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The Big "h"

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We're having a "discussion" amongst our crew regarding certfied heli-pads. I think that maybe every country has their own system but I'm specifically wondering about Canada.


I have managed to find an FAA manual online which states that "the legs of the "H" should be aligned with the preferred approach path to the pad". I extrapolate from here that, like a mini-runway, the H should indicate prevailing wind, in the absence of mitigating factors such as obstruction clearance or noise abatement.


Am I right about that and if so (or not) is Canada the same as the U.S.? Unfortunately I have tried and failed to navigate the Canadian sites... I thought I'd found something in French but it turned out to be an article about the "missing H" in spoken French :rolleyes:


The opposing view here seems to lean towards the H pointing North regardless of the pad orientation. At first I thought that was far-fetched, but the country we're in right now, in fact, has every H pointing North so I don't know what to think.






P.S. Surely this won't be controversial...

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Thanks Over-Talk. Now I don't have my A.I.P. with me (nor do I know where it is or if it's been up-dated since we entered the new millenium), so could you tell me if that's for "approach" pads at certified heli-ports/pads?


If so I may have to buy a whack of beer and apologize to a (shudder) engineer! :wacko: I thought for sure I was right when I found it on the FAA site. Then again I flew lots in the States and they always make you use the approach pad at airports (most of the time anyway), in Canada I've hardly ever seen an H on a pad.


Anyway, thanks for that,



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You wrong Vibrator, and having to buy beer to boot? Wait till Skull Cap hear's about this one!



Upon landing there amigo, they skids of the aircraft should be lined up perfectly parallel to the verticals of the "H" ... unless of course a toe mounted nav light is throwing off your alignment!


Besides what are you doing landing on one anyway? Concrete and pavement pads are for pussies :P - real men land on "pads" made of logs and rocks, no? ;)

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I must say that being wrong and having to buck up is a new experience and has left me shaken...


As for the concrete pad stuff... that's all they have here! When I mention log-pads on sidehills they look at me like I'm not speaking their language... wait a minute! I'm not speaking their language! Mystery solved!


Back to the original question:


Almost every time I have landed on a concrete pad containing an "H", I landed with my skids lined up with the legs of said "H". That is usually because the pad is square with a runway, or hangar, or something else, and the "H" is square with the pad. So I am having trouble with the "magnetic North" deal.


Where I am now, however, if you are square with the pad then you are probably 45 degrees off of the "H". And every pad here is the same. Surely I would have noticed this before if the same rules applied in Canada... Or could the missing parts have disoriented me?


Please advise,




P.S. Sorry about calling you "Shirley" VR, I know how much you hate that.

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Hello there Heavy Vibrator...

Yes the H points North.I will be in lovly downtown Sydney in the next couple of months and will miss you dearly when I go for the annual shusi pig out.Was a blast last time.Heck we could build pads out of chop sticks and face them any way we like.

Cheers and have fun Mini..........

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referencing my very updated AIP (since i just passed my PPC and my Class 2 ride :up: )


the letter "H" will be orientated with magnetic north except in areas of compass unreliability where it will be true north........


instead of typing it all out you can find it here: AIP AGA 5.5.3

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