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Dave D

Class D Ops

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So I've used the search function to no avail, but if someone knows of a previous topic I'll look there first.

 

So the question is what do you guys would do if (God forbid) the engine fails while you've got someone on the end of the line. You would obviously put the guy on the ground first since he has no protection like the pilot, but is that even possible to do in an auto rotation?

 

I know it's preferential to use something like a twinstar or 212, but from what I understand this doesn't do much good if you have no airspeed? And I've seen the videos and pics of course of single engine's involved in this, but here you must really have some procedures in place, especially if you're over rugged terrain.

 

Anyone know much about this?

 

cheers

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So I've used the search function to no avail, but if someone knows of a previous topic I'll look there first.

 

So the question is what do you guys would do if (God forbid) the engine fails while you've got someone on the end of the line. You would obviously put the guy on the ground first since he has no protection like the pilot, but is that even possible to do in an auto rotation?

 

I know it's preferential to use something like a twinstar or 212, but from what I understand this doesn't do much good if you have no airspeed? And I've seen the videos and pics of course of single engine's involved in this, but here you must really have some procedures in place, especially if you're over rugged terrain.

 

Anyone know much about this?

 

cheers

 

 

Just speculation here but I would guess that the safest place for the guy on the end of the line is farthest away from the helicopter as possible. That would be a very hard call to push the button and send him falling. Certainly if the heli lands on top or near him he is in big trouble. But like skydivers who have survived falls from thousands of feet up maybe there is a chance of falling into something relatively soft....SCARY!!

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Guest bag swinnger

I think the training differs for different companies but I can tell you that the company that I work for has done training on this in both theory and with a dummy on the line.

 

The manual says that "when an engine failure occurs the pilot shall instruct the essential crew to release the belly band, as the personnel on the long line touch the ground, immediately release the long line system from the belly hook. continue the auto rotational descent to touchdown clear of the personnel on the ground."

 

Practicing this maneuver in an astar was an eye opener to myself in that I could get the crash test dummy to the ground semi efficiently and release him with almost enough rotor inertia to carry out what would have certainly been a hard landing. Having said that, if there is an opening to land in, you normally wouldn't need to do a HETS maneuver in the first place and it would be into the trees or worse with an unpleasant outcome.

 

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Like bag swingger, we talked about at length about it on the ground before we went out. With a training pilot sitting in the left seat we began basically doing normal autos and then began slowing the approach at given altitude (deck height) and then finishing the auto. From there we went to a dummy line and load and would just punch it off as soon as the load hit the ground and finish the full on. Eventually we slowed the dummy load touch down to what would most definately be a survivable landing for the guys on the line and a full on with a bit of a run on. we were using a 206 so looking down to slow the load down then looking up to finish the auto was possible. I'm not sure how that would turn out looking through the hole in the floor of an Astar. We didn't feel that completely stopping the guys on the line or the load was absolutely safe in training so there was always some forward momentum. This was conducted in a large open area in a controlled situation. If there was a real (unexpected) engine failure (in cruise) in an area having a large open area at the bottom of the valley, we felt that the guys on the line and the aircraft had a pretty good chance at surviving. If there was an engine failure with little or no airspeed or with nowhere to go, it will most likely have a different outcome for somebody involved in the operation. It was very interesting as to what is possible.

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Thanks for the info guys. So basically there's atleast a chance for the guys, but I guess that if there's also a patient in a basket it adds a whole new problem for both the pilot and the tech. Would you guys ever drop them in a lake or pond near shore? Maybe not a smart idea if there's a patient involved due to the risk of drowning, but maybe the tech alone could survive from 20-30 feet, although I don't know how much that extra altitude would benefit you guys. What if you were up in the mountains and there's a spot to set them down with a good drop off (maybe a cliff) that you could use to gain speed back after releasing them?

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Dave,

 

The whole class 'd' type of operations is strictly last ditch effort to save a life. Is is determined that no other practical method is available, and this is what has to be done. The route in / out is as short as possible to minimize risk to the entire crew. It has to be understood to all involved of the extreme risk involved and the slim chance during that period that any catastrophic failue may occur during this operation. The rescuer on the line must understand this risk and be happy with the planning of the mission, anyone has the right to abort the mission. The outcome of a major aircraft malfunction, in the terrian that most of these extractions take place are most liking going to be disasterous. You can say that 'what if' the pilot set the crew here or there, you can 'what if' all day, but in the end the pilot probably has very few options, and less time to think about it.

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As per Trex, the shortest distance to an area which permits the patient to be loaded in the machine is the best procedure.

The majority of class D operations will be conducted out of ground effect, in a hover, and seldom at speeds above translational lift.

Some of the newer generation light twins with the help of a fadec could possibly "land" a technician on the ground in the event of an engine failure.

In a single engine machine, or an older generation twin, the unlikely event of an engine failure would likely have a very poor outcome.

Dope on a rope....but many thanks to everyone that does the deed!

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2007 and t-rex said it best so far. 95% of the time you are picking a person off terrain with no options as far as a place to go and then taking them to a confined area that provides only slightly more options. Not to mention that you are limited to 60 kias with hets installed.

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Good enough then, that feeds my curiosity.

 

And I agree that the few that do this don't get payed enough.

 

 

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