Best Practices For Returning to Flight Training

It’s been too long and we all want to get back into the air, but if we are to re-energise our flight training activities we must do it safely and considerately. Here we have explained the procedures which we’re going to implement in order to smoothly transition back into flight instruction. We hope you understand that initially we are going to take a more cautious approach to our return, which will be gradually relaxed over time whilst we adapt back to normal.

Self Reporting: We ask that students or facility users do not visit ICE Helicopters / Elstree Aviation Centre if they have any signs of COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in contact with anyone else who does. If you have subsequently shown symptoms after visiting then please let us know.

Temperatures: We have a quantity of non-contact digital thermometers which are available for use by students at ICE Helicopters.

Headsets: The microphone and ear cups of headsets can be at risk of cross contaminating if shared, so we’re giving all of our students their own personal helicopter headset to use and look after whilst flying ICE Helicopters aircraft.

Non-Flying Guests: We will respectfully ask that anyone not directly involved in the training sortie or flight operation (e.g. family & friends of students) do not visit the ICE hangar to ensure we can look after the wellbeing of all students.

No Observers: In line with our above point, we do not think it is appropriate for observers to be on-board during training flights as they are not a necessity for the safe operation of the sortie.

Flight Exercise & Ground Briefings: To reduce any risk of possible infection spread we’ll be conducting one-to-one briefings only, using our private meeting rooms.

Airside Operations: We will only be allowing airside access to flight crew or operational staff directly involved with the flight, as we predict the airfield to be busier with those conducting recurrency flights and would not want to pose as an unnecessary safety risk. Where possible we’ll be using our own resources to move helicopters to/from the helipad to help alleviate pressure from the busy airfield staff.

Risk Register: In collaboration with our Safety Manager and in line with our SMS, we have updated our risk registers with the dangers of skill fade and lack of currency – important for our instructors, students and hirers. Whilst most competent pilots will have no issues with handling the aircraft after a break from flying, we need to ensure that all the additional tasks (booking in/out, checking NOTAMs, etc) are undertaken to the same degree of care as previously.

Recurrency Packages: We’re covering the cost of a safety pilot for students and hirers for a one-hour refresher flight, and have discounted our Proficiency Check (PC) fee to help maintain the validity of pilot licences.

AIRFIELD BRIEFING: We have set up our seminar room to conform to social distancing guidelines, and invite representatives from airfield flight operators to join a group briefing and discussion in the coming weeks so that we are all aware of how the airfield is looking to return to normal. Please RSVP to