Safety In and Around Helicopters

in Ground Procedures and Flight Preparations

People have been injured, some fatally, in helicopter accidents that would not have occurred had they been informed of the proper method of boarding or deplaning. [Figure 8-3] A properly briefed passenger should never be endangered by a spinning rotor. The simplest method of avoiding accidents of this sort is to stop the rotors before passengers are boarded or allowed to depart. Because this action is not always practicable, and to realize the vast and unique capabilities of the helicopter, it is often necessary to take on passengers or have them exit the helicopter while the engine and rotors are turning. To avoid accidents, it is essential that all persons associated with helicopter operations, including passengers, be made aware of all possible hazards and instructed how those hazards can be avoided.

Figure 8-3. Safety procedures for approaching or leaving a helicopter.

Figure 8-3. Safety procedures for approaching or leaving a helicopter.

Ramp Attendants and Aircraft Servicing Personnel

These personnel should be instructed as to their specific duties and the proper method of fulfilling them. In addition, the ramp attendant should be taught to:

  1. Keep passengers and unauthorized persons out of the helicopter landing and takeoff area.
  2. Brief passengers on the best way to approach and board a helicopter with its rotors turning.

Persons directly involved with boarding or deplaning passengers, aircraft servicing, rigging, or hooking up external loads, etc., should be instructed as to their duties. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to cover each and every type of operation related to helicopters. A few of the more obvious and common ones are covered below.

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