Helipaddy Community, Site Owners

A Site Owner’s Guide to Helicopters

S = Surface

Quick answer: mow grass to below 25cm and constrain animals. Don’t leave any loose items, especially things you might have thought were helpful markers.

The surface is difficult to assess from a height so site owners must warn pilots if the ground is not firm, has long grass or tree stumps, for example.  Note that smaller helicopters tend to use skids whilst the very large ones will have wheels which don’t spread the load well.  Muddy ground makes taking off very dangerous due to a skid or wheel causing a sideways lurch.

Landed helicopters can leave burn marks in grass in light winds.  For example an R66 with a turbine engine will tend to slightly brown the grass under the tail after 20 minutes.  A tarpaulin can be used to prevent this if placed after landing but in our experience it doesn’t kill the grass.

Here we are going for a pee stop and being careful to keep the tail clear of tall grass and rocks.