As oil and gas exploration and production activities are located further offshore, it is crucial that helicopters can operate safely during landing and take-off procedures.
Helicopter operations to and from offshore helidecks involve elevated risks compared to operating over land because of the increased distances between landing sites and the potential for adverse weather conditions offshore. So when landing offshore, it is important that the environmental conditions at the helideck are not made worse by poor helideck design.
Two of the biggest impacts to helideck environmental conditions are turbulence and hot turbine exhaust. Wind turbulence generated from airflow over obstructions such as the superstructure, drilling derricks, and exhaust stacks can significantly increase the pilot workload on approach and landing. If too severe, the pilot may lose control of the aircraft.
Additionally, small increases in air temperature in the approach path and over the helideck from the platform hot exhaust gases can result in a dramatic loss of rotor lift. Exhaust gases ingested into the helicopter engine can also cause flameout and catastrophic loss of power.
BMT is a recognised authority on offshore helideck aerodynamics and flight safety. We use our world-class wind tunnel facilities and state-of-the-art computational modelling resources to provide designers and operators clear and insightful assessments of proposed helideck designs.
- Desktop reviews of platform/vessel design in concept stage
- Detailed assessments of helideck turbulence, downdraft, hot gases and hydrocarbon gas releases
- Helideck/superstructure design advice
- Assessment of design modifications
- Pilot workload assessment
- Passenger and crew wind comfort
- Wind tunnel assessment and Computational Fluid Dynamics
- Early indication of potential helideck operability problems
- Depth of experience providing recommendations for design changes to minimise operational limitations
- Compliance with regulatory and operation requirements (e.g. CAP 437 and NORSOK C-004)
- Compliance with health and safety limits for exposure to hazardous gases
- Clear and insightful reports that provide valuable information for operators and helicopter pilots
Contact BMT Fluid Mechanics
Email: BMT Fluid Mechanics