Winter Helipad Safety Tips

Here are 10 quick tips on how to keep your helipad in SAFE shape this winter:

1.  Use only UREA or a chemical product that claims no corrosive properties or hazards to the environment, such as the ice-melting agents Sodium Acetate or Potassium Acetate.

2.  DO NOT USE ROCK SALT.  Rock salt is corrosive to the aircraft.

3.  Do not use sand as an anti-skid agent.  It will not stay in place, and creates a projectile hazard during rotor wash.

4.  Helipad warning/safety signs should be cleared of snow and remain visible.

5.  Do not bury perimeter lighting in snow piles.

6.  Do not pile snow in front of gates or routes of ingress/egress from the helipad.

7.  Snow piles immediately adjacent to the helipad greater than 2 ft high could cause damage to the helicopter tail rotor.

8.  Position snow piles so that melting snow and ice will drain from the helipad and not refreeze, creating a fall/slip hazard.

9.  Helicopters develop rotor was that typically exceeds 75-100 mph.  Dangers include serious wind chill and projectiles created by any loose snow or ice.

10.  Whiteout conditions can occur during takeoff and landings.  These can affect pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic.

 

**Consider helipad painting schemes that help melt ice and snow.  A red background is recommended.  See FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150-5390-2BPara 409b. (2) and fig 4-10b**

 

THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO TO KEEP OUR FLIGHT CREW AND PATIENTS SAFE!

 

For more info, visit http://www.OACCT.org

or contact:

Bill Fauconneau, Safety Officer at MedFlight.  bfauconneau@medflight.com

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