materials, such as Aluminum and Fiber Honeycomb. The sills and door areas are generally stronger but must be treated with utmost care. Take extra care with sliding doors and door locks as any damage may ground the helicopter on the rig.

All helicopters have a floor-loading limit to prevent heavy items damaging the floor. The floor-loading limit may not be exceeded.

A plywood spreader board or wooden pallet will greatly protect the floor from damage and help with even weight distribution. When temporary pallets and spreader boards are used, add the weight to the total calculations.                                                 


When restraining straps or nets are to be used, only the approved and supplied equipment is to be used. Ropes are never to be used as the primary means of securing freight. Normal baggage such as soft bags is not considered freight and normally would not be lashed down unless it constitutes a danger. The Helicopter crew may assist the Helideck crew but the HLO is directly responsible that the freight is not considered dangerous and that it has been accurately weighed. Never throw freight or baggage to or from the helicopter. Ensure that all items are secure and that the correct tie-down points are used with the approved straps. All freight must be manifested showing accurate weights for each item.

Only an approved person who holds a valid and current Dangerous Goods Certificate (DG) may consign dangerous goods. A NOTOC (Notice to Captain) must be handed to the pilot to accompany the DG cargo. The NOTOC will list the Emergency response for the type of Dangerous Goods carried. You may not consign Dangerous Goods without an IATA Dangerous. Goods Acceptance / Packing Certificate and a pilot may not carry Dangerous Goods unless he too holds a DG Awareness Certificate.

















General Information
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) sets the standards that relate to the carriage of dangerous goods by aircraft. Dangerous goods may not be consigned, packed or carried unless in accordance with the ICAO Dangerous Goods Regulations.
In order to pack or consign Dangerous Goods, the dispatcher shall hold a valid and current Dangerous Goods Certificate. The Dangerous Goods Course is extensive and there is no need to recover the Course in this HLO Course. The reference Document for the carriage of Dangerous Goods is: Dangerous Goods Regulations. Published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on an annual basis. Validity, from January the 1 st to December to the 31st every year.

The definition of ‘Dangerous Goods’ can be described as:
Any Explosive Substance
Anything that by their nature can endanger the safety of an aircraft or persons on board an aircraft or any substance which the Regulations declare to be Dangerous Goods. No person may consign or load Dangerous Goods onto an Aircraft without holding a current Dangerous Goods Certificate. In addition, the flight Crew shall hold a current Dangerous Goods Awareness Certificate to fly the DG’s.

Dangerous Goods Categories as defined by ICAO:

Class 1. Explosives (Ammunition, Blasting Powder etc.)

Class 2. Gases (Compressed, Liquefied or Aerosol)
Class 3. Flammable Liquid (Thinners, Paint, Fuel)
Class 4. Flammable Solids (Non-Safety Matches, Spontaneous Combustibles)
Class 5. Oxidizing Substances (Silver Nitrate, Bleach)
Class 6. Poisonous Substances (Bacterial Agents, Insecticides etc)
Class 7. Radioactive Materials
Class 8. Corrosives (Acids, Mercury, some Batteries)
Class 9. Miscellaneous (Magnetic materials, Dry Ice C02)

Dangerous Goods can be further sub-divided into divisions.


For Example Class 4, Flammable Solids may be described as:
Division   4.1   Flammable Solids
Division   4.2   Flammable Substances liable to spontaneous combustion
Division   4.3   Substances that may produce flammable gases on contact with water


Dangerous Goods must be packed in accordance with the degree of hazard.

Packing Groups are:

Pack Group 1—  Great Danger
Pack Group 2 — Medium Danger

Pack Group 3 — Minor Danger


Dangerous Goods can be placed in four categories.

Goods which are FORBIDDEN for air transport

Goods which are FORBIDDEN UNLESS EXEMPT for air transport
Goods which are ACCEPTABLE for air transport
Goods which are EXEMPT from the regulations

In simple terms:

.   Forbidden goods can never be carried in an aircraft
Forbidden unless exempt are normally forbidden but the operator may carry them and takes full    responsibility
.  Acceptable
goods may be carried in accordance with the regulations.
.   Exempted goods are normally carried by the crew and are the property of the owner in the quantity prescribed

Exempted goods may be further defined as follows:
Aircraft Parts, Aircraft Equipment and supplies (Not Fuel) that are required for the aircraft for its operation or use:
For Example:
• Extinguishers
• Non-Spillable Batteries
• First Aid Kits
• Signaling Devices
• Compressed Gas Cylinders
• Spare Parts.
• Aerosol dispensers must be securely packaged

The following goods may be carried where permitted by local Governments and local Laws.
• Certain Medical Items and toiletries
• Drinking Alcohol, Perfumes
• Small Gas Cylinders for personal medical use
• Small Gas C02 cylinders for artificial limbs
• Sporting ammunition in Division 1 .45 (Not Tracer or Exploding)
• Dry Ice for in-flight cooling perishables. Limit of 2 Kg / passenger
• Personal Smoking items but not lighter fluid or unabsorbed fuel
• Cardiac pacemakers
• Motorized wheelchairs with safe batteries

Be aware of your company limits on what is permitted to travel offshore and do spot checks at random.
It is beyond the scope to fully the Dangerous Goods regulations in this course just being aware that you may not consign any dangerous Goods unless you have a valid and current Dangerous Goods Certificate. The 2 IATA DG Courses available are ‘Recognition and ‘Packaging’.

When Dangerous Goods are presented to the pilot for transport, they must be fully documented and inspected for damage and labeling. The pilot requires a completed NOTOC form.
Dangerous Goods must be kept well clear of passengers or be flown as a special Freight Flight.
Some Dangerous Goods are harmless on their own but can be very dangerous when combined with other chemicals or agents.




The Dangers of Undeclared Dangerous Goods:

Dangerous Goods, when packed, declared and shipped in accordance with IATA regulations, rarely ever present a risk to aircraft or the occupants.

The biggest risk is from the undeclared goods that are shipped every day in cartons, toolboxes, and baggage and on ones person. The airlines face a much larger risk than most helicopter operators as they carry more passengers and also the capacity for freight is much greater.
Form the perspective of helicopters operating off shore, the following items present real risks to helicopter flight and offshore installations. Remember also, that a combination of chemicals often raises the risks many fold. If you have any doubts about the hazardous nature of any chemical, request a MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheet)


Material Safety Data Sheets are documents required for all potentially hazardous and hazardous items, related to the material properties in order to protect everyone that comes in contact.
• An MSDS provides, or should provide, information about:
• Chemical names and DG classification
• Manufacturers name/address and phone numbers
• Chemical properties and ingredients
• Exposure limits
• Safety Information / first aid / emergency response
• Date the NSDS was prepared
Beware of the following named items that appear on manifests of that may be packed in any type of container

Chemicals may contain items or meeting any of the criteria of Dangerous Goods. These may include:
Flammable Liquids or Solids, Oxidizers
Organic Peroxides
Toxic or Corrosive substances
H2S calibration gas

Company Materials (Comat):
Danger of unspecified materials such as:
Flammable liquids such as paints, thinners, tarps adhesives etc.
Corrosive batteries
Compressed gases, such as Nitrogen, Oxygen
Magnetized materials
H2S calibration gas

May contain compressed gases, flammable or not.



