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GUIDE TO

HELICOPTER/SHIP
OPERATIONS
FOURTH EDITION
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GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is a voluntary organisation of national shipowners' assoCiations.
Established in 1921 , It represents about seventy-five percent of world merchant tonnage. The interests of ICS
cover all aspects of maritime affairs, but it is particularly active in the field of manne safety, ship design and
construction, pollution prevention and mantime law.
ICS has consultative status with several inter-governmental organisations, Including the International
Mantlme Organization.
While the advice given in this guide has been developed using the best information currently available, it is
intended purely as guidance and to be used at the user's own risk. No responsibility is accepted by the
International Chamber of Shipping or by any person, firm, corporation ar arganisation who or which has
been in any way concerned with the furnishing of in forma tian or data, the compilation, publicatian ar
authorised translation, supply or sale of thiS guide, for the accuracy of any information ar advice given herein
or for any omission or far any consequences whatsoever resulting directly ar indirectly from compliance with
or adoption of guidance contained herein even if caused by a failure to exercise reasonable care.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Published by
Marisec Publications
12 CarthUSian Street
London EC 1 M 6EZ
Tel +442074178844
Fax +442074178877
Email ics@marisec.arg
WebSite www.mansec.org
First Published
Revised Edition
Third Edition
Fourth Edition
Marisec Publications 2008
1979
1982
1989
2008
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS

CONTENTS
Page
6 FOREWORD
CHAPTER 1 GEl'.lERAl GUIDANCE
8
8
9
1.1
1.2
1.3
CHAPTER 2
10 2.1
10 2.2
10 2.2.1
10 2.2.2
11 2.2.3
11 2.2.4
12 2.2.5
12 2.2.6
12 2.2.7
12 2.3
12 2.3.1
13 2.3.2
13 2.3.3
Introduction
Selection of a Helicopter Operator
Provision of Helicopter landing/Operating Area Information
PRINCIPLES OF OPERATING SAFETY
General Principles
Marine Responsibilities
Ship Operator
Master
Deck Party Officer (DPO)
Deck Party Crew (DPC)
Administrator
Officer of the Watch (OOW)
Passengers
Aviation Responsibilities
Helicopter Operator
Helicopter Pilot
Helicopter Winchman/Crew Member
CHAPTER 3 HELICOPTER OPERATING GUIDANCE
14 3.1 Introduction
14 3.2 Designation of Helicopter Performance
14 3.2.1 Performance Class 1
14 3.2.2 Performance Class 2
14 3.2.3 Performance Class 3
15 3.2.4 Performance for Winching
15 3.3 The Use of Twin Engined and Single Engined Helicopters
16 3.4 Helicopter Size and Weight Restrictions
16 3.5 Equipment and Crewing
17 3.6 Helicopter landing Gear
17 3.7 Weather and Sea Conditions
17 3.7. 1 General
17 3.7.2 Wind Conditions Limiting Hel icopter Operations
18 3.7.3 Sea and Swell
18 3.7.4 SpeCIal Conditions
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
CHAPTER 4 GENERAL SHIP REQUIREMENTS
20 4.1
20 4.1 .1
20 4. 1.2
26 4.1.3
26 4. 1.4
26 4.1.5
26 4.2
26 4.2.1
27 4.2.2
27 4.2.3
28 4.3
28 4.3.1
28 4.3.2
29 4.3.3
29 4.4
29 4.4.1
30 4.4.2
30 4.4.3
31 4.5
32 4.6
33 4.7
CHAPTER 5
34 5.1
34 5.1.1
34 5. 1.2
34 5.2
34 5.2.1
35 5.2.2
35 5.2.3
36 5.2.4
37 5.3
37 5.3.1
37 5.3.2
37 5.4
37 5.41
37 5.42
38 5.4.3
38 5.4.4
Ship Operating Areas
Types of Operating Area
Locat!on and Size of Operating ,A;rea - Landing
Location and Size of Operating Area - Winching
Poop Deck Platforms
Structural Considerations (Purpose Built and Non Purpose BUilt Landing Areas)
Environmental Effects
General Considerations
AerodynamiC Effects
Wave Motion Effects
Details of Landing Area
General Guidance on Markings
Markings for a Landing Area Located at the Ship's Side
Markings for Amidships Centreline Landing Area with or
Without Restricted Access from the Ship's Side
Details of Winching Area
Positioning a Winching Area
Winching Area on the Bridge Wing
Marking a Winching Area
Additional Considerations for Helicopter Operating Areas
Night Operations: Landing and Winching Area Lighting
Fire Fighting Appliances and Rescue Equipment
COMMUNICATIONS AND SHIP OPERATING PROCEDURES
Communications
General Guidance
Communications Equipment
Normal Operating Procedures - Pre-Arrival
Weather Conditions
Departure of Helicopter from the Heliport
Pre-Arrival Checks on the Ship
Pre-Arrival Checks from the Helicopter
Navigation
Identification of the Vessel
Manoeuvrability
Signalling Procedures
Ships' International Signals
Visual Signals to Helicopter
Loss of Radio Communications
Warning Signal
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
38 5.5 Basic Operating Procedures
38 5.5.1 Officer of the Watch
38 5.5.2 Deck Party
39 5.5.3 Fire Fighting
39 5.5.4 The Operating Area
39 5.5.5 The Helicopter
39 5.5.6 Emergency Shutdown
39 5.6 Helicopter Landing and Unloading
39 5.6.1 Landing
40 5.6.2 Disembarking Passengers and Freight from the Helicopter
41 5.6.3 Operational Safety
41 5.7 Helicopter Hovering
41 5.7.1 Winching Operations
42 5.7.2 Underslung Loads
42 5.8 Helicopter Loading and Departure
42 5.8.1 Loading Passengers and Freight
42 5.8.2 Take Off
43 5.8.3 Departing
43 5.9 Instructions to Helicopter Passengers
43 5.9.1 General
44 5.9.2 Landing
44 5.9.3 Winching
46 5.10 Passenger/ Freight Handling Procedures
46 5.10.1 Passenger Pre-Flight Briefing
46 5.10.2 General Freight Handling
46 5.10.3 Carriage of "Dangerous Goods"
46 5.10.4 Carnage of Freight and/or Baggage In the Passenger Cabin with Passengers
47 5. 10.5 List of Items Prohibited for Carriage In Passengers' Baggage or on Person
CHAPTER 6 REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIC TO DIFFERENT SHIP TYPES
48 6.1 Tankers
48 6.1.1 Oil Tankers
48 6.1.2 Chemical/Parcel Tankers
48 6.1.3 Vapour Dispersal
49 6. 1.4 Vapour Emission Control
49 6. 1.5 Safety
49 6. 1.6 Freeboard
50 6.2 Bulk Carriers and Combination Carriers
<
50 6.2.1 General
50 6.2.2 Geared Bulk Carriers
51 6.2.3 Gearless Bulk Carriers
51 6.2.4 Combination Carriers
51 6.3 Containerships
52 6.4 Gas Carriers
52 6.4.1 Design Limitations
52 6.4.2 Vapour Emission Control
53 6.5 General Cargo Ships
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
...
CHAPTER 7 EMERGENCY EVACUATION BY AIR
54 7.1 General
54 7.2 Illness or Injury Evacuation
54 7.2.1 Requesting ASSistance
54 7.2.2 Preparation of Patient
55 7.3 Emergency Operating Areas
CHAPTER 8 HELICOPTER INCIDENT/ACCIDENT
56 8.1 General
56 8.2 Helicopter Accident Procedure
56 8.3 Fire Procedures
57 8.4 Helideck Emergency Procedures
57 8.4.1 C rash on Deck
57 8.4.2 Emergency/Precautionary Landing
57 8.4.3 C rash on Deck Major Fuel Spillage - No Fire
57 8.4.4 Helicopter Incident on Landing
58 8.4.5 Man Overboard (MOB)
58 8.4.6 Helicopter Ditching
58 8.5 Personnel in Water - Emergency Procedures
58 8.6 Plan of Action
APPENDICES
60 Appendix A
61 Appendix B
66 Appendix C
68 Appendix 0
70 Appendix E
71 Appendix F
79 Appendix G
80 Appendix H
FIGURES
22 Figure 4.1
23 Figure 4.2
24 Figure 4.3
25 Figure 4.4
32 Figure 4.5
40 Figure 5.1
Commercial Helicopters in Marine Use
Communications
Shipboard Safety Check List for Helicopter Operators
Instructions to Helicopter Passengers Transferring to and from Ships
Marine Pilot Transfer
Helicopter landing/Operating Area Plan (to be used with accompanying CD)
Duties and Suggested Action Plan for Helicopter Accident
Bridge Wing Operations for Marine Pilot Transfer - A Risk Assessment
landing Area at the Ship's Side
Amidships Centreline landing Area (Purpose Built and Non Purpose Built)
Markings for a Purpose Built landing Area in an Amidships Centreline location
Winching Operations Area
Representative landing Area Lighting Scheme
Representative Diagram of Helicopter Safe Approach Sectors
GUIDE TO HeliCOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
FOREWORD
This guide has been published after wide consultation with both marine and aviation experts, whose
contribution to this new edition is acknowledged with thanks. Its purpose IS to encourage safe and effiCient
helicopterlshlp operations, and while the guide IS Intended prinCipally for the use of ships' masters, officers
and crew, it also offers advice to helicopter pilots and operators. The objective is to promote standardised
procedures and facilities for helicopterlship operations worldwide.
This reviSion of the gUide supersedes all previous versions. It has been updated With extensive gUidance
regarding the role and responsibilities of both the ship and helicopter. Definitions of helicopter performance
have been both expanded and clarified, while Information regarding the location and marking of landing and
winching areas has been completely revised to reflect the latest International Civil Aviation Organization
(lCAO) reqUirements.
It is recognised that In the years Since the Third Edition was published, on some ships and on certam trades,
the practice has developed of transferring by winch marine pilots directly to the Bridge Wmg. Such operations
should not normally be conducted unless a thorough risk assessment has been conducted, particularly when
more conventional transfer arrangements can be provided. GUidance and advice regarding a risk assessment
to be conducted when planning for the winching of marine pilots to the Bridge Wing of ships forms
Appendix H. GUidance regarding emergencies has been supplemented with advice addressing the actions to
be taken in case of a helicopter inCident/accident. A new Appendix F provides guidance regarding the
provision by the ship of specific Landing/Operating Area data to the helicopter operator.
To provide additional value and utility, this new edition of the Guide is accompanied by a CD
containing the full text in electronic form with a "search" function and the facility to print the
check lists included in the Appendices.
Importantly, the CD also includes an electronic template for preparing Helicopter Landingl
Operating Area Plans for transmission from the ship to the helicopter operator. For full
instructions, see Appendix F.
All possible care has been taken in the preparation of thiS gUide, but It must be stressed that It IS only a
guide. It IS not intended to be binding, and shipping companies, ships' masters and officers, helicopter
operators and air crew are all responsible for actmg m accordance with relevant national regulations and
company Instructions. Ships may operate under codes or national requirements which may necessitate the
application of alternative or higher standards than those advised m this guide. Regulations for helicopter
operations are established by the authorities In the country of registration of the aircraft and/or where the
operation takes place, and may vary In detail from one country to another.
For those vessels to which the International Safety Management (ISM) Code applies, this guide may provide
assistance In developing shipboard operating procedures and requirements for the variOUS helicopter
operations that may be undertaken on board.
It should be recognised that certam sections of this gUide may be found to be of value by ship deSign teams,
and for many users technical Information Within the gUide may need to be accessed only occasionally.
Retaining advice for both the helicopter and ship regarding Jomt operations In one publication IS considered
by the authors to be appropriate, and It is antICipated that thiS consistency Will be found to be useful to ship
and helicopter operators alike.
Comment on the gUide and suggestions for further Improvement will be welcome, and should be addressed
to the International Chamber of Shippmg, 12 Carthusian Street, London, EC 1 M 6EZ, United Kingdom.
Email ics@marlsec.org
GUIDE TO HEliCOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Special appreciation is expressed to the following organisations and companies who provided particular
assistance to the development of this the Fourth Edition of the Guide to HelicopterlShip Operations:
BW Shipping Managers PTE
Civil Aviation Authority (UK)
Helideck Certification Agency
Maersk Ship Management
Maritime and Coastguard Agency (UK)
Shell (Aviation and STASCO)
Stolt-Nielsen UK Ltd
REFERENCE MATERIALS
The documents, regulations and instruments listed below are referenced In this gUide:
IMO International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SO LAS)
IMO International Fife Safety Systems (FSS) Code
CAP 437 - Civil Aviation Authority publication:
Offshore Helicopter Landing Areas - Guidance on Standards
IMO International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS)
International Telecommunication Union (lTU) Radio Regulations
International Civil AViation Organization (lCAO) Convention on International Civil AViation -
Annex 14 Volume II (Heliports) and Annex 6 Part III (International Operations - Helicopters)
ICAO Heliport Manual
IMO Resolution A.855(20) Standards for On-Board Helicopter Facilities
International Air Transport Association (lATA) Regulations
IMO/ICAO International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual
UK Civil Aviation Authority (CM) Paper 2008/03:
Helideck Design Considerations - EnVIronmental Effects
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
1
1.1
GENERAL GUIDANCE
INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this guide is to advise shipping companies and ships' staff on the safe performance
of helicopter/ship operations. Because of their different backgrounds, qualifications and
experience, mariners and aviators are often unfamiliar with even the most basic technical aspects
of each other's profession. This lack of mutual understanding can be dangerous, and this guide
attempts to remedy it.
The guide provides advice on best practice obtained from many aViation and maritime sources.
Best practice IS a constantly evolving process, and it should be borne In mind that the guide
reflects best practice at the time of publication. There may be alternative means of ensuring safe
operations and these need to be considered on their merits.
There are three main categories of helicopter/ship operations:
Operations involving a contract between a shipping company and a helicopter operator. It IS
thiS category which is the principal focus of the guide.
Operations involVing a contract between some local organisation, such as a pilotage authority,
and a helicopter operator. The guide is also suitable for these applications, and Appendix E in
particular deals with the transfer of marine pilots.
Emergency/rescue operations. Although the guide has been written with planned operations
chiefly In mind, many sections provide helpful information which is relevant to the use of
helicopters in emergencies. In particular, time taken to establish an appropriate landing or
winching site for use in the event of an emergency could save time and reduce unnecessary
risks if such operations are ever required.
The operations department of a shipping company has to balance time, money, safety and
expediency. Before deciding on helicopter/ship operations, it has to weigh the risks to the vessel
inherent In approaching harbour limits and heaving-to for a launch transfer against those arising
from a helicopter transfer with the ship safely offshore and probably steaming on passage. In
balancing such factors, safety must be the prime consideration.
1.2 SELECTION OF A HELICOPTER OPERATOR
Even though aviation, like shipping, has varying standards of operating practice, the "minimum
recommended standards" are contained in Annex 6 Part III of the ICAO Convention on
International Civil Aviation (for operations) and Annex 14 Volume II (for design issues relating to
heliportslhelidecks). When planning an operation, advice should be sought from an independent
expert (e.g. a qualified consultant With first-hand experience of marine helicopter operations) who,
having ascertained the exact requirements, will be able to identify an operator With the ability and
experience to carry out the task to the highest level of safety and proficiency. National aviation
authorities will normally assist by recommending an appropriate consultative body.
The consultant may recommend to the shipping company that operating conditions more rigorous
than those required by the national regulations or by the helicopter operator are applied
contractually. Advice on the form of the contract should be sought from an expert. A technical
consultant will not necessarily be expert on contracts but should be able to recommend a
specialist. In particular, the shipping company should always consult its P&I Club on the liability,
indemnity and insurance clauses of the contract.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
The choice of a helicopter for a particular task IS one that requires a high degree of technical
aViation knowledge. Aircraft operators seeking business may claim to be able to perform a task for
which their particular aircraft is not sUitable and thus possibly reduce safety standards and the cost
effectiveness of the operation. The safety of the ship, the helicopter and personnel is paramount; a
report specifying the operational requirements should therefore always be available before the
helicopter and operator are chosen and any contract IS signed.
Helicopter operations should be conduded in accordance with the Operator's Manual and In
compliance with the helicopter Flight Manual.
When an operator has been selected, a contract signed, and all is ready for service, the shipping
company's operations department should issue adVice and instrudlons on the use of the service and
ensure that the ICS GUide to HelicopterlSh,p Operations is available and adhered to by all staff.
1.3 PROVISION OF HELICOPTER LANDING/OPERATING
AREA INFORMATION
Helicopter operations to ships are, by their very nature, infrequent. Most ships have not been
speCifically designed for helicopter operations. The deck environment can be complex and ships
can have a large number of obstrudlons which present hazards for helicopters that are difficult to
see from the air. It is likely that the helicopter pilot will see a particular ship only when operations
have to be conducted.
Under these circumstances, and In order to prevent unpleasant surprises, It IS Important that
Information IS provided such that:
a. The ship can be Identified.
b. The location of the operating site (for landing/winching) on the ship IS known.
c. Obstructions that are near to the operating site are identified.
d. The presence and nature of markings are understood.
e. Any limitations on operations are known.
A number of commerCial aviation regulations require that a pilot be authOrised to fly to a specific
operating site. This authorisation requires either previous knowledge of the site or the provIsion of
Information to permit the pilot to become self-briefed. In order that compliance With the aviation
requirement can be achieved, Appendix F proVides gUidance and examples of "templates" to be
used to proVide detailed Information to support the helicopter pilot.
Masters are encouraged to prepare and complete helicopter operating area templates In
accordance with the gUidance In AppendiX F. Templates should be reviewed and promptly revised
when changes are made to the helicopter landing/operating area. Filed templates should be
available for transmission to the aViation operator when any task IS being arranged.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
2
2.1
2.2
2.2.1
PRINCIPLES OF OPERATING SAFETY
GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Marine helicopter operations demand a clear understanding of safety requirements for both the
ship and the aircraft. This gUide seeks to specify the minimum requirements necessary to maintain
standards of safety. These requirements should be adhered to at all times for routine operations.
Transfer of personnel or stores to or from ships by helicopter should also be conducted in
accordance with any relevant national safety standards.
TWin englned helicopters are always to be preferred for helicopter/ship operations. In some cases,
national regulations may stipulate the use of twin englned helicopters or limit single engine
helicopters to winching operations and/or use In favourable weather conditions.
The most Important factor In the successful conduct of safe helicopter operations IS good
communications. It is essential that all parties understand their respective responsibilities and that
there IS full understanding of and agreement between the ship's master and the helicopter
operator/pilot on a clear and simple plan of arrangements both prior to and dUring operations.
MARINE RESPONSIBILITIES
Ship Operator
It IS the responsibility of the ship operator to select a reputable helicopter operator, thus ensuring
that the necessary standards of operational safety are achieved. There are adVISOry agencies
throughout the world whose gUidance should be sought In thiS regard.
The ship operator IS responsible for ensuring that all marine personnel assoCiated with helicopter
operations are adequately trained and that marine equipment used In helicopter operations IS
maintained to a satisfactory standard.
2.2.2 Master

The ship's master IS ultimately responsible for the safety of his ship. If he is In any doubt whether
the proposed helicopter service meets the requirements of hiS shipping company concerning safety,
liability, Indemnity and Insurance, he should seek company advice before operations commence.
In the planning of helicopter operations, he should give conSideration to Bridge Team Manning
requirements, Including an Immediately available and appropriate response In the event of a
helicopter related inCident.
The ship's master should be aware that:
a. He must reach agreement with the helicopter pilot on any proposed operation before
It commences.
b. Clearance for the proposed helicopter operation IS entirely at hiS discretion.
c. In the absence of a dedicated operating area, he will be responsible for designating an area
that meets the minimum criteria for helicopter operations as speCified In this gUide, and for
prOViding the helicopter operator/pilot with all necessary information.
Note: If the criteria cannot be met, the master should consult with the helicopter
operator and establish if (and how) the operation can be conducted .
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
d. He may stop or curtail the operation at any time for reasons of ship safety. In this event, the
helicopter must move clear of the ship Immediately. The master and helicopter pilot should If
possible discuss appropriate further action.
e. He is responsible for appointing the Deck Party Officer, Deck Party Crew and Administrator
frnrT'l :lr'nr"'lnn hie nffirorc :Jnrl rro.\/I/ rnornharc \I\/hncc. f'lnrtinnc c-norifir::>II., ,..",1",+..",..1 t,-., h"lir ...... "'t .... r
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operations are additional to their other shipboard functions (see paragraphs 2.2.3 to 2.2.5).
f . He is responsible for ensuring that ship's crew members involved in helicopter/ship operations
are trained in standards and procedures necessary to maintain the safety of the ShiP, its crew
and the helicopter aircrew. He must ensure that the Deck Party Officer and the Deck Party
Crew are fully familiar with equipment for winching and landing operations and are trained
and regularly drilled in the tasks required of them in both routine operations and emergencies.
g. He is responsible for monitoring the agreed radio frequency to give landing clearance, when
appropriate, and for warning the helicopter pilot if an unsafe situation develops.
2,2.3 Deck Party Officer (OPO)
The Deck Party Officer is responsible to the master for:
a. Management of the helicopter operating area.
b. Ensuring that, on receipt of information regarding helicopter arrival, the operating area IS
prepared, and that all non-related shipboard activities that might adversely affect the safety of
the planned helicopter operation cease.
c. The safe movement of passengers, supervision of baggage and freight handling, and assisting
the helicopter crew with helicopter loading operations.
d. Ensuring correct manifest procedures are used.
e. EnSUring that the helicopter captain is advised of, and is willing to accept, documented
dangerous goods that are to be stowed in the helicopter.
f. Initiating fire fighting and rescue procedures In the helicopter landing area In accordance With
the ship's emergency plan and using all appropriate resources. The procedures should
Incorporate experience gained dUring crew training and fami liarisation.
g. Ensuring that fire fighting and rescue equipment is serviceable and reporting any defects or
deficienCies to the master.
2.2.4 Deck Party Crew (OPe)
The Deck Party Crew are responsible for :
a. Assisting the DPO in the management of the helicopter landing area.
b. Assisting passengers to and from the helicopter under direction of the helicopter crew.
c. Loading and unloading freight and baggage from the helicopter under the direction and
supervision of the helicopter crew.
d. Preparation of fire fighting and rescue equipment.
e. Operation of fire fighting and rescue equipment under the direction of the DPO.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
2.2.5 Administrator
The Administrator IS responsible for:
a. Preparation of the manifests for both passengers and freight, and ensuring that baggage and
freight are accurately 'vve:ghed, labelled and noted on the manifests. Baggage and freight that
has not been weighed and labelled must not be loaded onto a helicopter.
b. ProvIsion of a pre-flight safety briefing to all departing passengers.
2.2.6 Officer of the Watch (OOW)
When support for helicopter operations can be combined with primary navigational duties, the
additional roles of the OOW may Include:
a. Liaising with the master regarding prevailing and forecast local weather conditions, so that a
timely decIsion can be made on whether to commence helicopter operations.
b. AdvIsing the helicopter operator of current weather conditions at least an hour before the
scheduled departure time of any flight.
c. Maintaining radio contact with the helicopter pilot and the DPO during helicopter operations.
d. Maintaining a helicopter operations log, recording regular (usually 10 minute) helicopter
pOSition reports when the helicopter IS Inbound or outbound, and raising the alarm If any
anticipated reports are not received.
