Seventy years after the military’s first experimentation with shipboard helicopter operations, the partnership between air and sea has become considerably more refined. Offering convenience, speed and considerable glamor, helicopter arrival or departure from a yacht is a truly unique experience, but also one that presents distinctive challenges
An increasing number of larger yachts are now integrating landing pads fully certified by the Helidecks Certification Agency (HCA) however, allowing for commercial operations. The integration of a HCA certified deck is significantly more technically involved and naturally more expensive, but significantly more attention is paid to the size of the landing area, obstructions, crew training, marking/lighting and turbulence criteria. The latter consideration is a significant one too, with unpredictable air currents caused by wind deflection off the yacht’s superstructure being a particular concern for safe operations. If one is considering the integration of a HCA certified helipad in a yacht project, it is a criterion that should be highlighted at the very earliest of stages as details like fuel spill drainage conduits and fire suppression systems will need to be incorporated into the engineering. [To be continued...]
Up, Up and Away,
For anyone seeking to make a statement when arriving on board a superyacht there is only one real contender for the vehicle of choice. Arriving or departing from a yacht by helicopter is a truly unique experience, offering as it does convenience, speed and considerable dash of true glamor
Having a helicopter landing pad on the aft end of a superyacht was, in the past, a real a status symbol but now the utilisation of and they way we all think about helicopters aboard super yachts has changed dramatically. More and more yachts are being equipped with landing pads and some even have their own on board under cover hangers to keep them safe from the elements.
More and more frequently, yacht owners are using helicopters to give themselves and their guests the ability to land at an airport and without leaving it by road travel safely, securely, rapidly and directly to the yacht by helicopter.
Attitudes to security and fear of attack on land have helped fuel this rise in the use of the whirlybird and many cite this as the number one reason for the increasing use of helicopter transportation. Helicopters frequently service yachts as small as 35 metres but yachts of 50 metres and upwards are often equipped with their own dedicated helipad meaning choppers stay with the yacht rather than adopt the drop and scarper attitude of years gone by. [To be continued...]