HELI-EXPO 2013 Professional Education Courses

Introduction to Vertical Reference Long-Line

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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This ground school is for pilots who want to embark on a vertical reference long-line external-cargo career, and is also a great refresher course for pilots who have been engaged in other rotary-wing specialty areas and have been out of the vertical reference long-line field for some time. Attendees will be introduced to the working world of external-cargo vertical reference and then guided through the steps to becoming an external-cargo vertical reference long-line pilot.

Course topics will include —

  • Challenges faced when using visual references and proper seating position
  • Aircraft configurations and how it affects the sight picture
  • Visual clues and illusions
  • How control inputs affect the aircraft and long-line cargo load
  • Picking up the load
  • The physics behind long-line loads in flight and the cure for the big swing
  • Turns in the circuit and thrust vectors
  • Loading the disk on approach and delivering the load
  • Use of the shadow and flat-light conditions
  • Commonly used equipment and inspections
  • The composition of the external cargo team and the importance of flight- and ground-crew team building
  • Hazards unique to this environment
  • Aircraft performance considerations
  • Risk management tools and protocols and other safety considerations.

Attendees will depart with a firm understanding of the fundamentals of vertical reference long-line; a training synopsis; proper rigging of loads and aircraft checks; how to set up and command work zones; how to conduct ground-crew briefings and delegate duties and responsibilities among crew members; and strategies for managing risk and hazards.

Robert Libby holds Canadian airline transport pilot and U.S. commercial rotary licenses. He has more than 38 years and 12,000 hours of flight experience, including 6,000 hours of vertical reference long-line and 5,000 hours of mountain flying, primarily for exploration, forestry, and logging operations. Libby has additional flight experience in executive transport, aerial photography, tourism, and specialty-lift operations. For the majority of his career, Libby has focused on training helicopter pilots and ground crews worldwide in the areas of firefighting and vertical reference long-line. He is the owner of Advanced Aero Marine Systems Ltd and Advanced Helicopter Training.

Who Should Attend
Pilots with a desire to venture into the vertical reference long-line field; experienced long-line pilots, including those reentering the industry; company-training pilots wishing to develop an in-house training program; flight instructors; operations managers and supervisors; and ground-crew members will all find this course invaluable.

Course Prerequisites

Professional Development Credit
FAA Wings program