Diving Equipment:
Compressed gas: High Intensity Diving Lamps which can generate extreme heat when operated in air

Drilling and Mining Equipment:
 Radioactive substances
 Magnetic material

Electrical Equipment:
May contain magnetic materials or mercury switches
Flammable liquids / solids / Gases
May contain mercury switches
Passenger Baggage:
May contain any type of Dangerous Goods and should be periodically checked
Repair Kits:
 May contain flammable adhesives, cellulose paints, peroxides, solvents etc.
Tool Boxes:
 One of the biggest risk groups and should be routinely checked.
 Explosives, power rivet-guns
 Aerosol containers
 Flammable substances
 Butane soldering Irons

Passenger Awareness:

Cargo acceptance areas must be placarded to alert passengers on the dangers of undeclared Dangerous and hazardous goods and of their responsibilities.
If you allow Dangerous Goods to be loaded aboard an aircraft, you may be prosecuted.
Any incident involving Dangerous Goods will also result in a legal action.
Protect yourself by asking passengers to declare any restricted items.















Helideck Inspection:
The HLO shall make regular checks of all the Helideck equipment and notify the PlC if any item is not serviceable, missing or shows signs of deterioration.

 Helideck Construction:

• Insure the helideck has been inspected and passed by the local authority and the Inspection certificate kept on file.
• Check markings in accordance with requirements. (Annex)
• A 210-degree obstacle-free clearance sector for approach and departure, marked with a black chevron.
• Painted Values. D-Value, Max Wt, Name of Installation, H.
• Obstacles painted in bands and clearly visible.
• Floodlights for night operations, focused as not to dazzle the pilots.
• High points 15 meters or more above Helideck shall have Red Obstruction lights.
• Windsocks to be in good condition, illuminated and clearly visible.
• Safety Nets should be in good order, 1 .5 meters wide with an outboard slope less than 0.25 meters above Deck Level.
• Ensure 2 Exit points are clear and unobstructed.
• The Helideck shall have a 5:1 Falling Gradient from the Helideck edge to the water that is obstacle free.
• A helicopter taking off requires this angle to descend steeply in the event of an engine failure, prior to gaining sufficient airspeed to safely fly away. Always check that a workboat or any vessel does not invade this fall away area.

 Helideck Surface:
• Check the condition of the surface and ensure deck is clean.
• Check Drains and Guttering are clear and no oil or fuel spills on deck.
• Check perimeter lights intact and serviceable.
• Check non-slip surface

 Deck Equipment: (Some Optional on certain Rigs)
• Chocks, Sandbags and Tie Down Ropes
• Scales for Baggage and Passengers
• Suitable power source for starting helicopter
• Tie Down Points

Emergency Equipment:

The following equipment should be stored in a secure weatherproof container, in the immediate vicinity of the Helideck. The equipment listed below is the minimum equipment required for the use in the event of an accident involving a helicopter on the Helideck.

Consult the Installation Manual for further detailed information.
• Adjustable Spanner 25cm
• Rescue Axe
• Bolt Cutters 60 cm
• Crow Bar 105cm
• Grab Hook
• Hacksaw with 6 spare blades
• Blanket Fire Resistant
• Aluminum Ladder
• Life Line and Rescue Harness
• Side Cutting Pliers
• Set of assorted screwdrivers
• Harness knife with Sheath - one for each Crew Member
• Gloves, Fire Resistant - one for each Crew Member
• Self Contained Breathing Apparatus - 2 sets
• Portable Safety Lamp for 3 hours continuous use
• Stretcher

Fire Fighting Equipment:
Competent personnel must man the following equipment, which will be readily accessible to fight any Helideck fire. Halon is being phased out as it damages the environment.
Portable Fire Extinguishers: (Minimum amounts)
Dry Chemical Powder - 45Kgs OR
HALON - 45 Kgs OR
CO2 - 45 Kgs.

Where the main agent is Dry Powder, then either CO2 or HALON must also be available in addition to the Powder quantities mentioned.  Where the main agent is  HALON ,  then there should also be a quantity of Dry Powder Where the main agent is C02, then there should also be a quantity of    Dry Powder.

Learn your Fire Extinguisher Codes by the correct colors.
• RED:                      Water Unsafe on any Voltage
• BLUE:                    Dry Powder Safe on Low Voltage
• YELLOW:              Foam, Unsafe on any Voltage
• BLACK:                 C02. Safe on High Voltage
• GREEN:                 Vaporizing Liquids. Safe on High Voltage

Foam Equipment:

Foam Equipment sufficient to meet the needs of every type of helicopter should be of a ‘Low Expansion Foam System’ capable of discharging 5.5 Liters a minute per square meter onto the Helideck area.

Fire Crew Equipment:
Two (2) sets of the following equipment need to be kept at a place, which is readily accessible to the Helideck area.
• Protective Outfit including Gloves, Boots, Face Mask or Hood and a Helmet
• 2 Sets of self-contained breathing apparatus with 2 spare bottles
• A portable battery operated lamp that can operate for at least 3 hours
• A Firemans Axe
• A Safety Harness and Line

It is important that the Fireman suits up before any engine starts or helicopter operation. No action should be taken to extinguish an engine fire unless commanded by the pilot. The range of Fire Fighting Equipment will vary from location to location. Similarly, so will the protective clothing and the amount of equipment stored.

The HLO shall make every attempt to be familiar with the equipment on board and bring any shortcomings to the attention of the PIC/OIC. Each Installation will vary in type of equipment supplied. Be familiar with the equipment on board your Rig.

It is good safety practice to have the following signs and instructions clearly displayed in prominent places around the Helideck.



Helidecks may vary in shape but all must meet certain criteria as specified in publication CAPS437. The Helideck on the right has a hatched area to indicate to the pilot that this area is unsafe to swing the tail into. CAP 437 has been compiled by the British CA4, the HSE and the BHAB after extensive Helideck Inspections. The CAPS 437 Document is now the leading reference for all offshore Helidecks around the world.

It is unlikely that the HLO would have any involvement in the physical dimensions or structure of the Helideck, therefore, it is important that he checks what actually exists and ensures that the Helideck is safe to use. Check all exits and stairs are obstacle free and safe for all conditions.

Report all problems to your Rig PlC.

Offshore Rigs and Installations require 1 Windsock, clearly visible in good condition.

One Windsock and a flag(s) are usually accepted if 2 windsocks are not available, although 1 windsock would meet the minimum requirements, this windsock may be subject to local phenomena which may give false indications when not in clear air A second windsock on the opposite side of the rig may be required. Replace windsocks when they become torn or dirty.

All Helidecks must have a 5:1 fall away ratio for helicopter operations in the event of a power failure on takeoff or for a missed approach. In the event of a power loss on takeoff, the helicopter may descend below the Helideck height, steeply towards the water and this area must always be kept clear of any vessels. If you are standing at the edge of the Helideck, looking down, then you cannot allow any obstruction, including the Safety Vessel to be within the 5:1 falling gradient.

The 5:1 Falling Gradient is designed to protect the helicopter in the event of a power loss or engine failure after take off. In the diagram below, the helicopter experiences an engine failure after Takeoff. The helicopter now has to accelerate away on one engine, initially losing height to gain airspeed. After gaining enough airspeed, the helicopter can slowly climb and gain altitude. It is very important to keep the falling gradient clear of all obstructions.

 Politely ask all work boats to leave the approach and departure areas of the Helideck unless there is a operational reason to be there. Helicopter safety starts with the HLO being aware of the helicopter requirements.





