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Coast Guard Helicopter Safety

Published: 9 September 2019
From: Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

The aim of this document is to give guidance to any Coast Guard person or helipad attendants on safety aspects and procedures while operating with Irish Coast Guard helicopters.

The Irish Coast Guard currently operates 4 Sikorsky S92A helicopters on contract from C.H.C. Ireland Ltd. There are aircraft based at Sligo, Shannon, Dublin and Waterford airports. These aircraft are on occasion, required to be refuelled at helipad fuel installations, for extended range operations off the West Coast of Ireland.


Ground to Air - 129.95 (Castletownbere and Blacksod)

Marine - Channel 16 or Working Channel

Aircraft Callsigns:

Rescue 115 (Shannon)

Rescue 116 (Dublin)

Rescue 117 (Waterford)


  • Ensure landing and surrounding area is clear of F.O.D. (Foreign Object Damage). Tie down any loose items if not removable from area.
  • Maintain listening watch on Ground to Air Frequency and / or Marine Channels for inbound aircraft.
  • Pilots may request local weather conditions including wind speed and direction as observed.

After landing

  • Do not approach aircraft until signalled by crew that it is safe to do so. (In SAR operations one crewman will normally disembark to guide and assist).
  • Approach aircraft from safe area only (i.e. in view of pilots).
  • If fuel is uplifted the Pilot will hand the helipad attendant a green page (Copy of technical log) which must be kept until safe arrival of aircraft at it’s home base.


  • Sikorsky S92A uses JET A1 type fuel only.
  • Run fuel hoses to aircraft only when indicated safe by aircrew.
  • Ensure static discharge lead is connected to aircraft prior to fuelling.

The Sikorsky S61N helicopter has 4 fuel tanks. They can either be Gravity or Pressure refuelled with the exception of the auxiliary tank, which must be gravity re-fuelled. The tank capacities are:

  • Forward 796 Litres Pressure or Gravity.
  • Centre 910 Litres Pressure or Gravity.
  • Aft 770 Litres Pressure or Gravity.
  • Auxiliary 649 Litres Gravity Only.

All fuelling panels are located on the left (port) side of the aircraft.

Embarking and Dis-Embarking Passengers

It is the responsibility of the aircrew to ensure all persons travelling by SAR helicopters are briefed and wearing the correct protective clothing.

The aircraft will land pointing towards the wind. This may put the door away from the most suitable embarkation position and out of view. The direction of entry towards the door in this case will be around the nose of the aircraft.

Do not pass underneath the tail boom or tail rotor!


Any persons awaiting the arrival of a S.A.R aircraft for embarkation should be mustered away from the helicopter landing area in a Safe Place. Ideally this would be inside a nearby building. Once the aircraft has arrived a crewman will meet the intending passengers, brief them and ensure they are equipped correctly. Once satisfied, the passengers will be marshalled to the aircraft with the assistance of the helipad attendant.


Once the aircraft has landed a crewman will marshall the survivors/passengers off the aircraft. Once clear of the aircraft the helipad attendant should assist the crewman in this task.

In the event of an S.A.R. aircraft arriving with a casualty requiring medical assistance the helipad attendant should park the awaiting ambulance or doctor in a safe place clear of the landing area. Once landed, the crewman will signal when it is safe to approach the aircraft to offload the casualty in the stretcher.