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So your Principal wants to fly helicopter

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

There are many reasons why you might find yourself in or around helicopters while providing protection. You could be going on a sight seeing tour. Many executives or celebrities might prefer a helicopter on those short flights let's say from Los Angeles to Las Vegas or those mountain terrains such as a landing in Yellowstone. How about those unfortunate situations such as a medical exfiltration? Here are some tips while moving about those egg beaters from the sky.

1) Pay attention to the briefing the pilot will give you before your ride on the helicopter. If it is sightseeing then the ride may be new to you and your principal. You are the principal's eyes and ears. If the principal is familiar with the procedures but you are not then make sure you have a good understanding on how the pilot wants you to approach and depart the helicopter.

2) Only approach the helicopter when the pilot tells you to do so. ALWAYS approach the helicopter from the front so that the pilot can see you. Approach from an angle, it is easier to be seen due to the structure of the cockpit. If you are waiting for your principal you can make sure that the helipad is adequately lit and secure. Make sure no obstructions, including people, are in the walking path of your principal. Wear appropriate eye and hearing protection.

3) If the helicopter rotors are turning you can still approach but make sure you and your principal are crouched, more so if the principal is tall. Make sure that hats are secure if an item blows away do not let your principal chase it as it can be dangerous. Get your principal on he helicopter then determine what to do with the item.

4) Don't smoke or run within 50 to 100 feet of the helicopter. The blades and the wind can be fierce. Do not drive any vehicles within 100 feet of the helicopter unless the rotors are stopped and the pilot tells you it is okay.

5) Only exit when told that it is safe to do so by the pilot. The departure and arrival are of equal importance.

6) In the unfortunate situation that you need to prepare a landing zone in a medical crisis try and get a landing zone that is 100 feet by 100 feet. You can have a slight slope but make sure the LZ (landing zone) is not a big hill. Understandably pick an area free of debris and equipment. You want the four corners of your LZ highly visible at night and during the daytime. PLEASE do not shine a light directly at the pilot.

I hope this helps you during those times that you may need to experience travel by helicopter. If by chance your principal is the pilot all safety rules still apply. As usual stay safe and vigilant always.

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