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Special Operations


No electrical storms (thunderstorms)

are present within 10 nautical miles. Lightning can
travel great distances beyond the actual thunder-


Passengers disembark the helicopter

and move to a safe location prior to HRR operations.
When the pilot

−in−command deems it necessary for

passenger safety that they remain onboard, passen-
gers should be briefed on the evacuation route to
follow to clear the area.


Passengers not board or disembark

during HRR operations nor should cargo be loaded or


Only designated personnel, trained in

HRR operations should conduct HRR written
authorization to include safe handling of the fuel and
equipment. (See your Company Operations/Safety
Manual for detailed instructions.)


All doors, windows, and access points

allowing entry to the interior of the helicopter that are
adjacent to or in the immediate vicinity of the fuel
inlet ports kept closed during HRR operations.


Pilots ensure that appropriate electrical/

electronic equipment is placed in standby


position, to preclude the possibility of electrical
discharge or other fire hazard, such as [i.e., weather
radar is on standby and no radio transmissions are
made (keying of the microphone/transmitter)].
Remember, in addition to communications radios,
radio transmissions are also emitted by aircraft radar,
transponders, radar altimeters, DME equipment, and


Smoking be prohibited in and around

the helicopter during all HRR operations.

The HRR procedures are critical and present
associated hazards requiring attention to detail
regarding quality control, weather conditions, static
electricity, bonding, and spill/fires potential.

Any activity associated with rotors turning
(i.e.; refueling embarking/disembarking, loading/
unloading baggage/freight; etc.) personnel should
only approach the aircraft when authorized to do so.
Approach should be made via safe approach
path/walkway or “arc”

− remain clear of all rotors.


1. Marine vessels, barges etc.: Vessel motion presents
additional potential hazards to helicopter operations
(blade flex, aircraft movement).

2. See 

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Document 407, “Standard for Aircraft Fuel Servic-

for specifics regarding non

−HRR (routine refueling



−2−2. Helicopter Night VFR Operations

a. Effect of Lighting on Seeing Conditions in

Night VFR Helicopter Operations


This guidance was developed to support safe night VFR
helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) opera-
tions. The principles of lighting and seeing conditions are
useful in any night VFR operation.

While ceiling and visibility significantly affect safety
in night VFR operations, lighting conditions also
have a profound effect on safety. Even in conditions
in which visibility and ceiling are determined to be
visual meteorological conditions, the ability to
discern unlighted or low contrast objects and terrain
at night may be compromised. The ability to discern
these objects and terrain is the seeing condition, and
is related to the amount of natural and man made
lighting available, and the contrast, reflectivity, and
texture of surface terrain and obstruction features. In
order to conduct operations safely, seeing conditions
must be accounted for in the planning and execution
of night VFR operations.

Night VFR seeing conditions can be described by
identifying “high lighting conditions” and “low
lighting conditions.”


High lighting conditions exist when one of

two sets of conditions are present:


The sky cover is less than broken (less

than 5/8 cloud cover), the time is between the local
Moon rise and Moon set, and the lunar disk is at least
50% illuminated; or


The aircraft is operated over surface

lighting which, at least, provides for the lighting of
prominent obstacles, the identification of terrain
features (shorelines, valleys, hills, mountains, slopes)
and a horizontal reference by which the pilot may
control the helicopter. For example, this surface
lighting may be the result of:


Extensive cultural lighting (man


such as a built

−up area of a city),