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Offshore Training Scenarios for Commercial Students


HeliUtah
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I am working on revising our Commercial flight syllabus, and want to get some more realistic scenarios, or at the least, skills to emphasize, for various career paths. This week, I am working on Offshore scenarios skills.

 

Of course, I have 300 hours, and nothing to base any scenarios on other than my imagination, so I am soliciting suggestions. I obviously can't fly from platform to platform here in Utah, but I am certain that there are particular skills that come in handy, or that are developed specifically in your environment that can be practiced here.

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Have to agree with helonorth. Not much you can do, except practice pinnacle approaches.

 

Heliports out there can be as small as 23'X23', so keep that in mind when choosing your pinnacles. It's possible there could be an even smaller heliport, but I haven't landed there yet.

 

For the takeoff, perform a hover power check. Climb 5-8 feet vertically and begin accelerating. When coming off a platform you will be 40-100 feet AGL (can you say in the HV curve), so you can sacrifice some altitude for airspeed. If you are at or near max gross weight you can expect to lose some altitude immediately, so be sure you climbed high enough to keep the tail clear.

 

This brings up another point, if you are unable to climb the additional 5-8 fee, DON'T ATTEMPT THE TAKEOFF! I have a personal platform takeoff maximum of 93% torque at a 3 foot hover, in a 206, if I'm not familiar with that helicopter. If I am familiar with the helicopter that number will probably change a little depending on how well that particular helicopter performs.

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always being able to read the winds is another huge one out here. as well as everything that photoflyer said. everyone has personal minimums for where they feel safe and you have to be able to figure those out as a pilot. almost every flight offshore is heavy, its always hot and they are always trying to push a little more. Instill in the students that "NO" is an acceptable even-though you want to get the job done.

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Thanks for the input. It is pretty much in line with where my imagination had taken me, but it is good to have some validation. I'll probably be throwing in a good bit of GPS work along with it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

GPS work, pinnacles, reading the winds, crosswind approaches into pinnacles.

 

If you have a lake or some other body of water nearby take them there and fly along the shore and read the winds.

 

You could go into OSAP procedures in IFR training, but that only comes into play once someone gets into an IFR program in the GoM anyway really. If someone had everything for an IFR ride mastered you may toss the idea out there and see if the student can do the research required to figure out what an OSAP is and how to do it, but if someone is struggling I wouldn't recommend it.

 

Crosswind approaches into pinnacles I recommend because you never know when you'll have to land on a platform or rig when the winds just aren't conducive to a landing into the wind due to obstacles.

 

Fuel planning and weight and balance come into play a lot, but that information should be taught anyway. Scenarios that push the limits of fuel and weight would be good for ground school.

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Crosswind approaches into pinnacles I recommend because you never know when you'll have to land on a platform or rig when the winds just aren't conducive to a landing into the wind due to obstacles.

 

Fuel planning and weight and balance come into play a lot, but that information should be taught anyway. Scenarios that push the limits of fuel and weight would be good for ground school.

 

I would second the x-wind approaches and takeoffs. When they position a drilling rig, the orientation of the helipad is the least of their concerns.

 

I would also throw in emergencies. What you do over land, may not be what you would do while flying over water. And keep in mind that there may not necessarily be a right answer to how you would handle the emergency. It could vary quite a bit depending on the total situation.

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  • 4 months later...

I would second the x-wind approaches and takeoffs. When they position a drilling rig, the orientation of the helipad is the least of their concerns.

 

I would also throw in emergencies. What you do over land, may not be what you would do while flying over water. And keep in mind that there may not necessarily be a right answer to how you would handle the emergency. It could vary quite a bit depending on the total situation.

 

I landed on one today that was 20 x 20 and had obstacles on 2 sides.

 

You might be able to make a nice easy approach into the wind and then have to have turn your tail into the wind to get the tailrotor away from the stairs that the operators use to get down below.

 

Lots to consider in a short period of time. Once you have been to the same platform a couple of hundred time you figure it out!

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