DGUV Information 214-911e - Safe operations of helicopters during aerial work

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Abschnitt 6.4 - 6.4 Flights with bulk goods

Flights with bulk goods are external load flights as a rule, during which solid materials (lime, fertilisers, seeds, granulates, vaccination baits etc.) are spread.

Additional equipment

For the spreading of solid materials the following can be used, for example:

  • spreading containers for lime, fertilisers, seeds and granulates,

  • discharge devices for vaccination baits and

  • fixed incorporated spreading devices.

Power-operated spreading devices may be subject to the application area of the Machinery Directive. In these cases a declaration of conformity and a label (CE marking) are necessary.

Fixation on the helicopter should be carried out in such a way that the actual container is not in the area of the maximum downwash (about 1.5 times the rotor diameter).

Additional visual aids (such as mirror or camera systems) enable visual contact and regular observation of the function of the spreading devices.

If the possibility exists that the helicopter's maximum Working Load Limit can be exceeded by the lifting of a spreading device, there must be a system visible to the helicopter pilot to determine the load.

Flight operation

In order to avoid the clumping or blockage of the spreading device, the solid materials must be stored and processed dry according to the manufacturers' instructions. Only the amount that is necessary for the immediate continuation of work is to be kept at the actual loading point of the containers. It must be ensured when loading the container with bagged goods that emptied sacks and other transport media cannot fly around due to the helicopter's downwash and jeopardise the safe flight operation.

Employees, who are designated by the employer to operate earth-moving machinery (e.g. wheel loaders) to load the containers, must be sufficiently qualified to do so.

Nobody may be in the danger zone at the time of setting down the load or picking up the load in the case of the bucket changing procedure using straps and hooks.

Further measures to minimise hazards can result from the risk assessment.