Steve Hickok is understandably proud of the work his company has done to bring safe and reliable GPS-enabled lateral navigation (LNAV) and localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches to helicopter operators across the U.S. In fact, every helicopter Waas LPV approach approved since 2008 has been developed by Hickok & Associates (Booth No. N6204.)
The company received approval from the FAA in June 2012 for 203-page, all-inclusive advanced helicopter instrument flight procedures criteria for the development of IFR flight models for helicopters, including departure, en route, terminal, approach and landing zone procedures. Hickok spent four years compiling the document, which incorporates both International Civil Aviation Organization procedures for air navigation services-aircraft operations and the FAA’s terminal instrument procedures into a unique criteria for helicopter operators.
Instrument procedures for rotorcraft are quite different than those for fixed-wing aircraft. As Hickok said Monday at Heli-Expo ’13, “An airplane lands, then stops; a helicopter stops and then lands.” Thus, a fixed-wing approach is generally a slope to the runway, while helicopters require a series of “stair steps” down to the landing zone, and often require even more intricate planning around obstacles.
Hickok estimates his company has assisted with the creation of approximately 350 approach systems to date for medevac operators and–less often–individual medical centers.