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National Security and Interception Procedures

FIG 5−6−1

Intercept Procedures

c. Helicopter Intercept phases (See FIG 5−6−2)

1. Approach Phase.

Aircraft intercepted by helicopter may be approached

from any direction, although the helicopter should

close for identification and signaling from behind.

Generally, the helicopter will approach off the left

side of the intercepted aircraft. Safe separation

between the helicopter and the unidentified aircraft

will be maintained at all times.

2. Identification Phase.

The helicopter will initiate a controlled closure

toward the aircraft of interest, holding at a distance no

closer than deemed necessary to establish positive

identification and gather the necessary information.

The intercepted pilot should expect the interceptor

helicopter to take a position off his left wing slightly

forward of abeam.

3. Post Intercept Phase.

Visual signaling devices may be used in an attempt to

communicate with the intercepted aircraft. Visual

signaling devices may include, but are not limited to,

LED scrolling signboards or blue flashing lights. If

compliance is not attained through the use of radios

or signaling devices, standard ICAO intercept signals

(Table 5-6-1) may be employed. In order to maintain

safe aircraft separation, it is incumbent upon the pilot

of the intercepted aircraft not to fall into a trail

position (directly behind the helicopter) if instructed

to follow the helicopter. This is because the helicopter

pilot may lose visual contact with the intercepted



Intercepted aircraft must not follow directly behind the

helicopter thereby allowing the helicopter pilot to maintain

visual contact with the intercepted aircraft and ensuring

safe separation is maintained.