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Standard Configuration

old dog

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I guess everyone is different, probably why there is no standards for switch positions. I flew the bendix grip on astar in canmore along with two jetrangers with 205 grips.......very comfortable and switches in similar locations. I find the newer astar grips ok for switch locations but are the most uncomfortable grip have used....each to their own...

Would height and seating posture come into play with this one?


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My thoughts.....

The lowest button on the cyclic should be the electric release for the belly hook.

It should have another switch somewhere to arm/disarm it....or use the two-button method as discussed above.


Whether you choose to fly with it armed or not is your choice.....(that discussion is very personal and will go on forever).......BUT, you must know by immediate instinct where the manual release is.

I try to train myself that if a major emergency arises, I will use the manual belly release and not even bother with the electric.....even if it is armed.


I agree with the thoughts discussed above, that the remote or bucket release should be on the collective.


This set-up is typical on most operators' machines that I have seen, and so therefore is as close to 'standard' as we may ever see.

This arrangement fits most styles of grips, and having the different releases in opposite hands seems to work well, and make sense.

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Sorry - I should have been more clear.

In this case it was a water tank load release on a 205.

I have seen remote hooks, water buckets, long line hooks ect on the non -essential on 212s and 205s can't remember about the 204.


If in doubt I too flew with the switch in manual.


I was trying to point out a potential trap - not being a/c specific.


I have never flown a Sikorsky with a hook installed.


I once flew an IFR 212 which had been used on firefighting and I recall - ( perhaps incorrectly as to which switch ) that when we got it back to IFR world pushing the trim release caused the windshield wipers to come on until the button was released. Big surprise to the chief pilot being as we were in a desert and the windshield had sand on it - large explosion on the part of the CP -quickly changed back to "Normal" configuration. Much laughter from the rest of us.


Ah yes, the old, "Select gear down and toilet flushes" mod. I know it well. :shock:


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Well another whose right discusion...LOL .Bell 205 grip as stated by others ,lowest button, ALWAYS to release. It has been proven in case and general studies that we will revert in an emergency or stress situation to a quote "Normal or instinctive reaction" no one out there has going to the emergency manual release in their head. Your instinct will point you to the electric release . If you are experiencing an emergency you will not have time to think and move your hand from the collective to the "T" handle in a 206 or reach up to the pull handle on some mediums (VIH) nor take a foot off the pedals or swing your heel side ways in the bell med. We do not train to use the emergency release we only talk about it . Our daily routine is to use the button or crawl under and do it manualy at the hook. The best and safest way is to run your belly "LIVE" and teach ourselves not to push buttons we dont need to. The use of a dual button system is plain IDIOTIC and should be banned, I personaly would not fly a helicopter set up that way. As stated above our minds can not react fast enough when they are already overloaded with dealing with the emergency at hand. The 500 by far has the best manual release in the world. (pull and its gone no thinking)


I dont know the whole situation but a few of us are familiar with a fatal 204 accident a few yrs back . It is said that the electric release was not set up or was differant than other A/C the pilot had flown( the 204 been set up wrong) and was a contributing factor in the fatality. Another lesson not learned in this industry.


If we go back to a basic you would find that there is a "natural " position to put the switches , the problem been that we bring into the mix our own personal choices sometimes brought on by over reaction to past situations. I hate to say it but we will prob never solve this one..Belly on the lowest switch cyclic ,remote on china hat (in a 206) or a side button top...otherwise on the collective ..

just my 4 cents....

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Dual button release idiotic eh Helirider212? Should be banned? Who in the lifting **** do you think you are? Are you saying all of the pilots and management at our company are stupid?


All of our aircraft are set up this way and consequently all of our pilots know, instinctively, that a squeeze with the thumb and ringfinger on the cyclic will release the belly hook.


With your strong opinion against our set up, I guess you wont ever have to worry about lowering your standards and going to work with a bunch of idiots at an idiotic company.


Happy flying.


Kevin McCormick

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We just had this discussion within our company. While we all agreed that it would be almost impossible to come up with an industry standard, we did agree that standardizing the fleet would go a long way to enhancing safety.


On the issue of the belly hook being armed.....a lot of that depends on the accesibility of the manual release and/or number of drivers in the front. In my former life at a large orange organziation we did engine failure training from a hover with a long line on. Using the manual release in some aircraft (like a JetBox) when you are stuffing the collective down is not an easy feat, especially considering that you have to pull it up AND slightly forward. I recall being asked by a relatively new pilot one time if I would fly with the belly hook armed working in trees with a 200 foot line. I suggested that I would given my prior experiences. A few days later the same pilot likely survived disaster by instinctively punching the belly hook at the frst recognition of a problem. Any hesitation would have likely precluded the release of the belly hook (manually or otherwise) due to preloading of the hook.


Regardless of switch or emergency release positions, there is no substitute for being fammilliar with the equipment that you fly and the controls required for normal and emergency situations. Mitigating the risk is the name of the game.


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