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old dog

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Well Kevin yours and my response to each other is what makes this industry go round. The two button system works well when you are trying to manage "accidental " release. It will not work well in a highstress situation , unless you have trained over and over and over for that . Plain and simple the companies dont have the time or expense to train you, me or Billy Bob , enough to over come our instinctive reaction in an emergency. I dont have the information to quote to you, but the "experts" say we have to do a function repetatively 100's of times before it "the new way" becomes our automatic reaction. That is to say if you are flying the 2 switch set up you need too repetatively dump your belly hook in the said manner in order for it to become automatic. L3 driver tells a story of exactly what I am trying to say. The 2 button idea was derived as a quick fix to aliviate accidental release, and yes I am saying it is idiotic , as it is not safe when you are in an emergency.

I dont know how close you have been , I can tell you I have been closer than I want anyone to be and I will stand firm one does not have time to think about extra's unless you are flying along fat dumb and happy at more than 2000 agl...I snagged a load of chokers once been chased by the Crane, and I can tell you in that instance I did not have time to think about a "T" handle one button let alone 2, the only thing that saved me then was the belly hook exploded and released on its own....I can also say I have never released a load "accidentaly " and I run live belly always,always will. have for 18 yrs.

I dont mean to be calling you or your company an idiot, or idiotic, Just simply put the idea. If you have trained and I dont mean talked about it I mean trained for it, all the better for you and your shipmates. I do disagree with the 2 buttons been mandated, it should be pilot choice on that one.

Gotta love the bickering, makes the industry go round.


Fly safe...


I will come out from behind the anonimity mask...Dave Hilpert

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I respect your opinion and appreciate your response Dave, but I still stand by my opinion of our two button system. And, yes, I have been caught having to get rid of a load quickly. I had to release a drip torch and full drum of fuel to keep from becoming part of the fire I had set. It happened very fast, and I wouldn't want to be in the situation again, but I was able to release quickly and fly away.


All of our guys have to use the two button system to release the belly hook on any of our aircraft - 206, L3, 407, 205 - so I guess you could say that we are internally standardised. We all train and operate normally with the two button belly release, so OUR natural reaction when having to get rid of a load quickly is to squeeze both buttons at the same time.


A problem could arise if a new pilot came on line and was not trained properly and didn't spend time in the cockpit practicing "dry run" emergencies.


I do agree that one of the best things about this industry are the discussions, sometimes heated, that arise and the changes, when neccessary, that occur.


Bottom line for me is, like Skids Up, know your aircraft and practice, practice, practice.

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As I spend all my time in a bell medium and havent flown much of anything else in the last 10 years the 2 button release is best for me.


It reduces the chance of accidently punching it off, and once your used to the system it's second nature to hit both at once when you want to release the belly.


For new guys to the company there is a danger as they are not used to pushing two at once, and it takes a few weeks to make it second nature. I could say what happens if an emergency happens in the first 2 weeks but come on....many of us spend all our time fully loaded in a hover with the load in, or just above the trees and if I was that scared of something happening in the first two weeks I would not be in this line of work period.


I recognize that if I add another 15 years of seismic to the 15 I have already done I realize that the odds of something nasty happening are more than I care to calculate. I clasify nasty as two primary things.... one is accidently punching off a load with guys below and the other is a stove quitting. I recon the odds are that I am more likely to accidently punch something off than the stove quitting. For me this validates the 2 button release.....I can punch it off in a split second if I have to....and it greatly reduces the chance of me accidently punching it off.


I have significant issues with disarming the electrical release, I think the chance of me getting my foot on the manual release is pretty slim.


My faith in a 2 button release would be seriously compromised if I was flying different machines as all the grips are different, but I dont.....so for me....2 button release is best.



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So I have a question for the 2 switch system folks. How would you go about utilizing a manual release lever mounted on a collective. Do you think it would be an impedance for the pilot to hit two switches and pull a lever as well? Something we do, is to hit the electric release and pull the manual at same time. I know you fly all Bells which don't have the luxury but interested in your feed back.



And where is your remote hook release button. I think the U.S Forest Service demands hook positions and think they require one on cyclic for belly and one on collective for remote hook but not positve.


I had an interesting thing occur this summer, prior to flight I checked the electric release and reset the hook. When I lifted off into hover the load came off hook. it was rehooked but wouldn't stay....long story short the electric switch had stuck in the "on" position, had I been flying with the hook unarmed then arming it prior to landing(some guys do this) the load would have released inflight.



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And where is your remote hook release button.


Because all of our have been "standardized" within the company, you will find them all on the collective.


Applies to: long lie hook, long line bucket, belly bucket etc. Belly hook switch(s) only controls the belly hook.


As a side, once long ago, I worked at a place that would unhook the belly hook circuit, and use it for the long line. THAT was an accident waiting to happen...


Personally, I don't care for a "china hat" release, mainly because on ours, that is the loud hailer switch!!


For me, looking down the line (mediums) and having the switch under my left thumb, works well.

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I dont like the two button release. I understand the concept behind it, but with this system you need to have alot of practice with it to make it safe. With my head stuffed in the window I find it ackward to climb up with my thumb to get the upper button since I hold the cyclic at the bottom of the grip. I also dont like relying on the emergency release in a jetranger/longranger. I dont think there is any way I would be able to release that thing and get the pole down in a reasonable amount of time if the stove goes out. The manual release on a 500 on the other hand isn't so bad.

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I like the idea of company standardization. I worked at one time for a company that had over 60 helicopters. They had more work than helicopters, so consequently, the fleet had a lot of colors. It seemed like if it didn't have a company name on it, it was ours. Anyhow, this meant that there were a lot of different electrical hook release configurations. There were a lot of electrical release snags fixed by figuring out which button, or combination of buttons to press to get the thing to let go.


As far as one button/two button goes, I really don't know. I am not a pilot and do not know the challenges as well as someone who is. If every jet buggy, or squirrel (one for my kiwi pals), or whatever in the fleet works the same as per type, I think there is less chance the wrong button will be pressed or not found at the wrong time.

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