What a community inspired project this turned out to be, absolutely superb collaboration. Our input from the beginning, representing The CAA and CAAI in conducting the initial feasibility study at the proposed site and supporting the build was just a joy. From the very beginning, the most awesome part of this project was the people and the warmth of the community of Campbeltown. You can physically see the benefits of this new helipad. When it came to the opening, we were so humbled and proud to represents not only The CAA but the HELP / County Air Ambulance Trust. Within a month of opening, the helipad had facilitated 10 movements taking patients for onwards care to Glasgow.
Week 3 construction complete and progress being made! McFadyens Contractors have been excellent working through the challenging weather, continuing to improve the drainage and make this Helipad a success on completion. Other background work is also in progress, culminating in an opening ceremony in April!
As hospital admissions for Coronavirus patients continue to rise, the HELP Appeal team is aiming to boost the ‘Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives’ message through a series of WWII inspired posters, to help relieve the pressure on NHS staff and Intensive Care Units around the country.
Even though the charity continues to fund NHS hospital helipads across the country, thanks to your support; we also want to help hospitals in another way during the pandemic.
Through the creation of seven posters, the charity hopes to channel the indomitable spirit of the British people during WWII, the inspirational speeches of Winston Churchill and iconic wartime icons such as Rosie the Riveter, to help encourage people to wash their hands, cover their face and stay at home in the fight against Coronavirus. Everyone needs to batten down the hatches for a bit longer to help protect the NHS and help save lives.
You can download the posters via the link here
Green Deck Operations is proud to be working alongside the Civil Aviation Authority International to carry out several helipad feasibility studies in support of HEMS and SAR operations in the highlands and islands of Scotland. Arran, Oban and Fort William will be the first remote locations to receive visits as soon as restrictions are lifted. We are already supporting the new Campbeltown project and looking forward to the opening in April.
After more than a decade of research and development, Conair’s answer to the future of aerial firefighting is the Q400AT. The purchase marks the most significant investment Conair has made to date towards developing a fleet of Next Generation aircraft designed to better fight wildfires for years to come.
Planes used to fight wildfires as airtankers are often older models and are flown into demanding environments, inevitably resulting in metal fatigue over time. In addition, aircraft designed to obsolete standards leads to increased risk of incidents, costly repairs, limited replacement parts, and ultimately time grounded from fighting fires. Conair’s strategic move towards a long-term vision includes replacing the company’s fleet of heavy legacy airtankers with the new Q400ATs.
“We evaluated 29 aircraft before selecting the Q400 for modification into an aerial firefighting tool. The unanimous opinion of our flight operations experts was that the Q400 exceeds all the Next Generation performance criteria within a maneuverable and stable platform,” said Jeff Berry, Director of Business Development at Conair. “The Q400AT is fast, fuel efficient, and tactically flexible, operating both initial attack, as well as sustained support actions. The Q400 is still in production and has strong Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) support from De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (De Havilland Canada), guaranteeing availability of parts and servicing for years.”
Ideal platform for special mission operations
“We are delighted that Conair is acquiring another eleven Dash 8 aircraft to support the growth of the company’s specialized airtanker fleet,” added Philippe Poutissou, Vice-President of Marketing and Sales at De Havilland Canada. “In addition to being the most advanced and efficient turboprops deployed in regional airline and air transport roles around the world, De Havilland Canada’s versatile Dash 8 Series aircraft continue to be an ideal platform for special mission operations such as aerial firefighting, search and rescue and medical evacuation and we congratulate Conair on the excellent work they are doing supporting diverse communities with their Dash 8 multi-role and airtanker aircraft.”
Deliveries will start this month
The Q400 aircraft were purchased from HEH Hamburger EmissionsHaus, through Skyworld Aviation. The eleven aircraft, originally Flybe commuter planes, are based in Europe and will be delivered to Conair starting this month.
Great few days overseas, a mix of maritime and a chance to open discussions with the main hospital in Antigua, the Mount Saint Johns Hospital regarding upgrading their helipad through charity support.
British Marine is the trade association for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry. Our 1,500+ members come from a broad range of businesses including boat builders, chandlers, brokers, marinas, passenger boats and engines.
We are hoping to engage and provide positive support to British Marine via the various working groups and forums in influence the aviation aspects of vessel operation, predominately SAR Ops.
So happy to report that after some two years in planning and delays, our Campbeltown Hospital Helipad Project is finally at the stage of construction, bringing a much needed capability to the town of Campbeltown and surrounding areas. We are planning on visiting the site in February and then for the opening in April.
