Can Helicopters Fly in Bad Weather?

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Pilots of helicopters flown under VFR (Visual Flight Rules) are required to maintain sufficient visual references to control the helicopter. Helicopters operated under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) are properly equipped and certificated to be operated by an instrument-rated pilot without visual references. Helicopters operated under IFR may fly into clouds or other conditions where visual contact with the surface is not maintained. The minimum weather conditions for take off and landing of IFR flight will vary with the location, equipment, and facilities available. Also, high winds, gusty winds, or turbulence may limit helicopter operations. Minimum cloud height (ceiling) and visibility requirements are established by JAA Regulations. In addition, the helicopter operator may have more conservative rules with which the pilot must comply. Such rules provide safety for the passengers and crew. Safe operators maintain high standards. Managers or passengers should never pressure the pilot ... more
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