Heliports 101: What Pilots Are Responsible for but Never Taught
Rotor Safety Challenge (RSC)
Tracks: Operations, Pilot, Safety, Student
Instructor: Rex Alexander, Five-Alpha LLC
When a helicopter accident occurs at a heliport, the FAA and the US National Transportation Safety Board generally label the primary cause of the accident as “pilot error.” However, research has shown that, in many cases, the heliport itself and a lack of oversight and adherence to acknowledged standards were what caused the accident. This session is designed to teach helicopter pilots basic heliport knowledge that isn’t provided in the FAA’s Helicopter Flying Handbook, Helicopter Instructor’s Handbook, or Aeronautical Information Manual and isn’t part of their current training curriculum for testing purposes.
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Rex Alexander has over four decades of military, commercial, and general aviation experience and is a globally recognized subject-matter expert on helicopter, vertical lift, and eVTOL infrastructure. He is founder and president of the aeronautical consulting firm Five-Alpha (5α) and has served as infrastructure advisor to the Vertical Flight Society since January 2019. He also serves as a platform instructor to the US Department of Transportation Transportation Safety Institute, where he helped develop and teaches “Heliport Evaluation” and “Heliport Accident Investigation Techniques.”