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Closed Helideck Marking
j. Offshore (VFR) Operating Altitudes for
1. Background. Mid-air collisions constitute
a significant percentage of total fatal offshore
helicopter accidents. A method of reducing this risk
is the use of coordinated VFR cruising altitudes. To
enhance safety through standardized vertical separa-
tion of helicopters when flying in the offshore
environment, it is recommended that helicopter
operators flying in a particular area establish a
cooperatively developed Standard Operating Proce-
dure (SOP) for VFR operating altitudes. An example
of such an SOP is contained in this example.
2. Recommended Practice Example
(a) Field Operations. Without compromis-
ing minimum safe operating altitudes, helicopters
working within an offshore field "constituting a
cluster" should use altitudes not to exceed 500 feet.
(b) En Route Operations
(1) Helicopters operating below 750' AGL
should avoid transitioning through offshore fields.
(2) Helicopters en route to and from
offshore locations, below 3,000 feet, weather
permitting, should use en route altitudes as outlined
in TBL 10-2-1.
Magnetic Heading Altitude
0 to 179 750'
180 359 1250'
(c) Area Agreements. See HSAC Area
Agreement Maps for operating procedures for
onshore high density traffic locations.
Pilots of helicopters operating VFR above 3,000 feet above
the surface should refer to the current Federal Aviation
Regulations (14 CFR Part 91), and paragraph 3-1-4,
Basic VFR Weather Minimums, of the AIM.
(d) Landing Lights. Aircraft landing lights
should be on to enhance aircraft identification:
(1) During takeoff and landings;
(2) In congested helicopter or fixed wing
(3) During reduced visibility; or,
(4) Anytime safety could be enhanced.
k. Offshore Helidecks/Landing Communica-
1. Background. To enhance safety, and pro-
vide appropriate time to prepare for helicopter
operations, the following is recommended when
anticipating a landing on an offshore helideck.
2. Recommended Practices
(a) Before landing on an offshore helideck,
pilots are encouraged to establish communications
with the company owning or operating the helideck
if frequencies exist for that purpose.
(b) When impracticable, or if frequencies do
not exist, pilots or operations personnel should
attempt to contact the company owning or operating
the helideck by telephone. Contact should be made
before the pilot departs home base/point of departure
to advise of intentions and obtain landing permission
Special Operations 10-2-5