The Checks below are offered as a guideline and some of these checks may be brought forward depending on other duties the
HLO may have.
The HLO is an important link in the safety chain and the following checks will ensure that there are no surprises when the
helicopter finally arrives.

40 Minutes Prior to Helicopter Arrival
• The standby safety vessel should be alerted and on station for all helicopter operations
• Condition of landing area including FOD check. (FOD; foreign object damage)
• Windsock(s) in good condition
• Hose Down deck if loose dust present
• Remove all loose items from the Helideck
• Helipad drains should be clear and unobstructed
• Deck Crew are present and preparing themselves
• Availability and serviceability of Fire-fighting equipment
• Crash Box contents, no obstacles
• Foam Monitors and Fire Pumps are switched on
• Visual aids, markings, landing lights and illuminated windsock
• Refueling equipment
• Ground Start power unit
• Hand-held VHF Radio, check with Radio Room
• Safety and Emergency notices
• Side Rails Lowered
• Have the Refueled take samples and prepare documentation (optional)
• Restrict access to non-essential personnel

30 Minutes Prior to Helicopter Arrival
• Weigh all passenger baggage and freight; enter the weight in pounds on the manifest
• Ask the passenger whether he is carrying any items on his person or in his baggage that may be classified as Dangerous Goods (Have a D.G. information card available or Passenger Awareness Posters).
• Politely request spot check of baggage
• Take charge of baggage until your assistants can move it to the area adjacent to the helideck ready for loading
• Instruct the passengers to wait in the Briefing Room


15 minutes Prior to Helicopter Arrival
• Carry out final check of deck & surrounds All Helideck crew are to be suitably attired in bright Vests
• Lower side or safety rails
• Ensure there are no vessels parked in the approach or departure areas of the helicopter flight path
• Ensure 180 & 210-degree arcs clear
• Ensure Crane is shut down and clear, Safety vessel is in position.
• Inform Radio Room that Helideck is ready for Operations

5 minutes Prior to Helicopter Arrival
• Standby for the call from the helicopter pilot for the Landing Clearance
• Final Helideck Check


Give a LANDING CLEARANCE as appropriate.

After Helicopter Arrival
• Wait for anti collision lights to be switched off and a positive “thumbs up’ from the Crew before you permit the Deck Crew to
approach the Helicopter
• Deliver the return manifest to the Pilot
• Remain in clear view of at least one of the Pilots. The Captain normally sits in the right seat
• Do not assist with the unloading. Remain vigilant
• Indicate to the Deck Crew that they are clear to approach the Helicopter and disembark the arriving passengers
• Ensure that all lifejackets remain on, or are returned to the Helicopter or Helideck area.
• Passengers are not permitted to remove life jackets under the rotor system
• Indicate to the Deck Crew that they are clear to unload arriving baggage and freight for delivery to arriving passengers waiting off the Helideck
• Indicate to the nominated Deck Crew-member that he is clear to collect the life jackets for delivery to departing passengers
waiting off the Helideck.
Before Helicopter Departure

• Indicate to the Deck Crew to load outbound baggage and freight and ensure that all items are loaded and secured correctly.

• Indicate to the Deck Crew to embark departing passengers, ensuring that all lifejackets have been fitted correctly and are not twisted or kinked
• Once passengers are correctly seated, ensure that all seat belts have been secured prior to closing the Helicopter doors
• One passenger should wear the Headset unless a PA system is installed
• Ensure that all Deck-Crew vacate the Helideck before you consider the area safe
• Wait for the anti collision lights (beacon) to be switched on
• Confirm that all doors have been correctly secured before you leave the deck
• Give a positive ‘thumbs-up’ to the Crew and wait for a ‘thumbs-up’ in reply
• Remain in clear view maintain eye contact with the Pilots until the helicopter has departed and is no longer visible before allowing the Deck Crew to ‘stand down’

Ensure that the payload offered by the pilot is more than the total payload of the return manifest.
Ensure that the manifest total is less than the payload offered by the pilot


Engine Start and Departure

• Standard Helideck checks. (Cranes / Safety Boats)
• Fire Team and Deck Crew ready.
• Check the Manifest and give to the pilot.
• The Deck Crew to load the baggage.
• Passengers will be loaded next, check life jackets and head set is worn.
• All non-essential crew to well clear.
• Check all doors closed and aircraft safe.
• Fire Crew (C02 Extinguisher) to stand near aircraft with HLO for the start.
• After both engines are running, move fire crew clear and stand well clear of the helicopter.
• Give ‘thumbs up’ clearance to the pilot and wait for return signal and anti-collision light on.
• Remain in clear view maintain eye contact with the Pilots. Remain vigilant until the Helicopter has departed and is no longer visible before allowing the Deck Crew to “stand down”.

HLO / RO Supplementary Duties
Occasionally some of the R0 and HLO duties overlap to a degree and there is often a level of co-operation between the two depending on the workload of the R0.

For example, either the RO or the HLO may be involved in the following:
• Processing and Manifesting Passengers and freight
• Weighing all outgoing Passengers and Freight
• Arranging the Video Brief
• Passing the weather to the helicopter crew
• Post Flight Documentation


















Sling Load and Winch Operations
NOTE: You may not marshal or connect sling loads unless you have completed a Load Masters Course. This section is for general reference only.

From time to time, it may be necessary to transport equipment to the installation that will not fit inside the cabin. If the equipment is required urgently, an option is to under sling it and then land the item onto the Helideck. Passengers may not be carried with a sling load attached.
Sling Loading and Winching requires a high level of skill and specialized training. The ground crews are an important part of the operation if required to conduct Hook Up and marshalling duties.
The Helideck would normally meet all the requirements to be suitable for a Winch or Sling load arrival / Pickup area. Some smaller Ships have a Winch area defined by a circle that may say Winch Only.
The pilot must have an unobstructed view of the Winch Zone or arrival area and be in an area of minimal turbulence away from Turbine exhausts and Flue Gases. Sling loads should not be flown over any part of the rig except for the Helideck area.

Certain loads may arrive in a net or directly connected to the sling cable. Sling loads may also have guide ropes attached that allow the Helideck crew to stabilize or rotate the load as it settles onto the deck. The Sling Load Release area will normally be the Helideck.

The HLO and Helideck Crew should observe the following precautions:
• Ensure the wind socks are clear and the pilot has the latest wind update
• Rescue and Fire Fighting Crew to be on standby
• The areas and floors below the Sling Area and to be vacant
• Non-Essential Crew to be will clear of the Helideck area
• Keep Exit Routes well clear and safe
• Secure all loose objects
• Ensure all personnel aware of the operation
• Rescue Standby Vessel to be on location
• Check Communications
• Review Hand Signals if required
• If hand signals are required, stand where the pilot can see you
• The HLO shall wear the HLO Vest, Goggles, Ear Protection & and Gloves
• Ask the pilot if he requires assistance in marshalling. If not, stand clear

HLO or Load Handler Duties

The Load Handler is to steady the load if required and observe the Hook disengage the load. The release command must never be given unless all crew are clear from under the load. The pilot can disconnect the load either electrically or manually. In an emergency, the hook may be released by the load handler if requested by the pilot. The Sling, the Shackles and the Ring may be heavy and should never be dropped while crews are under the helicopter. The Load Handler must always be in a position to observe the HLO / Observer and see the hand signals being given.

