13 May 2014 – The European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST) today published a new safety promotion leaflet on techniques for helicopter operations in hilly and mountainous terrain. The leaflet aims to help pilots and instructors understand basic principles, threats, errors and possible undesirable aircraft states when flying in mountainous terrain. Developed in partnership with major stakeholders, the leaflet also provides guidance to manage the risks associated with these operations. Click here to download the leaflet.
The European General Aviation Safety Team (EGAST) published a new Safety Promotion Leaflet on Using Advanced Navigation Technology Safely. The market for onboard navigation technology is evolving quickly. The immediate potential safety benefits are numerous including reduced workload and unprecedented information to enhance situational awareness but the technology may also come with hidden risks including overreliance on systems and distraction. This Leaflet, which is also of relevance for the helicopter community, intends to raise awareness on potential traps and share good practices for better and safer use of advanced technology for navigation in day VFR.
9 July 2013 - The EHEST publishes today a new Safety promotion leaflet on the advantages of simulators in Helicopter Flight Training. The purpose of this leaflet is to highlight the various helicopter flight simulation training devices available and to also review the additional training and safety benefits related to recent technological and regulatory developments.
March 2013 – EHEST published their latest Safety Leaflet “HE5 – Risk Management in Training for Helicopter Pilots and Instructors”. The document was developed in partnership with major stakeholders and provides tools and methods to improve risk management in training. Training for autorotation is used as a practical example to illustrate the process.
2 August 2012 - EHEST released a comprehensive Safety Management Toolkit developed with consideration to EU rules on Air Operations (Annex III, Part ORO Subpart GEN Section II Management System) which are expected be finalised later this year. The Toolkit was designed for Complex Operators and is particularly useful for those with limited experience of Safety Management Systems (SMS). It consists of a Safety Management Manual (SMM), an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) and a Safety Management Database User Guide.
The SMM is a sample manual designed to assist operators in creating their own manuals, which must be adapted to reflect individual needs, nature of operations and procedures. Since having a ERP will be required under future rules, the EHEST response plan in this Toolkit aims to help organisation to respond in the case of accidents, serious incidents or any event triggering a crisis.
Finally, the Safety Management Database User Guide provides example registers of typical helicopter hazards and risks in Commercial Air Transport (CAT) operations, a unique feature provided by the EHEST for safety management purposes.
Access the EHEST SMS webpage page
June 2012: Research into the human factors related to aircraft accidents and incidents has highlighted Decision Making as a crucial element. Pilots intend to fly safely, but they sometimes make errors. It has been observed that the majority of fatal crashes are attributable to decision errors rather than to perceptual or execution errors.
HE4_Single Pilot Decision Making v1
While we cannot eliminate human error, a thorough understanding of human factors principles can lead to appropriate strategies, means and practical tools to prevent most errors, better detect and manage them, and mitigate their adverse impact on aviation safety.
This leaflet is looking at:
- Human Factors Affecting Decision Making,
- Decision Making,
- Decision Error Factors,
- Decision Making Models.
This leaflet is part of a series of safety leaflets and publications aimed at sharing good practices. These leaflets are accompanied by web-based training materials, including videos, which are freely available on the Training and Safety Promotion section of the EHEST website
Jan 2012 - The helicopters ability to approach, manoeuvre, land and take-off from an off airfield Landing Site or unprepared Landing Site is one of the most important aspects of helicopters operations.
The various landing sites such as hotels, golf courses, sporting venues, etc can vary in their dimensions, approaches, hazards, elevation, and location, the same basic principles should be employed.
Landing sites that are remote from an airfield offer various challenges to the pilot and consequently have resulted in a significant number of accidents. Unlike at an airfield there is generally, little or no assistance in the assessment of wind, guidance on appropriate approach directions or information on other traffic. Hazards not normally experienced at an airfield such as wires, obstructions, uneven landing ground, trees, Foreign Object Damage, livestock and pedestrians are quite likely to be found and require a heightened degree of situational awareness by the pilot who needs to expect the unexpected!
The brochure HE3 was developped by the EHEST Team and covers the:
- Planning and Preparation
- Landing Site Identification
- Landing Site Recce
- Types of Approach
- Manoeuvring in the LS
- Pilot Errors
Airmanship is defined by EASA Part FCL as: “The consistent use of good judgement and well-developed knowledge, skills and attitudes to accomplish flight objectives.”. The EHEST review of helicopter accidents 2000 to 2005 revealed 140 general aviation helicopter accidents in Europe identifying the following (causal and contributing) factors:
- Pilot decision making and risk assessment
- Mission Planning
- Pilot misjudged own limitations/capabilities, overconfidence
- Pilot inexperienced
- Inadequate consideration of weather/wind
- Failed to follow procedures
- Pilot control/ handling deficiencies
- Failed to recognise cues to terminate current course of action or manoeuvre
- Inadvertent entry into IMC, vision restricted by meteorological conditions
- Wilful disregard for rules and SOPs
The majority of these factors are related to airmanship.
Comprehensive knowledge, careful pre-flight preparations, frequent flying practice and avoidance of complacency are the best insurance against becoming an accident statistic.
the Team published a simple Helicopter ground operations signals leaflet that can be viewed and downloaded below.
The EHSIT Training team propose an example of pre-flight planning checklist. Note that this is an example that needs to be adapted to your operation.
EHEST Pre-flight planning Checklist