When support for helicopter operations cannot be combined with primary navigational duties of
the OOW, the above duties should be assigned to other personnel.
2.2.7 Passengers
All personnel who are to be transported by helicopter have a duty to follow the Instructions of the
DPO and helicopter crew and act In accordance with Information proVided In the pre-flight
briefing. If they observe anything dUring the flight that may affect flight safety, they should Inform
the helicopter pilot. Passengers are responsible for ensuring that their baggage complies with
relevant baggage regulations.
2.3 AVIATION RESPONSIBILITIES
2.3.1 Helicopter Operator
The helicopter operator should ensure that operations are conducted In compliance with the ICAO
Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), the regulations of the state of registration of the
helicopter, and the regulations of the state In whose waters the operation takes place.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
, .
2.3.2 Helicopter Pilot
The safety of the helicopter remains at all times the responsibility of its pilot, who should comply
with the operator's standard operating procedures. The helicopter pilot and the master must agree
on the proposed operation before It commences. The helicopter pilot should be aware of the
manoeuvring limitations of the ship.
2.3.3 Helicopter Winchman/Crew Member
A helicopter winch man/crew member may be carned in some operations and is responsible to the
helicopter pilot for:
a. Passenger handling and safety dUring the flight and when entering and leaving the helicopter.
b. Passenger supervision dUring emergencies.
c. Supervising the loading and unloading of the helicopter and assisting the DPO to ensure the
safe conduct of the deck party In the VICinity of the helicopter.
d. Monitoring the pdot's blind-spots (the tad and under-belly of the helicopter), directing the pdot
over the required deck area and ensuring that it IS all clear around and under the helicopter
dUring winching and before landing and take off.
e. Ensuring that all relevant documentation IS completed by the ship's crew and on board the
helicopter before its return to shore.
In the absence of such a helicopter crew member, the helicopter pilot will assume these
responSibilities.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
..
3
3.1
3.2
3.2.1
HELICOPTER OPERATING GUIDANCE
INTRODUCTION
Contrary to general belief, a helicopter cannot climb vertically or carry out high hovering
manoeuvres under all conditions. The performance of a particular helicopter while taking off,
hovering and landing is adversely affected by:
a. Increasing weight or payload
b. Increasing atmospheric temperature
c. Decreasing air pressure
d. Decreasing wind speed.
The ability of a helicopter to climb vertically, to hover at variOus heights and to manoeuvre while
dOing so is dependent upon the amount of power that IS available under the prevailing conditions
of air density, air temperature, gross weight conditions and wind. The greater the power available,
the greater the flexibility the pilot will have when manoeuvring the helicopter.
Under conditions including high loads, low winds or high temperatures, the pilot may be limited in
manoeuvrability, and could be restricted in landing and take off directions.
To maximise the payload but still conduct flights safely, the pilot must choose the appropriate Class
of Operations consistent with the local regulations, limitations imposed by the Aircraft Flight
Manual, prevailing conditions and the application of sound deCision making. At all times, whether
by day or by night, and in all operating conditions, the helicopter should comply with the
minimum requirements of the ICAO Convention on International CiVil AViatIOn.
DESIGNATION OF HELICOPTER PERFORMANCE
Performance Class 1
Some twin engined helicopters can be flown In such a way that, if an engine fails Immediately
after take off or immediately before landing, they can make a controlled landing on the landing
Site, or continue to fly and climb safely away on the other engine, establishing a safe altitude for a
return to base. These helicopters are said to be operating In Class 1.
3.2.2 Performance Class 2
Some tWin englned helicopters spend a few seconds dUring the early stages of a take off, and the
late stages of an approach to landing, when they will be unable to continue flight In the event of
failure of one engine. These helicopters are said to be operating in Class 2.
3.2.3 Performance Class 3
Some tWin englned helicopters (and all single englned helicopters) cannot sustain flight in the case
of an engine failure and will be forced to land. These helicopters are said to be operating in Class 3.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
3.2.4 Performance for Winching
The routine winching of passengers (sometimes descnbed as Human External Cargo (HEC) or Class
D) requires the helicopter to have sufficient reserves of power to ensure that, If one engine falls, it
can continue to hover on the other engine.
3.3 THE USE OF TWIN ENGINED AND
SINGLE ENGINED HELICOPTERS
National regulations may Impose additional restrictions on helicopter/ship operations In adverse
weather conditions or dUring hours of darkness, but otherwise the following conditions should
apply:
a. For transfer of personnel when winching IS Intended, tWin engined helicopters with sufficient
power to hover on one engine should be used (see paragraph 3.2.4 above).
b. For transfer of personnel when landing on deck is intended and sea conditions are in excess
of Sea State 4, twi n englned helicopters operating at least in Class 2 should be used
(see paragraphs 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 above).
c. For transfer of personnel when landing on deck is int ended and sea conditions are not In
excess of Sea State 4, helicopters operating In Class 3 (twin englned or single englned)
may be used (see paragraph 3.2.3 above).
In some harsh weather areas (e.g. North Sea, North or South AtlantiC, where "hostile" conditions
are prevalent) regulations may prohibit operations In Class 3 for transfer of personnel.
Note: Conditions are considered to be " hostile" when wind and sea conditions are in
excess of Sea State 4 (wind speed 1721 knots and significant wave height 48 feet).
The following table indicates the operations which may be conducted by tWin englned and single
englned hel icopters:
HELICOPTER PERSONNEL STORES
LANDING WINCHING LANDING WINCHING
DAY NIGHT' DAY NIGHT' DAY NIGHT' DAY NIGHT'
TWIN ENG IN ED Yes Yes Yes' Yes' Yes Yes Yes' Yes'
SINGLE ENGINED
Yes
3
,4
Yes" No No Yes
3
.4 Yes
3
.
4
No No
Note:
1. Helicopters used in night operations must be fully certificated, equipped and manned
for such operations.
2. A winching area may only be used if a recommended landing area is not available or
cannot be used; winching should only be conducted at night if the winching area and
dominant obstructions are adequately lit.
(continued overleaf)
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
3. Single engined helicopters should not be used over accommodation spaces where
these spaces form part of the superstructure of the vessel.
4. Some states prohibit single engined hel i copter operations in a hostile environment,
(adverse/harsh weather conditions/areas - see Note above) and/or at night.
3.4 HELICOPTER SIZE AND WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS
The size and type of helicopter that can operate to the helicopter landing area of a particular ship
will be determined by reference to the ship's landing area "D" and "t" limitations, "D" being the
maximum permitted overall length of a helicopter when its rotors are turning, and "t" the
maximum weight of the helicopter rounded to the nearest 1 00 kg. (See Appendix A for a table of
the size and weight details of helicopters in commercial use.)
3.5 EQUIPMENT AND CREWING
The helicopter and its crew should comply with the operating standards required under Annex 6
Part III of the ICAO Convention on International Civil Aviation. In addition:
a. Helicopters to be used for operations on ships should be fitted with equipment including a
marine VHF radio-communications transceiver and a radio altimeter.
b. Helicopters certified for instrument flight rules (IFR) and night operations should, in addition,
be provided with the operational equipment specified for IFR or night time operations. They
should also be equipped with radar capable of short range display indication.
c. All helicopters should be fitted with and carry the emergency equipment specified for offshore
operations. They should also be equipped with an emergency locator beacon operating on
406 Mhz.
d. Helicopter pilots engaged in marine operations should be trained and qualified for operations
to moving ships.
e. Helicopters used at night or in reduced visibility should carry two pilots who have current IFR
ratings on helicopters, are certified to internationally accepted standards, and are qualified for
helicopter operations to moving ships at night.
f. A qualified winchman should be carried whenever winching operations are envisaged. A
winch man/cabin attendant may be carned in helicopters where the passenger/freight
compartment is separated from the flight deck.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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3.6 HELICOPTER LANDING GEAR
Wheel mounted helicopters are preferable to skid mounted helicopters for landing on a ship,
especially if landing takes place when the vessel is movi ng slightly in a seaway, because the wheels
will provide improved traction. The safety of skid mounted helicopters may be compromised by the
presence of even small obstacles located within the landing area, such as "Butterworth lids" on
tankers. Where immoveable objects are located on the landing area, the helicopter operator will
need to ensure that a safe touchdown can be carried out away from the presence of obstacles (see
Section 4.1.2 and Appendix F).
3.7 WEATHER AND SEA CONDITIONS
3.7.1 General
Weather conditions may rest nct helicopter operat ions, depending upon whether the helicopter is
twin or single engined, its certification status and the equipment it carnes. As a general rule, only
twin engined helicopters that are certified and equipped to the highest standard and routinely
Involved in marine operations should operate In conditions exceeding Sea State 4.
Only helicopters certified and crewed for IFR operations should continue to operate when the
cloud base is below 500 It and when visibility IS below 1 nautical mile. Even these operations
should normally cease when the cloud base drops below 200 ft and vIsibility below 0.75 nautical
miles. Helicopters or crews which are not certified for IFR operations should not undertake
helicopter/ship operations at night. and in daytime should comply with visual flight rule limits,
I.e. 500 It vertical (clear of cloud) and 1 nautical mile honzontal.
3.7.2 Wind Conditions Limiting Helicopter Operations
The accurate reporting of wind conditions, particularly when they are light and vanable, can
significantly enhance the safety of helicopter/ship operations. Vessels should be fitted with
equipment that can measure and record all wind conditions, and should fly a pennant or
windsock, illuminated at night, to give the helicopter pilot a visual indication of the speed and
direction of the wind relative to the ship's deck.
Routine operations can generally be conducted at a wind speed of up to 60 knots (a limit which is
related to passenger and ground crew safety). However, under certain CIrcumstances, It may be
necessary for the ship to change direction at the request of the helicopter pilot. In emergenCies,
operations can be carried out with certain helicopters In wind speeds of up to 70 knots.
Note: It is the responsibility of the master to ensure the safety of personnel on the deck
during helicopter operations in high wind conditions.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
3.7.3 Sea and Swell
Helicopter operations should not be carned out if there is a likelihood of sea or heavy spray on or
above the deck. If possible, the master should ensure that spray, roll and pitch are kept to a
minimum by selecting a suitable course and speed. This is particularly important for preventing
circumstances where sea and spray may enter the helicopter's engine (experience has shown that
sea spray ingestion can result in reduction of engine power or even engine fai lure). Ships
antiCipating helicopter operations should be provided With equipment to measure vessel
movements, and details of the pitch, heave and roll of the ship should be notified as required to
the helicopter pilot. Helicopter operations may need to be aborted in particular combinations of
ship's motions, which may Jeopardise the safety and stability of the helicopter once It has landed
on the ship's deck. The maximum permitted average rate of heave will depend on the type of
helicopter and the applicable operating rules (see Section 4.2.3).
When transfer of passengers by winch IS necessary, control of excessive motion IS particularly
critical, especially in respect of roll and heave. An updated report of these motions should
therefore be passed to the helicopter pilot Immediately before commencing such operations. The
ship's master should provide as stable a platform as possible, and a change of ship's course may be
required for this purpose.
3.7.4 Special Conditions
In special circumstances, e.g. when at anchor, the ship may be unable to manoeuvre and may not
be able to satisfy the conditions outlined above. Helicopter operations may however take place In
such circumstances if the helicopter operator IS Informed of the situation before the helicopter
takes off from base.
If thiS results In the normallandlng/winchlng faCilities being unavailable, alternative arrangements
will have to be agreed between the master and the helicopter operator before the helicopter
leaves ItS base.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
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4 GENERAL SHIP REQUIREMENTS
4.1 SHIP OPERATING AREAS
Note: When " D" is used in the following text, it represents the extent of the available
operating area on or above the deck of the ship. Only helicopters whose maximum overall
length with rotors turning is D or less (see Appendix A) may be used for operations to the
ship in question.
4.1.1 Types of Operating Area
Ship operating areas fall into two distinct types:
a. landing Area: defined as an operating area sUitable for landing helicopters. The landing area
may consist of a purpose built structure located above the ship's deck (referred to as a "purpose
built landing area") or a non purpose built area located on the ship's deck (referred to as a "non
purpose built landing area"). The landing area may be located on or over the bow or stern of the
ship, have an over-side or ship's side location, or occupy an area amidships - usually on or near to
the ship's centreline. The landing area may also be used for winching operations provided that the
winching criteria described in paragraph 4.1.3 below can be satisfied. However, where a landing
area with adequate size and obstacle clearance for the helicopter in question is provided, landing
IS always the preferred option.
b. Winching Area: defined as an operating area which may only be used for winching operations.
The guidance in Sections 4.1 and 4.2 will assist ship operators when deciding upon the most
sUitable location for a landing or winching area on their ship. The optimum position for a landing
or winching area will normally be determined by the avai lability of a suitable space on the ship.
However, where there is more than one area identified and capable of accommodating the type of
helicopter(s) expected to be used, the ship's master, in consultation with the helicopter operator,
should assess the merits of each location, taking particular account of the size and position of
obstacles and expected aerodynamiC and ship motion effects (see Section 4.2).
4.1.2 Location and Size of Operating Area - Landing
4.1.2.1 landing Area at the Ship's Side
A non purpose built landing area located on a ship's side should consist of a "clear zone" and a
"manoeuvring zone" as shown in Figure 4. 1.
The clear zone should be capable of containing a circle with a minimum diameter of 1 x D. No
objects should be located within the clear zone except aids whose presence is essential for the safe
operation of the helicopter, and then only up to a maximum height of 2.5 cm. Such objects should
only be present if they do not represent a hazard to helicopters. Where there are immoveable fixed
objects located in the clear zone such as a "Butterworth lid", these should be marked
conspicuously and annotated on the ship's operating area diagram (a document that provides
visual references to the hel icopter pilot and supplements other information provided by the ship
prior to commencing operations - see Appendix F).
In addition, a "manoeuvring zone" should be established, where possible, on the main deck of the
ship. The manoeuvring zone, intended to provide the helicopter with an addit ional degree of
protection to account for rotor overhang beyond t he clear zone, should extend beyond the clear zone
by a minimum of 0.25 D, at any pOint. The manoeuvring zone may only contain obstacles whose
presence is essential for the safe operation of the helicopter, up to a maximum height of 25 cm.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
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L
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In order to improve operational safety, where the operating area is coincident with the ship's side,
the clear zone should extend to a distance of 1.5 0 at the ship's side while the manoeuvring zone
should extend to a distance of 2 0 measured at the ship's side. Withi n this manoeuvring zone, the
only obst acles present should be t hose essential for the safe operation of the hel icopter. with a
maximum height of 25 cm (where there are immoveable fixed objects such as tank cleaning lines
they should be marked conspicuously and annotated on the ship's operating area diagram). Any
railing located on the ship's side should be removed or collapsed along the entire length of the
manoeuvring zone at the ship's side (i .e. over a distance of at least 2 D). The general arrangements
and markings for a non purpose bUilt landing area on a ship's side are shown In Figure 4.1, while
the markings themselves are described more fully in Section 4.3.2.
4.1.2.2 Amidships Centreline landing Area (Purpose Built and Non Purpose Built)
For some vessels. where it is not possible to accommodate the ship's side arrangement, It may only
be possible to provide a landing area located In an amidships POSition, usually on or near to the
centreline of the ship. Where this IS the case, the landing area should consist of a clear zone
capable of containing a circle With a minimum diameter of 1 x D. No objects should be located
within the clear zone except aids essential for the safe operation of the helicopter, and then only
up to a maximum height of 2.5 cm. Such objects should only be present if they do not represent a
hazard to the helicopter (where, for a non purpose built landing area, there are immoveable fixed
objects located in the clear zone such as a " Butterworth lid", these should be marked
conspicuously and annotated on the ship's operating area diagram). Forward and aft on the
centreline of the landing area should be two symmetrically located 150 degree limited obstacle
sectors with apexes on the circumference of the 0 reference circle (shown as Reference POints on
Figure 4.2). Within the area bounded by these two sectors, containing the airspace used by
helicopters dUring the final stages of approach and/or departure and overshoot, and around the
perimeter of the landing area 0 , there should be no obstructions above the level of the landing
area except obstacles whose presence IS essential for the safe operation of the helicopter, and then
only up to a maximum height of 25 cm. To provide protection forward and aft from obstructions
adjacent to the landing area, an obstacle protection surface should extend both fore and aft of the
landing area to a distance of 1 x 0 on a 1:5 gradient. The general arrangement and markings for
an amidships centreline landing area are shown below in Figures 4.2 and 4.3 respectively. The
markings are deScribed more fully in Section 4.3.3.
Note: Where the requirements for the limited obstacle sector and obstacle free sector
cannot be fully met - i.e. the 1:5 gradient is infringed or the " funnel of approach " is
compromised due to the presence of obstacles greater than 25 cm above the level of the
landing area, any infringements should be conspicuously marked and annotated on the
ship's operating area diagram and assessed by the helicopter operator. The helicopter
operator may need to impose appropriate restrictions and/or limitations to ensure that
flight safety is not compromised. Where the nature of the infringement is significant. the
use of the landing area may be severely limited or prohibited altogether and winching
may be the only possibility (see Section 4. 1.3).
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
II
Figure 4.1
Landing Area at the Ship's Side
MANOEUVRING ZONE EXTENDED AT SHIP'S SIDE
Preferably 2D minimum at the rails. No obstructions higher than 25cm.
Rails should be collapsed or removed over the entire length.
CLEAR ZONE - EXTENDED AT SHIP'S SIDE
Preferably' 1.50 minimum at the rails. No obstructions higher than 25cm.
Ralls should be collapsed or removed over the entire length.
O.3mwJde
nuitldno.
whltear
yeUOw
I
I
I
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
CLEAR ZONE (Diameter D)
No obstructions h i ~ h e r than 2.Scm.
Circumference painted In white or
yellow 0.3 metre wide line.
,
I
TOUCHDOWNfPOSITIONING
MARKING CIRCLE
(Diameter 0.50)
Background painted
in dark contrasting
non-reflecting colour
(preferably dark green).
'H' painted in white
4m x 3m (O.75m thick).
"
~ ~
,
,
,
,
,
,
,
Notes: The diameter In metres of the clear zone '0' to be marked in white figures of O.6m at each of the points
shown, so as to be easily visible to the helicopter pilot. NB: The diameter (in metres) of the clear zone
must be equal to or greater than the overall length of a visiting helicopter with rotors running.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Figure 4.2
Amidships Centreline landing Area (Purpose Built and Non Purpose Built)
lS0
0
Limited obstacle
sector
(manoeuvring
zone)
Obstacle
free
sector
(clear zona)
Reference
Points
Central
clear zone
Landing
area 0
..,.------------.
Funnel of
approach
Plan view
o = Helicopter largest overall dimension
OBSTACLE HEIGHT LIMITS:
2.Scm on the area
2Scm around the landmg area
Limited obstacle
sector
(manoeuvring
zone)

, 0 ..s
, t--------... .;,
, ,
, D ,
" t-------.... ,
,
Landing area
,

D ,
.. ,
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Figure 4.3
Markings for a Purpose Built landing Area in an Amidships Centreline location
4m x 3m (O.75m thick)
-
-
Characters of
O.6m height
-
-
0.50
GUIDE TO HeliCOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
-
1m yellow
touchdown/
posltlonin9
marking CIrcle
el l of ship
a.3m white perimeter line
..
Figure 4.4
Winching Operations Area
WINCH ONLY
to be marked In
white so a$ to be
easily visible to the
helicopter pilot
No
obstructions
higher than
6m
I INNER I
., _________ ~ ~ O ~ ~ . G ~
... ZONE -; I,
I : Diameter: :
I 1.50 I
, ,
I OUTER I
IWlOEUVRIikG
!+--'-------'-: ZONE : ~ ....... ~
I Diameter,
No obstruction"
higher than 3m
, 2D
-
No obstructions
higher than 3m
ClEAR ZONE
Smmlnlmum
diameter dlde
painted yellow
O.3mwlde-
broken line
with mark to
space ratio of
approximately
4:1
No
obstructions
higher than
6m
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
4.1.3 Location and Size of Operating Area - Winching
Where it is impractical to provide a landing area for helicopters as described in Section 4.1.2 above,
It may be possible to provide an operating area capable of supporting winching operations only. A
winching area should consist of a clear zone and a manoeuvring zone. The clear zone should be at
ieast 5 metres in diameter and shouid have a surface capabie of accommodating personnel andlor
stores during winching operations. In addilton, the clear zone should be obstruction free. The
manoeuvring zone, diVided into an inner and outer portion, should extend beyond the clear zone,
With a minimum overall diameter of 2 D. A portion of the manoeuvring zone may be located
beyond the ship's side. Within the inner portion of the manoeuvring zone, extending to an overall
diameter of 1.5 D, obstructions may be permitted up to an overall height above the level of the
clear zone of 3 metres. Within the outer portion of the manoeuvnng zone, obstructions may be
permitted up to an overall height above the level of the clear zone of 6 metres. All obstructions
should be clearly marked (see paragraph 4.5 (i)). The general arrangement for a winching area IS
shown in Figure 4.4, and further adVice on positioning a winching area IS provided In Section 4.4.1 .
The markings for a winching area are descnbed In Section 4.4.3.
4.1.4 Poop Deck Platforms
Poop decks are generally subject to adverse aerodynamic effects and are susceptible to a greater
Influence from wave motions. A poop deck arrangement IS therefore not recommended unless all
other options have been exhausted.
Where a poop deck arrangement is speCified, potential problems may be eased by adopting good
deSign practices (see Sections 4.2.2 and 4.2.3). It may also help to manoeuvre the ship for helicopter
operations so that the wind is within 35 degrees of the beam, preferably on the port side.
4.1.5 Structural Considerations
4.2
4.2.1
(Purpose Built and Non Purpose Built Landing Areas)
Where a purpose built structure IS prOVided, the structural features of a purpose built landing area
should take full account of the relevant applicable codes, whether from the ICAO Heliport Manual
or IMO, ISO or CAP 437 requirements.
In the case of a non purpose built landing area, It must be established before marking that the
selected area can Withstand the dynamic loads of the types of helicopter for which it is intended.
ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS
General Considerations
When considering the location of a landing area or a winching area, due account should be taken
of the potential effects on helicopter operations of both aerodynamic factors (see Section 4.2.2)
and wave motion (see Section 4.2.3). It IS unlikely that a location can be found that will be free of
the influence of any aerodynamic and wave motion effects and in reality the objective should be to
select an appropriate area that, as far as possible, minimises these effects. The principles and good
practice in the following paragraphs will assist in thiS regard, always bearing In mind the need for
clear access to the operat ing area and eXit from It, preferably to the ship's Side.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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Note: For further informati on on rel evant ship design considerations, readers are referred
to UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Paper 2008103 Helideck Design Considerations -
Environmental Effects, available from the Publications section of the website at
www.caa.co.uk
4.2.2 Aerodynamic Effects
There are three prinCipal aerodynamic effects to be considered:
a. The flow of air around the hull, which has the potential to create areas of distorted and
disturbed airflow.
b. The flow of air around large Items of the ship's superstructure, such as the accommodation
block, which can create turbulence In their wake.
c. Hot gas flows emanating from funnel or exhaust outlets, which can create turbulence and
have thermal effects.
