Safety Promotion

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Issue 2.2

EHEST has developed this comprehensive and fully illustrated Helicopter Flight Instructor guide based on a manual developed by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and other international organisations. CASA kindly made the contents of the publication available to EHEST for dissemination without restriction. In issue 1, EHEST incorporated changes to reflect European terminology and syllabus content and also enriched the manual.

This leaflet aims to reinforce to pilots the need to understand aviation weather, including the appropriate threat assessments and strategies to adopt in relation to pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight operations for a helicopter flight to be conducted under Visual Meteorology Conditions (VMC).

This leaflet discusses the factors affecting helicopter performance. It then provides pilots with guidance, tips and techniques to ensure safe operations.

Most of performance-related accidents can be avoided if the pilot is conscious of the performance limitations of the operated rotorcraft.

Pilots should keep in mind that performance calculations must be part of each and every flight preparation briefing.

The Mission Request Vade Mecum has been developed to help emergency front-line personnel to safely deal with helicopters. Policemen, firefighters, ambulances, and all the personnel who may be involved in requesting and handling a helicopter mission will benefit from the tool. A comprehensive document explains what information should be given to the helicopter pilot and describes how to set up the landing area. Together with the emergency dispatch centre they can go through the R.O.M.A. checklist in order to quickly check all the required information and  safety provisions.

Here is a link to the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) webpage dealing with Safety Management. Several Safety Promotion materials and toolkits are available.
In particular, SMS toolkits (please use the latest version) are available in English and Spanish.

The EHEST MARIA Risk Assessment Toolkit contains a methodology and a database system that support safety studies and keep track of hazards and other risk assessment elements. Safety studies are organised around causes,  hazardous events (or hazards), consequences and safety barriers. Elements are linked together to describe cause-effect relations and orient action. MARIA functionalities include producing reports and exporting data to external databases and safety documents.

This tool has been developed to allow pilots and technicians to evaluate the actual risk of the flight or of the maintenance.
The tool is based on the PAVE (Pilot, Aircraft, environment, External pressure) check list and adapted for the type of flight (HEMS, leisure, training, passenger, etc.).
The final purpose is to make pilots and technicians aware that simple factors, when combined, can raise the total risk significantly, eventually resulting  in a situation where the helicopter should not flight unless some of the risk factors are mitigated.

This leaflet provides guidance and safety tips for pilots, instructors and examiners on the subject of training and testing of emergency and abnormal procedures.

This leaflet provides guidance to helicopter instructors and examiners on how to conduct aircrew training and testing in Flight Simulator Training Devices (FSTDs), and provides basic principles on how to get the best use of this invaluable training asset. The benefits of FSTDs are covered in the previously published leaflet HE6 Advantages of Simulators (FSTDs) in Helicopter Flight Training.

This leaflet identifies current best practice on automation and flight path management. Over the years helicopter manufacturers have used more automation to assist crews and reduce manual flying workload. The rapid advances in technology have given rise to significant capabilities. Automation has contributed substantially to the sustained improvement of flight safety. Automation increases the timeliness and precision of routine procedures reducing the opportunity for errors and the associated risks to the safety of the flight.

The EHEST European Helicopter Safety Analysis Team (EHSAT) published between 2008 and 2015 three accidents reports using an adapted version of the taxonomy developed by the IHST Join Helicopter Safety Analysis Team (JHSAT) and the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS). 

EHSAT Regional Teams (RTs) spread all through Europe analysed hundreds of national accident reports and EASA aggregated and further analysed results centrally.

EHEST has developed this Helicopter Flight Instructor manual based on a manual developed by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), incorporating extensive feedback from the helicopter training community. CASA has kindly made this manual available to EHEST for dissemination. EHEST has incorporated  changes to reflect European terminology and syllabus contents and also enriched the manual.

This leaflet introduces and illustrates the concept of Threat and Error Management (TEM) to flight crews and training organisations. Data analysis confirms that a continuing significant number of helicopter accidents occur due to poor decision making and human performance  both prior and during flight. This leaflet contributes to address these weaknesses by describing and illustrating a methodology to manage threats and errors. 

