Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT): Helicopter Operation and CFIT Awareness and Prevention

Controlled Flight Into Terrain | CFIT

Helicopter Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) Prevention



This safety article aims to highlight the critical aspects of Helicopter Operation, specifically focusing on Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) awareness. CFIT incidents remain a significant concern in aviation safety, and understanding and mitigating the associated risks is crucial for all helicopter operators and pilots.


 Key Points:

1.  Terrain Awareness and Avoidance:

  • Pilots must maintain continuous awareness of their surroundings, including terrain, obstacles, and weather conditions.
  • Utilize advanced avionics and terrain awareness systems to enhance situational awareness during all phases of flight.

2.  Flight Planning and Risk Assessment:

  • Thorough pre-flight planning is essential, considering terrain elevation, obstacles, and potential weather changes.
  • Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment, taking into account the specific characteristics of the intended route.

3.  Altitude Awareness:

  • Maintain a safe altitude above terrain and obstacles, especially during low visibility conditions.
  • Avoid unnecessary low-level flying and be aware of changes in altitude during different phases of flight.

4.  Use of Automation:

  • Understand and utilize available automation features to enhance navigation and terrain awareness.
  • Regularly train and practice with automated systems to ensure proficiency and confidence in their operation.

5.  Crew Resource Management (CRM):

  • Foster effective communication and coordination within the cockpit crew to share workload and maintain vigilance.
  • Encourage a culture where all crew members feel empowered to voice concerns related to terrain and obstacle avoidance.


 Emergency Procedures:

1.  Go-Around Procedures:

  • Establish and adhere to clear procedures for initiating a go-around if the approach or landing conditions deviate from the planned parameters.

2.  Immediate Terrain Threats:

  • In the event of an imminent terrain threat, prioritize a rapid climb or evasive action while maintaining control of the aircraft.


Controlled Flight Into Terrain incidents are often preventable through proper training, awareness, and adherence to established procedures. Helicopter operators and pilots are urged to prioritize safety, continuous learning, and a proactive approach to mitigate the risks associated with CFIT.

This article serves as a reminder to all stakeholders in the aviation community to prioritize safety and work collaboratively towards preventing accidents related to helicopter operations.

Also Read

Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) System Description & Operation


Post a Comment