Flying in a helicopter

It is your responsibility to contribute to safety:

  • Be prepared
  • If in doubt, ask!

When In and Around Helicopters

When in and around helicopters, remember:

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

When on the ground

  • Dress for the weather
  • Inform the pilot of:
    • Your baggage weight
    • Applicable medical problems
    • Susceptibility to motion sickness
  • Take a reserve of special medications you require in the event of enroute delays
  • 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 and/or leave the helicopter

Approaching or Leaving 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 helicopter.
  • Load cargo carefully and secure it against movement
  • Ensure baggage compartment doors are properly closed and latched

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, maneuvering 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
  • 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 over water 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

Emergencies over Water

  • 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 life raft when clear of helicopter