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Hospital Helipads

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Hospital Helipads

Old 12th May 2024, 14:43
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Hospital Helipads

Do hospital helipads have any form of navigation/approach guidance or are such operations strictly VMC ?

We have a big new ER facility about to open where they describe the 3 helipads as "...state of the art..." but I can't find out what that might mean.

I know nothing about helicopter flying.
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Old 12th May 2024, 15:55
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Originally Posted by bafanguy
Do hospital helipads have any form of navigation/approach guidance or are such operations strictly VMC ?

We have a big new ER facility about to open where they describe the 3 helipads as "...state of the art..." but I can't find out what that might mean.

I know nothing about helicopter flying.
They dont have any ground based aids, but many countries use Point in Space GNSS based approaches. These are helicopter only procedures, designed to allow an IFR arrival to a point from which a visual approach to a heliport can be made.
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Old 12th May 2024, 16:36
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212man,

Thanks for that. Had no idea how to research my question but your info led to this:

https://www.aerosociety.com/news/poi...er-approaches/


So, I suppose that local terrain and other obstructions will be variable and affect just how low/near one can go in relation to the helipad. And these are published approaches that are in a database ?

Also, what does the cockpit instrumentation depicting these approaches look like ? Something similar to what the fixed-wing world knows as an FMS display ?

Last edited by bafanguy; 12th May 2024 at 16:49.
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Old 12th May 2024, 17:47
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Originally Posted by bafanguy
Do hospital helipads have any form of navigation/approach guidance or are such operations strictly VMC ?
To add, the majority of the helicopter IFR GPS approach procedures to US hospital helipads are proprietary to the operator or hospital. Last I recall there were over 275 private approach procedures in use in the US. Here's a link to a company that has developed a number of them for their clients.
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Old 12th May 2024, 18:02
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Originally Posted by wrench1
To add, the majority of the helicopter IFR GPS approach procedures to US hospital helipads are proprietary to the operator or hospital. Last I recall there were over 275 private approach procedures in use in the US. Here's a link to a company that has developed a number of them for their clients.
Thanks Wrench - Id love to have replied, but the unusual sunshine took me to a pub instead!
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Old 12th May 2024, 18:30
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Originally Posted by 212man
Id love to have replied, but the unusual sunshine took me to a pub instead!
A much better choice than shop talk.

And thanks, wrench1
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Old 12th May 2024, 18:50
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Originally Posted by bafanguy
Also, what does the cockpit instrumentation depicting these approaches look like ? Something similar to what the fixed-wing world knows as an FMS display ?
Don't know if these will help or confuse. Be forewarned the 2nd video is a bit long winded.

Originally Posted by 212man
Thanks Wrench - Id love to have replied, but the unusual sunshine took me to a pub instead!
Interesting. Never needed sunshine to take me to the pub....cheers!
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Old 14th May 2024, 00:00
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Originally Posted by wrench1
To add, the majority of the helicopter IFR GPS approach procedures to US hospital helipads are proprietary to the operator or hospital. Last I recall there were over 275 private approach procedures in use in the US. Here's a link to a company that has developed a number of them for their clients.
The ones being introduced in the UK will be similar. Each operator will have a bespoke database which is the standard one plus the PINS. In the cockpit the approach is nearly identical to a a standard instrument approach except that the RNP is set at 0.3 for the whole initial, approach and missed approach segments (which helps to get the whole approach lower)
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Old 14th May 2024, 07:19
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Originally Posted by wrench1
Be forewarned the 2nd video is a bit long winded.
wrench1,

Yes, it was but interesting. Sounds a bit familiar in spots. Thanks.
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Old 15th May 2024, 13:23
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Originally Posted by gipsymagpie
The ones being introduced in the UK will be similar. Each operator will have a bespoke database which is the standard one plus the PINS. In the cockpit the approach is nearly identical to a a standard instrument approach except that the RNP is set at 0.3 for the whole initial, approach and missed approach segments (which helps to get the whole approach lower)
I really hope this is the case, when we were trying to get Penzance PINS approaches approved , both of which terminated over the sea by design, we were told no lower than 500ft, despite the seemingly lower minima permitted in ICAO specification documents. I think it was something to do with them not being aligned with a runway or FATO which was instrument approach suitable, lighting wise.


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Old 15th May 2024, 13:53
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Originally Posted by VeeAny
I really hope this is the case, when we were trying to get Penzance PINS approaches approved , both of which terminated over the sea by design, we were told no lower than 500ft, despite the seemingly lower minima permitted in ICAO specification documents. I think it was something to do with them not being aligned with a runway or FATO which was instrument approach suitable, lighting wise.
I'm guessing not having access to EGNOS isn't helping either?
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