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H1 Helipad Access

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Anyone know much about this? From the HAC website


HAC to Raise H1 Helipad Access Issues

March 8, 2016



The Association has been receiving a flurry of calls both from operators and hospitals about helicopter access to H1 Helipads. Apparently, Transport Canada has been providing instructions to helicopter operators that under no circumstances shall a Single-Engine Helicopter or Class II Multi-Engine helicopter approach to land at an H1 Helipad even for the purposes of saving human life. Strictly applied, this would mean that a patient with life-threatening injuries would need to be transferred to an airport by helicopter, before being brought to a hospital via land ambulance. HAC has questioned this interpretation. This could present a potentially life-threatening delay that could be avoided by allowing the helicopter to deliver the patient directly to the hospital, with very little risk. What's more, most of the helicopters that are currently certified for operations in to H1 helipads, are not widely available in many areas of Canada, and many of them are not capable of landing at accident scenes in the bush or on a mountainside where ad hoc emergency evacuation is often required.

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Plenty of H1 certified helicopters around most elevated hospital helipads - maybe provincial ambulance services should stop being so cheap and use better aircraft!


It has nothing to do with provincial ambulance services, in my opinion,... What about a local SAR team using a B2 to fly an injured snow mobiler out of an avalanche? If the guy is dying why shouldn't that Astar be allowed to land at the hospital?

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Heliports are classified by the obstacle environment within which the heliport is located and the availability of emergency landing areas. The obstacle environment and the availability of emergency landing areas will dictate the performance capabilities required by the helicopters using the heliport.


Information Note 2:


Heliports are divided into two categories: instrument and non-instrument. Non-instrument heliports have three classifications: H1, H2 and H3.


(a) a non-instrument heliport is classified as H1 if the heliport is located within an obstacle environment where


(i) there is no emergency landing area within 625 m from the FATO, and


(ii) the helicopters using the heliport can be operated at a weight, and in such a manner that, in case of an engine failure at any time during approach or take-off, the helicopters can either


(A) land and safely stop on the FATO or TLOF area, or


(B) safely continue the flight to an appropriate landing area;


(B) a non-instrument heliport is classified as H2 if the heliport is located within an obstacle environment where


(i) the height of the obstacles are infringing the first section slope of the approach and take-off surface set out in Table 4-1, and


(ii) there are reachable emergency landing or rejected take-off areas within 625 m of the FATO in relation to the altitude of the helicopter and its performance with one engine inoperative;


© a non-instrument heliport is classified as H3 if the heliport is located within an obstacle environment where


(i) the height of obstacles do not penetrate any of the obstacle limitation surface (OLS) requirements set out in Table 4-1, and


(ii) there are reachable emergency landing areas or rejected take-off areas within 625 m of the FATO in relation to the altitude of the helicopter and its performance during autorotation.


Information Note:


The main factor in determining the suitability of emergency landing areas will be the helicopter type with the most critical performance characteristics the heliport is intended to serve.


Helicopter Performance Requirements


(2) For the purposes of paragraph 305.19(B) of the Canadian Aviation Regulations, the heliport classifications in respect of performance requirements of helicopters that are expected to use the heliport are the following:


(a) helicopters permitted to use an H1 heliport shall be multi-engined and capable of remaining at least 4.5 m (15 feet) above all obstacles within the approach/departure area in accordance with subsection 325.29(3) when operating in accordance with their aircraft flight manual with one engine inoperative; and


(B) helicopters permitted to use an H2 heliport shall be multi-engined.



I believe this regulation has been on the books for a long time.

Use your opinion with caution because if things go sideways...........

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The major hospitals on the mid/north island went to H1 a few years ago. It is stupid. Comox, Nanaimo, and Campbell River all have easy to access non-rooftop pads (well, CR is going to be rooftop when they complete the new hospital).


For our company and all local operators it has been a thorn. Most guys were landing at these pads for 20 years and now TC decided you can't unless you are in a Cat A twin.


If you see a 355NP on the float barge slinging chokers and setting crews on the hill at $3000/hr maybe it's because the contractor didn't want to risk waiting for Helijet to come get them if shiz went south.


More likely we will continue landing at the hospital if it is "life or death" as directed by the paramedic on board. Deal with the fallout later. The paramedics are just as frustrated with it.

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It sounds like an Ivory Tower directive from Transport Canada, especially with the unbelievable statement "even for the purposes of saving human life." I see the potential for law suits if: (a) a patient dies and (B) the helicopter crew/company can prove that the patient delivery could have been done safely to the H1 helipad IAW the flight manual.


In the end this becomes a moral decision on the part of the aircraft captain - save a life or don't break a TC regulation to save a life - sounds like my aviation tribunal would be front page news in the papers because I broke a regulation to save a human life.


How would TC look then?

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A 355NP isn't a CAT A aircraft. The only CAT A heli pad on the coast is london air private estate on Sonara island and thats just to keep the peasant out.


Nice to see HAC is racing to the bottom, and using human life as an excuse to push there going cheap agenda. Change can be scary.

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Guys take a minute and think about what could potentially happen with an engine failure with a single engine helicopter on approach or departure and how many lives could potentially be lost to try and save one life? Google helicopter crash and hospital and you will see how many times things have gone south over the years around the world.


The rules are written for a reason, if you operate in an area with a H1 helipad and you have a single engine helicopter I suggest doing some research before hand and look for a safe landing spot that is as close to the hospital as you can safely get. If need be arrange for the fire department or RCMP to secure a parking lot, field etc and have an ambulance meet you there. Proper planning ahead of time can make a major difference when the time comes to putting it into action. The only thing I find odd about the way the regs are written is the 15 foot obstacle clearance (ground effect) have heard this may have been put in place for some not so CAT A twins. Try and find an aircraft chart that will support 15 foot clearance.....

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