The impact of such turbulence and thermal effects can be reduced by a number of design
considerations. For example:
a. In the case of a landing area located above the ship's structure, an air gap separating the
landing area from the structure below should be provided to promote beneficial wind flow
over the landing area.
b. The layout of the ship will usually include a number of tall, solid strudures that rise above the
level of the operating area. These structures can generate significant wake downwind of the
source. The operating area should therefore Ideally be located upwind of significant sources of
turbulence, and any obstrudlons that have to be located upwind of the operating area should
be as far away from It as possible.
c. Increases in ambient air temperature are a potential hazard to the performance capability of
helicopters and so the aim should be to minimise the occurrence of temperature changes over
the operating area. ThiS can be achieved by ensuring that, wherever possible the operating
area IS maintained upwind of significant thermal sources. Where significant thermal sources
such as engine exhausts are located upwind of the operating area, they should be as far away
as possible from the operating area and the helicopter flight path.
d. Cold gas emissions, even In small concentrations, can have an adverse effed on helicopter
engine performance and, where cold gas release pOints are present on a ShiP, they should be
as remote as possible from the operating area and away from the helicopter flight path.
4.2.3 Wave Motion Effects
The dynamiC motions on ships caused by ocean waves - pitch and sway, roll and surge, and heave
and yaw - are a potential hazard to helicopter operations. Consideration should therefore be given
to establishing motion limits acceptable for executing a safe landing or winching operation. These
limits will depend on the following:
The wave conditions and relative heading of the ship
The size of the ship
The motion characteristics of the ship
Whether the ship is moored or underway
Whether operations occur by day or night (see Sedlon 4.6).
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
4.3
4.3.1
The prinCipal factors in establishing motion limits for a safe helicopter landing are the vertical
motions of the ship (i.e. rate of heave) in combination with Its pitch and roll. The heave motions at
the landing area depend largely on the location of the landing area and how the vessel's heave,
roll and pitch motions combine at this location. The sUitability of the landing area will therefore be
influenced by ItS location on the ship both longitudinally and transversely. The pitching of a ship is
such that the vertical (heave) motion experienced at the landing area will generally be greatest If
the landing area IS located on the bow or stern of the ShiP, and least for a landing area located
amidships. Bow located landing areas can also be particularly vulnerable to damage from heavy
seas unless mounted high above deck level. Landing areas located on or over a ship's Side may
experience large heave motions due to vessel roll, which will be more pronounced the further the
landing area IS cantilevered off the ship's side. Landing or Winching areas located on the bow or
stern of the ship often present special difficulties for visual positioning especially dUring night time
operations (see also paragraph 4.5 (h) regarding visual estimates).
Motion mOnitoring equipment is available that is compatible With the requirements of Civil aViation
authOrities and Will detect, monitor, display and t ransmit motions experienced at the ship's helicopter
operating area Including heave, roll and pitch. It is strongly recommended that serious consideration
is given to the fitting of such equipment, which by an automated means can also record and process
climatiC Information (see paragraph 4.5 (g)) in order that objective data IS available to support and
inform operational deCision making. Some authOrities may also require systems for collection,
retention and standard reporting of meteorological information by trained meteorological observers.
DETAILS OF LANDING AREA
General Guidance on Markings
Sections 4.3.2 and 4.3.3 provide gUidance on the markings required for a helicopter landing area
on the ship's Side and amidships respectively. The recommended colours of the markings reflect
current International standards and best practice. However, as the colour of the main deck may
vary from ship to ship, there IS some discretion In the selection of deck paint schemes, the
objective always being to ensure that the markings are consp'cuous against the surface of the ship
and the operating background.
Note: Non-slip paint should be used for all markings.
4.3.2 Markings for a landing Area located at the Ship's Side
ThiS section prOVides guidance on the markings applicable to a helicopter landing area on the
ship's Side, and should be read In conjunction with Section 4.1.2.1 and Figure 4.1.
A Touchdown/Positioning Marking (TD/PM) CIrcle, denoting the touchdown pOint for the
helicopter, should be located centrally Within the clear zone. The diameter of the clear zone should
be 1 x D (D being the extent of the available operating area), while the Inner diameter of the
TO/PM CIrcle should be 0.5 D. The thickness of the TO/PM CIrcle should be at least 0.5 m In Width
and painted yellow. The area enclosed by the TD/PM circle should be painted In a contrasting
colour, preferably dark green. A white "W should be painted in the centre of the CIrcle, With the
cross bar of the "W running parallel to the ship's side. The "W marking should be 4 m high x
3 m Wide, the Width of the marking Itself being 0.75 m.
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The boundary of the clear zone, capable of enclosing a orcle with a minimum diameter of 1 x D
and extending to a total distance of 1.5 D at the ship's side, should be painted with a continuous
0.3 m wide yellow line. The actual D value, expressed in metres rounded down to the nearest
whole number should also be marked in three locations around the perimeter of the clear zone in
a contrasting colour, preferably white. The height of the numbers so marked should be 0.6 m, i.e.
tWice the width of the line Itself.
The boundary of the manoeuvring zone, located beyond the clear zone, and extending to a total
distance of 2 D at the ship's side, should be marked with a 0.3 m wide broken yellow line with a
mark to space ratio of approximately 4: 1. Where practical, the name of the ship should be painted
In a contrasting colour (preferably white) on the Inboard side of the manoeuvring zone In
(minimum) 1.2 m high characters.
Some additional considerations are found In Section 4.5.
4.3.3 Markings for Amidships Centreline landing Area with or
without Restricted Access from the Ship's Side
4.4
4.4.1
ThiS section provides gUidance on the markings applicable to an amidships centreline landing area,
and should be read in conjunction With Section 4.1 .2.2 and Figures 4.2 and 4.3.
The landing area should be painted In a colour, preferably dark green, that contrasts clearly with
the colour of the ship's deck. The perimeter of the landing area should be clearly marked With a
0.3 m wide continuous white line.
The D value of the landing area, expressed In metres rounded down to the nearest whole number,
should be marked In port and starboard locations Within the perimeter line In a contrasting colour
(preferably white), the characters themselves haVing a height of 0.6 m.
A Touchdown/PosItIOning Marking (TD/PM) circle, With a thickness of 1.0 m painted yellow and
With an Inner diameter of 0.5 D, should be centrally located Within the landing area. A white "H"
should be painted In the centre of the CIrcle With the cross bar of the" H" running parallel to the
centreline of the ship. The dimensions of the" H" marking should be 4 m high x 3 m wide, the
width of the marking Itself being 0.75 m.
Where practical, the name of the ship should be painted In a contrasting colour (preferably white)
within the landing area, aligned across the centreline (see Figure 4.3). The minimum height of the
painted characters should be 1.2 m.
Some additIOnal considerations for helicopter operating areas are found in Section 4.5.
DETAILS OF WINCHING AREA
Positioning a Winching Area
With the Increasing use of helicopters for routine operations to ShiPS, it IS strongly recommended
that, where It is impractical to provide a deSignated landing area, a winching area is provided over
which the helicopter can hover safely while winching personnel or stores to or from the ship. The
location of the operating area should enable the pdot to adopt a position In the hover that allows
an unimpeded view of the whole of the clear zone while also facilitating an unobstructed view of
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
the ship. The winching area should be located so as to minimise the aerodynamic and wave motion
effects described in Sections 4.2.2 and 4.2.3. Generally, it is not recommended to locate the
winching area near the bow of the ship. In addition, it should not be located on the bridge wing In
the absence of a thorough risk assessment acceptable to the ship's master and the helicopter
operator (see Section 4.4.2). The winching area should, if possible, be clear of accommodation
spaces and provide adequate deck area adjacent to the manoeuvring zone where personnel can
muster, and provide for safe access to the area from different directions. In selecting a Winching
area, the desirability of keeping the Winching height to a minimum should also be borne In mind.
To reduce the risk of the winching hook and cable becoming fouled, all guard rails, awnings,
stanchions, antennae and other obstructions In the VICInity of the manoeuvnng zone should, as far
as possible, be removed or retracted (see paragraph 4.5 (i) for marking of obstructions, paragraph
4.6 (d) for night operations and Figure 4.5 for obstruction lighting).
4.4.2 Winching Area on the Bridge Wing
4.4.2.1
The bridge wing will never be the ideal location for a Winching area. However, there may be
circumstances where there IS no practical alternative to use of the bridge wing, and in such cases a
thorough risk assessment of the operation must be conducted. Only if the results are acceptable
to, and approved by, both the ship's master and the helicopter operator should winching to the
ship's bridge wing be permitted.
Risk Assessment
Guidance on conducting a bndge wing risk assessment has been developed by a working group of
marine and aviation experts established by I(S. The resulting document, " Bridge Wing Operations
for Marine Pilot Transfer - A Risk Assessment", has been Included at Appendix H. Further
information regarding marine pilot transfer may be found in AppendiX E.
The gUidance In Appendix H contains a risk assessment for the transfer, by helicopter hOist. of
marine pilots to the bridge wing (BW) of ships under conditions where the size of the operational
site precludes the application of the advice in this I(S GUide and the I(AO standards. The
assessment applies both to the helicopter and ship elements of BW operations. It represents a
generic risk assessment of BW operations and does not make any assumptions about any speCific
national operational requirements, helicopter operator, type of helicopter, shipping line or ship.
Threats and controls are discussed In the general text but are considered in greater detail In the
Model Risk Assessment Matrix of Annex 1 of AppendiX H.
BW operations can be conducted safely provided the controls, In the form of equipment, procedures
and conditions, are applied as recommended. The risk assessment guidance document does not
remove the necessity for ,nd,v,dual risk assessments by ships and helicopter operators to ascertain
whether such operations can meet the standard Intended by their Safety Management Systems.
4.4.3 Marking a Winching Area
ThiS section provides gUidance on the markings applicable to winching areas, and should be read
In conjunction with Section 4.1 .3 and Figure 4.4.
The clear zone of the Winching area, a central circle With a minimum diameter of 5 m, should be
painted in a consp'cuous colour. preferably yellow, to contrast with the surrounding palntwork of
the ship. The perimeter of the outer portion of the manoeuvnng zone should be marked With a
conspicuous broken yellow line 0.3 m in Width, the ratio of the solid line to spaces being
approximately 4:1 (i.e. With 80% of the CIrcle painted In - see Figure 4.4).
GUIDE TO HEliCOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
f
(
Within the Inner portion of the manoeuvring zone, based on a CIrcle of diameter 1.5 D but outside
the clear zone, should be painted the words "WINCH ONLY" in sUitably large and conspicuous
lettering (ideally 2 m - 5 m white characters). The inner portion of the manoeuvring zone may be
indicated by painting a thin white line no more than 0.1 m wide.
Note: Markings outside the clear zone could be obscured by temporary obstacles which
should not exceed the height limits of Section 4. 1.3 and Figure 4.4.
Some additional considerations are found In Sed ion 4.5.
4.5 ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR
HELICOPTER OPERATING AREAS
In addition to the marking arrangements described In Sections 4.3 and 4.4, the ship operator
should ensure that:
a. Provision is made to keep the landing or winching area free of contaminants, Including
surface water.
b. An overall coating of a non-slip material is applied over the whole of the marked area for the
benefit of helicopters and personnel.
c. Where appropriate, safety nets for personnel protection are installed around the landing area.
The outboard edge of the safety netting should not rise above the level of the landing area.
d. If It IS anticipated that the helicopter may shut down Its engines, flush fitting or removable
semi-recessed tie-down POints should be considered, adequate to secure the largest helicopter
for which the landing area IS designed.
e. If pOSSible, a minimum of two access/egress routes to and from the landing area are available,
to ensure that, In the event of an incident on the landing area, helicopter passengers and crew
can escape upwind of the incident.
f. Any handrails exceeding the height limitations set out in Section 4.1 .2 are made retractable,
coll apsible or removable and do not impede access/egress routes. Such handrail s should be
painted in a contrasting colour scheme and procedures should be in place to retract, collapse
or remove them prior to the arrival of the helicopter.
g. The ship has a means of ascertaining, recording and reporting wind speed and direction, air
temperature and pressure settings used by pilots, visibility, cloud base, present weather and
sea state (see also Sedion 3.7).
h. The ship has a means of obtaining accurate pitch, roll and heave measurements at the landing
area. It IS strongly recommended that the ship is equipped With motion sensing systems,
which will produce accurate pitch, roll and heave information at the landing area (see also
Sedlon 4.2.3). The use of Visual estimates is not recommended. (See also Section 3.7.)
I. Obstrudions close to or within the operating area, which may present a hazard to helicopter
operations, need to be readily visible from the ai r and should be highlighted. Painting of
obstructions should follow the scheme advised in Appendix F, Sections 4, 5 or 6 as appropriate.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
4.6
Figure 4.5
NIGHT OPERATIONS: LANDING AND WINCHING
AREA LIGHTING
The following points should be taken Into account for night operations:
a. The landing or winching area should be adequately lit for night operations. This can be
achieved either by the use of flood lighting or by other appropriate lighting methods'.
Note: Unless adequate lighting is provided, landing/winching operations should be
confined to daylight only
b. A wind dlredion pennant should be provided to Indicate the wind conditions at the operating
area. The pennant should be Illuminated for night operations. Some vessels may benefit from
a second device to indicate when the wind over the operating area differs from that generally
over the ship.
e. The use of flash photography should be avoided during the landing or take off of helicopters
and during winching operations to avoid distracting the flight crew.
d. The ship's master should ensure that floodlights are arranged to Illuminate the whole of the
structure they are intended for, and are angled and shielded (as necessary) to ensure that they
do not dazzle the pilot on his approach to or take off from the operating area. Figure 4.5
shows an example of an overall lighting scheme required for night helicopter operations.
Representative Landing Area Lighting Scheme
Note: Other appropriate lighting schemes may be used.
Reference to: Annex 14 Volume II Chapter 5 of the I(AD Convention on International Civil AViation and CAP 437
(Offshore Helicopter landing Areas GUidance on Standards) published by the United Kingdom CAA
GUIDE TO HEliCOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
l
4.7 FIRE FIGHTING APPLIANCES AND
RESCUE EQUIPMENT
The fire fighting and rescue equipment recommendations shown In the table below are closely based
on the requirements of SOLAS Chapter 11-2 Regulation i 8 which stipulates requirements for ships
fitted with special facilities for helicopters. Such special facilities may Include fixed helideck structures
and refuelling and hangar faCilities. Ships Without such special faCilities but with deck based landing
or Winching arrangements should also proVide the follOWing appliances and equi pment.
Ships conducti ng bridge wing Winching operations shoul d give particular consideration to the
proviSion of appropriate fire fighting appl iances and rescue equi pment in the Vicinity of the
Winching operation and in li ght of t he risk assessment conduct ed (see also Sect ion 4.4.2. i).
Summary of Required Fire Fighting and Rescue Equipment
In close proximity to the helicopter landing area, the following fire fighting appliances should be provided:
Dry powder One or two SUitable extinguishers with a total capacity of not less than 45 kg.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) One or two extinguishers with a total capacity of not less than 18 kg.
Foam system An application system consisting of monitors or foam making branch pipes,
capable of delivering foam to all parts of the helicopter operating area In all
weather conditions in which helicopters can operate. The system should be
capable of delivering a discharge rate as identified below for at least five
minutes.
Category Helicopter overall length Discharge rate foam
solution (litres!min)
HI Up to but not including 15 m 250
H2 From 15m up to but not including 24 m 500
H3 From 24 m up to but not including 35 m 800
Fire hoses At least two nozzles of an approved dual purpose type (e.g. jet/spray) and
hoses sufficient to reach any part of the helicopter operating area.
Fire fighters' outfits At least two complete fire fighters' outfits as required by the IMO Fire Safety
Systems Code.
Emergency tools! As a minimum, the following equipment, ready for immediate use and stored
equipment in a manner that provides for protection from the elements:
- red emergency signalling lamp - ladder
- large axe - lifeline, 5 mm diameter x 15 m
- crowbar in length
- adjustable wrench - side cutting pliers
- fire resistant blanket - set of assorted screwdrivers
- 60 cm bolt/wire cutters - harness knife complete with sheath
- grab or salving hook - first aid kit.
- heavy duty hacksaw, complete
with 6 spare blades
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
5
5.1
5.1.1
COMMUNICATIONS AND
SHIP OPERATING PROCEDURES
COMMUNICATIONS
General Guidance
The success of any helicopter/ship operation depends on establishing and maintaining good
communications. This applies not only to the communications between the helicopter and the ship,
but also to messages passed between the ship operator, the ship's agent and the helicopter operator.
Communications during the operation itself must be diredly between the helicopter and the ship and
not relayed through any third party. The International language of shipping and aViation is English.
To aVOid any misunderstandings, especially If the language being used is foreign to any party
involved, a standard message format as set out in Appendix B is recommended. A Similar but
abbreviated form of message may be suitable for VHF communications.
Before the operation can be agreed, it is essential that information on the facilities which the ship
can provide for landing or for winching is exchanged and acknowledged between the ship and the
helicopter operator. Information on the diamet er of the clear zone of the landing area (or of the
manoeuvring zone of a winching area) and its pOSition on the ship must be provided by the ship to
the helicopter operator in the first exchange of messages and should receive formal
acknowledgement (see Appendix B).
5.1.2 Communications Equipment
The helicopter must be fitted with a marine VHF FM radio able to transmit and receive on at least
Channel 16 and two other Simplex working frequenCies. Unless other arrangements have been
agreed in advance, the ship should set watch on VHF Channel 16 for the arrival of the helicopter.
5.2 NORMAL OPERATING PROCEDURES - PRE-ARRIVAL
5.2.1 Weather Conditions

When a flight is scheduled, the Officer of the Watch (OOW) should send a weather report to the
helicopter operator to arrive at least one hour before the scheduled time of departure from the
heliport .
Responsibility for monitoring and reporting the weather conditions rests With the ship. If It IS likely
that conditions Will exceed the followmg, the helicopter operator should be adVised:
Mean wmd speed greater than 40 knots
Gusts greater than 50 knots
Horizontal visibility less than 2 miles
Vertical visibility less than 500 feet
Significant wave height greater than 3 metres.
Note: With regard to pitch, rolf and heave, the maximum limits vary according to
helicopter type. The master should check specific helicopter limits with the heli copter
operator (see also Section 3.7) .
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
f
5.2.2 Departure of Helicopter from the Heliport
When the flight departs, the helicopter operator should Inform the ship and provide the initial
estimated time of arrival (ETA) at the ship, so that all necessary arrangements to receive the flight
can be conducted.
The OOW should then notify the Deck Party Officer (DPO) of the Incoming flight. The OOW should
also Inform the master and arrange for the lifeboat/rescue boat to be prepared ready for launch.
5.2.3 Pre-Arrival Checks on the Ship
5.2.3.1
The DPO should check all operational requirements on deck shortly before the arrival of the
helicopter. Some ships may require special checks (see Chapter 6). A check list which may be used
IS set out in Appendix C.
The following general reqUIrements apply to ships of all types:
Equipment
All fire fighting and rescue equipment relevant to helicopter operations as required In Section 4.7
should be immediately to hand and checked to ensure that It is serviceable.
5.2.3.2 Manning
The deck party for landing operations should consist of the DPO, carrying a portable radio
transceiver (walkie-talkie) for communicating With the bridge, and the Deck Party Crew (DPC),
comprising sufficient personnel for the intended operation. The DPC attending the fire fighting
equipment should wear fire protective SUitS.
5.2.3.3 Measures and Checks - General
Before landing or winching operations, the following measures should be taken:
a. All loose objects Within and adjacent to the operating area must be secured or removed and
any Ice or snow cleared. Special care should be taken With lightweight articles.
b. All aerials and standing or running rigging above or in the vICinity of the operating area should
be lowered or secured.
c. A pennant or windsock should be hOisted where It can be seen clearly by the helicopter pilot.
d. Where necessary, the deck should be washed to aVOid dust being raised by the downdraught
from the helicopter rotors.
e. Fire pumps should be running and providing sufficient water pressure on deck.
f. Fire hoses and foam equipment should be ready, near to but clear of the operating area,
and If possible upWind and with nozzles pointing away from the area In case of Inadvertent
discharge.
g. The ship's rescue boat should be ready for Immediate lowering.
h. The correct lighting and signals (including any reqUired special navigation lights) should be
sWitched on prior to night operations (see paragraph 4.6 (d) and Figure 4.5).
i. The DPC should be ready, and all passengers clear of the operating area.
j . A hook handler should be equipped with electricians' strong rubber gloves and rubber soled
shoes to aVOid shocks from static discharge.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
k. All the crew working on the deck should be wearing bright ly coloured tabards (waistcoats),
non-slip shoes or boots, and protective helmets securely fastened with a chin strap.
I. Access to and egress from the operating area should be clear.
m. The OOW on the bridge should be consulted about the ship's readiness.
5.2.3.4 Before Landing - Additional Measures
Before landing operations, the foll owing measures additional to those in 5.2.3.3 should be taken:
a. The ope should be made aware that a landing is to be made.
b. The OPO should satisfy himself that the operatrng area IS free of heavy spray or seas on deck.
c. Stanchions and derricks and, if necessary, side rails should be lowered or removed.
d. Rope messengers should be to hand in case the aircrew wish to secure the helicopter.
e. Portable pipes/risers should be removed and ends blanked off as appropriate.
I. All personnel should be warned to keep clear of rotors and exhausts.
5.2.4 Pre-Arrival Checks from the Helicopter
On initial radio contact between the helicopter and the ship (normally at least 15 minutes before
ETA), the helicopter pi lot should give the updated ETA and request the latest weather. The
helicopter pilot should also ask the OOW to confirm the type of operations to be undertaken and
should check the followi ng (see Appendix B, Sedion G.A):
a. The ship's exad position, course, speed with wind direction and velocity, relative wind, pitch,
roll and condition of the landing/winching area (e.g. dry, wet with spray etc).
b. The diameter (in metres) of the clear zone of the landing area, or manoeuvring zone of the
winching area, as appropriate.
c. That the ope IS ready and the operating area IS clear of unnecessary personnel.
d. That the fire fighting equipment is ready.
e. That there are no obstructions such as aerials or cargo gear above the operating area.
I. That passengers have been briefed (where appropriate) on winching procedures.
g. The details of any return load.
The OPO should be advised by the OOW of the updated ETA and should confirm that the ope is
ready to receive the helicopter.
After the initial contact, the helicopter pilot should make routine positioning calls every ten
minutes. The OOW should maintain a listening watch and the details should be recorded.
Note: The absence of two consecutive calls should be notified immediately to the
helicopter shore base.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
5.3
5.3.1
NAVIGATION
Identification of the Vessel
The helicopter pilot should Identiiy the ship by all appropriate means Including the picture of the
vessel contained on the data sheet (see also Appendix F) and the position as shown on the
navigation equipment and radar (if carned).
The ship may also use ItS radar to locate and track the helicopter, although even large helicopters
may not be detectable at great radar range. In poor visibility or congested waters, the vessel may
assist the helicopter by advising it of the helicopter's true bearing from the ship once It has been
identified.
5.3.2 Manoeuvrability
5.4
5.4.1
If practicable, the ship should be fully manoeuvrable throughout the whole operation. In
circumstances where this may not be possible, such as when the ship IS at anchor, the situation
should be discussed between the ship's master and the helicopter pdot with a view to deCiding
whether the operation may take place safely without the ship being underway.
