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Sebastian Wheeler

atc-discussion Aberdeen Heli clearances

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Sebastian Wheeler

Just wondering if there is a standard heli clearance for aberdeen?

I'm assuming i'd hold them short of the HALS, then VFR clearance would be via HMR X published departure route N/A alt 1500 sqk xxxx???

then entry is also via published arrival route?

Also, is the phraseology "HALS 05" or "runway 05??"

 

thanks

Edited by Sebastian Wheeler

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Harry Cameron

It really depends on if the helicopter has filed VFR or IFR, if its VFR you just give them a standard VFR zone departure clearance like you would with fixed wing. If its IFR you clear them "on track XX" following something like this 

(Callsign), QNH 1014, Runway 34. Start approved. Cleared to leave controlled airspace on track 77, climb altitude 3000, Squawk 4243.

That is done before taxi just like you would with fixed wing. 

Along with that usually the Heli runways are never used and helicopters just depart and arrive off the active i.e. 16/34

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Trevor Hannant

As Harry states, the main is used for all helicopter traffic unless a crosswind is strong enough that it dictates using a heli one although it's very rare.

In terms of clearances, as per the event topic:

*Helicopter operations to oil rigs (if any) should be filed VFR and will receive a Basic Service outside controlled airspace (A Traffic Service ONLY may be requested however will be subject to controller workload).  No vectoring will be provided as Oil installations are NOT included in the sector file.  Traffic will be transferred to UNICOM when the installation is in sight.

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Harry Cameron
1 minute ago, Trevor Hannant said:

*Helicopter operations to oil rigs (if any) should be filed VFR

What's the reasoning for this?

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Trevor Hannant

- Lack of available procedure information
- Lack of knowledge of offshore procedures (pilots & controllers)
- Lack of controllers

Edited by Trevor Hannant

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Craig Tomkins

Hi all,

Can i chip in here and resurrect this to help future pilots/controller with offshore ops in the UK - Disclaimer - I have no real life hours in North sea heli ops, just some knowledge!   

In terms of a pilots procedure on an outbound from a planning perspective. Lets assume that we are departing from EGPD to the North Sea North Rigs (Forties), the active is 34 for departure and we are flying IFR. While we are focusing on the Northsea, the theory applies to all rigs in UK airspace:

1. Which rig are you landing at?

As a pilot you need to understand where your going. In this example we are going to the "Forties" oil field, but that is the field NOT the name of the Rig (or landing area). Forties is made up of 6 rigs designated landing pads "Forties" A,B,C,D & E. So we are going to "Forties A" and this should be put in your flight plan Route notes to help other traffic in the area understand traffic moment and planning. it is also helpful to put your ETA at each rig as this will help other pilots coordinate there arrivals and departures (as we dont have a Heli deck controllers in vatsim - We can dream! :)). I use RIGS for the destination if there is not ICAO is not available (check vat spy and make sure you update the latest file as most in the NS are available), If this is a Multi trip, make sure you mention each rig based on arrival and dep based on the expected routin; e.g. Forties D then B then E etc. For example see an IFR Dep from Aberdeen:

7.JPG.8877d13431277eec599f1ea432ace0e7.JPG

Altitudes: Odds departing (Normally 3000ft) and Evens (Normally 2000ft) arriving .

Info here:

https://www.google.com/search?q=forties+oil+field&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBGB837GB837&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjByMyav-bhAhXBRxUIHcqlDfcQ_AUIDygC&biw=1920&bih=977#imgrc=tChY5vxeQ7tSKM:

 

2. Now we know the Rig (or Rigs) we are flying to we need to identify the outbound gate and also the outbound track we need to take. For "Forties" we can see 3 tracks (2 outbound and 1 inbound) highlighted below, we want the either the 077 outbound from the ADN or the 083 outbound for the "Forties" oil field. it is important to point out that there will be an NDB available on the major rigs that we can pick up and track to leave the 83 track when the NDB comes alive. This will then get us (hopefully) within visual range of the Pad for landing.  So we now need understand the gate we should be departing from Aberdeen.

