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What is Helicopter Underwater Escape Training?

Updated: May 23, 2023

Helicopter Underwater Escape Training or for short HUET is a course that prepares you with the knowledge and skill to safely disembark from a helicopter that has made a forced landing in deep water or ditched into water.

I recently had the pleasure of doing a HUET course and I can tell you it is definitely a bit of a challenge. Especially the practical part where you are strapped into your seat in a module (cabin) and "dunked" upside down in a pool and you have to escape. It was a great course and as a helicopter pilot who flies over water daily, it is a must have!

I am sure you are curious to know what it is all about, so I will try to answer the most commonly asked questions as simple as possible.

What is HUET?

HUET is the abbreviation for Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. It is survival training and needed for personnel going to and from offshore facilities as well as pilots flying over long stretches of open water and/or island hopping.

What’s involved in a HUET course?

In a HUET course you will learn about topics such as, helicopter safety, emergency procedures, underwater escape techniques and sea survival. The practical part are conducted in a pool utilizing a specially designed HUET module and life raft.

The HUET module represents the cabin of a helicopter. It can rotate at least 180 degrees while being submerged in water to simulate a helicopter ditching resulting in capsize. While in the cabin participants put into practice skills like brace positions, escape plans and routes and the operation of emergency exits.

How long is the HUET training course?

The basic HUET course is usually a one day course.

How long is HUET training certification valid for?

The HUET certificate will last four years. Once it expires you can do a refresher course (in most cases).

Where can I do my HUET course?

Depending where you are in the world you will find Institutions all over the world offering HUET and othe important safety training courses.

I did my course in South Africa at Project Maritime and Survival Offshore Training in Saldanah Bay, Western Cape because who can say no to a Cape Town holiday (after the course).

You will find quite a few Training Facilities in Australia, USA and Europe.

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