The US-based International Helicopter Safety Foundation has published eight golden rules about weather and helicopter flights, the purpose of which is to re-emphasise to pilots the essential need for a detailed understanding of aviation weather. This includes the appropriate threat assessments and strategies to adopt in relation to pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight operations, so that missions can be conducted safely under visual meteorological conditions.
The eight rules are:
1. Always obtain an aviation forecast.
2. Expect conditions to be worse than forecast.
3. Check actual conditions against the forecast.
4. Identify alternative routes and suitable diversion airfields.
5. Always carry enough fuel for unexpected situations.
6. Scan the sky and horizon for possible problems and note local surface winds.
7. Check weather reports while flying.
8. Be prepared to divert, turn around or land. (ie, Make sure there is an alternative course of action available should the weather conditions preclude the completion of the flight as planned. In other words, don’t be afraid to land and live.)