2.JPG.ef8f49e716ba1aa591112103f0b0f62a.JPG

 

3.JPG.6f114ee0737c3f4a9cf342f33e56dcd7.JPG

Charts: http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/eadbasic/pamslight-A1FA135643D2E31031BEB0FC470FCC23/7FE5QZZF3FXUS/EN/Charts/ENR/AIRAC/EG_ENR_6_1_15_5_en_2014-11-13.pdf

3. Now we know the 077 or 083 track outbound IFR, we need to understand the expected gate for departure. The chart below shows us all the outbound and inbound gates and radial corresponding to each track, relative to VFR vs IFR departures.  

This chart shows all the 34 dep VFR and IFR Gates. We can see from the Cones (Gates) that for a 083 track IFR we would need the "Nobal" gate (GPS point) and then track the VOR ABN outbound 083 expecting to pick up the Rigs NDB for the visual approach.

4.JPG.de495029cdbf774ad5975445ad644095.JPG

the "077" and "113" is the radial reference cone (gate). Because we are planning on using the 83 track and 83 is between 077 and 133 and we are planning on flying IFR - the corresponding gate is NOBAL.

 

5.JPG.2f8c290e192b727d3eaf61f2a2e4511a.JPG

Charts gates 16: http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/eadbasic/pamslight-A1FA135643D2E31031BEB0FC470FCC23/7FE5QZZF3FXUS/EN/Charts/AD/AIRAC/EG_AD_2_EGPD_3-1_en_2017-12-07.pdf

Charts gates 34: http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/eadbasic/pamslight-A1FA135643D2E31031BEB0FC470FCC23/7FE5QZZF3FXUS/EN/Charts/AD/AIRAC/EG_AD_2_EGPD_3-2_en_2017-12-07.pdf

 

For VFR you will notice that the "Hackley Head"  corresponds to the VFR (VRP) departure routing for EGPD. The change in flight routing for VFR for 083 is now from "Hackley head" and not NOBAL (as per the chart).

Chart here: http://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/eadbasic/pamslight-A1FA135643D2E31031BEB0FC470FCC23/7FE5QZZF3FXUS/EN/Charts/AD/NON_AIRAC/EG_AD_2_EGPD_4-1_en_2019-01-03.pdf

 

I am not an ATC or had a lot of experience in this field. However, i suspect clearance should be give as follows:

Departure:

VFR: (Callsign), QNH 1014, Runway 34. Start approved. Cleared to leave controlled airspace on track 83 VFR to the Forties F3.JPG.6f114ee0737c3f4a9cf342f33e56dcd7.JPGield via the Hackley Head gate, climb altitude 3000, Squawk 4243.

IFR: (Callsign), QNH 1014, Runway 34. hold position. Cleared to leave controlled airspace via track 83 IFR via the NOBAL gate to the Forties field, climb and maintain altitude 3000, Squawk 4243.

Arrival:

VFR: (Callsign) Runway 34 in use and X is current, QNH XXXX. Cleared to Enter controlled airspace from track 80 VFR via the ATSIB gate then direct VANOR, Not above 2000, Squawk 4243. (VANOR is a GPS point that corresponds to Corby Loch VRP).

IFR: (Callsign), Runway 34 in use and X is current, QNH XXXX. Cleared to Enter controlled airspace from track 80 IFR via the ATSIB gate then routing GORSE for the ILS approach 34 as published  , Not below 3000 until GORSE, Squawk 4243 radar controlled.

 

Hope it helps, any questions do ask - But i am not an expert!

 

Edited by Craig Tomkins

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Simon Irvine

Cheers Craig

Some great information in your post.

 

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Craig Tomkins
3 hours ago, Simon Irvine said:

Cheers Craig

Some great information in your post.

 

No worries, happy to help. 

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