Technology is not high on the list of accident factors, as it is merely the lack of technology that may have led to an accident.
Technology provides a variety of solutions that can contribute to prevent various types of accidents or to increase survivability.
The EHSIT Specialist Team Technology of EHEST was created to assess the potential of existing and emerging technologies to mitigate accident factors.

This Toolkit has been created by the Specialist Team Operations & SMS of EHEST. The SMM Version 1 for Non-Complex operators has been developed with consideration of Annex III of the EU regulation on Air Operations, Part ORO Subpart GEN Section II ‘Management System’ and the relevant AMCs and GM published in October 2012. It will be particularly useful for Non-Complex operators with limited experience of running a Safety Management System (SMS).

This leaflet presents techniques for helicopter operations in hilly and mountainous terrain. It helps pilots and instructors understand basic principles, threats, errors and possible undesirable aircraft states when flying in mountainous terrain. Developed in partnership with major stakeholders, the leaflet also provides guidance to manage the risks associated with these operations.

This leaflet emphasises the advantages of simulators in helicopter flight training. The document presents the various helicopter flight simulation training devices available and reviews the additional training and safety benefits related to recent technological and regulatory developments.

The EHEST Safety Management Toolkit for Complex Operators has been developed by the Specialist Team Operations and Safety Management System (EHSIT ST Ops and SMS) of EHEST. It has been developed with consideration given to Annex III of the EU regulation on Air Operations, Part ORO Subpart GEN Section II ‘Management System’ and the relevant AMCs and GM published in October 2012, and is therefore specially adapted to European operators.

This leaflet provides tools and methods to improve risk management in training. Training for autorotation is used as a practical example to illustrate the method.

The US Helicopter Association International (HAI) produced a 30-minute video taking us through the 12 principles of SMS.

English version

Italian version

This leaflet focuses on Decision Making.
Decision Making is a major factor in aircraft accidents and incidents. Pilots intend to fly safely, but can make errors. EHST data show that the majority of fatal crashes are attributable to decision errors rather than to perceptual or execution errors.
While human error can not be eliminated, a thorough understanding of human factors principles can lead to appropriate strategies, means and approaches to prevent most errors, better detect and manage them, and mitigate their adverse consequences on  safety.

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.


This leaflet presents  the main helicopter ground operations signals.

This leaflet deals with Airmanship in helicopter operations.
Airmanship is defined by EASA Part FCL as: “The consistent use of good judgement and well-developed knowledge, skills and attitudes to accomplish flight objective”.  The EHEST analysis of helicopter accidents occurred in Europe between 2000 and 2005 revealed 140 General Aviation  accidents. The report identifies the following major factors:



This video presents the importance of Decision Making for all kinds of helicopter operations.
It emphasises flight preparation and the benefit to revisit decisions during the flight: "There is no shame in declining, diverting or landing in a field" to preserve safety on board!

This video raises awareness on Loss of Control in flight, due to poor weather conditions where visual references may be lost, and explains how not to get caught in these conditions.

This document is an example of pre-flight planning checklist.

Operators should adapt it to their operations.

This Leaflet covers the following subjects:

- Degraded Visual Environment (DVE),
- Vortex Ring State (VRS),
- Loss of Tail Rotor Effectiveness (LTE),
- Static & Dynamic Rollover, and
- Pre-flight planning Checklist.

This video raises awareness on the dangers of electric wires and towers, standing below 1000ft and how to avoid collision with cables.

English version

Spanish version

This video provides helicopter pilots with some advice to manage their passengers, and not to compromise flight safety.

This video aims at explaining helicopter passengers how to behave when flying in a helicopter. It also emphasises that poor weather conditions may lead to flight delay or cancellation, in order to ensure safety. Passengers should accept pilot decisions and avoid pressing the pilot to fly in unsafe conditions.

French version of the video

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