MERT Worldwide – Maritime Aviation


MERT Worldwide – Aviation

The video clip in this article is a very good example of the extremes of maritime aviation.

Eden Defence was contracted by the NZ Navy to conduct similar trials as those in the video to establish a set of Ship Helicopter Operating Limits (SHOLs) for their Off-Shore Patrol Vessel. I was the Flight deck Officer on board for those trials earlier this year. I gained valuable experience relating to maritime aviation and operating at the extreme limits.

The biggest difference between the video clip and our trials was the helicopter in the video clip launched from an airfield and then eventually landed on board the ship. However, we had to move the helicopter out on to the deck from the hangar on the ship. This task is made even more dangerous in rough seas. During these trials (Day and Night) we had winds in excess of 50 knots, that doesn’t take into account the speed of the ship through the water and large swells. The conditions were very tough for all concerned (Aircrew, Flight Deck Team, Bridge staff).

Aviation at sea is a high risk activity, but there may be a requirement to evacuate a casualty in rough seas. This is a realistic scenario and the ship first needs to prepare for the arrival of a Rescue Helicopter. Good/sound preparation will ensure the serial is conducted safely. Being best prepared mitigates many of the perceived dangers involved with operating helicopters at sea in extreme conditions.

MERT can deliver aviation training, there is no need for a helicopter, MERT will utilise role play and simulation training techniques instead.

MERT Worldwide – Maritime Emergency Response Training

Prism Defence – Aviation Professionals

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