Safety Considerations:
• Always have the safety rescue boat at hand
• Never attach any line from the Deck to the helicopter
• Do not touch the sling until the load has touched the Helideck
• Do not talk on the radio while sling ops are underway
• Keep bright lights away from the pilot
• Do not confuse the pilot with vague signals
• Keep clear of the underside of the helicopter unless
there is a need

Over the Helideck Emergencies

Ensure that all Helideck Crew know what to expect and have an emergency response plan in mind at all times. Sling loading is normally quite safe and routine but the following problems may occur.

Unexpected Problems:
• Prematurely-released load
• Engine Failure in the hover
• Engine fire in the hover
• Erratic and unstable load
• Insufficient power to hover over the Helideck

An engine failure in the hover will result in the helicopter descending rapidly and perhaps landing on the load. This may cause the helicopter to roll over and strike the rotors onto the deck. This is a very dangerous situation and therefore all non-essential personnel should be well clear.
An unstable load may be difficult to control and the pilot may release the load prematurely in the wrong spot. Touching the hook may result in an electric shock; always use a grounding lead before touching the hook or cable before it has touched the helideck. (Not normally required)

Releasing the Sling Load

 When the helicopter is correctly positioned over the target and the load is resting on the ground, make the CUT or RELEASE signal by using a cutting motion. Never give the cut signal unless the load is resting on the ground.

Load still Connected

Usually you give the CUT Sign when the helicopter is in the correct position, followed by the Thumbs Up’ sign. If the load does not release, then give the ‘Load still connected’ sign. After that, give the Hold sign, lower the helicopter if necessary, and then manually unhook the load. Be careful of static electricity. You can use a grounding wire to earth the load.









Remote Wellheads
Normal flight operations are limited to daylight hours because of the restricted Helideck size on the remote wellheads. In a life threatening emergency situation, night operations shall be at the discretion of the pilot-in-command.
Helicopter Operations to Wellheads will be to either deliver passengers to an unmanned Wellhead or pick up passengers on an occupied Wellhead.
To ensure an acceptable level of safety is achieved, one passenger shall be responsible for Helideck procedures while he is on the platform. As it is impractical to provide full HLO training to every passenger that may be required to visit remote Wellhead platforms, the designated HLO must be familiar with the following procedures.

Weather limits: Visibility 1.5 Kilometers
Wind limits:
28 Knots or less for normal visits
28 — 33 knots operational — no maintenance
34 Knots and above — no flight operations

The information in this section is based on standard procedures
adopted by many Oil Companies when traveling to Unmanned
Well heads.

Your Operator may have different requirements and procedures.
This Section should be used as a guideline only if your
Operations manual already has procedures listed.

Dispatch Procedures for landing on unmanned Wellhead Platforms
The Radio Operator (RO) shall:
Survey the remote Wellhead Helideck with the closed circuit 1V to confirm the Helideck is clear of obstructions and the Gas Warning Beacon is not illuminated.

Confirm by remote monitoring means that the platform is gas free. Instruct the Safety Rescue Vessel to position itself midway between the Primary Rig Installation and the remote Wellhead. Pass payload, routing and weather information from the Wellhead to the helicopter pilot or to the RO on the Primary Installation.

The Primary Installation shall:

Designate one of the passengers bound for the unmanned remote Wellhead platform as the HLO and ensure he is competent and familiar with his duties. Insure at least 2 passengers bound for the Wellhead have received fire-fighting training and are familiar with the fire-fighting training and fire fighting equipment on board.

After Landing on the Wellhead

After landing the HLO shall:

·        Open the cabin door nearest the Helideck exit to be used when instructed by the pilot

·        Check the condition of the fire fighting equipment and designate one person to man the fire hose during the Helideck departure. (Not always available)

·        Direct the passengers to disembark and proceed directly to the upwind Helideck exit. The passengers should move below the Helideck area as soon as possible

·        Unload baggage and freight from the helicopter with assistance from one of the passengers and transfer it from the Helideck. Ensure all life jackets are back in the baggage compartment

·        Close the helicopter doors and confirm all personnel are off the Helideck and check no obstructions that could affect the helicopter departure

·        Clear the pilot for takeoff (thumbs up) and leave the Helideck

·        Inform the R0 of the helicopter departure, destination and POB

·        The HLO may ask the passengers for assistance if required

Departure from the Wellhead
Before Takeoff the HLO shall:

·        Prepare a manifest with passenger names and the total weight of PM, baggage and freight for the next destination and inform the PU of these figures

·        Dress in the HLO Vest, ear defenders and carry the radio

·        Muster the PAX on the upwind landing side below the Helideck and ensure everyone is dressed correctly for departure with no hard hats or loose headgear

·        Inspect the fire equipment and nominate a person to the fire station

·        Make a final Helideck inspection that the gas-warning beacon is not illuminated, the windsock is free and no obstructions on the Helideck

·        Confirm the Crane is down

·        Clear the Helideck and move to the upwind area and wait for the helicopter to land
NOTE: Passengers are not permitted to don or remove life jackets while standing under the main rotor. It is permissible to board the helicopter and then don the lifejackets.



Takeoff procedure from the Wellhead:

·        Wait for the anti-collision light to be turned off and a ‘thumbs up’ from the pilot

·        Open the closest door to the upwind side where the PAX are mustered. Load the baggage and freight first, tie any cabin baggage down, using only approved straps

·        Gather the required life jackets for the waiting passengers

·        After donning jackets, load the passengers and check that all seat belts are fastened

·        Confirm all doors are closed and latched and the helicopter is safe to depart

·        After being the last person to board wear the headset and advise the pilot that he is clear for takeoff


Wellhead Platform Operation Safety Vessel:

·        A standby Vessel is required to be in the vicinity in the event the helicopter is unable to return for an emergency.

·        The standby Vessel should be prepared to assist the RO in measuring surface weather conditions and visibility.

·        When standing by near the Wellhead, the Vessel should remain clear of the approach and departure paths of the helicopter.

·        In the event of an emergency, the Vessel should comply with the instructions of the installation in respect to offering assistance to the helicopter.

·        The Vessel should be prepared to deploy scramble nets, rescue craft and if possible a Diver and Crew for rescuing personnel from the water

·        Available fire fighting equipment should be readied and the Crane and Jib prepared with rescue basket to recover passengers from the water






















Emergency Helideck procedure
The primary objectives in an emergency are:

1. Save any lives
2. Prevent the threat of fire
An emergency landing is any landing other than a normal one.

An Alarm could be raised for the following events:
• Heavy landing
• Skidding to the Deck Edge
• Engine Fire
• Fuel or Oil spill                                                        
• Blade strike
• Ditching alongside

The emergency response will determine the course of actions, however, the following is offered as a guide.

 Raise the appropriate alarm and conduct the following actions.
• Re-route any other inbound aircraft.
• Check the standby Rescue Vessel is nearby for a ditching.
• Ensure the Helideck and Fire Crew respond correctly to the emergency.
• Cease all Crane operations
• Muster all the Helideck Crew
• Confirm the RO6 of the arriving helicopter
• Maintain a listening watch
• Clear the areas below the Helideck
• Expected problem after landing as indicated by the pilot

Platform Evacuation by Helicopter (s)

• Know who the Evacuation Commander is.
• Confirm payloads for each aircraft and prepare in advance.
Do Not attempt to overload the helicopter
• Monitor baggage that passengers may attempt to bring aboard.
• Keep the Evacuation Commander informed of all passengers moved off and remaining on board.
• Maintain absolute strict control of the Helideck.


