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Helicopter operation check item - guideline for ship

Helicopter landing on cargo ships or oil tankers involve many complexities and careful preparation will need to be made at various stages such as prior landing, during landing on board. Summarized below are some basic procedures. These procedures are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship Preparation prior landing

1. Have all loose objects within and adjacent to the operating area been secured or removed?

2. Have all aerials, standing or running gear above and in the vicinity of the operating area been lowered or secured?

3. Has a pennant or windsock been hoisted where it is clearly visible to the helicopter pilot?

4. Has the officer of the watch been consulted about the ships readiness?

5. Does the leader of the deck party have a portable radio transceiver (walkie talkie) for communicating with the bridge?

6. Are the fire pumps running and is there adequate pressure on the deck fire line?

7. Are fire hoses ready (hoses should be near to, but clear of, the operating area)?

8. Are foam hoses, monitors and portable foam equipment ready?

9. Are dry powder fire extinguishers available and ready for use?

10. Are the fire hoses and foam nozzles pointing away from the operating area in case of inadvertent discharge?

11. Has a rescue party been detailed?

12. Is a man overboard rescue boat ready for lowering?

13. "Are the following items of equipment available at hand?

Large axe


Wire cutters

Red emergency signal/torch

Marshalling batons (at night)

First aid equipment"

14. Has the correct lighting (including special navigation lights) been switched on prior to night operations?

15. Is the deck party complete, ready, in position, wearing brightly colored waistcoats and protective helmets, and are all personnel clear of the operating area?

16. Has the hook handler been equipped with helmet, strong rubber gloves and rubber soled shoes to avoid the danger of static discharge?

17. Are landing / winching areas surveyed and proved clear of obstructions, in accordance Sec 4.2 to 4.5 of ICS Guide to Helicopter / Ship operations?

18. Is access to and egress from the operating area clear?

Landing on board

1. Is the deck party aware that a landing is to be made?

2. Is the operating area free of heavy spray or seas on deck?

3. Have side rails and, where necessary, awnings, stanchions and other obstructions been lowered or removed?

4. Where applicable, have portable pipes been removed and have the remaining apex ends been blanked off?

5. "Are rope messengers to hand for securing the helicopter, if necessary? (Note: Only the helicopter pilot may decide whether or not to secure the helicopter)"

6. Have all personnel been warned to keep clear of rotors and exhaust?

Additionally for Tankers & Gas Carriers

1. For tankers fitted with an inert gas system, has pressure in cargo tanks been reduced to slight positive pressure?

2. For tankers, have all tank openings been secured following venting operations?

3. For gas carriers, have all precautions been taken to prevent vapour emission on deck?

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Home page is merely an informational site about various aspects of ships operation,maintenance procedure, prevention of pollution and many safety guideline. The procedures explained here are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship.

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