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Taking off from Zeebrugge port, Belgium.

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Taking off from Zeebrugge port, Belgium.

Old 10th Oct 2019, 15:43
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Taking off from Zeebrugge port, Belgium.

Hi guys, Iím shipping our EC135 to Europe on a roll on roll off ship.

im flying to the port of embarkation, pulling the blades and securing the aircraft.

is it possible to takeoff from the port in Zeebrugge once we put the blades back on and ground run test ok? Do I need special permission from the regulator to do this, if so does anyone have a contact?

Iíve scoured the AIP and the only thing I could find was a phone number for someone at the port in Zeebrugge in the list of approved heliports?
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 19:03
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At the risk of sounding a bit daft, have you tried ringing the number and asking your question directly to the port authority regarding helicopter movements?
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 19:23
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Originally Posted by Taranto Knight View Post
At the risk of sounding a bit daft, have you tried ringing the number and asking your question directly to the port authority regarding helicopter movements?
Yes. The question I have isnít the port themselves giving permission, more a case of I canít find in the Belgium regs allowing an off airfield/approved heliport takeoff.

In many other countries Iíve flown off airfield stuff isnít an issue, however Europe appears to be a minefield with every country having different requirements. example; France - Helisurfaces permit required and PPR for every off airfield operation.
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Old 11th Oct 2019, 14:30
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How are you moving it on and off the ship ? Ground handling wheels ? Or is it on some form of trailer ?

Just asking because if you have a trailer, Knokke Heliport is about 5km from Zeebrugge Port.
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Old 11th Oct 2019, 14:48
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helipixman
if you have a trailer, Knokke Heliport is about 5km from Zeebrugge Port.
I think Knokke Heliport is still about 5km from Zeebrugge Port even if he doesn't have a trailer.
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Old 11th Oct 2019, 22:32
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Originally Posted by helipixman View Post
How are you moving it on and off the ship ? Ground handling wheels ? Or is it on some form of trailer ?

Just asking because if you have a trailer, Knokke Heliport is about 5km from Zeebrugge Port.
ground handling wheels on and off the ship. We are fabricating a tow bar to strap down next to the blade box.

the EC135 was previously based on a superyacht, going back to join itsí new ship, so it has all the hard points and tie down points already for securing.

Someone on here was nice enough to PM me the link to the form and email of the harbor master for permission. So that looks like my first step.

ive done this with B412ís before, just not in Europe. The actual logistics is the easy part, itís the permission that is my only concern.

Worse case if we get hamstrung we can just put it on a truck at the other end and drive it to the nearest approved airport/heliport, but that just adds unnecessary weak links for possible damage.

i appreciate the posts here and the PMís with advice so far.

Last edited by havick; 11th Oct 2019 at 22:42.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 02:30
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Do it and apologise later?
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 21:49
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This problem came up a short while ago, with a pilot wanting to land on the quay at Liverpool Docks for loading to a ro/ro ship. Zeebrugge, like all big European ports are usually very busy places. As a long serving shipping man, I can assure you that there are any number of things normally on a quayside, or on a nearby ship, that can be blown around or moved by the helicopter downwash, to the danger of all in the area and to the helicopter. It's really very much not a case of start the engine and go. The harbourmaster, if inclined to allow it at all, will have to make very sure that everyone is aware and away from the area, and anything at all moveable is clear or lashed down. This is before you get clearance to fly out of the area. In my view, loading to a truck for a short distance to a licenced helipad or airport would be a far easier and safer option.
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Old 12th Oct 2019, 22:04
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PS Please do let us know how you get on, and what the outcome is.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 00:37
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Originally Posted by pettinger93 View Post
PS Please do let us know how you get on, and what the outcome is.
harbor master emailed back saying shouldnít be a problem. So I guess Iíll see how it turns out with a site visit before hand at the other end.

i have a truck and crane on standby in case it all falls over last minute, but I seriously want to avoid the extra risk of trucking for no real reason.

this is still some time away but Iíll let you know how it turns out.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 11:25
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There isn't much to blow around at a RoRo terminal; every thing is massive or in containers. I have had no problems, albeit a few years ago, at Le Havre and Southampton. We just threw the blades on and punched off.

The biggest problem was at Southampton. Taking a break we wandered over to an adjacent cafe for a tea and wad.

"Are you registered?"

"Eeerr, no"

"Cannot serve you. This place is for registered dockers only."
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 16:40
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Harbourmasters and quaysides vary, so hope it all goes well. Await your update with interest.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 17:32
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Excuse the silly question...

Why not fly it all the way there?
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 21:14
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Originally Posted by CRAN View Post
Why not fly it all the way there?
even with a ferry bladder thereís two legs that are too far over water. Different story if it was a 412 or 139 with ferry tanks.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 15:31
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To answer Fareastdriver: agree that ro/ro terminals have a lot of heavy and hard-to-move stuff around, but it only needs a small unregarded item to get picked up in the downwash to do a lot of damage. Seem to remember that, not long ago, a helicopter was trying to land on a large yacht (I think in Norway?), when a lifeboat tarpaulin cover (that was allegedly lashed) got loose and flew into the rotor blades, bringing the aircraft down into the water. Something like a stray hi-viz jacket might do it. A good thorough check around the vicinity will certainly be needed before starting to spin the blades. But, hopefully, all will be well.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 15:36
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Originally Posted by pettinger93 View Post
not long ago, a helicopter was trying to land on a large yacht (I think in Norway?), when a lifeboat tarpaulin cover (that was allegedly lashed) got loose and flew into the rotor blades, bringing the aircraft down into the water.
To correct some details, it was a B3 (G-HKCN) that crashed after a fuel bowser cover (not tied down - it was considered snug enough that tie downs weren't necessary) was recirculated in the downwash and went through the blades. Occurred off the coast of Norway, 2017. Here's the report https://www.aibn.no/Luftfart/Avgitte...tFile&attach=1
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 15:43
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Thank you Apollo Helicopter: couldn't remember the fine details of the Norwegian crash. However, my point was that small items on a ship or a quayside that would, in normal port operations, be considered secure or insignificant, can turn into flying missiles in the unusual event of a helicopter taking off or landing nearby.
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