Program Focuses On Preventative Landings Prior To A Potential Accident
By Dave Juwel
HAI President and CEO Matt Zuccaro has continued to put great emphasis on the organization's "Land and Live" program, and is enthusiastic about the number of rotary wing operators that are backing effort.
If you are not familiar with the "Land & Live" program, it started when they discovered that a large percentage of helicopter accidents could have been prevented if the pilot had decided to make a precautionary landing before the situation became untenable and was still preventable. For example, flying in marginal weather, the overbearing need to reach your destination, fuel issues, night flight in unfamiliar areas, pilot incapacitation, a warning light comes on, tight or uneven landing areas, can all develop into situations that cost lives.
All of these might lead to a successful ending if the pilot elects to make a precautionary landing before these events box him in. You'll know it's too late when the situation starts flying your helicopter; at that point you become a passenger. Strong situational awareness, and professional decision making on the side of prevention and safety will go a long way to reducing these events. The helicopter is such a unique vehicle that a precautionary landing can usually be immediate, as opposed to a fixed-wing aircraft that needs to find a runway first.
The precautionary landing is a safety tool in every helicopter pilot’s toolbox that is capable of breaking almost every accident chain. Short of a catastrophic mechanical failure, a precautionary landing breaks virtually every accident chain.