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AIM 

12/2/21 

TBL 10

1

Helicopter Use of Standard Instrument Approach Procedures 

Procedure 

Helicopter Visibility 

Minima 

Helicopter MDA/DA 

Maximum Speed Limitations 

Conventional 
(non

Copter) 

The greater of: one half 
the Category A visibility 
minima, 

1

/

4

 statute mile 

visibility, or 1200 RVR 

As published for 
Category A 

The helicopter may initiate the final 
approach segment at speeds up to 
the upper limit of the highest 
approach category authorized by the 
procedure, but must be slowed to no 
more than 90 KIAS at the MAP in 
order to apply the visibility 
reduction. 

Copter Procedure 

As published 

As published 

90 KIAS maximum when on a 
published route/track. 

RNAV (GPS) Copter 
Procedure 

As published 

As published 

The maximum speed for a Copter 
approach will be 90 KIAS or as 
published on the chart. Note: Higher 
approach angles may require a 
lower approach speed and aircraft 
V

MINI

. Military procedures are 

limited to 90 KIAS for all segments. 

NOTE

 

Several factors affect the ability of the pilot to acquire and 
maintain the visual references specified in 14 CFR 
Section 91.175(c), even in cases where the flight visibility 
may be at the minimum derived from the criteria in 
TBL 10

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1. These factors include, but are not limited to: 

1. 

Cockpit cutoff angle (the angle at which the cockpit or 

other airframe structure limits downward visibility below 
the horizon). 

2. 

Combinations of high MDA/DH and low visibility 

minimum, such as approaches with reduced helicopter 
visibility minima (per 14 CFR Section 97.3). 

3. 

Type, configuration, and intensity of approach and 

runway/heliport lighting systems. 

4. 

Type of obscuring phenomenon and/or windshield 

contamination. 

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3.  Helicopter Approach Procedures 

to VFR Heliports 

a. 

The FAA may develop helicopter instrument 

approaches for heliports that do not meet the design 
standards for an IFR heliport. The majority of IFR 
approaches to VFR heliports are developed in support 
of Helicopter Air Ambulance (HAA) operators. 
These approaches may require use of conventional 
NAVAIDS or a RNAV system (e.g., GPS). They may 
be developed either as a special approach (pilot 
training is required for special procedures due to their 
unique characteristics) or a public approach (no 

special training required). These instrument proce-
dures may be designed to guide the helicopter to a 
specific landing area (Proceed Visually) or to a 
point

in

space with a “Proceed VFR” segment. 

1.  An approach to a specific landing area. 

This type of approach is aligned to a missed approach 
point from which a landing can be accomplished with 
a maximum course change of 30 degrees. The visual 
segment from the MAP to the landing area is 
evaluated for obstacle hazards. These procedures are 
annotated: “PROCEED VISUALLY FROM (named 
MAP) OR CONDUCT THE SPECIFIED MISSED 
APPROACH.” 

(a) 

“Proceed Visually” requires the pilot to 

acquire and maintain visual contact with the landing 
area at or prior to the MAP, or execute a missed 
approach. The visibility minimum is based on the 
distance from the MAP to the landing area, among 
other factors. 

(b) 

The pilot is required to have the published 

minimum visibility throughout the visual segment 
flying the path described on the approach chart. 

(c) 

Similar to an approach to a runway, the 

pilot is responsible for obstacle or terrain avoidance 
from the MAP to the landing area. 

(d) 

Upon reaching the published MAP, or as 

soon as practicable thereafter, the pilot should advise 

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Helicopter IFR Operations