The unlicensed helipad will be certified by Green Deck Operations and will operate in accordance with ICAO Annex 14 Vol II and CAP 1264. It will be capable of operating all inservice HEMS and UK SAR assets.
Green Deck Operations partner with Helidecks SA to deliver online Dangerous Goods by Air Awareness Training
It has been an aspiration of Green Deck Operations to deliver online dangerous Goods by Air Awareness training for some time. We are now proud to announce that in partnership with the UKs leading Superyacht Helideck Training Company, Helidecks SA, we have available to all our clients the ability to deliver online DG by Air training which meets the exacting criteria of the IATA DG Regulations.
It is a requirement in accordance with IATA and ICAO Regulations / Guidance that comprehensive and approved training must be delivered to all helideck team members to ensure they are aware of hazards posed by the transport of dangerous goods by air. It is also a requirement that re-validation training be carried out every 24 months. All crew carrying out a OPITO Helideck Team Training or an MCA Commercial Helideck Training course must have a valid Dangerous Goods by Air Awareness Training Certificate.
To make is easy for crews to achieve dangerous goods certification, Green Deck Operations and Helidecks SA have developed joint online training course which has been designed to meet the dangerous goods prerequisites for the OPITO Helideck Operations Initial Training Course and the MCA Large Yacht Training Syllabus for Commercial Yacht Helidecks.
The course provides an easy to understand way to ensure you are fully aware of the possible hazards associated with the transport of dangerous goods by air during offshore and yacht helicopter operations.
Please go to www.aviationdangerousgoods.com for further details.
The European standard for firefighter protective clothing – BS EN469 – has been revised and published in 2020. The new standard makes several key changes and improvements on the 2005 version, which we thought it would be helpful to explain for you here.
Key changes in BS EN469 2020
The updated standard increases the requirement for flame spread and heat resistance testing of:
• Any reinforcement material
• Anti-wicking barrier – which also has size limitations added
• Drain mesh – which also has size limitations
• Hardware – must be tested for heat resistance only
• Any label (> 10cm2), badges and retro reflective materials must be tested for flame spread as part of the whole garment. It also sets a design requirement and specifies performance testing for external pockets and gives detailed instructions about how to test hardware. The heat resistance of sewing threads must now be tested to 260°C.
But the biggest change in the new standard relates to testing the ability of a garment to perform in its “as received” state. The previous standard – BS EN 469:2005 – only required garments to meet the standard after having been laundered five times. The new standard makes it clear that garments need to provide relevant protection against heat transfer and radiant heat from day one of use.
Why testing “as received” is important
It’s critical that firefighters have confidence in their kit and it’s ability to protect them from the extreme conditions they can face. In theory, the fibres of fabric fluff up and fabrics open up during laundering, increasing the heat protection a garment can provide.
As the previous standard stated garments had to meet the requirements after being laundered five times, it is technically possible that a brand new garment didn’t meet the standard.
The impact of this change to testing might be that garments need more insulation to ensure they pass the test parameters in new condition. This could make garments heavier, so needs careful consideration when specifying new kit.
Aiming for a lower HTI (Heat Transfer Index) value will deliver the same heat protection to your crews. A value of 18 should be the new expectation, where 20 might have been the previous spec. There will be a weight difference between garments delivering 18 and 20 when tested as new.
Changes to chemical repellancy testing added to BS EN 469:2020Firefighters’ protective clothing needs to provide a level of protection against chemicals by repelling them to stop them soaking into the garments and potentially getting on to firefighters’ skin.
Key additions to annexes in BS EN 469
There have also been a number of changes to the annexes in BS EN 469:2020:
• Annex A: Assessment, evaluation, and determination of the property values for rating and performance classification
• Annex B: Contamination during use: guidance on cleaning and risk prevention
• Annex C: Summary of the clothing heat and flame protection; selection, use, care and maintenance guidance
• Annex D: Updated information on the optional whole garment test for level 2 garments using EN ISO 13506-1:2017 (currently under revision)
• Annex E: Information on the new test method available for assessing the physical impact of the suit using a sweating torso
The timeline for changing to all firefighter garments complying with BS EN469:2020As when all standards change, the new standard is not retrospective, so it is not the case that PPE has to immediately meet the new standard.
Just ensure that when you decide to change out your fire fighter PPE, ensure it meets the correct standard, ie the 2020 standard, that way you will be future proof!