Should it be necessary for the ship to alter course or speed dUring a helicopter operation, the
helicopter pilot should be Informed immediately. In such circumstances, the pilot may have to
postpone operations and hold off. In particular, to maintain the stability of the helicopter, the ship
should maintain course while the helicopter IS on deck.
SIGNALLING PROCEDURES
Ships' International Signals
The ship should display the signals required by Rules 27(b) (i) and (ii) of the IMO International
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. Alternatively, International Code Flag "D" may be
flown.
In advance of night operations In congested waters, the follOWing type of safety message may be
transmitted In conformity With Chapter IX of the ITU Radio Regulations:
By vOice: SECURITt ........................ ...... (ship's name) Will be engaged in night helicopter
operations in pOsition ........ N/S . .... . . EIW (or In relation to a clearly defined geographic point) at
......... hours for approximately ... ....... minutes. Please give a Wide berth.
(Signed) ............... ................ Master
5.4.2 Visual Signals to Helicopter
Helicopter pilots engaged In ship operations do not expect to see sophisticated hand signals. The
only signals necessary are the universally recognised "thumbs up" , " thumbs down" and a "wave
off " (usually a wave of the arms In a horizontal movement).
The DPO Will be responsible for signalling to the helicopter.
GUIDE TO HEliCOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
5.4.3 loss of Radio Communications
In the event of a radio communications failure, the following procedure should apply:
a. The helicopter should CIrcle the ship; and
b. The ship should make contact by signall ing lamp as follows:
Steady white light - ready to receive helicopter.
Series of short flashes - reception of helicopter delayed for a period of not more than
15 minutes.
Prolonged series of the letter "N" in Morse code (- 0) indicating reception of helicopter
delayed for an indeterminate period in excess of 15 minutes.
5.4.4 Warning Signal
5.5
5.5.1
A flashing red light in the operat ing area will indicate to the helicopter pilot that operations are to
cease immediately.
BASIC OPERATING PROCEDURES
Officer of the Watch
On arrival of the helicopter, the OOW should advise the helicopter operator of the fact in order
that the flight plan can be closed in accordance with normal aviation pradice.
Note: The OOW should maintain radio contact with the helicopter pilot while the
helicopter is on deck or winching. The pilot should be informed immediately of any alarm
or hazard that arises, as any such condition may require the helicopter to abort the
mission and leave the ship.
5.5.2 Deck Party
The deck party should normally consist of the Deck Party Officer (DPO) and the Deck Party Crew
(DPC), comprising of sufficient persons commensurate with the requirements of the operation
about to take place (see Sedion 5.2.3.2). The deck party should be carefully instructed beforehand
as the noise of the helicopter will make oral communications in the vicinity difficult.
The movements of the deck party in the general area of the helicopter should follow the guidance
for passengers given in Section 5.9.1. Personnel should exercise great care if working or moving
between the helicopter and the collapsed guardrail. The deck party should wear brightly coloured
tabards (waistcoats) and non-slip shoes or boots. Protective helmets or other headgear should be
worn, securely fastened with chin straps connected to the outer shell of the helmet.
The DPO should carry a portable radio transceiver, preferably fitted with a headset and noise
cancelling microphone, in order to maintain communication with the bridge.
If winching is to take place, one member of the deck party should be appointed as a hook handler.
Hook handlers should wear electricians' strong rubber gloves and rubber soled shoes or boots to
avoid the danger of shock from static electricity which may have accumulated in the hook.
GUIDE TO HEliCOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
5.5.3 Fire Fighting
If sufficient crew members are available, the fire fighting party should form a dedicated group with
no routine helicopter operations duties. The fire fighting party should be standing by, clear of but
reasonably close to the operating area. For command and control purposes, the fire fighting party
shouid be considered to be part of the DPC. On those ships with small crew numbers, the fire
fighting party may be fully Integrated with the DPC. The equipment speCified in Section 4.7 should
be ready. Foam or water monitor nozzles should not be pOinting at the helicopter dUring normal
operations.
5.5.4 The Operating Area
In addition to the pre-arrival checks (see Section 5.2.3), the DPO should ensure that:
a. Any stores, freight or mail to be despatched With the helicopter are clear of but accessible to
the operating area.
b. Any passengers leaVing with the helicopter are sUitably briefed and standing clear of but
accessible to the operating area (see also the warning In Section 5.5.6 concerning emergency
shutdown).
c. All documentation, Including that for stores landed, can be speedily dealt With and returned
to the helicopter.
5.5.5 The Helicopter
The helicopter will normally be crewed by one or two pilots and, If winching or carrying an
underslung load, a winchman. During hovering, landing and take off operations, there will be a
high level of Interaction between them. Communications between the ship and the helicopter
should be avoided dUring these operations except In an emergency. However, the DPO should be
In view of the pilot and should watch closely for any signals he may make.
5.5.6 Emergency Shutdown
5.6
5.6.1
The helicopter will not normally shut down except in a helicopter emergency. If shut down In an
emergency, the rotor blades will be subject to flexing while slowing and can present a serious
danger to personnel In the vicinity. Personnel should be told of thiS beforehand and must stay well
clear of the blades until the rotors have stopped turning.
HELICOPTER LANDING AND UNLOADING
Landing
The deck party should remain clear of the operating area until the helicopter has landed, the
helicopter pilot has switched off his anti-collision lights and given an all clear signal (usually a
thumbs up sign) to indicate that it is safe to enter the area. Personnel must not approach the
helicopter until a positive signal has been received from the pilot. The DPO should position himself
In a consp'cuous pOSItion to Windward of the landing area and in view of the pilot In order to give
any necessary signals to the helicopter pilot.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
5.6.2 Disembarking Passengers and Freight from the Helicopter
Figure 5.1
Under the direction of the helicopter crew, the DPO should signal the DPC to move in to assist
with offloading passengers' baggage and freight, which should be taken clear of t he helicopt er
operating area.
Note: If any package appears suspicious, the DPO should follow the instructions in the
Ship Security Plan.
After baggage and stores have been offloaded, the helicopter crew will signal passengers to
disembark under the direction of the DPO and collect their baggage. The wlnchmanlcabln
attendant (where carned) should assist the DPO to control movements around the helicopter.
Note: Since rotors will invariably be turning, personnel should always approach or leave
the helicopter from the 2 o'clock or 10 o'clock position forward arc, thereby remaining
within the view of the helicopter pilot.
Safe approach sector cards or information should be provided by the helicopter operator to the
ship. In the absence of aircraft speCific Information being made available, the generic safe
approach diagram (Figure 5.1) should be followed. The helicopter pi lot should be advised by the
ship, prior to his arrival, as to whether specific or generic safety approach inf ormation is available.
Representative Diagram of Helicopter Safe Approach Sectors
Approach sector
Danger zone Danger zone
Danger zone Danger zone
Approach sector
II
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
5.6.3 Operational Safety
The following should be borne in mind to ensure safe operations while the helicopter is on deck:
a. Great care should be taken when under the rotor system to prevent any part of the body, long
pipes or long objects being placed up into the rotor system.
b. All slings should be removed from the Immediate vicinity of the helicopter before being
emptied and the stores stacked well clear of the rotor downwash.
c. Helicopters fitted With fixed flotation gear should be boarded only by use of the rigid steps
provided on the structure for this purpose. At no time should passengers use the unprotected
floats for a foothold or put any undue load on them.
d. Before the helicopter lifts off, the deck party must move well clear. The DPO must check that
the surrounding area IS clear before giVing the pilot clearance for 11ft off.
5.7 HELICOPTER HOVERING
5.7.1 Winching Operations
When a helicopter carries out a transfer of stores or passengers while hovering over the deck, the
actual transfer is made by the use of a winch operated by a winch man.
Note: 1. The winch hook must never be attached to any part of the ship.
2. The hook handler must wear a protective helmet and strong rubber gloves and
rubber soled shoes.
The hook handler on deck and wlnchman In the helicopter play the most Important part In these
operations. When passengers are descending, the hook handler should, if necessary, steady them
as they land, but he does not need to assist any further. When passengers are ascending, the hook
handler should ensure that the strop IS being worn correctly and should steady them as they are
li fted off the deck. The rotor blades of the helicopter usually generate a very powerful static
charge which can cause serious injury. For that reason, there is usually a static line hanging below
the Winch hook that, when Winching, touches the ship first to disperse the charge.
SpeCial care should be taken at all times to ensure that the Winch hook/cable IS under control and
does not become snagged on any object on the ship. This IS especially important In Windy
conditions.
When winched nets of stores or freight are being handled, the hook handler should steady each
load as it lands on deck and then Immediately disengage It from the hook. Members of the deck
party do not need to assist In thiS. The hook handler should ensure that freight being returned to
the helicopter is properly stowed and that the load is properly hooked on and the safety hook
shut.
Note: Only the hook handler should unhook or hook on loads.
A thumbs up sign indicates that the hook has been secured or released from the load. The hook
should be hand-held until it is hoisted clear of the deck.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
III
Freight being returned to the helicopter should be made up In loads not exceeding the maximum
safe hOist weight as advised by the helicopter operator.
If more than one load has been delivered, the empty winch nets should be placed Inside one net
to make up the final hoist from the ship.
5.7.2 Underslung Loads
5.8
5.8.1
a. Heavy loads may be carried under a helicopter which has a specially designed hook. In an
emergency (e.g. an engine failure), the load can be released immediately.
b. The deck party should remain well clear of the dropping area until the helicopter pilot has
released the supporting cables. The deck party should never attempt to receive or steady the
load before It IS released as the heavy supporting cables could cause Injury.
c. The shape of some underslung loads may have untoward aerodynamiC effects. The helicopter
operator should be consulted when such a load is to be carried.
d. The cargo net should be unloaded as quickly as possible. Where multiple loads are delivered,
the " drop zone" should be cleared after each load In preparation for the next.
e. To return the underslung nets, they should be folded and placed in the smaller winch nets In
order to be recovered by the hoist Into the helicopter.
f . In the case of underslung loads, care should be exerCised by the deck crew to ensure that
empty nets and sling strops are clear of the landing area and are not permitted to blow into
the helicopter's rotor system.
HELICOPTER LOADING AND DEPARTURE
Loading Passengers and Freight
Under the direction of the helicopter crew and on Instruction from the DPO, the DPC should load
passengers' baggage and freight, and the DPO will provide the helicopter pilot With a manifest
(see Sections 2.2.5 and 5. 10.2).
The helicopter crew should direct passengers to board the helicopter, be seated and fasten their
seatbelts, and should check passenger numbers against the manifest before securing the cabin
door. The helicopter crew Will brief passengers before the helicopter departs.
5.8.2 Take Off
II
The helicopter pdot should transmit the details of the operational flight plan to the ship's OOW
while on deck. The message should contain some or all of the follOWing information:
a. Call sign or flight number
b. Route and final destination
c. Flight time
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d. Altitudel"flight level " for Initial cruise
e. Number of persons on board
f. Endurance In hours and minutes
g. Weight of bags/freight
h. Weight of fuel.
These details should be recorded by the OOW, read back to the pil ot. and retained for three
months.
Note: These details are part of a requirement to establish the configuration and loading
details of the helicopter in the unlikely event that an incident/accident occurs (they are
not routinely required to be forwarded to the aircraft operator).
Once the helicopter operations area is cleared of al l personnel and it IS safe to depart, the DPO
should give a " thumbs up" signal. The pilot should acknowledge this signal.
Before taking off, the pilot will call (transmit) " lifting". After this call, the ship should maintain
radio contact wit h the helicopter, recording any position reports until informed that the radio
watch has been taken by another authority.
5.8.3 Departing
Immediately after take off (or when departing after hOisting), the pilot will transmit a departure
message consist ing of the following:
a. Call sign or flight number
b. Departure pOint
C. Time of take off
d. Initial track to base
e. Initial en route cruising height/al t itude.
The OOW shoul d immediately contact t he helicopter operator (or nominated contact) forwarding
these details.
5.9 INSTRUCTIONS TO HELICOPTER PASSENGERS
5.9.1
All personnel travelling to or from a ship by helicopter are reqUired to be In possession of a valid
passport or other Internationally recognised Identity document . Passengers should be made aware
of and comply with the instructions set out below to ensure a safe and expeditious operation.
These Instructions should be displayed in a prominent position on board the ship and are set out In
the form of an instruction list in Appendix D.
General
Instructions should explain that passengers should:
a. Not approach or leave the helicopter without being cleared to do so by the DPO, who will
himself have received clearance for this from the helicopter crew.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
b. When approaching or leaving the helicopter loading door, always adopt a crouching posture.
They should walk briskly but not run. They should keep within the safe approach sector of the
helicopter and always keep In full view of the helicopter pilot or crewman. No clot hing should
be worn that is loose or could become detached or entangled dUring the transfer operation.
Keep "''Jell dear of the helicopter tail rotor. They should remember that the tail rotor is
difficult to see because of the speed at which It rotates.
d. To avoid being scorched by hot gases, stay well clear of the helicopter exhaust outlets.
e. Wear a life Jacket at all times dUring flights over water. Only approved " aViation" life Jackets
supplied by the helicopter operator should be worn inSide the helicopter.
Note: An inflated life jacket may hinder escape from the helicopter. Life jackets
should therefore be worn uninflated and only be inflated once outside the helicopter.
Clothing which inflates automatically or with built-in buoyancy should not be worn.
f . As reqUired In some locations, wear survival SUitS, which should be of a type approved for
helicopter operations.
g. All wear ear defenders/ear protection, which should be provided by the helicopter operator.
5.9.2 Landing
If embarking, passengers should:
a. Enter the operating area when Instructed to do so by the DPO follOWing clearance by the
helicopter crew, and keep well down.
b. Si t where directed by the helicopter crew.
e. Fasten seat belt and study the In-flight safety regulations.
If disembarking, passengers should:
a. Remain seated until instructed to leave by the helicopter crew.
b. Adopt the crouching position when leaving and walk briskly away from the helicopter as
di rected.
5.9.3 Winching
Persons being Winched should take great care to aVOid the possibility of becoming " hooked up"
on the ship at any time. Such persons should therefore:
a. Ensure that they maintain the maximum distance from obstructions.
b. Ensure that bags, hand-held radios or any other objects are secured and carried close to
the body.
e. Be prepared to signal to the winch operator to stop the Winch. ThiS signal IS given by
extending one arm out to the hOrizontal position, palm down.
A member of the deck party should hold and steady passengers on their departure from the deck,
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Persons being winched from the deck to embark the helicopter should:
a. Position themselves In the middle of the winch area, make eye contact with the winch
operator and be ready to follow his instructions. They should attempt to stay directly under
the winch.
b. Avoid touching the hook/strop until the static hne has grounded on the desk.
c. When the winch hook/strop arrives, retrieve the hook/strop in one hand and move to the
winching position, keeping an eye on the winch operator.
d. Once In position, quickly put the strop over their head and place It under their arms. When
ready, they should give the winch operator the " thumbs up" signal.
e. Keep their elbows well tucked in and either hold onto the strop with both hands or keep their
arms by their sides (the helicopter operator should advise the preferred technique).
f . At the helicopter doorway, be aware that the wlnchman will turn them to face outboard, and
will then assist them into the helicopter. They must not try to help him as he has a set routine
to follow, and passengers must not remove the strop until instructed to do so.
g. Sit where the winch man di rects them.
h. Fasten safety belt and study the in-flight safety regulations.
Persons being Winched from the helicopter to the ship should:
a. Not leave their seat until Instructed to do so.
b. Allow the winchman to check that the strop IS properly fitted.
c. Follow the winch man's Instructions for eXiting the helicopter. Passengers Will usually be
required to sit in the doorway and give the " thumbs up" sign when they are ready.
d. When they reach the deck, qUickly remove the strop and hold It away from their body until it
IS recovered from their hand by the wlnchman. They should be careful of any excess Winch
cable on the deck at their feet.
Note: If passengers are using a full harness that takes some time to remove, they
should unclip from the winch hook immediately on arrival on deck. The hook should
be passed to a member of the Deck Party Crew to hold while the harness is removed.
Once out of the harness, passengers should attach it back to the winch hook and
allow the winch operator to recover it from their hand.
e. Leave the operating area briskly, keeping their head and arms well down.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
S.10 PASSENGER/FREIGHT HANDLING PROCEDURES
5.10.1 Passenger Pre-Flight Briefing
Before flight (and sometimes before entering the helicopter), the passengers should be briefed on
the location and use of the following equipment. Passengers should be required to give particular
attention to the Information on the following:
a. Seat belts
b. Ufe Jackets, which must not be removed until Instructed
c. Ufe rafts
d. Survival equipment
e. Emergency escape hatches.
5.10.2 General Freight Handling
The ship's master should ensure that the helicopter operator's procedures for carnage of baggage
or freight are understood and followed.
A freight manifest should be completed and a copy provided to the helicopter pilot.
5.10.3 Carriage of "Dangerous Goods"
The carnage of " dangerous goods" by air IS regulated under International agreements
(ICAOIIATA). Further details can be obtained from national authonties.
No dangerous goods may be loaded onto a helicopter, unless approval has been received from the
helicopter operator; this is normally done 24 hours In advance of any flight. Dangerous goods
must be correctly labelled.
The ship must advise the helicopter operator of :
The Identity of the goods
The danger to which they give rise
The weight and quantity of the goods.
ThiS Information should also be prOVided to the helicopter pilot when the helicopter arrives. Under
exceptional circumstances, dangerous goods may be carned Without the 24 hour notJfJcatlon If the
helicopter operator/pilot agrees to thiS.
5.10.4 Carriage of Freight and/or Baggage in the Passenger Cabin
with Passengers
The helicopter operator may permit the carnage of freight In the cabin With passengers. Any such
freight must be stowed with the agreement of the aircraft crew In a way that will not obstruct any
exit routes. The only item of personal baggage that should be permitted in the cabin is reading
material.
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5.10.5 List of Items Prohibited for Carriage in Passengers' Baggage
or on Person
The following is a non-exhaustive list of items that are prohibited in personal belongings; they
must be removed before boarding the helicopter:
Adhesives
Aerosols
Alcohol of any kind
Canned drinks of any kind
Cigarette lighters
Controlled drugs (except those on prescription)
Explosives/fireworks
Firearms/ammunition
Flammable gas or liquids, tear gas, CS gas
Magnetic materials
Matches of any kind
Mercury in equipment or containers
Oils and greases
Pai nts and solvents
Personal electronic deVices, unless batteries are removed
Poisons, weed killers, pestiCides and insectiCides
Radioactive materials
Weapons, including pocket knives
Wet batteries.
Note: Mobile telephones/cell phones must be switched off prior to boarding and must
remain switched off until after disembarking and well clear of the aircraft.
GUIDE TO HElICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
6
REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIC TO
DIFFERENT SHIP TYPES
Where appropriate, additional items for individual types of ship are contained in the Shipboard
Safety Check List (see Appendix C).
6.1 TANKERS
6.1.1 Oil Tankers
In spite of the hazardous nature of their cargo, 011 tankers are normally suitable ships for helicopter
operations due to the large area of deck space that IS comparatively free from obstrudions.
Correct vapour emission control procedures backed up by adequate safety precautions reduce the
associated risks to a level that is as low as reasonably pradlcable.
Larger tankers are among the few commercial ships able to provide a landing area for the largest
helicopters in normal marine service, and they will often be able to provide a winching area on the
opposite side of the ship in addition to a landing area. When landing areas are provided, the
preferred mode of operation is always to land the helicopter. ThiS is a quicker and much less
hazardous operation than winching. It therefore puts both ship and helicopter at risk for the
shortest time.
The deck space on small tankers is usually obstructed and manoeuvring areas are restricted by
derrick posts, cranes, masts, gas risers etc. However, those ships which have space suitable for
routine operations should provide the relevant deck markings for landing or winching area
facilities.
6.1.2 Chemical/Parcel Tankers
Because of their speCial construdion, many of these ships are not suitable for routine hel icopter
operations. The large number of cargo lines, ventilator pipes and deck tanks usual ly leaves no clear
space available to establish a landing or winching area, and in such cases helicopter operations
should only be carried out in exceptional circumstances or when particular arrangements can be
made (see also Section 6.4).
6.1.3 Vapour Dispersal
When space permits, helicopter operations should preferably be conducted on or above the main
decks of tankers. If the precautions recommended in the sections below are adhered to, any
hazards associated with helicopter/tanker operations will be reduced significantly.
Investigations have shown that :
A helicopter when hovering produces such a strong downdraught that any vapour on deck
will be dispersed rapidly.
If t he rotor is not stopped when a helicopter lands on the main deck, the turbulent airflow
around the landing area will be sufficient to disperse any vapour/air mixture before it might
otherwise reach the helicopter.
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6.1.4 Vapour Emission Control
If a tanker is not "gas free" when at sea, it is standard pradice for all cargo tanks to be completely
secured. Thus, the only possible source of vapour should be that released from pressure/vacuum
(PN) valves or from minor leaks from glands or tank aperture packing. In any helicopter operations,
this vapour will be dispersed by wind across [he ship's deck and by the downdraught from the
helicopter. However, to ensure that even this source of vapour is minimised, vessels should release
vapour pressure from cargo tanks and then re-secure them not more than 30 minutes before the
helicopter operation is to begin. When this has been done, there should not be sufficient vapour
generated from the cargo to cause the PN valves to lift and it can be safely assumed that the valves
Will remain closed. Even If the valves were to be defedive or If the vapour were to escape from
leaking seals, the vapour should be under low pressure and should disperse rapidly.
Ships fitted with inert gas systems will be subjed to special instrudions which should recommend
that the pressure within the cargo tanks IS reduced to a slight positive pressure.
In addition, all tank lids and other openings must be closed and tightened down. This applies
particularly to gas free ships which might often have tank lids open. Closing the lids beforehand
should, in the event of an accident, help to restrict the incident to the upper deck.
6.1.5 Safety
In normal circumstances in helicopter/ship operations, a helicopter's engines Will never be stopped.
If, however, it is necessary to stop the rotor In an emergency then the helicopter pilot should stop
the engines and switch off all electrical power before stopping the rotor. Once stopped, a
flammable atmosphere may accumulate when the effed of the rotor downdraught IS lost.
Permission to restart engines or to switch on electrical power should only be given by the master
to the helicopter pilot after:
a. The atmosphere around the helicopter has been monitored for flammable gas.
b. The officer in charge of the deck party has established that in all other respeds It IS safe
to restart .
In such circumstances, the ship should if possible be manoeuvred so that the helicopter is to
windward of potential vapour sources.
6.1.6 Freeboard
The freeboard of loaded tankers is generally less than that of other ships of similar size. Sea spray
and water Will sweep over the main deck at a lower wind speed and sea state than for most other
types of ship and this may limit the master's scope for heading the ship In the optimum dlredlon
for helicopter operations. Helicopter pilots should be aware of thiS as one of the constraints which
may limit the heading of a smaller tanker.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
6.2
6.2.1
BULK CARRIERS AND COMBINATION CARRIERS
General
Bulk carners are designed so that much of the main deck area is taken up with large hatch covers
which leave relatively small clear deck spaces on either side of the hatches. This usually means that
helicopter operating areas must be located on the hatch covers themselves. It IS essential that the
strength of such hatch covers has been approved by, for example, the vessel's classification sOCiety
to accept the heaviest helicopter for which landing operations are Intended. It IS unlikely that even
large vessels will be able to provide a very large landing area because the clear zone must be
wholly located on the hatch cover and not overlap onto the deck areas each side. Some bulk
carners will be able to provide landing areas sUitable for the smaller helicopters In marine use, but
many vessels will be able to meet only the reqUIrements for a winching area (see Sedion 4.1).
