Most people on vacation with their families enjoy flying in a helicopter to their destination. The breathtaking view of the ground from the air never fails to mesmerize them. They cannot get to see it traveling on land in a car. This is why they do not hesitate to book a flight from the nearest commercial airport. However, they need to listen and follow the instructions of the pilot before boarding the helicopter. He is responsible for their safety throughout the flight and ensuring they reach their destination on time.
Nick Herle – How do helicopter pilots ensure the safety of passengers during the flight?
Nick Herle is a qualified helicopter pilot, communication expert, and entrepreneur of German birth from America. He has several years of valuable experience in both the aviation and telecommunication industry. Ha is the CEO of flyVENTURE, AeroParts.com, Diamond Helicopters, and Heli Aviation. He began his career in 2005 by establishing a telecommunication company known as Herle Radioservices GmbH. It specializes in providing the latest audio communication packages to government agencies. Simultaneously, he went on to fly helicopters after earning his European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) pilot license in 2007. He became a Battalion Chief within ten years while working as an emergency pilot for the German Red Cross.
He emigrated to America in 2011 and settled in Oregon after completing his graduation in business economics. He then converted his EASA helicopter license to the equivalent FAA certificates. Today, he holds a Commercial, Instrument, Flight Instructor license and has a 13-year accident-free flying record. He currently plays an active role in the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) sector. He specializes in the area of search and rescue operations.
He says helicopter pilots need to ensure the following safety procedures before embarking on a flight:
- The propellor blades of main and tail rotors are in perfect working order prior to the flight,
- Each and every instrument on the control panel of the helicopter is not malfunctioning,
- Listen to and consult the latest weather bulletins to determine whether it is safe to fly,
- Ensure the tank has adequate fuel to fly to the passengers’ destination without any issues,
- Conduct a thorough power check at the hovering stage before actually taking off,
- Perform a quick mental precautionary risk assessment to determine the likelihood of mishap,
- Constantly recheck the flight path from the navigational charts before takeoff,
- The passengers correctly approach the helicopter after receiving a visual acknowledgment,
- They take their seats at the rear end of the helicopter and fasten their seat belts throughout the flight,
- Do not attempt to fly the helicopter below 1000 feet above ground level except during takeoff and landing, and
- Avoid taking off or attempting to land the helicopter during a tailwind unless it is an emergency.
In the opinion of Nick Herle passenger safety is the primary concern of all commercial helicopter pilots. They need to carry out a number of procedures to ensure there is no loss of life during a flight. They need to check the propellers, instrument panels, weather charts, navigational maps, and fuel. Only then can they maintain an accident-free flight record and keep passengers safe.