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Heli-Skiing Safety & Operating Guidelines (HSOG)

In 2003, Heli-Ski U.S. adopted its Heli-Skiing Safety and Operating Guidelines (HSOG). Now in their fourth iteration, those guidelines have become the Gold Standard for safety in the helicopter skiing/snowboarding industry.

These Heli-Skiing Safety & Operating Guidelines (HSOG) are intended to provide the helicopter pilot, helicopter operator, outfitter and guide with an introduction to the fundamentals of helicopter skiing operations, to help establish guidelines for standard practices within the helicopter skiing industry, to provide a framework for continuing development of training and safety programs and to promote safety by identification of best practices in the industry. The HSOG guidelines should be supplemental to the helicopter operator’s Part 135 certificate requirements and operations, safety and training programs. In addition, the HSOGs require that each helicopter skiing outfitter develop, adopt and implement its own Safety and Operations Plan and daily Operating Procedures. Where a conflict may exist in those requirements, mandatory operations specifications adopted as part of the Part 135 operator’s operating certificate and the pilots’ professional judgment should control.

Importantly, these HSOGs should not be regarded as establishing rigid standards that allow for only one method of addressing a particular safety or operations element. Operational circumstances may make variance from HSOG guidelines and the outfitter’s Safety and Operations Plan appropriate. Similarly, the unique circumstances of a particular Helicopter Skiing Operation may dictate procedures that vary from those of other operations. Even careful implementation of a well-conceived Safety and Operations Plan will not eliminate the risks that are inherent in backcountry winter recreation activities. Ultimately, it is an Outfitter’s successful process for addressing and mitigating the underlying risks to Clients and employees that is most important.

PLEASE NOTE OUR LEGAL DISCLAIMER BEFORE USING OR IN ANY WAY RELYING UPON THE HELI-SKIING SAFETY & OPERATING GUIDELINES.

© Heli-Ski U.S. Association