Helicopter air lifting, or aerial crane work, is a relatively new idea. Helicopters were first used for aerial crane work in the 1950s. Construction workers began using helicopters to lift heavy objects in the late 1960s. Using helicopters for lift work became an attractive and useful option because they could move objects easily and place them in new locations with accuracy.
Although helicopter lift work is popular in the construction and military industries, the field that uses aerial crane work the most is the logging industry. Logging companies have found that using helicopters is an easy way to transport large trees that are cut down in areas with rugged terrain.
Helicopter lift work is a fairly simple process. First, the helicopter pilot must decide how to lift an object. A heavy object can be lifted with steel chains, while a delicate object may need to be lifted with cloth straps.
Next, the pilot and team must rig the object. The number of cables used will depend on the size and weight of the object. Some will require only one cable, while others will require three or four.
After the object is rigged, the pilot hovers over the object while a team on the ground hooks the object to the chains, chord, or sling. Then everyone moves away, and the pilot slowly lifts the object into the air. If there is enough space, the helicopter may be rigged to the object while it is still on the ground. The helicopter then lifts the object and carries it to the new location. Another team on the ground then helps the helicopter pilot place the object in its new location.
The amount of time required for a lift job depends on its complexity. Some jobs can be done quickly and easily, while others can take months to plan.
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