Understanding the Basics of Helicopter Safety

November 26, 2018 Leave your thoughts

Riding in a helicopter can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also be extremely dangerous if you’re not sufficiently prepared. Both pilots and passengers need to take helicopter safety seriously—otherwise, one or more people could end up getting hurt, or even killed.

Each helicopter company in Montana may have different rules they deliver to their passengers, but the basics are almost always the same across the entire industry.

Rule #1

Just like you must listen to a safety briefing when flying on a commercial airplane, you need to listen to your pilot before your charter or tour flight in a helicopter begins. Your pilot is an experienced professional who flies for a living and knows the ins and outs of helicopters, their capabilities and their dangers. Failure to listen to your pilot can result in you being removed from the flight experience before someone gets injured.

Before the flight

Many helicopter safety tips are important before you even board the aircraft:

  • Approach where the pilot can see you: One of the major safety rules when approaching a helicopter is to always approach in a manner in which the pilot can see you. Typically, this means you should approach the craft from the front and left. Never walk behind a helicopter, and avoid approaching a helicopter from uphill if the rotors are engaged. Additionally, only approach when the pilot gives you the okay to do so.
  • Give the helicopter space to land: If you are on the ground and a helicopter is landing nearby, do not approach it. Stay far back and give the aircraft plenty of space to land. Never stand directly below the helicopter. Standing too close can lead to you getting hurt, or covered in dust, dirt and debris that the rotors’ force can kick up.
  • Crouch low when approaching: When a helicopter’s rotors are engaged, this is when you need to be most cautious. Never stand up tall underneath rotors, wave your arms, throw things or wear loose scarves, hats and other gear. Approach an engaged helicopter by crouching low and walking toward it.

While in the helicopter

Other tips need to be kept in mind once you’ve boarded the aircraft:

  • Wear your seatbelt: Seatbelts and harnesses are designed to keep you safe during your flight. Don’t take off your seatbelt unless the pilot says it is okay to do so, and even then, be cautious. If you hit a gust of wind or turbulence and you’re not wearing your seat belt, you could be severely injured.
  • Wear your headset: Helicopters are loud, which means it can be extremely difficult to communicate with your pilot and other passengers. For this reason, your helicopter company in Montana will provide you with a headset that allows you to hear what others are saying and talk to them clearly. It also can help muffle the noise of the rotors. Don’t take this off unless you’re told to, because you could miss important instructions or even damage your hearing.

Flying in a helicopter can be a safe, fun experience as long as everyone follows a few simple safety rules. At Rocky Mountain Rotors, we make sure to brief every passenger on helicopter safety before their flight. Visit our helicopter company in Montana for a charter flight, photo tour and more!

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