Jan 16 2013 By Cheryl Mullin
The conditions were bad enough for London City Airport – at London Docklands – to announce flight delays.
The Civil Aviation Authority lays down the routes that helicopters must take over London. Normally flights by single-engined helicopters are prohibited except along the route of the River Thames.
Some helicopter pilots are licensed to fly when conditions dictate the use of instruments.
But helicopters travelling over London are subject to visual flight rules.
A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesman said: “Helicopter operations in central London are strictly controlled. Single-engine helicopters are required to fly along designated routes, which have been selected to provide maximum safety by routing helicopters along the River Thames, avoiding flying over built-up areas as much as possible.
“Twin-engine helicopters can operate in wider areas. However, all aircraft operating in central London are subject to air traffic control clearance.”
He went on: “There are requirements for lighting on tall structures. In addition, where appropriate, very tall structures are also notified to pilots for flight planning purposes, as was the case with the crane that was involved in this morning’s accident.”
The CAA added that it would provide any assistance required by the AAIB.