Welcome to the 2nd post about the Industry of Whirly birds!
Helicopter Oil Operations take place all over the world, whether you’re in Alaska, or down in Saudi Arabia. Helicopters go hand in hand with Oil Operations.
(Our company Bell 212)
Helicopters support platforms with crews and supplies to keep them operating 24/7. Typically these are high timed pilots since this is a very technical operation to handle. At our company we require about 5,000hrs total time to fly oil operations for us. From just looking around high hours are typically required.
Some of the hazards pilots can face is passengers not following the instruction of crew members and being able to walk towards the tail of the helicopter (Never do that we have a really fast smaller whirly thingy if you walk into it, you’re going have a really horrible day).
Another thing specially in Arctic temperature is Ice not only on platforms but the ice in the water hitting the platforms. The Platforms we service can swing about 10 feet with ice hitting the platforms, the platforms are also very icy from the rain and water spray getting on the platforms.
But unless you are somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico where you do not get ice then thats not something to worry about!
What type of training do pilots need to fly for Oil Operations?
With it being over water, and off shore pilots are required to do HUET training, HUET standing for Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. This teaches pilots how to escape the helicopter if you go into the water. Not only is this a very helpful training course but it’s also been proven to increase your chances of survival.
These classes teach you how to escape in good weather with the helicopter straight up, when it’s rolled, when an exit is blocked, black out ect how to use your survival equipment properly.
Here’s a great video of Era Helicopter’s running out to an Oil platform in Alaska!
Here’s another great intro to oil platform flying!