Slinging with Safety (TP 2228E-34)

Safety Promotion & Education

Slinging accidents happen mostly to experienced pilots.


Do these sound familiar?

  • confined area
  • awkward load
  • mar ginal weather
  • untrained groundcrew
  • customer pressure
  • tight schedule
  • fatigue
  • inadequate equipment
  • uncertain field servicing

The safety problem…

Here’s how accidents happen:

  • getting pressured into a risky operation
  • accepting hazards
  • flying when fatigued
  • lacking training for the task
  • not sure of what’s required
  • operating in marginal weather
  • ignoring laid-down procedures
  • becoming distracted and not spotting a hazard

The major hazards:

  • obstacles in the operating area
  • snagged sling gear
  • equipment failure
  • deficient pad housekeeping
  • surface condition: snow, soft spots, etc.
  • incorrectly rigged load
  • wind condition not known beforehand
  • overloading

The safety team…


  • follows procedures; no corner-cutting
  • ensures everyone is thoroughly briefed
  • watches for dangerous practices and reports them
  • rejects a job exceeding his skill
  • knows fatigue is cumulative and gets plenty of rest
  • checks release mechanism and sling gear serviceability


  • knows the hand signals and emergency procedures
  • watches for hazards—and reports them
  • rejects a task beyond his skill or knowledge
  • insists on proper training in load preparation and handling


  • reasonable in demands; doesn’t pressure pilot
  • insists on safety first
  • reports dangerous practices


  • allows for weather and equipment delays
  • sends the right pilot with the right equipment
  • insists the pilot is thoroughly briefed on the requirements
  • supports the pilot against customer pressures
  • demands compliance with operating manual
  • provides proper training

Remember, 60% of slinging accidents occur during pick-up