Medical Evacuation — MEDIVAC
• The nature of Offshore Oil operations presents real risks to offshore workers and a Medical evacuation plan is an important
part of offshore safety.
• The Medic, the RO and the HLO should have a sound understanding of the plan to prevent any unnecessary delays in uplifting the patient.
• Normally, the Medic will inform the PlC and the RO will order the helicopter The HLO will advise the Helideck Crew and prepare the Helideck as for normal operations. If the flight is at night, then the lighting needs to be checked as well.
• The Patient is incapacitated in any way, that person shall be accompanied on the flight to render assistance in the event of an emergency


The RO would normally pass on the following information to the helicopter operator and pilot.
Medical Status / Type of injury
• If Stretcher is required
• If a Doctor or an attendant is required to accompany the patient
• If altitude restriction applies to Head Injury or Diver Injury
• Specialized Medical Equipment such as Drip, Oxygen etc
• Destination: Hospital or Helipad
• If Ambulance is required

Prior to the Helicopter arriving:
Bring the patient to the Helideck area under shelter
• Bring patients bag including required documents and passport
• Attach Medical Instructions to patient for shore based Doctor
• Fit life jacket to patient and protect patient from wind and cold
• Fit ear protection

Fuel Spill oil the Helideck:
Any fuel pills on the Helideck will be handled in accordance with the Installation Emergency Response Manual.
Generally, spilt fuel is hosed down with the Foam Monitors, then hosed off with water
The area will first be evacuated and all non-essential personnel kept clear until the area is safe

Rescue - Fire and Safety Equipment
Make a final check that all equipment is in place.

Crash Box Contents:
Double Check that the Crash Box is unlocked and check the contents against the checklist.

 Portable Helideck Fire Fighting Equipment:
Double Check that all the Fire Equipment is available.
On the first warning that there may be an emergency landing on the Helideck, the HLO and Helideck team should prepare
for the helicopter arrival and check the following:

• Check and Clear the Helideck
• Stop all Crane Operations
• Standby Rescue Vessel should be in Place or repositioning
• Keep Approach and Departure zones clear
• Clear under the Helideck area
• Check All Fire Fighting Equipment
• Inform the RO when ready
• Maintain a listening watch and be ready to give a landing clearance
.The Rescue team should have Seatbelt Cutters on their person


Helicopter Crash on the Helideck
Be aware of the following:
• The rescue team must have a backup team to ensure they are not cut off from a safe area by fire
• Fire is very dangerousl Fight all fires before attempting to recover people
• Be aware of rotor blades and other helicopter parts if there was a heavy landing
• If the rotors strike the Helideck they will separate and fly off with high Impact
• Exits may be blocked If the Helicopter is on it’s side
• Cutting or Hacking the fuselage below the door levels may rupture fuel and oil lines
• Windows, Hatches and Doors may be jammed, warped or twisted
• Treat all passengers with care in case of spinal injuries after a heavy vertical landing

FOAM can be affected by high wind. Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) is effective as a cooling agent and can be applied as a blanket after shutdown to prevent ignition of any spilled fuel.


Fire Fighting Techniques

For spilled fuel, a Dry Chemical or Foam Extinguisher should be used. Always stay upwind unless absolutely impossible to avoid Flashback. Helicopter Engine Fires, although extremely rare, would normally be extinguished from within the cockpit by the pilots. The HLO or Deck Crew may see the first signs of fire but shall never attempt to fight any engine fires unless requested by the pilot. Some types of helicopters occasionally have a wet start which ignites a pool of jet fuel that has collected in the combustion chamber The flash from the exhaust might be quite spectacular but quite harmless to the engine. If requested by the pilot, fight the fire through the correct fire panel intake and not directly into the engine intake. Ice particles from the C02 extinguisher may damage the high RPM turbine blades, so fight fire into the correct fire slot or vent. The door on the opposite side of the engine being started should be left open to quickly evacuate passengers in the event of a fire.
Tyre or Wheel fires can be very dangerous due to high tyre pressures and magnesium alloy that burns very hot and may be difficult to extinguish. The added danger of burning magnesium is that that the burning wheel may explode when doused with water Use a light spraying motion and stand well clear on the upwind side.

Fire Extinguishers

 Remain UPWIND whenever possible while using any Fire Extinguishers. Take care of Flashback if a fire relights after it appears to be out. Extinguishers are ineffective when used downwind

Remember PASS:
Pull the pin
Aim the extinguisher
Squeeze the trigger
Spray the fire

Crew Injury or Incapacity
If the helicopter crew is unable to assist after an emergency landing or crash, consider the following actions:
• Signal the pilot to use the rotor brake to stop the rotor
• Enter the cabin and evacuate the passengers
• Engines may need to be shut down using the fire T handles (or switches)
• Switch OFF Battery or Master Switches

Be familiar with the type of helicopter that operates to your installation.

Be familiar with the Fire Extinguisher Codes.

Helideck unsafe for Landing

If radio communications with the helicopter has failed and the Helideck is unsafe to land on for any reason, WAVE the helicopter OFF with hand movements. The signal to be used is either an arms crossed waving motion or crossed the arms overhead. The aim is to wave the helicopter away. Alternatively, you can use a Helideck Closed signal


If a GPA alarm sounds while the helicopter is shut down, the crew would normally go to the assigned muster station. From there, consider allowing the helicopter to depart as soon as possible

Ditching alongside

 Although very unlikely, the remote possibility exists that a helicopter may have to make a forced landing into the water next to a ship or installation. An intentional landing would most likely be a controlled descent to the water, after contact with the water, the floats would be deployed and the passengers would then launch the life rafts and evacuate the aircraft. An unintentional landing in the water may have an unhappier ending and the HLO needs to be aware of the serious consequences of having passengers in the water that require immediate assistance.

A helicopter may ditch for the following reasons:
• Blade contact with a part of the rig
• Power loss after take off
• Serious vibration
• Power loss or transmission failure
• Accidental contact with the water
Fuel exhaustion
• Severe weather


When the Installation has prior knowledge that a ditching will take place, the HLO shall make every effort to carry out the following actions.
• The HLO is strongly advised to delegate the radio and telephone calls to the RD while he prepares the Helideck Crew and
the Fire Crew. The Rig PlC shall assign a Rescue Coordinator
• Contact the PlC, the Flight Following Radio Station and the Helicopter Operator
• Prepare the Fire Crew and the Helideck Crew
• Assign observers to scan the water for passengers (Count swimmers)
• Position the Rescue Safety Vessel and advise them to have all safety and rescue equipment ready.
• If weather is calm; launch small boats to rescue swimmers
• The Rescue Safety Vessel should prepare for the ditching by moving close to the position where it is expected the
helicopter will ditch. If Known.


