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EHEST Leaflet HE 3 Helicopter Off Airfield Landing Sites Operations

This leaflet covers the main topics related to off field landing site operations:
- Planning and Preparation,
- Landing Site Identification,
- Landing Site Recce,
- Types of Approach,
- Manoeuvring in the landing site,
- Departure, and
- Pilot errors.


The helicopters ability to approach, manoeuvre, land and take-off from an off airfield Landing Site or unprepared Landing Site is one of the most important aspects of helicopter operations.
The various landing sites such as hotels, golf courses, sporting venues, etc. can vary in their dimensions, approaches, hazards, elevation, and location, the same basic principles should be employed.
Landing sites that are remote from an airfield offer various challenges to the pilot and consequently have resulted in a significant number of accidents. Unlike at an airfield there is generally, little or no assistance in the assessment of wind, guidance on appropriate approach directions or information on other traffic. Hazards not normally experienced at an airfield such as wires, obstructions, uneven landing ground, trees, Foreign Object Damage (FOD), livestock and pedestrians are quite likely to be found and require a heightened degree of situational awareness by the pilot who needs to expect the unexpected!