Safety Resources

Fly to a higher Standard

Land & LIVE

Resources to Help you Land & Live

Read More: Land & LIVE Action Items
August 13, 2018

When things change during a flight and a pilot begins to reassess the wisdom of continuing the flight and whether or not to make a precautionary landing, there are a number of steps the pilot may want to consider.

Step 1. Commit to Land & LIVE

If your gut says land, listen! Then commit to a precautionary landing and do it.

Step 2. Assess Level of Urgency

If you are concerned but there is no imminent danger, your best choice may be to select the nearest (NRST) airport on your GPS and proceed to the nearest aviation facility.

Practice and become familiar with this procedure. Make sure your GPS is not set to filter out small or private airports or heliports. Reaching an airport, even a private-use one, is a better choice than landing off site, as long as the situation does not worsen.

But understand your situation can quickly become more urgent.

If there is real or perceived imminent danger in continuing flight, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3. Choose Spot to Land

Most of the time, a helicopter pilot who needs to land as soon as practicable has a number of options available. Use these priorities when selecting a landing area:

  • Safety of approach and landing
  • Survival of persons on board once on the ground (don’t assume you will have the ability to take off again)
  • Safety of persons on the ground
  • Ground accessibility for aircraft repairs and personnel egress and ingress

Step 4. Land & LIVE

An off-site precautionary landing will involve varying degrees of additional stress beyond those of a normal landing at the intended landing site. Remember to do the following:

  • Alert air traffic control or your company of your intent, if possible. Remember that cell or text service may not be available in the landing area.
  • Slow down and steepen the approach.
  • Be aware that engine cooldowns are NOT a limitation. If you land with people around, shut down IMMEDIATELY.
  • You have exercised good judgment. Stand by your decision.

Read More: The Pilot's Responsibility for Safety
August 13, 2018

By U.S. federal regulation, pilots are the final authority regarding the safety of flight.

14 CFR 91.3(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

14 CFR 91.3(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may dviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

14 CFR 135.19(b) In an emergency involving the safety of persons or property, the pilot in command may deviate from the rules of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

The bottom line is that no one — not the pilot’s employer, not air traffic control, not even the FAA — can overrule a pilot’s safety decision. The pilot might have to justify his decision after the fact, but during a flight, only the pilot can decide if and when it’s necessary to make a precautionary landing.

HAI Safety Library

A venue for safety documents

Safety Videos

See first hand how to fly safe

Safety Links

Stay up-to-date on safety regulations