HELI-EXPO 2013 Professional Education Courses

Flying in the Wire and Obstruction Environment (Part I)

March 3, 2013 | | 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall, Level 2
Pilot Skills Track


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Wire strikes continue to be a devastating threat for pilots and crews who fly in the low-level wire and obstruction environment. This course was designed to train helicopter professionals on the hazards inherent to this environment and to arm them with strategies to manage the risk of a strike accident.

Course topics include —

  • Where the wire and obstruction environment really is and why this environment takes a serious toll on aircraft and crews
  • Wire systems and components and their unique dangers
  • Basic awarenesses that crews must have while operating in this environment
  • Forecasting the presence of a wire before it is visible to the untrained eye
  • Optical illusions that make wires appear invisible and how to detect them
  • How knowledge of wire environment dynamics helps to create the applied situational awareness necessary for low-level flight operations
  • Proactive approaches to wire-strike avoidance
  • Crew resource management and in-flight communications between crew members
  • Why the patrolman is so important to the safety of patrol missions
  • How crews let the accident chain develop • Accident analysis and the true cost of a wire strike.

Attendees will learn about applied situational awareness, how to forecast the presence of and detect wire before they can actually see it, how to position aircraft for maximum wire visibility, the responsibilities of each crew member in preventing a strike accident, and the common traps unskilled crew members can fall into.

Bob Feerst is president of Utilities/Aviation Specialists Inc., an internationally known safety auditing, training, and consulting group based in Crown Point, Indiana. He is a former manager of flight operations for a large midwestern gas and electric utility company. His experience combines 38 years of aviation experience with 31 years of operating in wire and obstruction environments.

Who Should Attend
Managers; directors of operations; chief pilots responsible for low-level flight operations; power line, pipeline, and buried-cable patrol pilots and crews; agricultural pilots; air medical service pilots and crews; airborne law enforcement officers; airborne fire control pilots and crews; executive transport crews; aerial patrolmen, crews, and observers; helicopter lift-operations pilots; traffic and electronic news gathering crews; flight instructors; and aviation attorneys.

Course Prerequisites

Professional Development Credit
FAA Wings program