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Longlining Tips For A Someone New To This Art!

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OOPS forgot this one.


7. As said by someone above, don't over-focus on the line.

Fly the ship over your target and the line will follow a second later.


However, always check the remote hook is clearing obstacles etc.

If the darn rigger isn't giving signals, look at his head......

Compare the size of the hook cage to that of the rigger's hard hat on your approach. They are about the same size and this will help you determine your hook's height above the rigger.

Also, he is probably looking at the inbound hook, so his head position will also help you judge your height.

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Over-talk had a really good point I'd like to expand on. Learn the body language of the people hooking or unhooking you. It may be all you have if you find yourself somewhere where there isn't too much reference, ie. above the tree line in the winter. Another tip along the same line is to brief your groundcrews to keep one hand on the hook as much as possible. Its safer for them and takes the guess work out for you.


The other big thing about longlining is you are going to be exposed to a different kind of pressure from the customer. How many of you experienced guys have been out there when the customer has told you a smaller helicopter moved that same drill last year???? A bunch of customers don't know the difference between different models of the same helicopter or understand the affects of temp, altitude and wind. So, only fly loads you are comfortable flying.


I do some training for the company I fly for. Earlier this year a new pilot asked me, "what if you are on a job and the machine just won't lift the load, the load is broken down as much as it can be, and the customer is being very demanding. I told him it would be better to be kicked of the job than endanger yourself, the people under you and the machine. Typically those type of customers have a reputation back the hanger and you'd probably have a good laugh with your boss when you get back. It happened to me.


Play safe, and be smart.



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Great points by everyone.


Long lining, like any other area of flight, requires the pilot to be smooth above all. Many people get away with erratic control movements in other areas, but the consequences show up much more dramatically when on the line - especially in a Medium.... You want to be a "good" line pilot, then be smooth. Lots of people can fly with a line on, but the good ones are smooth and controlled.


If you want to be a good line pilot, follow the points posted by the others, but also make yourself fly the machine as smoothly and efficiently as possible in ALL areas of your job, it WILL help your long lining.


Make every pick up and put down as controlled as you can, put that hook on a rock, stump, drum, tuft of grass, anything - just make sure you have a goal. Even after a 10hr day moving drills, I still make myself put that hook somewhere specific when I get back to my fuel pad. It's just like regular take-off's and landings, why be sloppy on easy ones and only pay attention on toe-ins?


Practicing is good, practicing well is better.




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Move closer to the pedals (crank them back to you in a 206 or slide the seat forward 2 clicks in a 350).


As said before - fly in trim. When it starts to fall apart I concentrate on the pedals (everyone knows that as you change power you have to change the pedal position but it is easy to forget.)


First you get good then you get fast. Watch the really good drivers - they are slow around the people on the ground. Once the load is really clear then you can honk on it. Nothing upsets the ground crew more than having you launch with their hand entangled in the net.


Note that the fact that you are really concentrating will slow time down and what you think is taking a long time is actually momentary.


Ask for help. If the crew have a radio, get them to call the heights to you as you bring in the load. If they go negative - add power.


It is good to be the guy on the ground so you know what it is like...


Check out these guys...



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Move closer to the pedals (crank them back to you in a 206 or slide the seat forward 2 clicks in a 350).


Hmmm. I find that in the Astar, if I move the seat forward any distance, the door pillar prevents me from leaning over enough to see my load through the vr window. I haven't tried it in the air yet, but someone suggested I move the seat all the way back and turn the pedals backwards to get them closer to my feet. I've tried it on the ground, and I get the feeling the load will be just out of visual range in the rear left of the window this way, add to that the pedals being backwards will prevent me from fully stretching out my right leg to get comfy on the right "cheek"... :rolleyes:

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