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The HCH specifies a minimum hover height to begin 
the climb to assist in avoiding obstacles. The 
helicopter will leave the departure location on the 
published outbound heading/course specified, climb-
ing at  least 400  ft/per NM  (or  as  depicted  on  the 
chart), remaining clear of clouds, crossing 
at or above  the  IDF  altitude  specified,  prior  to 
proceeding outbound on the procedure. For exam-
ple the chart may include these instructions: “Hover 
at 15 ft AGL, then climb on track 005, remaining 
clear of clouds, to cross PAWLY at or above 700.” 


When flying a PinS SID procedure containing 

a segment with instructions to “proceed VFR,” 
the pilot must keep the aircraft clear of the clouds and 
cross the IDF outbound at or above the altitude 
depicted. Departure procedures that support multiple 

departure locations will have a Proceed VFR segment 
leading to the IDF. The chart will provide a bearing 
and distance to the IDF from the heliport. That 
bearing and distance are for pilot orientation 
purposes only and are not a required  proce-
dure track. The helicopter will leave the departure 
location via pilot navigation in order to align with the 
departure route and comply with the altitude 
specified  at  the  IDF.  For  example,  the  chart  may 
include these instructions: “VFR Climb to WEBBB, 
Cross WEBBB at or above 800.” 


Once the aircraft reaches the IDF, the aircraft 

should proceed  out  the  described  route  as  speci-
fied on the chart, crossing each consecutive fix at or 
above the indicated altitude(s) until reaching the end 
of the departure or as directed by ATC. 

FIG 10


Departure Charts 

Helicopter IFR Operations