The Cayman Islands Shipping Registry would like to announce that Corrigenda No.2 to the Red Ensign Group (REG) Yacht Code has now been published on the Groups webs site and can be accessed from the Red Ensign Group website (www.redensigngroup.org/publications/)
The Corrigenda has been drafted following the receipt of extensive stakeholder feedback, discussion during the Red Ensign Group Yacht Surveyors Meetings and an Industry engagement exercise / consultation process involving Designers, Shipyards, Management Companies and Classification Societies that lasted some three months.
There is quite a lot of information regarding Common Annexes, Annex H. Items include the tern helideck replaced by shipboard heliport.
Great to see DOC9261 mentioned in support of Annex 14 Vol II and updated information regarding fire fighting equipment and refueling systems.
Our local hospital, we are always keen to support them in anyway we can. This tasking was the 24 month CAP1264 compliance review. As usual the team were so supportive. This is our fifth certified hospital helipad in the UK.
Feasibility study at the Redditch Hospital, great little site which will be enhanced thanks to the generosity of the HELP Charity. We looked at three options for the site, found and mounded and raised.
Representing CAAI, we conducted a feasibility study at the Worcester Royal Hospital. They are currently into a huge regeneration package which will include relocating the old HLS to a new site outside the emergency Department. Great team and really enjoyed the technical challenges of the new location.
We had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Royal London Hospital in early November to discuss inspection and certification process. What a wonderful place, great to be on a hospital heliport that employs a dedicated fire and response team. Awesome facilities and to top it off, probably one of the best views in London! Thank you Team RLH!
So proud to work with Vega and GSP Offshore recently updating the helideck teams on regulatory compliance. Usually this training would take place face to face, however due to travel and Covid restriction we delivered via Zoom to two offshore platforms and the onshore HQ. Great fun, great audience.
This document covers the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) related articles within the Air Navigation Order that will remain relevant after the 31 December 2020 amendment, which has been made as a result of the introduction of the new UAS regulations on the same date. It provides readers with an outline of the revised regulations as they now appear in law and provides guidance on their effects. It replaces CAP 1763.
After almost 2 years of work and co-ordination between various agencies, funding has been approved for the new Campbeltown Helipad which will see a new helipad installation in support of the Campbeltown and surrounding areas community. It means the hospital will now have a 24/7 helipad whereas previously helicopters had to land at the local airport during the hours of darkness.
This Safety Directive/Operational Directive replaces and revokes SD 2019/002 and is made in the interests of safety of operations to offshore locations (helidecks) for the reasons set out in Chapters 10 and 14 of CAP 1145. Additionally, it is made in further response to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) Safety Recommendations 2003-133 and 135 issued following the accident to Eurocopter AS332L Super Puma G-BKZE at the West Navion drillship on 10 November 2001, and Safety Recommendation (SR) 2011-053 issued following the accident to Eurocopter EC225 LP Super Puma, G-REDU, when approaching the ETAP Central Production Facility platform on 18 February 2009. This SD incorporates updated references to CAP 437 and minor textual edits together with new requirement for Helideck Monitoring Systems.
Report on air accident in Port of Bergen, Hordaland county, Norway, 10 May 2017 involving Airbus Helicopters AS 350 B3, G-HKCN
10 May 2017 a British registered helicopter of the type Airbus Helicopters AS 350 B3 with three persons on board was about to land on the helideck on a yacht, when the helicopter lost control and crashed into the sea.
The helicopter was equipped with flotation gear and floated upside down in the sea. One person was seriously injured and two persons got minor injuries. The investigation revealed a lack of follow-up of the described routines for preparation for helicopter operations on board the yacht. Among other things, the helideck was not adequately prepared.
A tarpaulin covering a fuel tank on the helideck was not adequately secured. The helicopter established hover over the helideck, and stood in low hover over the deck for approx. 15 seconds. During these seconds, the tarpaulin loosened due to the downdraft from the main rotor. The helicopter was flown by a pilot who had minimal experience on the helicopter type.
The person had not received any type rating in his pilot's license yet, since the skill test had occurred the day before the accident. When the tarpaulin came loose, the commander, who was a flight instructor, tried to manoeuvre the helicopter away from the tarpaulin. He was not able to do so since this happened very quickly. The damage sustained by the main rotor made the helicopter uncontrollable.
No safety recommendation is issued in connection with this investigation.
