Securing Helicopters




Tiedown Sense

Securing Helicopters   


Structural damage can occur from high velocity surface winds. Therefore, if at all possible, helicopters should be evacuated to a safe weather area if tornado, hurricane, or winds above 65-75 MPH are anticipated. If helicopters can be hangared, do so. If not, they should be tied down securely. Helicopters that are tied down properly can usually endure winds up to approximately 65-75 mph. Winds in excess of 75 mph will probably cause damage to helicopters. When high winds are anticipated, and helicopters are to be tied down, they should be secured as follows:

a) Head the helicopter in the direction from which the highest forecasted wind or gusts are anticipated.

b) Spot the helicopter slightly more than rotor-span distance from other aircraft.

c) Set and lock wheel brakes. Place wheel chocks fore and aft of all wheels (if available). Secure the chocks by nailing wood cleats from chock to chock on each side of each wheel. Ropes may be substituted if wood cleats are not available.


d) Position the main rotor blades and tie them down in accordance with the manufacturer's instruct ions.

e) Install a rotor blade cover aver the tip of each main rotor. Secure a tiedown rope to each blade cover and the oth8r end of the rope to the applicable mooring point on the helicopter. Remember not to leave too much slack and to use anti-slip knots when tying the mooring ropes.

f) Fasten the tiedown ropes to the fuselage mooring points and extend them to the ground mooring anchors. Provide sufficient slack and use anti-slip knots, such as square or bowline knots.

g) Place the tail rotor in a vertical position and install a cover over the lower blade tip. Tie the lower blade cover rope to the tail skid to prevent possible damage by flapping tail blades.

h) Close doors, windows, and exterior access panels.

i) Follow the manufacturer's instructions for each make and model helicopter.
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