The Rescue Vessel shall prepare:
• Climbing nets
• Life support systems
• Smaller Watercraft
• Dive Crew if available
• Follow the Company Helicopter Ditching Procedures










































Section 15






A key requirement to successful helideck rescue and fire fighting is a complete understanding of the fire fighting equipment and the circumstances in which it may be used. A helicopter accident on the helideck, with subsequent fire may generate large amounts of heat, smoke and debris. In this circumstances, the Helkideck would become a very hazardous place to be and it is imperative that the all passengers and crew be evacuated, taken to a safe area and be accounted for. It is also possible that all the fire fighting equipment may not be available due to smoke, fire or equipment damage. Other considerations are the escape routes, some of which may be unavailable due to smoke, fire, spilled fluids or debris. Foam monitors must be located at points to deliver a uniform application of foam to all parts of the safe landing area (helideck) regardless of wind conditions or accident location. It is quite conceivable the helicopter could crash on deck, then slide well to one side, far away from the fire crew and close to the deck edge. The foam monitors should be considers the first line of defense for any helideck fires and therefore it is imperative the foam monitors are protected with covers from the weather , then it is most important that alls covers be removed prior to accepting any traffic onto the installation. The minimum capacity of the foam production system depends on the D-value of the Helideck, the foam application rate, the discharge rates of installed equipment and the expected duration of application. The application rate is dependant on the types of foam concentrate in use and the types of foam application selected. for aviation Fuel firs(Avtur or jet A-1), the following recommendations apply: Use foam concentrates compatible seawater that meets performance level 'B'. These foams require a minimum application of 5.5 liters per square meter in the area, per minute.


Hand controlled foam hose lines should also be available in case the foam monitors cannot reach the target area or presents a safety hazard to passengers. Hand hose lines should supply a minimum of 250 Liters a minute.
Locations of all equipment and storage facilities should be clearly marked. A competent authority should undertake testing of all fire equipment annually.
Mixing of different Foam concentrates should be avoided to prevent ‘sludging’ and possible failure of the pumping equipment.


Dry Powder:
While foam is considered the primary means of dealing with fires, the helicopter may require a spot fire extinguisher in to the engine bay for example, then a Dry Powder of Carbon Dioxide extinguisher may be used. Dry powder is recommended as the primary complementary agent. The minimum capacity is 45 Kilos and the rate of delivery should be at from 1.35 - 2 Kgs/second to anywhere on the Helideck area. Several containers should be available to supply continuous coverage.

Dry Chemical Powders should be of the ‘Foam compatible’ type.


Rescue - Fire and Safety Equipment

Make a final check that all equipment is in place

Crash Box Contents:
Double Check that the Crash Box and is unlocked and check contents.

Portable Helideck Fire Fighting Equipment:
Double Check that all the Fire Equipment is available.


On the first warning that there may be an emergency landing on the Helideck, the HLO and Helideck team should prepare for the helicopter arrival and check the following:

• Check and Clear the Helideck
• Stop all Crane Operations
• Standby Rescue Vessel should be in Place or repositioning
• Keep Approach and Departure zones clear
• Clear under the Helideck area
• Check All Fire Fighting Equipment
• Inform the RO when ready
• Maintain a listening watch and be ready to give a landing clearance
• The Rescue team should have Seatbelt Cutters on their person

Fire Fighting Techniques

For spilled fuel, a Dry Chemical or Foam Extinguisher should be used.
Always stay upwind unless absolutely impossible to avoid Flashback.
Helicopter Engine Fires, although extremely rare, would normally be extinguished from within the cockpit by the pilots. The HLO or Deck Crew may see the first signs of fire but shall never attempt to fight any engine fires unless requested by the pilot.
Some types of helicopters occasionally have a wet start which ignites a pool of jet fuel that has collected in the combustion chamber. The flash from the exhaust might be quite spectacular but quite harmless to the engine.
If requested by the pilot, fight the fire through the correct fire panel intake and not directly into the engine intake. Ice particles from the C02 extinguisher may damage the high PPM turbine blades, so fight fire into the correct fire slot or vent.
The door on the opposite side of the engine being started should be left open to quickly evacuate passengers in the event of a fire.
Tyre or Wheel fires can be very dangerous due to high tyre pressures and magnesium alloy that burns very hot and may be difficult to extinguish.
The added danger of burning magnesium is that that the burning wheel may explode when doused with water. Use a light spraying motion and stand well clear on the upwind side.

Fire Extinguishers

Remain UPWIND whenever possible while using any Fire Extinguishers. Take care of Flashback if a fire relights after it appears to be out. Extinguishers are ineffective when used downwind

Remember PASS:
• Pull the pin
• Aim the extinguisher
• Squeeze the trigger
• Spray / Swipe the base of the fire

Crew Injury or Incapacity
If the helicopter crew is unable to assist after an emergency landing or crash, consider the following actions:

Be familiar with the type of helicopter that operates to your installation.






Refueling General information:

Any person involved in offshore refueling operations should have received some form of basic training in fuel safety, fire training, documentation, dispensing and storage. Proper records must be kept in accordance with the installation safety manual.

 The HLO may be required to undertake and supervise helicopter fuelling on off shore installations. The HLO should have sufficient knowledge to understand refueling equipment and quality control to play his part in refueling operations. Helicopters that operate offshore are powered by turbine engines that consume Jet Fuel, commonly known as Jet A-i or AVTUR. Jet fuel is either clear or straw colored and looks suspiciously like water. Jet A-i has a specific gravity of around 0.79 compared to water with an SG of 1.0. Fuel will float on top of water. Water in Jet fuel will sink and is very difficult to detect visually. Water in Fuel may sometimes form beads or ‘slugs’ that may be hard to see unless in clear glass.

Jet fuel has a flash point of 40 degrees centigrade. At normal temperatures it should not form an ignitable mixture, but care must be taken in high temperatures. Some foreign Jet fuels have flash points as low as 20 degrees. Bulk fuel is difficult to ignite, whereas sprayed fuel onto a surface of 40 degrees can ignite very rapidly. Jet fuel is subject to very strict controls at the refinery and is tested for sediments, water and dirt before leaving in specially designed tanks. When jet fuel is transported to an offshore installation, the tanks are fitted with a protective framework to protect the tank and it’s fittings. Offshore refueling facilities must be able to withstand extreme conditions and are usually stainless steel or steel protected with a thick layer of epoxy paint. The fuel pump assembly should be fitted with a weatherproof removable cover. Each tank should have a serial number, a test date and fuel type identification plate attached near the delivery discharge point.

The National Fire Protection Association of America (NFPA) is a leading authority on risks associated with aviation refueling. The following is an extract to indicate the level of risk when using non-conducting materials in the flow of fuel. Hydrocarbon fuels, such as aviation gasoline and Jet A, (what the helicopter uses) generate electrostatic charge when passing through the pumps filters and piping of a fuel transfer system. The primary electrostatic generator is the filter separator that increases the level of charge on a fuel by a factor of 100 or more as compared with the pipe flow.
In addition, document NFPA 407 states that funnels or other refueling equipment fabricated from non-conducting materials, such as plastic, can increase static generation. The use of Chamois as a filter is extremely hazardous. Sparks resulting from the static electricity created by fuel passing through pipes and filters can be avoided by proper electrical bonding of all components of the refueling system and the aircraft. Bonding cables must be conductive, durable and flexible. Bonding connections must be electrically and mechanically firm. Jacks, plugs clamps and connecting points must be clean, unpainted metal to provide a positive electrical connection.
The bond must be maintained until all fuelling connections have been removed.