Similar design constraints also apply to both types of combination carner, I.e. OrelBulk/OII carners
(OBO) and OrelOil carriers (010) .
Bulk carners should not pose many safety problems during routine helicopter operations provided
the hatch covers are always firmly secured. The same applies to combination carriers when trading
In dry bulk as any slops contained on board should be stored well clear of the helicopter operating
area and Inerted. When trading In 011 however, combination carriers must be regarded as tankers
and all the guidance relating to tankers (see Section 6.1) strictly applied.
When bulk or combination carners conduct helicopter operations while loaded with a dry bulk
cargo which requires surface ventilation to prevent spontaneous combustion or the bUild up of
flammable vapours (e.g. coal), they should ensure that hold ventilation and all other openings are
fully battened down well In advance of the helicopter's arnval.
6.2.2 Geared Bulk Carriers
These ships are generally of a relatively small size and normally can only provide a winching area.
Their design varies considerably but most have a number of tall obstructions In the form of cargo
handling gear which complicates the siting of a suitable helicopter operating area. Although it
may be possible to position an area on the hatch covers, the close proximity of such obstructions
may require it to be located on the main deck so that a significant portion of the manoeuvring
zone extends outboard of the ship's side. The following points should be considered:
a. The area should not be located well forward, because of the air turbulence around the ship's
bow coupled with the potential problems of excessive movement and spray or breaking seas
due to the relatively low freeboard In the laden condition.
b The presence of tall obstrudlons on the main deck makes It Important to establish a clear
approach to the operating area.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
6.2.3 Gearless Bulk Carriers
These ships are usually free of tall obstructions on deck and offer both a clear approach and
flexibility for positioning an operating area, normally on the hatch covers. These may have some
minor obstructions on them, such as ventilator trunkings, which can affect the location of the clear
zone. Paragraph 6.2.2 (a) aiso applies to these ships.
The following points should be considered If positioning helicopter areas on a ship's hatch covers:
a. Fore and aft opening - these hatch covers are normally substantially flat or transversely
corrugated. The flat configuration IS ideal both for landing and winching operations.
Transversely corrugated hatch covers are not usually suitable for helicopter operations and
operating areas should usually be located on the main deck.
b. Side opening - these hatch covers are sUitable for landing or winching although they are
sometimes not completely flat and can slope by as much as 5towards each end. This slope is
even more critical when It is added to the rolling motion of the ship. If a helicopter is to land,
the precise slope should be clearly established before the operation commences.
6.2.4 Combination Carriers
Operating areas will normally be positioned on the hatch covers although it may be possible on
larger 010 ships to site the area on the main deck where greater clear deck space is often
available. Minor obstructions on the hatch covers (e.g. vent hatches or tank cleaning equipment)
may determine where the operating area can best be positioned.
Since combination carners are almost Invariably fitted With side opening hatch covers, the remarks
In paragraph 6.2.3 (b) also apply.
When trading In 011, combination carners must be regarded as tankers and all the provIsions
relating to tankers (see Section 6.1) apply. The size of their hatch covers often makes them difficult
to render gas-tight, particularly if working in a seaway when there may be significant movement
of fully battened down hatch covers. As there can be a risk of vapour leakage, scrupulous
attention should be paid to the gUidance on vapour emission control and safety in Sections 6.1.4
and 6.1.5 respectively.
6.3 CONTAINERSHIPS
For routine operations With container vessels, a purpose built platform IS recommended. A
containership does not otherwise lend Itself to routine helicopter operations as maximum use IS
made of the weather deck for the stowage of containers. In most cases, thiS precludes helicopter
winching or landing operat ions except on hatches which are clear of containers.
Hatches should be able to meet the recommendat ions for the space required for landing and
winching (see Chapter 4), although a containership seldom has a hatch space which IS clear of
stacked containers. If used, hatch covers should be approved by the claSSification sOCiety as haVing
suffiCient strength for the proposed helicopter operation.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
6.4
6.4.1
GAS CARRIERS
Design Limitations
Although design charactenstlcs may differ between liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied
natural gas (LNG) carriers and between different types of LPG and LNG vessels, the general
provisions for helicopter operations are common to both.
The potential hazards inherent in helicopter operations Involving gas carriers must be clearly
recogntsed by all concerned and the owner's prerogative to protect Its ship by refusing to permit
routine helicopter operations must be respected . The express consent of both the owner or
operator and the master must be obtained before helicopter operations take place.
The major problem with helicopter operations to gas carners is the lack of clear space available for
operating areas, coupled With the extreme vulnerability to damage of the deck Installations and
the difficulty of controlling any resulting fire. Since most gas carriers will be unable to provide a
SUitable clear space In the cargo area or on the forecastle head to site a helicopter operating area,
the only suitable and safe space In which to conduct operations is the poop deck.
This area has advantages for helicopter operations in ItS remoteness from the cargo tank area but
it has the following disadvantages (see also Section 4.1.4):
a. The lack of clear deck space because of the concentration of mooring equipment.
b. The reqUIrement to protect the accommodation against the potenlial hazards of a helicopter
aCCIdent, e.g. burning fuel and flYing debns
c. Problems such as excessive pitch, roll and heave.
d. Turbulent air flow above the accommodation block and funnel which may make control of the
helicopter difficult.
If a gas carrier is fitted with a purpose built helicopter platform speCifically designed to alleViate
the problems of (a) and (b) above, this represents the optimum solution to providing a helicopter
operating area on these ships. It IS therefore strongly recommended that gas carners should not
undertake routine helicopter operations unless such a platform is provided.
6.4.2 Vapour Emission Control
In both LNG and LPG carriers, venting to the atmosphere dunng normal carriage should not occur
unless there has been some malfunction or maloperatlon of the cargo system. The only pOSSible
sources of vapour on deck should therefore be minor, such as leaking glands on pipelines or valves
or Improperly seated pressure relief valves. In any case, the conduct of operations from the poop
deck should alleViate vapour problems except where there IS a stern loading/discharge line.
In order to el iminate any possibility of a major vapour escape dunng helicopter operations due to
the lifting of the cargo tank safety relief valves, the master of LPG ships with rellquefaclion plants
should:
Ensure the lowest appropriate cargo tank pressures are established prior to the arrival of the
helicopter, and
Suspend all reliquefaction operations and shut down the system until helicopter operations
have been completed.
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LNG ships may simi larly ensure that cargo tank pressures are reduced prior to the arrival of the
helicopter. However, due to the design function and safety procedures inherent in the gas burning
system, there is no requirement for these ships to suspend gas burning during helicopter
operations. All tank lids and other openings must nevertheless be closed and battened down in
order to restrict the effects of any accident to the upper deck.
6.5 GENERAL CARGO SHIPS
The majority of general cargo ships, including modern ships of relatively large Size, may be unable
to meet all the requirements for an operating area (see Chapter 4) for routine helicopter
operations. Their design IS such that obstructions In the form of deck houses and cargo handling
gear severely limit the deck space available and offer little scope for the provision of a clear
approach to a landing or Winching area.
Cargo handling gear IS normally stowed across hatches in a fore and aft direction when at sea and
this therefore precludes the siting of a winching area on the hatch tops. It IS possible that some
ships fitted with cranes may be able to luff the crane jibs and swing them athwartships, thus
making it possible to provide a winching area either on the hatch or on the main deck adjacent to
the hatch. A large part of the manoeuvring zone may then extend over the ship's Side. This
procedure is not sUitable for ships fitted with derricks because of the difficulty of securing derricks
stowed in a vertical position.
Where general cargo ships carry containers on both the hatch covers and on the main deck,
problems of safe access to and from the operating area are presented. However, If suffiCient space
is available, hatch covers offer a sUitable clear zone for Winching operations because they
invariably present a flat surface (see Section 6.3) .
GUIDE TO HElICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
7
Zl
EMERGENCY EVACUATION BY AIR
GENERAL
This chapter Includes guidance on procedures to be followed in the event of a shipboard
emergency in which a helicopter may assist. It incorporates recommendations contained in the
" Notices to Mariners" in a number of countries and ,n Volume III of the IAMSAR Manual
(IMO/ICAO) which proVides detailed guidance regarding International Aeronautical and Maritime
Search and Rescue. The recommendations In this chapter should be regarded as supplementary to
those In other sections of this guide. Emergency procedures following a helicopter aCCIdenV
incident are covered in Chapter 8.
Z2 ILLNESS OR INJURY EVACUATION
7.2.1
In cases of Illness or injUry when It IS necessary to arrange for the evacuation of a patient by
helicopter, the following essential pOints should be noted.
Requesting Assistance
When requesting helicopter assistance, the master should:
a. DeCide and arrange a rendezvous position as soon as possible If the ship is beyond helicopter
range and a diversion is therefore necessary.
b. Give as much medical Information as possible, particularly about the patient's mobility.
c. Advise immediately of any changes In the condition of the patient.
7.2.2 Preparation of Patient
Before the helicopter arrives, steps should be taken to:
a. Move the patient as close to the operating area as hlslher condition permits.
b. Ensure the patient IS tagged to show details of any medication which has been administered.
c. Prepare the patient's seafarer papers, passport, medical record and other necessary documents
In a package ready for transfer With the patient.
d. Ensure that personnel are prepared in case It proves necessary to move the patient to a speCial
stretcher (which will be lowered by the helicopter). The patient should be strapped In the
stretcher face up, In a life jacket If hlslher condition permits.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
7.3 EMERGENCY OPERATING AREAS
On ships which, because of their size or design or the nature of their cargoes, are not suited for
routine helicopter operations, consideration should nevertheless be given to the best position for a
helicopter to take off or to land people and/or equipment in an emergency. Such an emergency
might consist of taking off a sick or injured seafarer, landing a doctor on board, or perhaps landing
a repair specialist or some piece of equipment vital to the safety of a ship disabled offshore.
This type of emergency operation will normally be carried out by winching, and whenever possible
the requirements for a winching area speCified In Section 4.4 should be met. However, there will
be many ships which cannot provide even these minimum requirements. In such cases, the ship
must look for the highest area clear of obstructions to which a helicopter can safely manoeuvre
and over which it may hover safely. The Winching area should be as near to the ship's side as
possible and there should not be any obstructions greater than 3 metres in height in the area in
which the helicopter will manoeuvre. Obstructions such as aerials and stays must be lowered or
removed. If possible, two positions should be selected, one on each side of the ship, to
compensate for wind direction if the ship IS unable to manoeuvre.
Having chosen the safest position(s) which could be used for emergency helicopter winching
operations, the upper parts of any tall obstacles in the vicinity should be painted in a conspicuous
colour (see paragraph 4.5 (i)). No attempt should be made to mark the emergency winching area
permanently as by so doing It may be confused with a full winching area for routine operations.
A record and diagram of the arrangements chosen should be displayed in a prominent position In
the wheel house.
Where none of these arrangements can be made safely, helicopter operations should be
considered (weather and other safety considerations permitting) with a rescue boat or lifeboat.
ThiS should be positioned to leeward, except in the case of vessels such as chemical tankers which
may produce toxic cargo vapours, where the rescue boatllifeboat should be well to windward.
Operations of this nature, which may not prove practicable with ships which carry only totally
enclosed lifeboats, should only be considered when there IS no practical alternative.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
8 HELICOPTER INCIDENT/ACCIDENT
8.1 GENERAL
Investigations have shown that a helicopter making an emergency landing from the hovering
position is unlikely to penetrate the ship's deck.
The following advice is intended to assist when developing shipboard training drills and procedures
using the skills competencies and equipment available. Procedures and emergency response
preparations should be developed to cover all likely scenarios and should encourage the full use of
available fire fighting/rescue equipment and resources, adapted as necessary to the circumstances
of each particular ship/helicopter operating interface.
8.2 HELICOPTER ACCIDENT PROCEDURE
In the event of an incident, Initiate the ship's emergency response plan.
The following should be borne in mind:
a. The aircraft should be evacuated of all passengers and crew members as rapidly as possible.
b. If possible, all electrical power on the helicopter should be switched off.
c. Careful attention should be paid to any fuel spillage, and fire fight ing precautions should be
taken to avoid spil led fuel catching fire and spreading to other parts of the ship (e.g. draining
down the scuppers).
Even If a helicopter crashes without rupturing its fuel tanks, fuel may still be spilled if the wreckage
distorts on being lifted. Likewise, the damaged structure may pierce a fuel tank. Wherever
possible, the wreckage should be left In SitU and secured to await the arrival of air accident and
investigation aut horities.
8.3 FIRE PROCEDURES
In the event of a helicopter fire, the following points should be noted:
a. The type and location of fuel tanks vanes only slightly between aircraft types. In large
helicopters, the tanks are normally positioned beneath the cabin floor, substantially in line
With the rotor mast. In smaller helicopters, the fuel tanks may be either beneath the floor aft
of the cabin structure or in some cases beneath the rear row of passenger seats.
b. The operation of doors and hatches vanes with aircraft type. Doors may be jettlsonable or it
may be possible to jettison some doors but not others. In larger helicopters, doors normally
slide back to open. The method and direction of operation of the release mechanism for doors
and escape hatches is normally clearly Indicated on the helicopter. If the doors cannot be
opened, access to the interior of a crashed helicopter should be fairly straightforward as the
structure IS fairly light and easy to cut into with an axe.
c. A crash on deck can be expected to take place at low speed and could be accompanied by the
break up of the rotors, gearbox and engine, with subsidiary damage to the fuselage from
impact and blade strike. Ship's personnel should seek cover to aVOid being hit by such debris.
GUIDE TO HEliCOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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8.4
8.4.1
d. The main fire risk IS of fuel leaking from a tank ruptured by the force of Impact being Ignited
following contact with engine parts.
e. Since the amount of fuel in the engine area is not great. any fi re in this area IS likely to be
smal l at first. Even if the aircraft lies upside down with fuel running down into the engine
from a ruptured tank, there VlJi ll be a short lapse of time (some 1-2 minutes) before the fire
spreads from the engine area and develops into something larger. If a helicopter catches fire
on deck, rapid use of the ship's fire fighting facilities should contain the fire.
HEll DECK EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
Periodic training exerCises should be organised so that the ship's crew becomes familiar with the
range of responsibilities they may have depending upon the type of aCCIdentJinCident. Drills should
Include the fol lowing scenarios and actions:
Crash on Deck
Raise alarm
Initiate fire fighting operations
Maintain communications between deck and bridge team.
8.4.2 Emergency/Precautionary Landing
Raise alarm
Establish availability and location of deck space for helicopter
Prepare fire fighting team and equipment
Maintain communications between deck, bridge team and helicopter.
8.4.3 Crash on Deck Major Fuel Spillage - No Fire
Raise alarm
Lay fire fighting foam blanket around and under helicopter
Commence evacuation procedure from helicopter
Maintain communications between deck, bridge team and, so far as possible, the helicopter.
8.4.4 Helicopter Incident on Landing
Keep helicopter on deck
Communicate with helicopter via bridge team.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
8.4.5 Man Overboard (MOB)
Raise alarm
Instigate shipboard MOB response
Advise helicopter of inCident and discuss suitability and capabili ty of helicopter to assIst.
8.4.6 Helicopter Ditching
Raise alarm
Instigate shipboard MOB response/launch rescue boat
Maintain communications between deck, bndge team, rescue boat, and helicopter If
appropnate.
See also Section 8.5.
8.5 PERSONNEL IN WATER - EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
If for any reason a helicopt er ditches on take off or on landing, whet her It stays upnght or even
afloat will be a function of the sea state and the efficacy of the helicopter flotation equipment.
However, no rescue effort should be attempted until the rotors have been stopped - either by the
pilot, If the helicopter remains upnght, or as a side effect of the helicopter rolling over. It IS unlikely
that evacuation f rom the helicopter can be assisted from outSide, but expenence has shown that
most personnel find their way out of a ditched helicopter through the windows or emergency
doors and, because they are already wearing their life Jackets, remain afloat.
Note: Whether or not the helicopter remains afloat, crew members of the rescue boat
should keep clear of the immediate area from which personnel may escape and remain
clear of the arc of turning rotors.
8.6 PLAN OF ACTION
When helicopter/ship operations are conducted according to the recommendations contained In
this gUide, the nsk of accidents IS small. However, If there is an aCCIdent, the plan of action
Illustrated In AppendiX G IS strongly recommended and should be borne In mind when draWing up
ships' muster lists and planning pen odic dnlls.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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APPENDICES
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
APPENDIX A
COMMERCIAL HELICOPTERS IN MARINE USE
"0" Value
Rotor
Max Weight
Tuno
Diameter
"." \1 .... 1 .....
. ~ . . ....
(metres) (kg)
,
value
(metres)
Agusta A 109 13.05 11.00 2,600 2.6 t
Agusta Westland 139 16.66 13.80 6,400 6.4 t
AS 355 N 12.94 10.69 2,600 2.6 t
Bell 212 17.46 14.63 5, 080 5.1 t
Bell 214 ST 18.95 15.85 7,936 8.0 t
Bolkow 11 7 13.00 11.00 3, 200 3.2 t
Dauphin SA 365 N2 13.68 11.93 4,250 43 t
EC 135 12.20 10.20 2,910 2.9 t
EC 155 B1 1430 12.60 4,850 4.9 t
EC 225 19.50 16.20 11,000 11 .0 t
EH 101 22.80 18.60 14,600 14.6 t
MD 902 11.84 10.30 2,950 3.0 t
Sikorsky S61 N 22.20 18.90 9,298 93 t
Sikorsky S76 16.00 13.40 5,307 53 t
Sikorsky S92 20.88 17.17 12,020 12.0 t
Super Puma AS332 18.70 15.00 8, 599 8.6 t
Super Puma AS332 L2 19.50 16.20 9,300 93 t
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of helicopters which may be encountered in marine
use. It is essential that the type and overall length of a helicopter are known before it is
accepted by the ship. The information in the above table is understood to be correct.
However, the specifications of particular helicopters should be confirmed by operators
prior to planning a helicopter/ship operation.
The figure quoted " 0" is the overall length of the helicopter with its rotors turning
(see Chapter 4).
The figure quoted " t " is the maximum weight of the helicopter rounded to the
nearest 1 00 kg.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
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APPENDIX B
COMMUNICATIONS
GENERAL
The success of any helicopter/ship operation depends on establishing and maintaining good
communications. This applies not only to communications between the helicopter and the ship,
but also to messages passed between the ship's owners or operators, the ship's agent and the
helicopter operator.
Communications during the operation Itself must be directly between the helicopter and the ship
and not relayed through any third party.
To avoid any misunderstandings, especially If the language being used is foreign to any party
involved, the message format in the following sections is recommended. A similar but abbreviated
form of message may be sUitable for VHF communications.
Before the operation can be agreed, It IS essential that information IS exchanged and
acknowledged between the ship and the helicopter operator on the faCilities which the ship can
provide for landing or for winching. Information on the diameter of the clear zone of the landing
area (or of the manoeuvring zone of a winching area) and its position on the ship must be
provided by the ship to the helicopter operator In the first exchange of messages and should
receive formal acknowledgement as shown in the following sections.
COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT
The helicopter must be fitted with a marine VHF FM radio able to transmit and receive on at least
Channel 16 and two other simplex working frequencies. Unless other arrangements have been
agreed in advance, the ship should set watch on VHF Channel 16 for the arrival of the helicopter.
MESSAGE FORMAT
It IS recommended that the format, style and content of messages IS based on the following examples.
A. MASTER TO AGENT (AT LEAST 24 HOURS BEFORE ANTICIPATED OPERATION)
1. Request Helicopter Operation in
*LATITUDE ...... ..... .. . LONGITUDE .
*STANDARD RENDEZVOUS POSITION ........ .... ... (e.g. CHARLIE)
ETA (GMT) ....... DATE ............... .
ANTICIPATED COURSE ................ DEGREES
ANTICIPATED SPEED .... KNOTS
2. Vessel has Facilities
*FOR LANDING WITH A CLEAR ZONE OF ............... . METRES
*FOR WINCHING ONLY WITH A MANOEUVRING ZONE OF ............. METRES
3. Helicopter Facilities are on Port Side* /Starboard Side'lCentre Line'
4. I have ...... .. ... crew member(s) to embark' /disembark' weighing .............. kg
5. I have ......... .. to land (e.g. mail, stores) weighing .... ....... ... kg
6. Please ensure all this information is passed to Helicopter Operators concerned
(*Whichever is applicable)
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
II
Note: The section indicating personnel to be picked up by the helicopt er might be
expanded to include name, nationality, passport number, visa et c. The description of items
to land might include their weight, volume and the type of load.
A message of acknowledgement should be sent from the agent to the shi p when these
requirements have been approved by the helicopter operator.
A copy of the data sheet completed In accordance With Appendix F should be attached to this
message.
B. AGENT TO HELICOPTER OPERATOR
To ensure that all essential information IS passed to the helicopter operator by whatever means,
the following Items should be sent in the order given and repeated back by the helicopter
operator. The helicopter operator should confirm that the rendezvous position IS sUitable; If not,
the master must be advised accordingly. In passing the message of confirmation from the agent to
the ShiP, the Identical format and content of the message sent by the agent to the helicopter
operator should be used.
1. Name of Vessel, IMO Number and Call Sign
2. ETA (GMT/Date)
3. Position*
4. Course
5. Speed
6. Type of Ship's Operating Area
7. Dimensions of Clear/Manoeuvring Zone
8. Position of Operating Area
9. Number of crew to embark on Ship
10. Number of crew to disembark from Ship
11 . Other requirements
12. Will Helicopter carry Underslung Load?
(*Latitude/Longltude or Standard Rendezvous Position (e.g. Charlie) for the proposed
helicopter/ship operation)
A copy of the data sheet completed In accordance With Appendix F should be attached to this
message.
C. AGENT TO MASTER
Your request for Helicopter Operation acknowledged by Helicopter Operator as follows:
1. Rendezvous In
*LATITUDE ................ LONGITUDE ............... .
