Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), page 575

Index   574 -- Page 575 -- 576

10-1-3. Helicopter Approach Procedures
to VFR Heliports

a. Helicopter approaches may be developed for
heliports that do not meet the design standards for an
IFR heliport. The majority of IFR approaches to VFR
heliports are developed in support of helicopter
emergency medical services (HEMS) operators.
These approaches can be developed from conven-
tional NAVAIDs or a RNAV system (including GPS).
They are developed either as a Special Approach
(pilot training is required for special procedures due
to their unique characteristics) or a public approach
(no special training required). These instrument
procedures are developed as either an approach
designed to a specific landing site, or an approach
designed to a point-in-space.

1. Approach to a specific landing site. The
approach is aligned to a missed approach point from
which a landing can be accomplished with a
maximum course change of 30 degrees. The visual
segment from the MAP to the landing site is evaluated
for obstacle hazards. These procedures are annotated:

(a) This phrase requires the pilot to either
acquire and maintain visual contact with the landing
site at or prior to the MAP, or execute a missed
approach. The visibility minimum is based on the
distance from the MAP to the landing site, among

other factors.

(b) The pilot is required to maintain the

published minimum visibility throughout the visual


(c) Similar to an approach to a runway, the

missed approach segment protection is not provided

between the MAP and the landing site, and obstacle

or terrain avoidance from the MAP to the landing site

is the responsibility of the pilot.

(d) Upon reaching the MAP defined on the

approach procedure, or as soon as practicable after
reaching the MAP, the pilot advises ATC whether
proceeding visually and canceling IFR or complying
with the missed approach instructions. See para-
graph 5-1-15, Canceling IFR Flight Plan.

(e) At least one of the following visual
references must be visible or identifiable before the
pilot may proceed visually:
(1) FATO or FATO lights.

(2) TLOF or TLOF lights.
(3) Heliport Instrument Lighting System

(4) Heliport Approach Lighting System
(HALS) or lead-in lights.
(5) Visual Glideslope Indicator (VGSI).

(6) Windsock or windsock light(s). See
note below.
(7) Heliport beacon. See note below.

(8) Other facilities or systems approved by
the Flight Technologies and Procedures Division

Windsock lights and heliport beacons should be located
within 500 ft of the TLOF.
2. Approach to a Point-in-Space (PinS). At
locations where the MAP is located more than 2 SM
from the landing site, or the path from the MAP to the
landing site is populated with obstructions which
require avoidance actions or requires turns greater
than 30 degrees, a PinS procedure may be developed.
These approaches are annotated "PROCEED VFR

(a) These procedures require the pilot, at or

prior to the MAP, to determine if the published
minimum visibility, or the weather minimums

required by the operating rule, or operations

specifications (whichever is higher) is available to

safely transition from IFR to VFR flight. If not, the
pilot must execute a missed approach. For Part 135

operations, pilots may not begin the instrument

approach unless the latest weather report indicates

that the weather conditions are at or above the

authorized IFR minimums or the VFR weather

minimums (as required by the class of airspace,
operating rule and/or Operations Specifications)

whichever is higher.

(b) Visual contact with the landing site is not
required; however, the pilot must maintain the
appropriate VFR weather minimums throughout the
visual segment. The visibility is limited to no lower

Helicopter IFR Operations 10-1-5

Page 575 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM.pdf)
AIM: Official Guide to Basic Flight Information and ATC Procedures

Index   574 -- Page 575 -- 576