Helicopter Marshal Procedures
Helicopter and fixed wing aircraft marshal procedures are different. This section covers
the basic marshal procedures for helicopters.
Helicopter Case III Approach Procedures
Case III procedures shall be used whenever weather conditions at the ship are below
Case II minima, or when no visible horizon exists, or when directed by the commanding
officer or OTC. Case III formation recoveries are not authorized except when an aircraft
experiencing difficulties is recovered on the wing of another aircraft. Formation flights by
dissimilar aircraft shall not be attempted except in extreme circumstances when no
safer recovery method is available. A straight-in, single-frequency approach shall be
provided in all cases. Precision radar shall be used whenever available. The procedures
below are mandatory for all Case III helicopter recoveries.
Helicopter Marshal Patterns
Assignment of marshal is predicated on topographical features, ships in formation,
operational restrictions, and aircraft capabilities. Marshal patterns shall be established
clear of clouds if possible. A formation of two aircraft may be assigned the same altitude
for purpose of section approach if one is experiencing communication or navigational
equipment difficulties. Otherwise aircraft shall be separated by 500 feet. Expected
approach times shall be issued in 2 minute intervals. All radials are relative to the BRC.
All patterns are right, standard rate turns with 2 mile legs. Marshal airspeed shall be
based on holding airspeeds in applicable aircraft NATOPS manuals.
1. LH-4 -- 090 degree radial at 7 miles, altitude as assigned. Base altitude no lower
than 1000 feet.
2. LH-5 -- Non-directional beacon/TACAN overhead marshal. An overhead holding
pattern on the 030 degree relative bearing, altitude as assigned (not less than
1,500 feet), 1 minute/2 nm racetrack pattern, left-hand turns.
NDB/TACAN overhead marshal base altitude is 2,500 feet during mixed aircraft