*STANDARD RENDEZVOUS POSITION ........ . (e.g. CHARLIE)
PROVISIONAL ETA ................ GMT/DATE
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2. Helicopter Operator acknowledges vessel has facilities
'FOR LANDING WITH CLEAR ZONE OF ............. METRES DIAMETER
OR
'FOR WINCHING ONLY ON PORT SIDE'/STARBOARD SIDE' WITH MANOEUVRING ZONE OF
... METRES DIAMETER
3. Helicopter Facilities are on Port Side' /Starboard Side' /Centre Line'
4. Helicopter will' /will not' carry an Underslung Load
5. There are ... ... .......... personnel to be embarked on Ship
6. There are ................ personnel to be disembarked from Ship
7. Other relevant information
('Delete as appropnate)
D. MASTER TO AGENT (6 HOURS PRIOR TO ARRIVAL)
The following revised or additional Information should be sent from the master to the agent SIX
hours pnor to arrival at the rendezvous:
1. Revised ETA'/Confirmed ETA' at rendezvous is .. .... .......... (GMT/Date)
2. The Operating Area is expected to be clear of' /subject to' seas or spray on deck
3. Watch will be maintained on VHF Channel 16
('Delete as appropnate)
E. AGENT TO HELICOPTER OPERATOR (REVISED OR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)
On receipt of the information In Section D (above), the agent must communicate the follOWing
information to the helicopter operator In the order given, and have It repeated back by the
helicopter operator to ensure that there is no misunderstanding:
1. Name of Vessel, IMO Number and Call Sign
2. Revised' Confirmed' ETA (GMT/Date) at rendezvous
3. Information on sea and spray conditions at Operating Area
4. Any Additional Requirements
('Delete as appropriate)
F. AGENT TO MASTER (SUBSEQUENT COMMUNICATION)
The agent must then communicate again with the master as follows:
1. Your revised'/confirmed' ETA at Rendezvous Position ..... (GMT/Date) received and
passed to Helicopter Operator at Time/Date
2. Helicopter will contact you on VHF Channel 16
('Delete as appropriate)
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
II
G. COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN SHIP AND HELICOPTER
Having established direct con tad between the ship and the helicopter, actual communications will
follow a pattern dictated by individual circumstances. However, in the interests of conformity and
in order to aVOid any misunderstandings, the follOWing IS a seledion of phrases which may be
used as and \'Vhen appropr:ate.
A. Heli copter to Ship
1. Join me on VHF Channel
2. Query - what IS your exad position?
3. Query - What is your course?
4. Query - What is your speed?
5. Query - What is the present relative wind direction and speed across your deck?
6. Query - What are the pitch, roll, sea and spray condi tions at the operating area?
7. I understand that your vessel:
a. has a landing area with a clear zone of ... . ........... metres diameter on the port/starboard
Side/centre line, or
b. has a winching area with a manoeuvring zone of
port/starboard side.
.......... metres diameter on the
I propose to work on the port/starboard/centre line landing/winching area.
(Not required if the data sheet (see Appendix F) has been sent to helicopter operator.)
8. I will be overhead your vessel in ................ minutes.
9. I have you in sight.
10. Query - Is the ship ready?
11. Query - Is the deck party ready?
12. Query - Is the operating area clear of unnecessary personnel?
13. Query - Is the fire fighting equipment ready?
14. Please confirm that there are no obstructions above the operating area.
15. Please confirm that all passengers have been briefed on hoisting procedures.
16. Please confirm permission to land.
17. I am standing by.
18. I expect you to be ready in ................ minutes.
19. Please maintain your course and speed (if possible).
20. Can you alter course to ................ degrees?
21. Can you reduce speed to .. ' ............ knots?
22. Please advise when you have steadied on your new speed/course.
23. Can you resume your original course and speed?
24. Acknowledgement.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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B. Ship to Helicopter
1. My vessel's position IS ............... nautical miles from ................ (prominent pOint).
2. My vessel:
a. Has a landing area with a clear zone of ... .. .... ... ... . metres diiJmeter on the porVstarboard
sldelcentre line, or
b. Has a winching area with a manoeuvring zone of ...... ........ metres diameter on the
porVstarboard side.
(Not required If the data sheet has been sent to helicopter operator - see Appendix F. )
3. My vessel islis not ready for you to approach.
4. Stand-by. I expect to be ready for you to approach In .... ............ minutes.
5. My present course IS .... . .. degrees.
6. My present speed IS ....... . ... knots.
7. The relative wind IS ... ..... . . .... degrees .. knots.
8. I am shipping light spray on deck/heavy spray on deck.
9. I am pitching/roiling moderately/heavily.
10. Query - Do you wish me to alter course?
11 . Query - Do you wish me to reduce speed?
12. The ship IS ready - all preparations have been made.
13. Passengers have been briefed with aircraft specific/generic "safe approach" data.
14. Affirmative: You have permission to proceed with the operation.
15. Affirmative: You have permission to land.
16. Acknowledgement.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
APPENDIX C
SHIPBOARD SAFETY CHECK LIST FOR
HELICOPTER OPERATIONS
To be checked by the Deck Party Officer (DPO)
1. GENERAL
a. Have all loose objeds within and adjacent to the operating area been secured or removed?
b. Have all aerials, and standing or running gear, above and in the vicinity of the operating
area been lowered or secured?
c. Has a pennant or windsock been hoisted where it can be seen clearly by the helicopter
pilot?
d. Has the Officer of the Watch (OOW) been consulted about the ship's readiness?
e. Does the leader of the deck party have a portable radio transceiver (walkie-talkie) for
communicating with the bridge?
f. Are the fire pumps running and is there adequate pressure on deck?
g. Are fire hoses ready (hoses should be near to but clear of the operating area)?
h. Are foam hoses, monitors and portable foam equipment ready?
I. Are dry powder fire extinguishers available and ready for use?
J. Is the deck party complete, corredly dressed and In position?
k. Are the fire hoses and foam nozzles pointing away from the operating area In case of
inadvertent discharge?
I. Has a rescue party been detailed?
m. Is a man overboard rescue boat ready for lowering?
n. Are the following items of equipment to hand?
i. red emergency signalling lamp
ii. large axe
iii. crowbar
iv. adjustable wrench
v. fire resistant blanket
vi. 60cm bolt/wire cutters
vii. grab or salving hook
viii. heavy duty hacksaw, complete with SIX spare blades
IX. ladder
x. lifeline, 5 mm diameter x 15 m in length
XI. side cutting pliers
xii. set of assorted screwdrivers
XIII. harness knife complete with sheath
xiv. first aid kit.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
....
../
o. Has the correct lighting (including special navigation lights) been switched on prior to 0
night operations?
p. Is the deck party ready, wearing brightly coloured tabards (waistcoats) and protective 0
helmets, and are all passengers clear of the operating area?
q. Has the hook handier been equipped with heimet, strong rubber gioves and rubber soled 0
shoes to avoid the danger of static discharge?
r. Is access to and egress from the operating area clear?
o
2. LANDING
a. Is the deck party aware that a landing is to be made? 0
b. Is the operating area free of heavy spray or seas on deck? 0
c. Have side ralls and, where necessary, awnings, stanchions and other obstructions been 0
lowered or removed?
d. Where applicable, have portable pipes been removed and the ends been blanked off? 0
e. Are rope messengers to hand for securing the helicopter, If necessary? 0
Note: Only the helicopter pilot may decide whether or not to secure the helicopter.
f. Have all personnel been warned to keep clear of rotors and exhausts
7
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3. TANKERS
Additional Items for Check Ust:
a. Ships not fitted with an Inert gas system: has pressure been released from tanks within 0
30 minutes of commencement of helicopter operations?
b. Ships fitted with an inert gas system: has pressure In cargo tanks been reduced to slight 0
positive pressure?
c. Al l tankers: have all tank openings been secured following venting operations? 0
4. BULK CARRIERS AND COMBINATION CARRIERS
Additional Item for Check Ust:
Has surface ventilation to dry bulk cargoes ceased, and have all hatch openings been fully 0
battened down prior to helicopter operations?
5. GAS CARRIERS
Additional item for Check Ust:
Have all precautions been taken to prevent vapour emission on deck?
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GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
APPENDIX D
INSTRUCTIONS TO HELICOPTER PASSENGERS
TRANSFERRING TO AND FROM SHIPS
1. GENERAL
Passengers should be fully aware of, and comply with, the procedures set out below to ensure a
safe and expeditious operation.
Do not approach or leave the helicopter w!thout being cleared to do so by the Deck Party
Officer (DPO), who will have received clearance for this from the helicopter crew.
When approaching or leaving the helicopter loading door, always adopt a crouching posture.
Walk briskly but do not run. Keep within the safe approach sector of the helicopter and
always keep in full view of the helicopter pilot or crewman. No clothing should be worn that
is loose or could become detached or entangled during the transfer operation.
Keep well clear of the helicopter rotors. Remember that the tail rotor IS difficult to see
because of the speed at which it rotates.
To avoid being scorched by hot gases, stay well clear of the helicopter exhaust out lets.
Wear a life jacket at all times during flights over water. Only approved" aviation" life jackets
supplied by the helicopter operator should be worn inside the helicopter.
Note: An inflated life jacket may hinder escape from the helicopter. Life jackets should
therefore be worn uninflated and only be i nflated once outside the helicopter.
Clothing which inflates automatically or with built-in buoyancy should not be worn.
In some locations, personnel may be required to wear survival SUitS which should be of a type
approved for helicopter operations.
Ear defenders/ear protection should be provided by the helicopter operator and should be
worn by all passengers.
Mobile telephones/cell phones must be switched off prior to boarding and must remain
switched off unti l after disembarking and well clear of the aircraft.
Personal electronic devices should have the batteries removed or be switched to flight safe
mode, as required by the helicopter operator.
2. LANDING
a. Embarking
Enter the operating area when Instructed to do so by the DPO following clearance by the
helicopter crew. Keep well down.
Sit where directed by t he helicopter crew.
Fasten seat belt and study the in-flight safety regulations.
b. Disembarking
Remain seated until instructed to leave by the helicopter crew.
Adopt the crouching position when leaving and walk briskly away from the helicopter
as directed.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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3. WINCHING
a. Embarking
Position yourself in the middle of the winch area, make eye contact with the winch operator
and be ready to follow his instructions. Attempt to stay directly under the winch.
Avoid touching the hook/strop until the static line has grounded on the deck
When the winch hook/strop arrives, retrieve the hook/strop In one hand and move to your
winching position. Keep an eye on the winch operator.
Once in position, qUickly put the strop over your head and place It under your arms. When
ready, give the winch operator the "thumbs up" signal.
Keep your elbows well tucked In and either hold onto the strop with both hands or keep your
arms by your sides (the helicopter operator should advise the preferred technique).
At the helicopter doorway, the winch man will turn you to face outboard, and will then assist
you Into the helicopter. Do not try to help him as he has a set routine to follow. Do not
remove strop until Instructed to do so.
Sit where the winch man directs you.
Fasten safety belt and study the In fl,ght safety regulations.
b. Disembarking
Do not leave your seat until Instructed to do so.
Allow the winchman to check that the strop IS properly fitted.
Follow the wlnchman's instructions for exiting the helicopter. You will usually be reqUired to Sit
In the doorway and give the "thumbs up" sign when you are ready.
When you reach the deck, qUickly remove the strop and hold It away from your body until It IS
recovered from your hand by the winchman. Be careful of any excess winch cable on the deck
at your feet.
Note: If you are using a full harness that takes some time to remove, unclip from the
winch hook immediately on arrival on deck. Pass the hook to a member of the deck
party to hold while you remove the harness. Once out of the harness, attach it back to
the winch hook and allow the winch operator to recover it from your hand.
Leave the operating area briskly, keeping your head and arms well down.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
APPENDIX E
MARINE PILOT TRANSFER
This Appendix contains addillonal,nformat,on on the transfer of marine pilots by helicopter. As the
potential benefits to both ship operators and pilotage services come to be recognised, so more ports
are encouraging the use of helicopters for embarking and disembarking pilots. Most of the services
offered are undertaken by experienced and professional personnel whose operations will meet in full
the recommendations in this guide. However, the following points should be borne in mind:
a. The transfer of a marine pilot between helicopter and ship should take place only when the
conditions set out in the appropriate sections of this guide are met and the helicopter pilot
and master are satisfied that the transfer can be conducted safely.
b. The transfer of marine pilots by helicopter has become a routine operation and familiarity
must not be allowed to compromise safety standards for the helicopter, the pilot, the ship or
ItS personnel.
c. The helicopter operator must confirm that It carnes suffiCient third party Insurance to cover all
pOSSible liabilities in helicopter/ship pilot transfer.
d. In order that a safe and effective rendezvous can be agreed, it IS Important that sufficient
advance notice of the Intended helicopter/ship pilot transfer is given to all parties concerned.
e. Adherence to the recommended procedures for continuous communications contact, for
rendezvous and for ship identification, is essential for helicopter/ship operations. It must be
remembered that a helicopter may have to service a number of Widely separated vessels In the
course of a Single flight.
f . Although ultimate responsibility for the safety of the ship and ItS navigation In pilotage waters
rests with the master, the marine pilot has a direct Interest In the choice of time and place for
the transfer to the ship. The marine pilot should be party to the agreement reached between
the master and the helicopter operator and helicopter pilot before the transfer operation
commences. There may be speCial CIrcumstances affecting the SUitability of time or location of
a proposed rendezvous on which the marine pilot may be able to advise.
g. Marine pilots should be reqUired to take an approved course of training in helicopter flight
procedures, embarkation and disembarkation (Including Winching) and safety and emergency
dnlls before undertaking helicopter transfers (see Section 5.9). The safety, operational and
organisational procedures and arrangements set out in Chapter 5 must be fully understood.
h. When embarking or disembarking either by winch or from the landing area, the manne pilot
should wear protective clothing similar to that recommended for the deck party (see Section
5.5.2), and while in flight a life Jacket, ear defenders/ear protection and if necessary a survival
SUit (see paragraphs 5.9. 1 (e), (I) and (g)). No clothing should be worn that IS loose or could
become detached or entangled dunng the transfer operation.
I. A member of the deck party should be detailed to assist and guide the manne pilot between
the landing area and the bridge.
J. Operations Involving helicopter touchdown on ships equipped With helicopter landing areas
marked as In Section 4.1 and Section 4.3 are preferred by helicopter operators for marine pilot
transfers.
The advantages of helicopter transfer of marine pilots can only be fully realised when the service IS
reliable and capable of being maintained with almost all ships under all but the most adverse
weather conditions. While commercial pressure to see helicopter/pilot services operating
universally Will be a consideration In the proVision of helicopter landing areas on ships of most
types, the mtlcal examination of space on board many ships for safe landing or for facilities for
helicopter winching operations should be undertaken ,n the light of Industry gUidance.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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APPENDIX F
HELICOPTER LANDING/OPERATING AREA PLAN
(TO BE USED WITH ACCOMPANYING CD)
1. PROVISION OF HELICOPTER LANDING/OPERATING AREA PLAN
The accompanying CD Includes electronic versions of templates based on the format found on the
following pages of this Appendix. Creation of the Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plan utilising
the electronic tools provided on the CD is the preferred method for creating the "plan" .
This Appendix provides gUidance regarding the completion, filing and forwarding of the Helicopter
Landing/Operating Area Plan to helicopter operators. The Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plan
provides additional information regarding the ship and its helicopter operating area. It should be
prepared well in advance of any Intended helicopter operations and should be stored on the ship
and company file systems.
Helicopters conducting landing or winching operations to ships require accurate and appropriate
information In order that operations can be planned efficiently and conducted safely. In this
regard, the gUidance In Chapter 5, Appendix B and Section 4.23 IS of particular Importance.
When helicopter operations are planned, a copy of the Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plan
should be forwarded to the helicopter operating company with other required documentation and
will help to ensure that planning and execution of ship/helicopter operations are conducted with
access to appropriate and timely data. Amendments to the plan should be made when
appropriate, in good time and filed accordingly.
GUidance for completion of Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plan digital templates IS also
provided on the accompanYing CD. Such use of the CD simplifies and standardises production of
these Important documents and will assist In the provision of safe helicopter services to ships.
However, In other circumstances, paper copies of the templates may be created either by
photOCOPYing relevant pages from thiS Appendix or printing the corresponding pages from the
CD, and annotating the resulting pages as per the follOWing instructions.
Whichever method IS used to create and file the Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plan, It should
Include templates annotated with ship speCific data, regarding any obstruction(s). In the case of a
ship's side landing/operating area, within the "D" CIrcle (clear zone) or the manoeuvring zone,
templates should be annotated With data on obstructions that exceed the height limits advised for
such areas in Chapter 4. The template should also include a photograph showing the ship's
helicopter operating area. Such landing/operating area information provides the helicopter pilot
With a quick reference guide to the ShiP, the operating area(s) and notable obstructions. Care In
recording the location of obstructions on the templates IS very important, and it IS strongly
recommended that accurate measurements are taken of the position and height of obstructions
relative to helicopter deck markings to ensure the accuracy of the plan.
The follOWing gUidance IS provided for completion of paper versions of the templates (either
photocopied from this Appendix or printed from the accompanying CD).
Colour coding IS used on all verSions of the templates to Indicate obstructions. Where possible,
objects that are marked, and colour coded on templates, should be Similarly coloured on the ship's
deck.
Note: Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plans, which are to be forwarded to the
helicopter operator, are created for the purpose of identifying and recording the location
of obstructions which may exist on deck. The plans should be devised by reference to the
requirements of Chapter 4 which addresses the establishment and marking of such areas
on board ship .
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
2. HELICOPTER LANDING/OPERATING AREA PLAN
Figure Fl .l provides a sample completed Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plan. In addition to
ship and company details, the plan includes a scale drawing of the helicopter operating area
including operating area markings as detailed in Chapter 4. Obstructions within the operating area
that exceed the maximum height advised in SeC1lons 4.1 .2 or 4. 1.3 and Figures 4.1 or 4.2 or 4.4,
as appropriate, should be accurately marked on the scale drawing, and their characteristics also
recorded In the table for recording "Obstructions".
3. COMPLETION OF HELICOPTER LANDING/OPERATING AREA PLAN
Figure Fl .2 provides information regarding completion of the Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plan.
4. SHIP'S SIDE HELICOPTER LANDING/OPERATING AREA PLAN
Figure Fl.3 shows the template to be used when the landing/operating area is located at or close
to the ship's side. The grid should be accurately marked In colour, showing obstructions Within the
landing/operating area (see Figure Fl .1).
The following procedure should be followed when Indicating obstructions on the Figure F 1.3
template.
1. Red and white stripes should be used for marking the position of notifiable objects within
either the manoeuvring zone or clear zone that exceed the height limits for those zones (see
Figure 4.1 ):
ObjeC1s within the clear zone of height exceeding 2.5 cm
Objects outside the clear zone but within the maneuvering zone of height exceeding 25 cm.
2. Yellow should be used for marking the position of objects beyond the manoeuvring zone to
which it IS considered appropriate to draw the attention of the helicopter pilot. Yellow may
also be used to mark objects within the manoeuvring zone and clear zone below the height
limits for either the clear zone (2.5 cm) or the manoeuvring zone (25 cm) and to which It is
considered appropriate to draw the attention of the helicopter pilot.
Ship details should be Included on the template and a photograph that clearly shows the location
of the landing/operating area on the ship should be attached.
On completion, the template should be scanned (in colour) and filed so that It may be forwarded
to a helicopter operator as required.
An indication of the scale used should be provided.
5. CENTRELINE/AMIDSHIPS HELICOPTER
LANDING/OPERATING AREA PLAN
The following procedure should be followed when indicating obstruC1ions on the Figure Fl.4
template.
1. Red and white stripes should be used for marking the location of notifiable obJeC1s within
either the central clear zone or the obstacle free sector for the breadth of the ship's deck (see
Figures 4.2 and 4.3):
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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Objects within the central clear zone of height exceeding 2.5 cm
Objects around or outside the central clear zone but within the obstacle free sector
described as the funnel of approach for the breadth of the ship's deck of height exceeding
25 cm.
2. Yellow should be used for marking ihe posiilon of objects In the forward and aft limited
obstacle sectors for the width of the ship's deck to which It IS considered appropriate to draw
the attention of the helicopter pilot. Yellow may also be used to mark objects Within the
manoeuvring zone below the height limits speCified for the funnel of approach (i.e. 25 cm)
and to which it is considered appropriate to draw the attention of the helicopter pilot (see
Figure 4.2).
Notifiable objects should be recorded:
Within the landing area (central clear zone) - CIrcle of diameter 0
Within the funnel of approach represented as a rectangle of the ship's breadth extended 0.250
on each side of the 0 Circle
Within the limited obstacle sector represented as a rectangle of the ship's breadth extended
0.50 on each Side of the 0 CIrcle
Notifiable objects outside the viSible grid should be recorded In the 'Obstructions' table and the
code OG (outside grid) should be additionally Inserted under the 'Item' column.
Ship details should be Included on the template and a photograph that clearly shows the location
of the landing/operating area on the ship should be attached.
On completion, the template should be scanned (In colour) and filed so that it may be forwarded
to a helicopter operator as required.
An Indication of the scale used should be proVided.
6. "WINCH ONLY" HELICOPTER LANDING/OPERATING AREA PLAN
The following procedure should be followed when Indicating obstructions on the Figure F1.5
template.
1. Red and white stripes should be used for marking the position of notifiable objects of height
exceeding 3 m that lie outside the clear zone (which should be clear of all obstructions) but
that lie within the inner manoeuvring zone and should be used for marking the position of
notifiable objects where the height exceeds 6 m In the outer manoeuvring zone (see Figure
4.4).
2. Yellow may also be used to mark the position of objects within the manoeuvring zone below
the height limits for either of the inner manoeuvring zone (3 m) or the outer manoeuvring
zone (6 m) and to which it IS considered appropriate to draw the attention of the helicopter
pilot.
Ship details should be included on the template and a photograph that clearly shows the location
of the Winching area on the ship should be attached.
On completion, the template should be scanned (in colour) and filed so that it may be forwarded
to a helicopter operator as required.
An indication of the scale used should be proVided.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Figure Fl.l
Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plan
Ship details Obstructions
Date compiled 18 November 2008
Item Description Height
Name of Ship SAMARINDA Tank Wash Line O.6m
Company Name Carthusian Shipping Line
Vent 2.3m
Max Deck Height 26m
0. II.
Control Box 30cm
o Value 19m Vent 2.3m
Contact Name Capt David Wilkinson
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GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Figure F1 .2
How to complete the Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plan
Proceed as follows:
CD
(3)

CD

Copy Figure Fl.3, Fl.4 or Fl.5 as appropriate. Alternatively print the corresponding file from
the accompanying CD. Digital templates (which remove the requirement to produce paper
copies) and instructions for their completion may be accessed from the accompanying CD.
Accurately plot obstructions, using colour as described in Sections 4, 5 or 6 as appropriate
within the grid area of Figure Fl.3, Fl.4 or Fl.5 as appropriate. Identify in space provided, the
scale of grid used.
Using the 'Obstructions' table, provide details of obstructions,
record heights and colour code used. __________ ---,
Record your own ship details in the section provided.
Attach an overall photograph of your ship, in the space provided with the helicopter
operating area clearly identified.
Ship details
bstructions
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Pte. tl .. tqm 26m
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ContoKt N.'t'e Capt Da ... 1CI Wilkinson
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
t1e,"ht
O. 6m
2.Jm
JOcm
2.Jm
Figure F1.3
Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plan
(Ship's side arrangement)
Sh i p deta ils
Obstructions
Date compiled
Item Description
Name of Shi p
Company Name
Max Deck Height
D Value
Contact Name
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GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Height
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Figure F1.4
Helicopter Landing/Operating Area Plan
(Centreline/amidships arrangement)
Ship details
Date compi led
Name of Ship
Company Name
Max Deck Height
o Value
Contact Name

:
a
.

