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Special Operations

(b) Oil Field Supervisors

(1) If presence of hydrogen sulfide is

detected, a red rotating beacon or red high intensity

strobe light adjacent to the primary helideck stairwell

or wind indicator on the structure should be turned on

to provide visual warning of hazard. If the beacon is

to be located near the stairwell, the State of Louisiana

“Offshore Heliport Design Guide” and FAA

Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5390−2A, Heliport

Design Guide, should be reviewed to ensure proper

clearance on the helideck.

(2) Notify nearby helicopter operators and

bases of the hazard and advise when hazard is cleared.

(3) Provide a safety briefing to include

location of protective equipment to all arriving


(4) Wind socks or indicator should be

clearly visible to provide upwind indication for the


h. Gas Venting Helideck/Heliport Operational

Hazard Warning(s)/Procedures − Operations

Near Gas Vent Booms

1. Background. Ignited flare booms can re-

lease a large volume of natural gas and create a hot

fire and intense heat with little time for the pilot to

react. Likewise, unignited gas vents can release

reasonably large volumes of methane gas under

certain conditions. Thus, operations conducted very

near unignited gas vents require precautions to

prevent inadvertent ingestion of combustible gases

by the helicopter engine(s). The following practices

are recommended.

2. Pilots

(a) Gas will drift upwards and downwind of

the vent. Plan the approach and takeoff to observe and

avoid the area downwind of the vent, remaining as far

away as practicable from the open end of the vent


(b) Do not attempt to start or land on an

offshore helideck when the deck is downwind of a gas

vent unless properly trained personnel verify

conditions are safe.

3. Oil Field Supervisors

(a) During venting of large amounts of

unignited raw gas, a red rotating beacon or red high

intensity strobe light adjacent to the primary helideck

stairwell or wind indicator should be turned on to

provide visible warning of hazard. If the beacon is to

be located near the stairwell, the State of Louisiana

“Offshore Heliport Design Guide” and FAA

AC 150/5390−2A, Heliport Design Guide, should be

reviewed to ensure proper clearance from the


(b) Notify nearby helicopter operators and

bases of the hazard for planned operations.

(c) Wind socks or indicator should be clearly

visible to provide upward indication for the pilot.

i. Helideck/Heliport Operational Warn-

ing(s)/Procedure(s)  − Closed Helidecks or


1. Background. A white “X” marked diago-

nally from corner to corner across a helideck or

heliport touchdown area is the universally accepted

visual indicator that the landing area is closed for

safety of other reasons and that helicopter operations

are not permitted. The following practices are


(a) Permanent Closing. If a helideck or

heliport is to be permanently closed, X diagonals of

the same size and location as indicated above should

be used, but the markings should be painted on the

landing area.


White Decks: If a helideck is painted white, then

international orange or yellow markings can be used for

the temporary or permanent diagonals.

(b) Temporary Closing. A temporary

marker can be used for hazards of an interim nature.

This marker could be made from vinyl or other

durable material in the shape of a diagonal “X.” The

marker should be white with legs at least 20 feet long

and 3 feet in width. This marker is designed to be

quickly secured and removed from the deck using

grommets and rope ties. The duration, time, location,

and nature of these temporary closings should be

provided to and coordinated with company aviation

departments, nearby helicopter bases, and helicopter

operators supporting the area. These markers MUST

be removed when the hazard no longer exists. 

(See FIG 10−2−2.)