Some key points from the investigation from a helideck perspective:
If the yacht had been in commercial operation, it would have been subject to certification in accordance with Annex 6 of the Large Yacht Code or CAP 437 (Standards for offshore helicopter landing areas, Civil Aviation Authority UK). Annex 6 only covers the technical aspects of the landing area, and the operational circumstances would have been under the requirements for ISM certification.
In spite of the fact that it was not required from any authority, M/Y Bacarella nevertheless had a Helicopter Operations Manual on board. The procedures laid down in this manual to prepare for helicopter landings were not adhered to on the day of the accident. The newly employed first mate was not properly trained or briefed on the tasks and responsibilities in the role as HLO.
The manual's check list for preparing for helicopter operations says the following about loose items on the helideck:
Any loose items in the vicinity of the helideck must be secured immediately or reported to the HLO.
The yacht's master explained that he felt pressed for time to prepare the ship for the helicopter landing. He accepted to rush the preparation. As a result, several issues in the Helicopter Operations Manual were omitted.
The fire fighting equipment was not prepared for use on the helideck, and a safety tender was not set out.
Many lessons identified and hopefully learned:
Yacht owners / brokers are now beginning to reaslise that Private Ops may not be the best option, get your helideck and supporting infrastructure assessed by a credable organisation.
Gret having an Ops Manual, but do you use it to prop up the galley table or let it gather dust on the pretty bookshelf? An Ops manual is a living breathing document, use it, learn from it and develop it.
Was the HLO trained, if so when was the last time he operated aviation. Final checks prior to landing, if in doubt refer to the Ops manual.
Never feel pressurised to conduct flying ops if you feel something is not right. I know for me sitting at my office desk it is easy for me to say this, and I knwo first hand the pressure the team maybe under to rush, but please please when in these situations, stop and think of the consquences of your actions and decision making process.
What do you think was goiing through the mind of that HLO post the crash,?
NEVER EVER BE AFRAID TO SAY STOP!
This publication provides the criteria applied by the CAA in assessing the standards of offshore helicopter landing areas for worldwide use by helicopters registered in the United Kingdom.
Edition 8 amendment 01/2018 is issued to clarify aspects of the final specification and installation arrangements for the Lit Touchdown/ Positioning Marking Circle and Lit Heliport Identification ‘H’ Marking. The requirement for floodlighting to aid the visual task of final approach, hover and landing is removed.
Chapter 5 has been re-written to amplify new international best practices. The NUI fire-fighting scheme has been updated including withdrawl of the 2011 industry letter.
A further update of the helideck surface section is presented with the introduction of a new helideck contamination scale, waiving of full-scale testing of legacy profiled helidecks, and further refinements to best practice including an update to the Friction Survey Protocol. Finally, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Requirements for Air Operators, Operational Requirements Part-OPS, Annex VI Part SPA (AMC1 SPA.HOFO.115 Use of offshore locations) has been refined in Appendix A to ensure it fully reflects best practice for operations on the UKCS.
A great week working in the Netherlands and UK. Back to basics with assisting FMTC to develop a bespoke helideck training facility which emulates and brings awesome training fidelity to students.
We kicked around the idea on paper some 5 weeks ago and this week we were almost complete with a full-scale helideck marked out correctly as per CAP 437 with induced restrictions in the LOS, OFS and 5:1 to get the student thinking, heli-refuelling system and primary / secondary/complimentary fire suppression systems installed, briefing area for toolbox talks and heli-admin.
Not only are we just ticking the OPITO / NOGEPA HLO HOIT training requirement, but we are also taking it a step further to ensure students are confident and ready to build competence in their working environment when they leave the training unit.
So refreshing and awesome to be working with a company who are innovators and willing to invest in quality training which is already paying dividends in student feedback and uptake.
Topped off with Co-chairing the Helioffshore Helideck Work Group meeting with members from around the globe and a UK hospital helipad survey to support improvements to the site in order to operate day and night HEMS ops.
As a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society Rotorcraft Committee, I was given the task of organising this year's Alan Bristow Memorial Lecture which was held at the RAeS in London.
This years theme was The Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier, presented by Admiral Sir Simon Lister KCB OBE. Sir Simon has the responsibility of delivering our new aircraft carriers. What a presentation.....simply inspiring.
The link below is a recording of the lecture which was lauded as one of the most memorable AB lectures to date.
We recently delivered support services to Seaway Heavy Lift in preparation for the deployment of the Heavy Lift Vessel Oleg Strashnov to the UKCS where she will be working on several wind farm development projects. The Captain and crew were absolutely fantastic hosts and working with them on this "mighty machine" was a joy. They are ready in all respects for aviation!