Indicate scale used:
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Obstructions
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GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
Height
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Figure Fl.S
Helicopter landing/Operating Area Plan
(Winch only arrangement)
Sh i P deta ils Obstructions
Date compiled
Item Description
Name of Ship
Company Name
Max Deck Height
D Value
Contact Name
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GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Height
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APPENDIX G
DUTIES AND SUGGESTED ACTION PLAN
FOR HELICOPTER ACCIDENT
Alter course and
speed as necessary to
keep fire clear of deck
Broadcast details of
accident
FIRE OUTBREAK
Deck Part
Constant situation
report to master
Deck Party
Crew (Ope)
Rescue operations
Fire response
When ordered,
approach helicopter to
effect rescue
(See note 1)
Spray with
portable
extinguishers
(Smatl outbreaks of
"n!,
Other Ship'S
Personnel
not routinely
involved in
helicopter operations
Officer
detailed for
medical duties
Go to specific
emergency response
location
Crew not
involved in
helicopter
operation
Go to emergency
stations
Advise shore Including
helicopter operator
Provide water
cover for helicopter
occupants and rescue
party
Start foam system
Lay foam blanket
over helicopter
Order stand down
from general
emergency
l
Advise shore
including helicopter
operator
Notes:
(See note 2)
With chief engineer,
Investigate damage
and check relgnition
risk
, Equipped With axe, wlrecutters and crowbar
Stop water spray
(Remain
in readiness)
Await orders
and deck
Stop foam system
Secure and replenish
foam plant
2 Water spray should be controlled/stopped so as not to destroy foam blanket
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
APPENDIX H
BRIDGE WING OPERATIONS FOR MARINE PILOT TRANSFER-
A RISK ASSESSMENT
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1. The Bridge Wing (BW) will never be the ideal location for a hoisting/winching area. However,
there may be circumstances where there is no practical alternative to use of the BW, and in
such cases a thorough risk assessment of the operation must be conducted. Only if the
results are acceptable to, and approved by, both the ship's master and the helicopter
operator should hoisting/winching to the BW be considered.
2. This Appendix contains a risk assessment for the transfer, by helicopter hoist, of marine pilots
to the BW of ships where the size of the operating site precludes the application of existing
ICS guidance and the ICAO standards. The assessment applies both to the helicopter and
ship elements of BW operations.
3. This risk assessment has been produced by a working group constituted by ICS to revise the
Guide to Helicopter/Ship Operations. It represents a generic risk assessment of BW
operations and does not make any assumptions about any specific national requirements,
helicopter operator, type of helicopter, shipping company or ship.
4. These risk assessment recommendations reflect both operational and regulatory
requirements of the aviation as well as the shipping industry. Due to specific technical Issues
discussed in these recommendations, shipowners should give consideration to utilising
appropriate expertise from the aviation industry to assist in developing individual risk
assessment documents.
5. Threats and controls are discussed in the general text but are considered in greater detail in
the Model Risk Assessment Matrix of Annex 1 of this Appendix which is based on established
risk assessment methodology.
6. The BW should be used for the transfer of marine pilots only if no other safe and suitable
alternative exists, and appropriate mitigation - in procedures and equipment - is put into
place. However, the conclusion of the ICS working group is that BW operations can be
conducted safely provided that special controls - relating to equipment, procedures and
conditions - as recommended in this Appendix are applied.
7. The risk assessment contained in this Appendix does not remove the necessity for individual
risk assessments to be conducted by shipowners and helicopter operators to ascertain
whether such operations can meet the standards specified in their Safety Management
Systems.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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1 STATEMENT OF THE ISSUES
1.1 In recent years, it has become increasingly convenient to transfer marine pilots by helicopter
rather than by boat due, for example, to the rapid turnaround of ships at busy pOitS, the
meeting of the ship before reaching the coast, more efficient use of valuable resources, or
the reduction in time on task. Transfer by helicopter can also be achieved with less risk to the
marine pilot, although "comparative risk" is not considered in this assessment.
1.2 For a number of years, marine pilot transfer has been undertaken by landing a helicopter on
the deck. However, the feasibility of providing a safe landing site on the deck has, in some
cases, reduced as ships have become more specialised, space on board has been restricted
(particularly on containerships) or modern construction has otherwise reduced the amount of
"clear" deck area.
1.3 Reduction of clear deck space on ships has also had an effect on the ability to provide compliant
hoisting/winching' sites, i.e. it has become more difficult to provide the 5 m clear zone, flat and
clear of all obstructions, with a manoeuvring area (containing obstacles no higher than 3 m or
6 m as appropriate, see Figure 4.4) of twice the size of the operating helicopter specified in the
ICS Guide to Helicopter/Ship Operations and the ICAD Standards Annex 14 Volume II - Heliports.
1.4 During the same period, light twin engined helicopters, with a gross weight of less than
3,175 kg, have become more sophisticated and powerful and can now be certificated for flight
in instrument conditions, fitted with a hoist to the latest standards, and can remain in the hover
following an engine failure'. The size of this group of helicopters' is just over half that of the
561 N - the helicopter used in the past as the basis for the provision for helicopter/ship guidance.
1.5 The usual location for landing and hoisting/winching operations on ships is the deck. Decks
have an inherent high structural strength. For the landing site, it is standard practice to
establish not only that it can provide static loading, equivalent to the mass of the helicopter,
but can also withstand the dynamic loading resulting from a forced landing due to an engine
failure of the helicopter at the early stage of take off or late stage of landing.
1.6 Where hoisting/winching operations are considered, deck surface loading is not normally
established. The strength of structures to support passengers and required deck crew
members should be considered together with other relevant safety aspects. Helicopters
conducting passenger transfer by hoist are expected to be able to withstand a power unit
failure without jeopardising the passengers or the ship; this is usually specified in national
regulations. However, even if this is not an element of the applicable helicopter regulations,
it must be a requirement for any BW operations.
1.7 Operations to ships which can provide a helicopter operating site meeting the dimensions
contained in the ICS Guide or ICAO Annex 14 are not further considered here nor are the
vagaries of specific ship types such as vapour emission control from tankers. The risk
assessment is confined only to that situation where there is no alternative to conducting
hOisting/winching operations to bridge wings'.
In the following text, the word "hoist(ing)" is used to denote the helicopter part of the operation and "wlnch(lng)"
when referring to the site on the ship
2 The certification of hOist installations and the provision of graphs to permit the he!rcopter pilot to calculate and assure
power for the maintenance of the hover following an engine failure, required when carrying passengers, is known as
Human External Cargo (HEe) Class D.
3 These helicopters Include the Al 09, MD902. EC 135 and AS35SN.
4 ThiS does not preclude the use of a nsk assessment in those situations where a 5 m clear zone for Winching is not
possible. for example where a 3 m Wide gangway or other similar Sized space on the deck can be made available
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Note: In the following sections, reference is made to the ship's template. Due to
challenges that are associated with operations to the BIN, it is important that the pilot is
able to pre-brief the helicopter crew and marine pilot on the specific hoisting/winching
location, obstacles, surroundings, and any other factors that may limit operations. For this
reason, it is essential that the ship prepares, and makes available to the helicopter
operator, a document containing this information. The document should contain a picture
or diagrammatic representation of the hOisting/winching site on the BW - the diagram in
Figure 1 could satisfy such a requirement if suitably annotated and scaled.
Figure 1 - Diagram of bridge wing
2. BRIDGE WINGS
2.1 There are a variety of forms and layouts for bridge wings and Figures 2 to 8 provide a
reasonable idea of features on different ship types. These figures show the bridge wing
and/or "monkey island" - the area above the bridge - from a number of ships illustrating the
constraints and opportunities for hoisting/winching operations.
2.2 Bridge wings are extensions of the bridge providing a gangway on each side out to
distances - sometimes in excess of 15 m - which could provide space for hoistinglwinching
operations (see Figures 2, 3 and 4).
2.3 Bridge wings/monkey islands have not traditionally been designed for helicopter operations.
It is t herefore likely that ship's equipment is permanently located t here and rails may be open
and/or supported by stanchions, all of which are potential snagging hazards (see Figures 5
to 8).
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Figure 2 - Chemical tanker
Figure 3 - Containership
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Figure 4 - Bulk carrier
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Figure 5 - A port side bridge wing
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Figure 6 - View to a port side bridge wing/monkey island
Figure 7 - View from a port side bridge wing/monkey island
GUIDE TO HEliCOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
Figure 8 - Remaining obstacles on port side bridge wing/monkey island
1
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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3. THREATS AND CONTROLS
3.1 Threats and general mitigating elements
3. i. i From Figures i to 8 above, it can be seen that operations to BWs provide both threats and
opportunities.
3.1 .2 General threats:
Proximity of operations to command centre of ship
Possible lack of fire fighting foam at bridge wing levels
Variable size and form of bridge wing areas
Elevation above sea level magnifies any ship movement, and consequential possibility of
obstacles moving into operating area
Proximity to hot gases and other emissions from funnel
Limited visual cues
Minimal space for provision of lights for night operations
Danger to ship's personnel of static discharge
Sh,plhelicopter communication may be less than adequate because of language problems
Ship/helicopter co-operation may be less than adequate due to lack of understanding or
insufficient briefing.
3.1.3 General mitigating elements:
Clear air
Reduction in air turbulence
Uttle risk of salt spray
Reduced on task time (access is quick and simple)
Reduction of tail rotor strike risk
Reduction of deck crew risk
Obstacles are only situated on one side of the helicopter (and so all in sight to the pilot and
hoist operator)
Convenient location for master and marine pilot.
3.1.4 Only threats are further discussed here, as the list of general mitigating elements shown above
should be seen as general benefits for operations to the BW. Risk reduction and mitigation for
individual elements of the operation are discussed in the context of the threats in the sub-sections
below and covered in more detail in the Model Risk Assessment Matrix at Annex 1 .
GUIDE TO HEliCOPTER/ SHIP OPERATIONS
3.2 Proximity of operations to command/nerve centre of ship
3.2.1 The BW extension is not usually an integral part of the ship's structure and is designed only to
support its own weight. Consequently, impact by a helicopter is likely to cause extensive damage
to or destruction of the BW: The consequence of a helicopter crashing onto the bridge deck is
potentially catastrophic because the resultant explosion/fire/release of high speed debris would
affect the bridge as well as the accommodation block, putting the lives of personnel at great risk.
For that reason, engine failure accountability is an essential requirement for the helicopter. The
following guidance establishes a framework for limitations/mitigation that should ensure that the
probability of a catastrophe, due to collision with obstacles, is reduced to an acceptable level.
Control: The helicopter operator should ensure that compliance with requirements
concerning Human External Cargo Class D is established, and that performance
calculations, ensuring engine failure accountability, are completed in accordance with the
graphs in the Rotorcraft Flight Manual as specified in the Operations Manual.
3.2.2 On tankers, fire fighting resources, foam monitors etc are located principally on the main deck.
3.2.3 On other ship types, foam fire fighting provision for helicopters may be achieved with portable
resources and many ships will have access to foam applicators, hoses and drums of foam which
could be located at the bridge level.
Control: Where BW operations are to be conducted, appropriate fire fighting measures
should be in place and should include the provision of foam.
3.2.4 The BW should be used for transfer of marine pilots only if no other safe and suitable alternative
exists, and appropriate mitigation - in procedures and equipment - is put into place. For a number
of ships, this will already be the case, but there are concerns that some ships are carrying out BW
operations when a safer alternative is available or where mitigating procedures are not being
applied.
3.3 Varied size and form of BW hoisting/winching area
3.3.1 As there is no standard size and form of BW areas, each one should be subject to an individual risk
assessment before operations can be authorised. Hazards may be caused by the limited size of the
BW site in association with obstacles close to the BW clear zone.
3.3.2 There are two principal hazards associated with obstacles on the BW:
Snagging of the winch cable or the marine pilot's clothing/equipment
Risk of injury to the marine pilot due to collision with an obstacle.
3.3.3 On the basis that BW operations are only being considered because there is no alternative, it is
assumed that additional measures to create a relatively safe environment such as moving aerials,
using hinged equipment, blocking in rails etc will be taken.
3.3.4 Some ships, and particularly some containerships, have been constructed to facilitate BW
operations by having equipment positioned on the starboard BW, thus leaVing a clear zone on the
port side. Even for these ships, a risk assessment is required and any equipment or construction
that could result in a snagging hazard should be removed or covered.
Control: Snagging hazards in the vicinity of the BW clear zone should be removed or
otherwise neutralised.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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Control: The ship's template should contain a photograph or drawing - similar to that
shown in Figure 1 - annotated with the size and form of the BW and indicating obstacles
which might present a snagging hazard.
3.4 Elevation above sea level
3.4.1 Elevation above sea level reduces the helicopter pilot's reference, and magnifies ship movement.
3.4.2 There are two main issues that have to be considered:
The difficulty of maintaining station over a reduced clear zone
The movement of the ship bringing obstacles into the area of operation.
3.4.3 Because the hoisting/winching operation is conducted with the hoisting/winching site and all
obstacles on one side of the helicopter (see Figure 9), and because of the reduced visual cue
environment, it is important that the handling pilot and hoist operator are on the same side of the
helicopter sharing the same uninterrupted view, although the hoist operator will have a better
view than the pilot.
Control: The handling pilot and hoist operator should both operate from the same side of
the helicopter, i.e. the side of the helicopter on which the BW and obstacles are located.
3.5 Weather and sea conditions
3.5.1 All involved in the conduct of the risk assessment should be aware that Flight Manuals include
speed, wind and crosswind limitations for hoisting/winching operations which must be observed.
This is critically important because the combination of a crosswind component and excessive roll
rate could take a specific helicopter out of safe operating limits. Because BW operations are
restricted in the direction and orientation of the helicopter to the hoisting/winching site (see
Figure 9), the ship's course, speed and the relative wind become critical factors In the ability to
operate safely - i.e. there will be some conditions which will render hoist operations unsafe unless
the ship is orientated in a certain direction with regard to the wind.
Control: The ship should be aware that in some wind conditions, operations to a specific
site might not be possible. This might necessitate a change of course to bring the site back
into operational use.
3.5.2 One risk resulting from excessive heave or roll is that the helicopter could strike an obstacle, either
below or to the starboard side of the helicopter. Another is that the marine pilot could sustain an
injury during lowering or lifting if he/she misses the reduced hoisting/winching area, - i.e. the
width of the BW. These risks should be minimised/mitigated by provision of, and adherence to, the
movement limits discussed below.
3.5.3 Due to the critical nature of movement at the BW site, it is important that accurate measurement
of the ship's movement is carried out. A package of accelerometers with associated hardware/
software is used on most mobile installations/ships operating in the offshore oil industry. Such
equipment can provide not only real time output but an averaged figure over an operational
window so that the probability of completing the task within the window can be predicted. (See
Section 4.2.3 of the main guide on wave motion effects.)
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
3.5.4 Angular movement of the ship has to be converted to linear displacement at the BW level in order
to assess whether obstacles will penetrate the helicopter manoeuvring zone. As the manoeuvring
zone is dependent upon the size of the helicopter, it will not be possi ble to set absol ute limits of
operability for the shi p, only for the helicopter. It is important not only t hat cri t ical obstacles are
identi fied on t he ship's template, but also the upper height limit on t he BW is stated in order that
linear displacement of t hese cri tical obstacles can be mapped and limits established (see a partially
annotated diagram wi t h penetration limi ts marked for the EC 155 in Figure 9).
Control: Ships' operational templates should contain an annotated diagram indicating
significant obstacles and their distance from the centre of the hOisting/winching clear
zone; this could be achieved by having a series of concentric circles around the centre of
the zone. The height of the BW should be indicated.
3.5.5 Serious consideration should be given to the fitting of an electronic means of ascertaining
pitch/roillheave motions at the BW location (see Section 4.2.3 of the main guide).
Control: Ships which conduct BW operations should give serious consideration to the
fitting of electronic motion recording devices.
3.5.6 Heave Limits: there are two risks t hat resul t f rom excessive heave, (a) striking obstacles below the
helicopter, the BW itsel f or any obstacle of a height up to 3 m in t he manoeuvring area and (b)
injury to the marine pilot if the deck rises whi le he/she is being lowered. Because of the reduced
size of t he hoisting/winching site and the reduction of visual cues due to the height of the BW
above the deck, It is recommended that the operating height be based upon the visual
environment and the width of the clear zone. In a reduced visual cue environment and narrow
clear zone, this could resul t in an operating height of 4 m; where there are good visual cues and a
5 m wide clear zone, the operating height might be increased to 8 - 10m. The limit of heave
should be based upon a vertical clearance from obstacles of 2 m, at the top of the heave cycle,
and a heave rate that would not result in Injury t o the marine pilot dUring the lift.
Control: The operational height should be based upon the visual cue environment and
the width of the clear zone. The heave limit should be based upon the operational
height, a vertical clearance from obstacles of 2 m at the top of the heave cycle, and a
heave rate that would not result in injury to the marine pilot.
3.5.7 Roll Li mit s: as with heave, there are two risks: obstacles moving towards t he helicopter; and injury
to the marine pi lot caused by loweri ng outboard of t he bridge wi ng. The limit of operation should
be the smaller of either the angle of roll, convert ed to a linear distance at the BW t hat preserves
the margin of 0.5 RD (rotor diameter) between the rotor disc and the closest obstacle (thus
meeting the intent of clearance from obstacles of 2 D in the manoeuvring zone) or the angle of
roll which permits the marine pilot to be landed within the extent of the clear zone.
Note: There will be an optimum lateral position for hoisting/winching which should
reflect the balance of the amount of space in the clear zone and the distance to the
nearest significant obstacle. In Figure 9, the clear zone is established at the end of the BW.
While this does maximise the distance to the nearest significant obstacle (about 8 m to
the edge of the no penetration manoeuvring zone - permitting a roll of 10to port with
the fC155 - shown for demonstration purposes), a roll of 10to starboard would position
the marine pilot 6 m off the end of the BW. Such considerations should be taken into
account when the operator establishes the limit of operation for the specific
ship/helicopter combination.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Control: The roll limit should be the smaller of either the angle that preserves a margin of
0.5 RD between the nearest significant obstacles and the helicopter rotor disc, or the
angle that permits the marine pilot to be landed within the extent of the clear zone.
Control: If an accurate electronic motion recording device is not fitted, the basis of
measurement of the ship's movement should be stated on the ship's template. If accurate
measurement is not considered possible, a reduction in the roll limit, based on the
operator's assessment of the risk, should be applied.
3.5.8 Pitch Limits: one risk associated wi t h pitch is injury to the marine pilot. Because of this, the limit of
pitch should be 2.5 x the wi dth of the hoist ing/winching si te (BW) or 5 m - whichever is the lesser
(because of the longer lever arm, it is likely t hat t he pilot will be able to follow any fore and aft
movement of the BW, the so called "flying the hook"),
Control: The pitch limit should be the smaller of either the angle that produces a linear
distance of no more than 2.5 x the width of the hoisting/winching site, or 5 m. (See
Section 4.2.3 of the main guide).
Figure 9 - Partially annotated diagram (using an EC155 scaled model)
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
3.6 Proximity to hot gases and other emissions from the funnel
3.6. 1 The exhaust from the funnel could result in reduced visibility, reduced performance, increased
turbulence, and potential for engine surge or flame out, anyone of which could result in a loss of
control of the helicopter. The presence of these hazards is not always immediately apparent to the
pilot when approaching the ship, especially at night.
3.6.2 The ship should be on a course that takes the exhaust away from the BW site when operations are
about to be conduded. A change of speed by the ship may have an effed on the exhaust, and
possibly on smoke or soot particles that may be generated. For that reason, once a steady course
and constant speed have been established, neither should be changed unless it IS agreed between
the ship and the helicopter pilot.
Control: The ship's template should have the location and height of the funnel annotated.
Control: Once the ship's course and a constant speed for operations, avoiding flight into
the funnel exhaust, have been agreed, they should not be changed without contacting
the helicopter pilot. If, because of traffic routeing or other navigational constraints, it is
likely that there will be a course change within the operational window, an alternative
window should be established.
Note: This is an unlikely event as marine pilot transfer to the BW is a task that is usually
completed very quickly (a minute or two) . Therefore, if it is likely that ship manoeuvring
will occur within a task window (typically four minutes), consideration should be given to
providing an alternative window. This should be addressed in the helicopter operator's
and the ship's Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs).
3.7 Night operations
3.7.1 Night operations present additional challenges of redudion of visual cue enVIronment and
clearance from obstacles. However, the location of the BW site on the side of the ship permits a
clear approach for the helicopter pilot and does not requi re flight over obstacles. Operations
should not be considered, or authorised, unless the operational site is well lit and relevant
obstacles marked and lit but in such a way as not to dazzle the helicopter crew member and pilot.
Control: The ship's template should indicate that lighting is present - including
floodlighting of the hoisting/winching site and lighting of any obstacles that are above
3 m. Not all obstacles need to be illuminated, provided the nearest obstacle above 3 m is
marked and lit as well as the dominant obstacle if Significantly higher.
3.7.2 Once on station and hovering using the available Visual cues, the helicopter pilot will not
immediately notice any change of course. As performance and/or limitations of the helicopter are
predicated upon the relative wind diredion, any change of course could have serious implications.
Control: Once the ship's course for operations has been agreed, it should not be changed
without contacting the helicopter pilot.
3.7.3 Safe night hoisting/winching requires certain levels of training and current experience. In the case
of BW operations, this is more important because of the reduced visual cue environment - i.e. the
absence of structure ahead of the pilot, from where most visual cues are usually obtained, and the
limited visual cues to the side of the pilot.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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Control: The helicopter operator should have a documented system of training and
qualification, and should have evidence of recent night operations - all members of the
crew should be included.
Control: The helicopter operator should consider having operational limits for night
operations that are more limiting than for day operations.
3.8 Ship/helicopter communication
3.8. 1 Communication between ship, helicopter, and helicopter base/port authorities is the most
important factor in determining the success of a BW transfer operation. Even though the language
for international shipping and aviation is English, difficulties in communication can sometimes exist.
3.8.2 Communication is conducted in two parts: one part which is associated with the provision of data
about the ship, its location and details about the operational site; and the two-way radio contact
when the helicopter is en-route, on task or returning to base.
3.8.3 The quality of ship's data can be improved and unnecessary communication eliminated through
the use of basic pro-forma documents. It is recommended that use is made of a ship's template for
BW operations which includes details about the ship, frequencies and facilities, together with a
picture of the ship for identification and a suitably annotated plan of the operational site (see
examples in Annex 3 of this Appendix).
3.8.4 Documents should be exchanged by email or fax well before the operation is scheduled to
commence. Where the initial point of contact is the port authority "Port Control" structure, it
should ensure that the data is passed to the helicopter operator well in advance of departure.
Acceptance of the task by the helicopter operator should be dependent upon the data being
appropriate - discussion of the actual content or the operational limitations should normally be
conducted only up to the time that the helicopter is scheduled to depart.
Control: Ship's data should be entered on a ship's template and transmitted to the
operator by email or fax before the operation is scheduled to commence. Where there are
intermediate parties, they should ensure a timely transfer of documents to the helicopter
operator.
3.8.5 Radio communication between the ship and helicopter in Engl ish or another pre-agreed language
is essential for safe conduct of the task; if radio communication cannot be conducted, the task
should not be undertaken.
Control: Inability of ship and helicopter to communicate on the radio in English or
another pre-agreed language should constitute a no-go condition.
Control: Communications should be conducted using the standard message formats in
Appendix B in the main part of this guide.
