Safety Alert 1/2015
25th March, 2015


This month our Safety Alert newsletter has a focus on global Offshore Helideck developments over the past 12 months. We trust you will find it informative.

Colin Weir
Managing Director, Flight Safety Pty Ltd.



Helideck inspection is a demanding and unforgiving science - mistakes in this particular inspection regime can be disastrous in terms of cost and safety.

It therefore stands to reason that all inspectors should be appropriately trained by qualified trainers with in-depth experience.  

Serious mistakes have been made with unqualified personnel signing helidecks off as CAP 437 compliant.

For example...

During a reinspection of a helideck that had been signed off as CAP 437 compliant, it was discovered that the white line delineating the safe landing area had been moved back to accommodate recently installed equipment in the Limited Obstacle Sector (LOS).
The green perimeter lights had in turn been moved to be coincident with this line, in compliance with CAP 437 requirements, however what hadn't been taken into account was that the safe landing area had been reduced in size, creating an unsafe landing environment for the Super Puma AS332 helicopters in use.
This critical factor had been missed during the previous inspection.

A contributory factor to this phenomenon has been the isolation of expertise and knowledge, largely confined to the UK region, leaving the rest of the world to attempt to emulate the CAP 437 with associated, self-imposed inspection processes.

This has changed with the recent formation of HeliOffshore, a safety organisation that has no direct commercial involvement in helideck inspections and will therefore function as an independent safety authority and in doing so fill this global gap.

Flight Safety Helideck Certification Pty Ltd (Australia) and Helideck Certification - Africa Pty Ltd (Cape Town), our sister company in South Africa, have now become members of HeliOffshore as we believe this collective gathering of expertise can channel Helideck safety knowledge globally, benefiting all concerned.


April 30 2014

This article sets the scene for recent developments.

"The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced a series of measures which aim to increase the safety of offshore helicopter flights. These changes are the result of a review undertaken in conjunction with the Norwegian CAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) following a number of fatal accidents in the North Sea. Significant measures announced importantly include increased restrictions on flying in certain weather conditions, changes to seating configurations and increased safety equipment on board, as well as proposed changes to helipads."

Read more at Lexology >>

29 Jan 2015

A recent update from Flight Global 


"Advances in safety reasoning related to offshore oil support helicopter operations are rapidly being consolidated into practical measures, according to the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

The agency has published an interim report assessing progress in its plan, launched in February 2014, to improve sector safety. The safety review was prompted, it says, by "five significant accidents between 2009 and 2013".


In the report, the CAA highlights the principal areas receiving attention: improving passengers' chance of escape and rescue in the event of ditching, reducing risks around helidecks, raising pilot training standards - especially for flight in instrument meteorological conditions, improving understanding of technical failures - especially in critical parts, and making technical failure alerts more reliable and effective.


The agency says: "Ten months on from the publication of our review, substantial progress has been made toward improvements in offshore helicopter safety."




"One of the key findings of the CAA's review was that while helicopter operators all had their own safety management systems (SMS), there were differences in what these addressed. However, the CAA notes that operators had already recognised this issue before the publication of the review, and launched their own initiative - the Joint Operators' Review - which aims to share safety data and identify and agree on best practices. This led to the establishment of Heli Offshore on 21 October 2014 - a safety organisation involving five of the world's largest helicopter operators."

Read on at Flight Global >>

29 Sep 2014

A HSE approach underway in he US  


The federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is accepting comments on an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that concerns the safety of helideck and aviation fuel operations on fixed offshore facilities. The ANPRM asks whether BSEE should incorporate in its regulations certain industry and international standards for the design, construction, and maintenance of offshore helidecks, as well as standards for aviation fuel quality, storage, and handling.


 Read on at OHS Online >>

Tailboom accident
Feb 2015

A valuable Accident Investigation resource 


The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is part of the Department for Transport and is responsible for the investigation of civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within the UK and its overseas territories.


The latest bulletin covers a wide variety of investigations, but the archives are also a valuable resource. 

Read the full February 2015 Bulletin >>

Flight Safety Pty Ltd
+61 7 5448 2788

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Peregian Springs 4573, QLD Australia