Fuel Test Equipment
The required equipment to test fuel is listed below:
• Thermometer 0-500 c
• Hydrometers .700 to .850
• Measuring glass for SG check
• Approved Glass Jars
• Rod or Tape for Tank Dipping
• Water detecting paste
• Water detecting paper
• Dipping bottle with cord attached
• Water detector capsules with syringes
• Stainless Steel Bucket with Earthling Lead
• SG Tablets
• Tank Tables to convert Depth to Volume

Refueling Equipment

Fuel Pumping Unit The pump unit must be of an approved type and be intrinsically safe and be ‘Fire and Explosion’ proof. The pump should deliver at least 250 Liters / minute and have a bypass system to ease pressure build up in the hose.

System Filter The filter must be fitted between the pump and the outlet and have a differential Gauge and air eliminator
Fuel Delivery Hose: The hose should be at least 20 meters long the regulation standards. The hose should have a rewind drum or racks and must be kept clear of the surface.
Suction Hose: The hose should be at least 10 meters and be fitted with quick disconnect couplings.
Delivery Hose: The nozzle should be 4cm in diameter, fitted with a strainer, swivel, end cap and bonding lead.
Bonding Reel:

 The bonding reel should be a plastic coated cable, 20 meters long and reel mounted. A pin or Clip at one end connects to the helicopter.
Meter: A calibrated delivery meter measuring in Liters or Galls to be fitted

At no time may Nylon Clothing be worn while engaged in refueling operations due to the risk of static electricity build-up.

Refueling operations must be conducted in a clean and sterile environment. Keep covers on all equipment and keep hose ends covered and stored unless in use. Fuel is an irritant to skin and can cause skin damage to certain individuals. Fuel is also a solvent and is very harmful if splashed into the eyes or face. Contaminated clothing should be removed and the skin washed with water.

Immediate first aid is required if fuel is splashed into the face or eyes.

Bonding and static electricity danger:

All fuelling equipment and the aircraft must be bonded to prevent static electricity jumping a gap and igniting fuel vapors. Static electricity may build up when the fuel passes through the hose and the bonding cable prevents this. The bonding point on the helicopter must be clean and unpainted and there is a special provision for this on each and every aircraft.

Correct bonding procedure will prevent an accidental fire or explosion.

Fuel Control:

Fuel should be allowed to settle at least overnight before it can be used. In the event that this is not possible, the fuel needs to settle for at least 2 hours after delivery before it can be used for helicopter refueling provided it is fitted with a floating suction system. Shipped fuel must arrive on the offshore installation with all seals intact. Recovery tanks for fuel samples and contaminated fuel are required. All contaminated fuel is to be shipped back to shore and disposed of Clean fuel samples must not be returned to the main tank unless authorized by the operating company. All fuel must be accounted in the fuel ledger.

All Helideck Crew should know the Emergency Shutdown Procedures and where the Switches are located.

Quality control:

To ensure that the fuel quality is maintained at all times, attention to detail must be observed at all times.
• Refueling equipment should be carried and not dragged across the Helideck.
• Avoid Gravity refueling in wet conditions.

• Cover all apertures if conditions are wet.

• Replace all covers and dust caps immediately after use.
• Hoses must be rewound and stored correctly when not in use.
• The refueling covers must be replaced after use.
• Carry out the water detection tests on every refuel
• complete the paperwork after all fuelling operations

Bonding Lead Continuity Test:

The continuity test is an electrical test that ensures the lead is unbroken throughout its length. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the test and ensure the light illuminates correctly during the test.

Fuel Sampling:

Fuel sample containers shall be either Glass or Stainless Steel. Steel containers must be bonded when used. Plastic containers may NEVER be used due to the risk of static build-up and a risk of fire of explosion

Water and Contaminants in Fuel:

Jet fuel is Hydroscopic, which means there is a certain amount of water present in fuel at all times even from the point of manufacture. As the temperature of the fuel rises and falls, the water either condenses (cools) out into droplets or dissolves (heats) back into the fuel. It is important that the daily fuel tests are conducted when the fuel temperature is at its lowest, usually early in the morning. Visible water in the fuel appears as beaded droplets, ‘slugs’ or as a cloudy mist. If not disturbed, water in suspension will eventually sink and form larger droplets on the bottom. Fuel samples may also disclose solid contaminants such as rust flakes, dust, sand, grit or other particles. At no time may contaminated or discolored fuel be used in any aircraft.

Obtain a fuel sample as follows:
• Use the correct (clean) containers
• Obtain fuel from the entire system, Filters, valves etc.
• Obtain fuel samples at the nozzle before and after each refuel
• Keep all early morning samples for a minimum of 7 days to monitor any filter degradation
Water content in fuel is detected by either litmus paste which changes to green if water is present or a syringe / capsule kit. Either method can detect very small portions of water in fuel. The capsule kits have a shelf life of 12 months and should be stored away from moisture.

 Using the Syringe:
• Check the use-by dates before using the capsules.
• Place the syringe into the fuel and draw up around 5mm.
• Check for color change (The capsule will turn dark green if water is present)
• If no change, then add some water to confirm the capsule is active.

If the capsule changes color, the fuel cannot be used. Document any water findings in the log and re test 30 minutes later. The HLO shall notify the pilot of all contaminated fuel and demonstrate that the water test has been carried out before fuelling the helicopter.

HLO Refueled Daily Checklist
The HLO / Refueled shall carry out daily fuel checks every morning:

  Check the fuel state by dipping and recording each tank
• Conduct fuel sample tests all along the delivery system. Tank, Filters, Nozzle, Filter Monitor
• Make a visual assessment of the samples
• Conduct a water detection test with the approved test kits
• Obtain a 5-litre sample and hold for 24 hours in case of an incident
• Empty all moisture traps and check systems
• Conduct a continuity test on the bonding lead
• Conduct a differential pressure test on the filter to confirm no blockage

Refueling Procedure
• Ensure that the Fire Equipment is manned by the Fire Crew
• The HLO / Refueled shall ensure that all fuelling procedures are carried out in a safe and orderly manner
• Refueling may be conducted with the engines running (hot refuel) or shut down. Company procedures for each procedure shall be adhered to.
• All passengers MUST disembark during refueling operations and shall move well clear of the area along with any other non-essential personnel.
• No refueling shall be conducted during electrical storms or when heavy rain is falling.
• A one (1)-liter sample shall be collected at the start and after each refuel for quality testing and presented to the pilot for acceptance.
• The pilot must witness the water test
• The bonding cable must be attached to the helicopter before the nozzle is inserted into the tank.
• Ask the pilot for the amount of fuel required
• Remain visual with the pilot during the refuel operation
• The fuel cabinet must be manned at all times under constant observation
• The fuelling shall be stopped immediately on a signal from the pilot, the HLO or any of the Fire Crew
• After fuelling, indicate to the pilot that the bonding cable is disconnected
• Ensure the fuel cap is correctly replaced
• Ask the pilot to sign the fuel log sheet
• Final check that all bonds and hoses are clear and rewound
• Fuelling Operations present risk to the Installation
Refueling must cease if there is a fuel spill.







2-EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL                                   ( refer to CD )


Passenger doors
Sliding Doors are on either side of the airframe set on sliding rails. These doors are constructed from light alloy and reasonably
fragile. The doors must never be slammed; press firmly closed and then latch. The Handles are identical on the inside. Turn the
Handle and slide the door back.

Cargo Doors
The cargo doors on most helicopters follow a similar design to the other doors. For example, the 412-baggage door handle resembles the crew door handles. Handles can be very hot when the helicopter is running so the Hlelideck crew should always wear gloves.
Never leave open doors unattended. Treat all doors with respect and ‘Never slam the doors’.

