Helicopter Passenger - TP 4263

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August 2004

Safety Around Helicopters

Contribute to a Successful Flight

  • be reasonable in your requests
  • support the pilot's safety decisions
  • know
    • how to embark and disembark
    • inflight and ground procedures
    • location and use of safety and survival equipment
    • emergency procedures
    • what is expected of you on the flight

On the Ground

  • dress for the weather
  • inform the pilot of
    • your baggage weight
    • applicable medical problems
    • susceptibility to motion sickness
  • don't smoke in or around the helicopter
  • stay well to the side of the helipad when the helicopter is arriving or departing
  • secure your clothing and headgear against rotor winds
  • protect your eyes against blown dust and particles
  • keep the helipad clear
  • wait for instructions to approach or leave the helicopter
  • approach and leave to the side or front in a crouched position - never by the rear of the helicopter
  • if you can, wait until the rotors stop turning
  • approach and leave by the downslope side - for rotor clearance
  • carry gear firmly at your side, never over your shoulder or above your head
  • never throw items towards or out of a helicopters
  • load cargo carefully and secure it against movement
  • ensure baggage compartment doors are properly closed and latched
  • take a reserve of special medications you require in the event of enroute delays

In the Helicopter

  • secure seatbelts (and shoulder straps, if provided) while in flight
  • use helmet or headset if provided
  • remain in your seat unless given permission to move
  • do not distract the pilot during takeoff, manoeuvering or landing
  • read instructions on the operation of doors, emergency exits, and the location of the ELT (emergency locator transmitter) and emergency equipment

During an Emergency

  • follow instructions
  • do not distract the pilot
  • check that any loose gear in the cabin is secured
  • wear helmet if provided
  • remove eye glasses and put into your pocket (you might need them later)
  • assume brace position
    • tighten seatbelt
    • with shoulder straps, tighten and sit upright, knees together, arms folded across chest
    • without shoulder straps, bend forward so chest is on your lap, head on knees, arms folded under thighs

After an Emergency Landing

  • wait for instructions to exit, or until rotor stops turning
  • assist others to evacuate well clear of the aircraft
  • remove first aid kit and other emergency equipment after no threat of fire
  • administer first aid if required
  • remove ELT, read instructions and activate
  • set up camp to be as comfortable as possible
  • make the site as conspicuous as possible from the air
  • stay near the aircraft - don't wander away from the site

Always remember that help is on its way

When Flying Over Water

  • listen carefully to the pilot's overwater pre-flight briefing
  • wear a lifejacket and/or immersion suit
  • know seatbelt fastening, tightening, releasing procedures
  • know the location and operation of doors and emergency exits
  • know the location and operation of the ELT
  • during an emergency
    • obey the pilot's ditching instructions
    • remove tie, loosen collar
    • assume brace position when advised by the pilot
  • wait for instructions to exit, or until rotor stops turning
  • after a ditching
    • establish a reference position
    • release seat belt
    • inflate lifejacket and liferaft when clear of helicopter

Is your helicopter multi-engine and/or float equipped for overwater operations? In Canada, single-engine helicopters are not approved for operations beyond gliding distance from land unless float equipped.