Nov 18, 2019

6 Things You Should Know Before Hiring Helicopter Construction Services

6 Things You Should Know Before Hiring Helicopter Construction Services

As head constructor, you’re the one responsible for making sure your construction project is completed safely, on time, and under budget. Utilizing aerial crane services is one of the best ways to complete a complicated project more quickly and efficiently.

Whether the job involves challenges such as high altitude, scorching temperatures, or mountainous terrain, you can rest assured your heavy-lift helicopter company is up to the task.

However, before you get started, there are certain matters you should take into consideration. Here are 6 things to know before hiring helicopter construction services.

1. Aerial cranes can save you time and money over traditional ground cranes

Before you start factoring helicopter lifting services into your construction budget, it’s important to understand how these aerial cranes can save you time and money over standard ground cranes. After all, you may have to justify your decisions to project investors, shareholders, and other parties who have a stake in your company’s success.

Here’s an overview of 5 ways helicopter-aided construction can move your project along more quickly and under budget:

Want to dive deeper into the many ways construction helicopters save you time and money?

Gray transmission towers under a bright blue sky.

2. Heavy-lift helicopters are useful for more than just cargo transport

Helicopters are beneficial for more than just lifting and transporting heavy construction materials from one location to another. Before you get to work on developing your heavy-lift project plan, you’ll want to make sure you understand all the different stages of your project where a crane helicopter can save you time and money.

But you don’t have to go it alone–your aerial crane company project manager will help you develop your lifting and flight plans. In the meantime, review the many different ways an aerial crane can assist you throughout the entirety of your job:

Learn more about the various ways you can use a helicopter crane.

3. Crane helicopters have certain limitations you should be aware of

Your hired helicopter lifting company will help you choose the best helicopter for your construction job based on factors such as:

However, it’s important that you’re aware of the various limitations of these heavy-lift aircraft, from weather restrictions to weight and passenger constraints.

Weather limitations

Aerial cranes are designed to remain stable–even in rough terrain, areas of elevated atmospheric pressure, and inclement weather. However, there are some factors that can create risky or even downright dangerous conditions.

Your pilot is trained to never take unnecessary risks, so be sure to heed their advice and design a backup plan for alternate weather days.

Weight limitations

Every construction helicopter, no matter how powerful, has a maximum lifting capacity that you cannot safely exceed.

This maximum weight limit can also be affected by factors such as:

Light utility helicopters can typically lift between 1,200 and 4,000 pounds, while the world’s largest heavy-lift helicopter can transport up to 44,000 pounds. For most aerial construction projects, however, you’ll likely require a lift capacity between 2,000 and 6,000 pounds.

To give you an idea of the external lifting ability of various helicopters, here are the maximum external loads of 4 popular aerial cranes frequently chosen for heavy-lift and utility construction projects:

Passenger limitations

Just as each utility helicopter has a maximum weight limit and external load capacity, they also have varying passenger restrictions. Some aircraft only allow for one or two pilots, while others can safely transport a pilot as well as 9 or 10 passengers.

Construction helicopter pilot flying aerial crane over the ocean.

Here are the passenger limits for the 4 popular construction helicopters highlighted above:

4. Helicopter lifting requires careful and strategic planning

Helicopter-aided construction requires a detailed and strategic blueprint. However, you’re not alone in developing your plan. In fact, your project manager and dedicated helicopter lifting team will guide you through each step of the process, from your initial consultation to your lifting and flight plan.

You’ll work together, along with any other essential workplace parties, to tackle each of the following planning points:

Communications

Load certification

Certifying load weights, shapes, sizes, and orientation. Marking loads with their weights and required orientation.

Rigging plan

Selecting or designing rigging devices and creating a plan for each load type.

Helicopter selection

Choosing the best helicopter for your project. Considerations include load line, hook-up device, and cable/sling type.

Flight plan & lifting plan

Risk assessment

Identifying, evaluating, and eliminating potential risks, including:

Rigging inspection

Inspecting and testing all rigging components. Recording the results.

Site safety

Following up on all points identified during the risk assessment, including:

Ground crew

Hoisting communications

Establishing the necessary signals (radio, hand, emergency, and warning) prior to hoisting.

Emergency preparedness plan

Helicopter lifting crew discussing roles and responsibilities.

5. You’ll have several key responsibilities as head constructor

As head constructor, you’ll be responsible for crucial tasks that will ensure your project moves along smoothly and everything goes according to plan.

Here’s an overview of several essential job functions you can expect to tackle:

6. You may be required to notify various parties before you begin lifting

Communication will be key throughout each step of your project, so it’s vital that you notify all parties of the time and location of each aerial lift.

However, you may also be required to notify public safety officials, local air traffic control, and other local authorities of your plan to use an aerial crane.

Your helicopter lifting company will help you make sense of the laws for utilizing a helicopter crane in your jurisdiction and make sure you notify the proper authorities prior to lifting.

Make us your go-to team.

Our highly skilled pilots have the experience and equipment needed to rise to any challenge. When you need experts you can trust, give us a call.