3.9 Briefing of ship's crew
3.9.1 Because of limited space available for BW operations, the marine pilot has to be delivered to a
relatively small site, unlike deck hoisting/winching operations. The presence of the deck crew will
normally be required at the clear zone to avoid snagging the line, to assist the marine pilot on or
off the ship, or to hold personal effects etc.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
3.9.2
3.9.3
In order to avoid the situation where deck crew members themselves become a hazard, it is
essential that they are briefed before the operation is commenced. If there IS any doubt about what
the deck crew is expected to do, the master should check with the helicopter operator before the
helicopter leaves its base or discuss it with the helicopter pilot before he arrives on station.
Control: The deck crevv must be briefed on their duties ahead of the arrival of the
helicopter. Before the helicopter starts the lift, the duties of the deck crew in the vicinity
of the clear zone should be confirmed.
In most atmospheric conditions, the rotor blades of the helicopter generate a very powerful static
charge which, if not dispersed through contact between the cable and the ship, can cause serious
injury. For that reason, there is usually a static line attached and hanging below the winch hook.
This line is of sufficient length so that it touches the ship first when the marine pilot is being
lowered in a sling.
Control: The deck crew should be briefed and reminded - before the hoist operation
commences - of the dangers of static discharges from the winch cable. A member of the
deck crew should observe the grounding of the cable or static line before the cablel
harness is captured and offered to the marine pilot, or before providing assistance to the
marine pilot arriving at the winch site.
Control: The ship must have first aid available so that immediate assistance can be
provided to a deck crew member in the case of static shock.
3.9.4 The static charge discussed in 3.9.3 above is exacerbated in the following conditions:
3.10
3. 10. 1
3.10.2
3.10.3
3.10.4
II
Snow showers with a temperature between +2 and -10 degrees C.
Storm activity reported or observed in the vicinity - within a radius of 5 nautical miles.
Lightning activity reported or observed in the vIcinity - within a radius of 10 nautical miles.
Control: The helicopter operator must have procedures in the Operations Manual which
indicate to the helicopter pilot the conditions under which the hoist operations should
not be commenced.
BW hoisting/winching clear zone markings
It is not the purpose of this assessment to specify the minimum size for any Individual
hoisting/winching site - clearly the clear zone will be less than the 5 m circle specified in the ICS
Guide for normal operations. This is a matter for the helicopter operator and ship to determine.
From the pictures shown above (Figures 2 to 8), it is apparent that the clear zone of any BW site is
unlikely to be a circle - more likely it will be a rectangle, greater in width than In length. This may
not be an issue because, as discussed above, the rate of movement of the ship will be greater in
roll than in pitch and it is in roll where the greatest risks lie.
There is no doubt that the clear zone should be marked. The question then is " should a " circle"
be marked" or would it be more practical to mark a rectangle with the maximum declared width
of 5 m?
Where the Width of the BW is less than 5 m, it is recommended that a clear zone be marked in
yellow with a non-slip surface in the shape of a rectangle, ideally with a length of 5 m. The width
of the marking will be dependent upon the BW itself .
Control: The physical dimensions and shape of the clear zone should be notified to the
helicopter operator on the ship's template.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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4. SUMMARY
4.1 The BW should be used for transfer of marine pilots only if no other safe and suitable alternative
exists, and appropriate mitigation - in procedures and equipment - is put into place. For a number
of helicopter operators/ships, this will already be the case.
4.2 As already stated, this risk assessment does not consider those elements - such as vapour emission
control on LNG and LPG carriers - for which controls are already specified in the main body of this
guide. When conducting the individual ship/operator risk assessment, it will be necessary to take
these issues into account.
4.3 From the preceding text, it can be seen that BW hoisting/winching operations provide challenges
to the shipowner and helicopter operator that are not present for operations to decks (landing and
hoisting/winching). It can be seen from Section 3 of this Appendix, and the Model Risk Assessment
Matrix at Annex 1, that most threats can be managed provided associated controls are put into
place. Even when escalation factors are applied, observation and application of escalation controls
should help ensure that a hazard is unlikely to be encountered.
4.4 The efficacy of the controls, and escalation controls, is dependent upon the acceptance by
helicopter operators and shipowners of the procedures and conditions that have been provided in
this assessment. Some of these conditions require preparatory work by the shipowner, such as
removing snagging hazards, even before BW operations can be contemplated. For the helicopter
operator, application of the specified controls represents the process that should already be
undertaken as part of their accident prevention programme.
4.5 Helicopter operations to individual ships are, by their very nature, infrequent. Most ships have not
been designed with helicopter operations in mind, particularly BW operations. Ships can have a
large number of obstructions in the BW area which present hazards that are difficult for
helicopters to see from the air. It is likely that the helicopter pilot will not have seen a particular
ship until operations have to be conducted. Under these circumstances, and in order to prevent
unpleasant surprises, it is important that information is provided such that:
The ship can be identified.
The location of the operating site for hoisting/winching on the ship is known.
Obstructions that are near to the BW operating site are identified.
The presence and nature of markings are understood.
Any limitations on operations are known.
4.6 A number of commercial aviation regulations require that a pilot be authorised to fly to a specific 4.5
operating site. This authorisation requires either previous knowledge of the site, or the provision of
information to permit the pilot to become self-briefed. In order that compliance with the aviation
requirement can be achieved, Annex 3 provides guidance and examples of a template to be used to
provide detailed information to assist the helicopter pilot.
4.7 Masters are encouraged to prepare and complete a helicopter operating area template in
accordance with this guidance. The template should be reviewed and promptly revised when
changes are made to existing obstructions or when new obstructions are introduced into the
helicopter operating area.
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
II
4.8
4,9
Clearly, for the helicopter operator, BW operations require additional operational and Cockpit
Resource Management (CRM) training. This is to compensate for the reduction in reaction time to
avoid collision with obstacles particularly because linear displacement caused by pitch, roll and
heave is magnified at bridge level. Such inter-crew co-operation is more critical than for any other
hoist work, apart from search and rescue.
Deficiencies in communication and/or the inability to converse in a common language must be
resolved. Although the scope of this risk assessment does not address this issue, adequate
communication is a prerequisite for BW operations.
5. CONCLUSION
5,1 The conclusion of the risk assessment is that this type of operation can be conducted safely
provided the controls in the form of equipment, procedures and conditions are applied as
recommended.
5.2 The information in this Appendix does not remove the necessity for individual risk
assessments by ships and helicopter operators to ascertain whether such operations can
meet the standard specified in their Safety Management Systems,
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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ANNEX 1
MODEL RISK ASSESSMENT MATRIX
HAZARD 1 - COLLISION WITH OBSTAClES
Risk Area of Risk Threat Threat Control Escalation Factor Escalation Control
; .1 Loss of Power Engine failure Performance ,n EnVIronment BUild reserve Into
accordance with HEC conditions not as calculations by
Class D "When hoverrng planned factonng wind
at max OGE OEI hover
weight, an engine failure
should not result In an
altitude loss of more than
10% or 4 ft, whichever IS
the greater, of the altitude
established at the time of
engine failure. In either
case, suffiCIent power
margin should be available
from the operating
englne(s) to regain the
altitude lost dunng the
dynamiC engine failure
and to tranSition to
forward flight"
Discretion at the site
only might be
permitted If mass IS
within 2% use of
discretion should be
reported
Emergency procedures
established and briefing
carned out (including
marine pilot) before ellery
sortie
Ingestion of salt No operations If spray Unexpected breaking Operation
water Within 20 ft of Bndge walle abandoned With RTB
Wing (BW) If spray IS suspected
of being Ingested
Ingestion of gases Operations permitted only Wind change Break off from task
andlor soot particles if clear of funnel exhaust and clear ship until
new direction IS
estabhshed check
power assurance
before
recommenCing
operation
GUIDE TO HeliCOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Risk - Area of Risk Threat Threat Control Escalation Factor Escalation Control
1.2 loss of Reference Reduced visual cues Operation started only If
(day) due to height reference can be
of BW above the m l n t l n ~ d under
deck standard procedures
Operation to BW hmlted r
to operating height of 4 m
unless the size of the site
and the visual cues permit
It to be higher
Use of helicopters that
have minimum distance
between pilot and hOist
will reduce the threat
Pilot loses reference Pilot indicates to
dunng winch cycle hOist operator that
contact lost,
procedure for loss of
reference followed
Procedures for
selection, training,
quahflCatlon and
checking of
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Helicopter HOist
Operations (HHO)
crew estabhshed and
followed
Procedure for
achieving and
maintaining
experience to ensure
recent experience of
all HHO crew
established and
followed
Reduced Visual Cues Operation accepted only If lights found to be Operation not
(night) due to lack of suffiCient lighting of winch not sufficient on commenced
lighting and height site and obstacles IS arrival at site
of BW above the provided and Indicated on
de<:k ship's "template"
lighting defICiency
reported and filed
with master and
shipping company
Pilot loses reference Pilot IndICates to
dunng winch cycle hOist operator that
contact lost;
procedure for loss of
reference followed
GUIDE TO HElICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Risk Area of Risk Threat Threat Control Escalation Factor Escalation Control
Procedures for
selection, training
and checKing of
HHO crew for night
operations
established and
followed
Procedure for
achieving and
maintaining night
experience to ensure
recent experience of
aU HHO crew
established and
followed
Strong wind requires Operation started only If Pilot now too far Such complications
pilot to Sit ahead of reference can be ahead of clear zone are discussed as part
references so that maintained under these to lift martne pilot of the CRM training
empty harness can circumstances
Before lift IS
be delivered to small
commenced, pilot IS
site
conned back to
lifting poSition
Lack of current night Procedures to
experience maintain current
night experience
established
VISion Impaired by Break off from task
soot particles and clear ship until
new di rection IS
established - check
power assurance before
recommenCing hft
..
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Risk - Area of Risk Threat Threat Control
1.3 Loss of Position Environmental Establish wind ilmlts for
disturbance (wind, BW hOisting/winching
turbulence) (recommended 60 kts)
Break off from task, clear
ship and re-establish
position
Accentuated linear Establish obstacle linear
movement because displacement from the
of the height of the centre of the
BW (sea conditions) hoistlnglwinchmg site -
prepare ship's template
and make available to
appropriate parties.
Establish helicopter limits
of operation - based upon
the linear movement of
the SignifICant obstacles
outSide the manoeuvring
zone or obstacles
surrounding the clear
zone of the operational
area
Provide equipment that
can accurately measure
obstacle displacement at
the BW location
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Escalation Factor
Inability to accurately
hold station on BW
due to conditions
EqUipment lS not
proVided
EqUipment IS
unserviceable
Roll of ship erodes
the lateral obstacles'
clearance
Escalation Control
Discontinue
operation
Employment of more
conservative limits of
operation based
upon the
calculations
Indicated below
Employment of more
conservative ilmlts of
operation based
upon the
calculations
Indicated below
The distance of the
closest obstacle that
will affed height of
operations 4 m
above BW should be
established
(measurement taken
from the centre of
the winch site); the
relationship of the
linear movement of
thiS obstacle to the
angular movement
of ship should be
established
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Risk Area of Risk Threat Threat Control Escalation Factor Escal ation Control
The limIt of
operatIon should be
the angle of roll
(converted to a linear
distance at the BW)
that preserves the
margin of 0.5 RD
(rotor dIameter)
between the rotor
disc and the closest
obstacle (thus
meeting the Intent
of clearance from
obstacles of 2 D of
the manoeuvnng
zone) or the angle of
roll whIch permits
the marine pilot to
be landed Within the
extent of the dear
zone
Heave of the ship Operational height
erodes the vertICal should be based
obstacle clearance upon the Visual cue
enwonment and the
Width of the clear
zone. The heave limit
should be based
upon the operational
height, a vertical
clearance from
obstacles of 2 m at
the top of the heave
cycle and a heave
rate that would not
result In injury to the
manne pilot
Pitch of ship moves Establish limit of
BW out of use for pitch to be the hnear
delivering manne displacement of
pilot to the 2.5 x Width of
operational site hOlsllnglwlnchlng
site (BW) or 5 m
whIChever IS the
lesser (because of
the longer lever arm,
It is likely that the
pilot Will be able to
follow any fore and
aft movement of
the BW)
Ship movement Break off from task
(manoeuvnng) and clear ship until
new direction IS
established
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
HAZARD 2 - HOISTING/WINCHING CLEAR ZONE LESS THAN 5 M
Risk Area of Risk Threat Threat Control Escalation Factor Escalation Control
2.1 Obstacles in HOist harness/and or All snagging hazards to be Stanchions to rails Where possible, all
immediate vicinity marine pilot snags removed from the width remain a hazard stanchions to be
of clear zone are obstacles of, and up to 5 m from boxed
potential snagging end of. the BW
hazard
Ship's crew member to StatIC discharge fisk Master to ensure
take possession of harness to ship's crew that deck crew are
when It IS lowered for, or member If harness bnefed on the effect
released by. marine pilot gathered before It of statIC discharge
has been grounded
Ship's crew member BW hOlstlngl
not briefed on duties winching should only
be conducted If ship
has, and complies
with, BW procedures
2.2 Marine pilot not Ship pitching results Operauonallimltatlon on Ship moves outside Crew members watt
delivered cleanly to in marine pilot being pitch of 2.5 x Width of limits until the ship moves
centre of clear zone dehvered outside clear zone and back In pitching limit
ralls appropriate operating provided the roll
height should reduce such remains within limits
an occurrence
Manne pilot recovered to
a safe height before
lowenng recommenced
Roll of ship results in Operational limits on roll Ship moves outside Helicopter
manne pilot being of the length of the clear limits Immediately moved
delivered outside zone and chOICe of off to a safe
ralls operating height should POSition; crew
reduce such an occurrence members walt until
the ship moves back
in roll limits or aborts
miSSion as reqUired
Helicopter moved off to a
safe POSition and manne
pilot recovered to a safe
height before lowenng
recommenced
Ship pitching or Ship's crew, one or two Ship's crew member BW hOisting!
rolling results In members as reqUired, not bnefed on duties Winching only
marine pilot clOSing gUides marine pilot to conducted If ship
to collision With rail centre of clear zone has, and complies
With, BW procedures
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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Risk - Area of Risk Threat Threat Control Escalation Factor Escalation Control
PItch more than one Ensure that more
ship's crew member than one ship's crew
can handle member IS made
available and bnefed
before helicopter
arnves on station
Ship heave results In Crew co-operation to Ship heave occurs Ship's crew member
acceleration down to ensure that the manne when manne pilot IS attempts to cushion
clear zone pilot 15 delivered In a below level of rail landing
period of minimum
movement
2.3 Marine pilot not Snagging Pilot and hOist operator Manne pilot IS on Cable cut conSidered
picked up cleanly must be prepared to cut the wire only while martne
from dear zone cable If snagging occurs pilot IS below level
of rail
HOist operator takes the Manne pilot SWings Ship's crew, one or
strain on the wire to to rail or obstacle two members as
establish movement required, support
before continuing the hft - marine pilot until
to ensure that there IS no clear pick up is
snagging achieved
Additional call of
"passenger clear" by
hOist operator to
Indicate that risk of
snagging IS past
2.4 SW clear zone not Unable to deliver Operation should not be Site IS found to be BW operations not
wide enough for safe marine pilot to the conducted unless there IS too small on arrival conducted and
operation clear zone In other suffiCient Width to prOVide report flied
than calm conditions a safe clear area Ala
minimum, thiS might be
<2 m but could be larger
If either the helicopter
operator or the ship apply
higher limits
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
HAZARD 3 - BRIDGE OPERATIONS INTERFERE WITH HELICOPTER
Risk - Area of Risk Threat Threat Control Escalation Factor Escalation Control
3.1 Proximity to RADAR HIRF Interference Ship's RADAR set to
on bridge with helicopter's standby while helicopter IS
electronic equipment. on station
I.e. FADEC and other
electronic controls.
resulting in loss of
control or firing of
sqUlbs
1
3.2 Proximity to ship's Use of whlstlelhorn Establish and agree
whistle/ horn distracts helicopter procedure for restriction
Cfew on use of whlstlelhorn
when helicopter IS on
station
HAZARD 4 - HELICOPTER OPERATIONS INTERFERE WITH BRIDGE
Risk Area of Risk Threat Threat Control Escalation factor Escalation Control
4.1 Noise of helicopter Bndge cannot Ship's bridge crew Time taken on task IS
results in loss of conduct normal members adVised to wear usually only
hearing acuity on operations when headsets, when measured In mmutes
bridge helicopter on station appropnate, when
helicopter IS on station
4.2 Downwash of Bridge suffers from Master adVised to keep
helicopter affects disruption due to bndge doors closed
bridge operations downwash
4.3 Downwash of Downwash causes Deck crew not assisting
helicopter affects deck crew to lose marine pilot should keep
deck crew footing In lee of bndge to reduce
effect of downwash
Squibs are detonators that, when fired 10 a specific emergency, operate cable cutting equipment, such as for a hoisVwlnch cable
from the helicopter structure
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
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HAZARD 5 - INADEQUATE COMMUNICATION/LIAISON
BETWEEN SHIP AND HELICOPTER
Risk Area of Risk Threat Threat Control Escalation Factor
5.1 Inadequate language Helicopter pilot Reduce on task No data IS sent
skills or inadequate cannot exchange communications to a andlor English IS not
or no communication Information With minimum by conducting understood
ship exchange of Information
before helicopter IS
launched_ Use of pre-
prepared Information
sheets/ship's templates will
reduce communication
when on task
Departure message
not copied and
transmitted, and
flight fonowlng not
maintained until
another agency IS
contacted
5.2 Inadequate Ship's crew not Complete tasks If they can
co-operation briefed or drilled be done safely and file
between ship and report to master and
helicopter when shipPing company
on task
Escalation Control
Inability to provide
data or the Inability
to communICate In
the chosen operating
language should
result In a no-go
Situation
ThiS should happen
only once With any
ship; file report to
master and shipping
company; following
such an inCident
further operations to
that ship should not
be contemplated
until defICienCies
have been rectified
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
HAZARD 6 - POTENTIAL OPERATIONAL RISKS
Risk - Area of Risk Threat Threat Control Escalation Factor Escalation Control
6.1 Tail rotor authority If ship IS not Into Ensure that operations are
andl or limitations wind and IS so conducted within the
constrained that It limits set for tail rotor
r
cannot be put Into authority and crosswind
wind, crosswind limits for hOisting!
operations have to winching are observed
be considered
6.2 Size of helicopter Use of larger ConSider use of the
helicopters for BW smallest HEC Class D
operations might capable heltcopter for BW
result in the need to operations. There IS rarely
achieve a high hover any need to carry more
to remain dear of than the manne pilot and
obstacle crew, most smaller
enVIronment modern tWinS are
qualified
6.3 Inexperienced crew HelICopter crew not All crews used for BW
members adequately traIned, operations should be
qualified or having qualified, trained, have
recent experience recent expenence, be
CRM qualified and be
adequately briefed for
each miSSion
Deck crew not All deck crew used for BW
adequately trained operatIons should be
andlor suffiCIently trained, all duties should
briefed be assigned and members
adequately brtefed before
each mission
Deck crew grabs line All deck crew must be Deck crew Trained ftrst aid crew
before It IS grounded brlefedlremlnded of inadvertently grabs to be available to
or grabs marine pilot dangers of hazard before ungrounded wire address any
before the hne has the operation IS consequences
grounded commenced
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GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
ANNEX2
MODEL RISK ASSESSMENT MATRIX (RELEASE OF HAZARD)
RELEASE OF HAZARD 1 (Le. Event Occurs)
COLLISION WITH OBSTACLES
Hazard Released Recovery Measures Escalation Factor
,. ,
Loss of Power Manne pilot InsuffiCient power to
recovered and aircraft constrain descent to BW
flown back to base
on remaining engme
1.2 Loss of Position POSition recovered InsuffiCient time or space
to aVOid ColliSion
Consequence
Helicopter crashes
onto bridge
Helicopter crashes
Into sea or ditches
Damage not suffloent
to prevent recal/ery
and safe landing
Helicopter crashes
onto bridge
Helicopter crashes
Into sea or ditches
Mitigation
Ship emergency fire
and recovery
procedures put Into
action
Ship launches boat
and recovery
procedures put Into
action
IAMSAR procedure
initiated for recovery
of crew
Ship Informs operator
Operator Initiates
emergency procedures
Helicopter operator's
emergency response
plan put Into action
Ship Informs
operator
Operator Inrtlates
emergency procedures
Helicopter operator's
emergency response
plan put into action
Ship emergency fife
and recovery
procedures put Into
action
Ship launches boat
and recovery
procedures put Into
action
IAMSAR procedure
Initiated for recovery
of crew
Ship Informs operator
Operator Initiates
emergency
procedures
Helicopter operator's
emergency response
plan put Into action
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
RELEASE OF HAZARD 2 (i.e. Event Occurs)
HOISTING/WINCHING CLEAR ZONE LESS THAN 5 M
Hazard Released Recovery Measures Escalation Factor Consequence
2.1 Harness and/or Cable cut Manne pilot released to Manne pilot Injured
marine pilot snags fall to BW
hazard
2.2 Marine pilot not Deck crew assist Manne pilot strikes rail Manne pilot Injured
delivered cleanly to marine pilot to deck
centre of dear zone
2.3 Marine pilot not Deck crew assist Manne pilot strikes rail Manne pilot injured
picked up cleanly marine pilot off deck
from clear zone
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
Mitigation
Deck crew re<overs
marrne pilot to
accommodation
Hehcopter recovered
to base
Helicopter refitted.
returns to pICk up
marine pilot or
tAMSAR procedure
Initiated for recovery
Deck crew recovers
marine pilot to
accommodation
Manne pilot taken
back to base If not
seriously Injured
Manne pilot
recovered at later
stage If InJunes
permit
Manne pilot taken
back to base If not
seriously Injured
r
[
r
L
l
ANNEX 3
TEMPLATE FOR BW WINCHING OPERATIONS
Ship name Call sign
Length of hoistingl
winching site
Company name MMSI no
Width of hoistingl
winching site
Template compiled Closest 3 m obstacle from site
Max ship height Closest 6 m obstacle from site
Max BW height Type of lighting
Communications Significant obstacles lit
Position check Heave limit Pitch limit Roll limit
Notes
[Insert annotated BW image]
Limitation/comment Non-compliance
]Insert photograph of ship]
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
EXAMPLE OF TEMPLATE FOR BW WINCHING OPERATIONS
WITH CLEAR ZONE AND OBSTACLES MARKED (WITH DISTANCE RINGS)
Ship name
Company name
Template compiled
Max ship height
Max BW height
Communications
Position check
Limitation/comment
1. Movement of significant
obstacle (funnel superstructure
- marked) into helicopter
manoeuvring zone.
Cal! sign
MMSI no
Heave limit
Length of hoisting/
winching site
Width of hoisting/
winching site
Closest 3 m obstacle from site
Closest 6 m obstacle from site
Type of lighting
Significant obstacles lit
Pitch limit Roll limit
Notes
limit of significant obstacle
penetration would permit
about 8 m of ship movement
(each side of the vertical) or
20of roll before it reaches
0.5RD of the EC155 (as shown
by hatched line).
Non-compliance
1. Hoisting/winching clear
zone 5 x 4.5 m
GUIDE TO HELICOPTER/SHIP OPERATIONS
'-