Advice for helicopter pilots in harsh winter conditions
Article by by Anette Kruhaug Haldorsen, Jan. 9, 2022…

Norway is a demanding country for helicopter operations. There are many factors involved during the winter season. Icing, white-out, snow landing, weather, flameout, fuel, starting in cold weather, parking outside, skids stuck to the ground, frozen ground and more.

To avoid white-out it’s important to:
1. Avoid flying at low altitude over snow covered surfaces without prober references.
2. Do not fly into heavy snow showers.
3. If it’s not possible to see the difference between ground and horizon, turn around or land.

Different technics may be used to reduce the risk of entering self-induced white-out conditions:
1. If possible, stop in high hover and try to blow the snow away. Be aware of different snow types, and that the snow may start to recirculate suddenly when the helicopter is close to the ground.
2. Do not attempt to land if there is no object you can use as a reference during landing.
3. Perform a fast approach with a slightly forward movement and avoid low hovering.
4. Turn the nose of the helicopter, so the reference is visible at all time and fly close to it.
5. Make use of landing lights.
6. At take-off, lift the helicopter slowly to light on skids. If white out conditions occur land immediately, if not a max performance take off shall be performed with a slightly forward movement and always keep a point as a reference. Avoid hovering.

More in this informative article.

I use this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful Christmas time and a Happy New Year! Michel, ESPN-R Coordinator

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