Floatation Bags
All offshore aircraft are equipped with emergency flotation equipment that can be inflated in the event of a water landing.
The Floats are inflated by compressed Nitrogen and Inflate very quickly.
Some Helicopters have Floatation Bags fitted to the side of the Airframe instead of the Skids; however they are inflated in the same manner. Never allow anyone to step onto visible float bags or to allow fuel to spill onto the float bag covers.

Radar Warning
Most helicopters are fitted with weather radar in the front of the nose.
Aircraft radar emits small amounts of radiation and is turned to standby on landing. Prior to engine start-up, the radar should be turned off.

Pitot Tubes
Small sharp tubes protruding from the nose of the aircraft provide dynamic air pressure to the cockpit instruments.
These tubes are sharp and at body height and may cause damage if walked into. These tubes must not be blocked.

Radio antennae may protrude from various parts of the helicopter and are easily damaged by inadvertent contact. Front mounted
HF aerials may extend a long way forward and are a hazard if touched. Aerials may give a shock if touched.

Rotor Hazard
All turning rotors can maim or kill and presents a very real danger in helicopter operations. Some 2 bladed helicopters, are susceptible the tail rotor turns at high speed and may be difficult to see.Some helicopter is on lower skids and therefore has a low tail rotor. This area is totally prohibited whenever the helicopter is running or when the Anti-Collision light is on.

Extinguisher Inlet Point
Each helicopter engine sits in a confined engine bay, designed to confine any fires to that compartment. A fire in the engine compartment is a serious incidence and the pilot will use the internal extinguisher first before asking the Fire Attendant for assistance. The Fire T-Handles are connected to the engine compartment extinguishers.
A fire extinguisher lance must be inserted into the correct inlet point to fight compartment fires. The correct signal from the pilot to the HLO to fight a fire is the open-closing hand motion as indicated below.

Anti-Collision Lights
Also known as the rotating beacon. Never approach the helicopter when the light is flashing unless in an emergency. In normal conditions, the light is turned off to indicate it is safe to approach and turned on again prior to take off
Cargo Hook
The cargo hook hangs under the aircraft and is usually not a hazard unless something is attached. Different model Hooks may appear different. The Cargo Hook operation is covered in detail in the Loadmaster Course

Fuel Cap
The internal Fuel Tanks are filled from the single point refuels point on the right hand side of the aircraft.
The cap is correctly seated when it appears flush and the tab is depressed against the filler cap.
The Fuel Cap is opened by first lifting the Tab and then rotating the Tab counter clockwise to release the Cap. In most cases, the Cap will remain attached to the helicopter
Remember to Bond the Aircraft with the Bonding Lead before opening the Cap.

External Tie Down Points
In the unlikely event of a helicopter shut down on a floating vessel, the aircraft would need to be secured and tied down to prevent it from moving around in bad weather.

If required, the pilot would identify the tie down points

Seating layout

Helicopters can be fitted with front or rear facing seats for the first row. In all cases, the emergency exits are always the windows in the main cabin. No passenger should ever attempt to go forward through the pilot cockpit area unless that area is already evacuated and the rear windows are blocked for some reason. Some Aircraft have Troop Seats, which are a simple sling type arrangement.

Seating layout continued

Seating may vary between helicopters. Seats come as either Troop Seats or Executive interior. In addition the front row of seats may face forwards or rearwards.

Life Rafts

All offshore helicopters are equipped with Life rafts that need to be deployed after a water landing. In the case of the 412 /212 the Rafts are thrown from an exit such as a window or open doorway. The generally have the Life Rafts stowed against the small forward cabin doors behind the pilot stations. These are swing doors that may be opened if the raft is too heavy to manually throw through the Emergency Exits. The Life Rafts hold 10 passengers each and also contain the Marine Survival equipment that may be required after a water ditching.

First Aid Kits

The actual location of the First Aid Kit may vary between aircraft. The Kit shown in the Aircraft photo is a typical location. The First Aid Kit carries only a minimal amount of bandages, tape and scissors. No drugs are carried in the First Aid Kit.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

Extinguishers are mounted near the pilots and passengers. Extinguishers must be used with extreme caution in flight. They work by depriving fire of Oxygen, exactly what people also require. Actual locations may vary between Helicopters; take note where yours are. Fire Extinguishers are weighed at regular check dates to determine if they are still full. A small gauge indicates the residual pressure. Take care that the extinguisher is fired in the correct direction and not back in your face.

Fire T Handles

Each helicopter engine is contained in a fire resistant compartment to contain any fires due to any fuel leaks or electrical malfunctions. Around the engine is a wiring loom that detects heat and activates a light and audible alarm in the cockpit. In the event of an engine fire, the T-Handle will illuminate together with an audible alert. Pulling the Fire T-Handle turns the fuel Off and Arms the Fire Extinguisher Bottles. The pilot will then ‘Blow’ the Fire Bottle into that compartment. If the Engine fire does not go out on the first try, then the pilot can ‘Blow’ the remaining Bottle into the same compartment as a second chance. During a start up on the Rig, the HLO will stand guard with a Fire Crew Member on the side of the engine being started. If the HLO sees smoke or flames emanating from the starting engine, he will indicate a fire using the Open / Close Hand motion.
The pilot would then attempt to put the fire out, if unsuccessful, he will return the Fire Sign to the HLO, which is the sign to fire the portable extinguisher into the engine, compartment Fire Slot.


Emergency Positioning Indicator Radio Beacons (or Emergency Locating Transmitter) may be of 2 types, either a hand held radio type that the pilot can use to talk with other aircraft on 121.5 or a satellite system that passes the distress signal and Lat and long coordinates. A third type of beacon provides sonar information if the aircraft sinks. The EPIRB may be removed from the helicopter and used on land or in the water. On land, the Aerial should be elevated and the unit placed on a reflective surface to prevent the signal from being attenuated into the ground. The EPIRB has instructions printed on the side. The Crew Life Jackets also carry a small distress Radio.

Emergency Exits
Over Land
: Use the doors as normal and exit towards the side as instructed by the pilot.
Never exit the aircraft towards rising ground or if leaning towards one side.
Over Water: The Emergency Floatation gear may be damaged by the sliding doors and should never be used in the water.
The Emergency exits in the water are the windows which can be popped out by pressing firmly against any of the corner areas.
Crew doors may have a jettison T handles near the forward hinge.
The Crew Doors are not for the use of the rear passengers and are rarely covered in the Video Brief.



Emergency and Exit Signs

L‘Fasten Seat Belts and No Smoking’ signs and Emergency EXIT signs are a standard part of aircraft equipment. The No Smoking and Seat Belt lights are usually on for the start and remain on for the entire flight. The designated passenger in the rear should always point out the Seat Belt Sign to those passengers wishing to unfasten their seat belts immediately upon landing. Seat Belts should always remain fastened until cleared to leave the aircraft. Smoking is never permitted in the helicopter.

Life Jackets

Must be of an approved type and be worn for flights over water The use of the jacket is always covered in the Video Brief. A twisted Life Jacket may not inflate correctly and the helicopter should not depart until the Jacket has been rectified. A life jacket may never be inflated inside a helicopter Marine type jackets must not be worn on board.


Seatbelts should be worn over the skeleton and not soft areas of the abdomen. Seatbelts may be full harness or over-shoulder type; in either case the belts are similar in all helicopters.






































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