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New helipad approach system improves low-vis safety

written by australianaviation.com.au | September 16, 2013
An EC145 landing at the newly upgraded helipad. (Eurocopter)

Eurocopter has commissioned a high precision GPS-supported instrument approach procedure for the helipad at its corporate headquarters at Donauwörth in Germany, becoming the first helipad in Europe to make use of Localiser Performance with Vertical (LPV) guidance.

The new procedure supplements conventional lateral guidance systems by adding the vertical component, which enables approach guidance to be displayed in 3D for the first time. The improved guidance enables obstacles to be overflown with increased safety when visibility is poor.

The license permitting LPV approaches to the helipad also means Eurocopter in Donauwörth can use the new procedure when testing and approving the latest navigation systems for use in its helicopters. Eurocopter is currently conducting these tests using its twin-engine EC135 and EC145 T2 helicopters. Eurocopter will offer training to its customers for the new system

Eurocopter’s special on-site helicopter landing pad, which welcomes some 6,000 take-offs and landings a year, is one of the few helipads in the world to have been certified as suitable for all-weather operations in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements.

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