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Tips For A Rookie

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So a question from a rookie (me) to all you experienced and knowledgable folks. What are your best tips/tricks/methods/stories for shooting confined areas. I guess I have no exact question. Just always find I learn more from others then going over the "S's" and procedure 13 million times. Good and bad stories would be greatly appreciated :D


I did 99% of my training sub 10 degrees....then when my flight test came around it was magically 30 out and self taught myself how to get a robbie airborne hot and heavy. So my last experience left me a little shaky I guess....but I did pass so wasn't too bad eh? Anyway....enough of my babbling. :wacko:

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OK, I'll try my best.


Since you started out in the piston world, I'll continue on that thread :D .


I like to do a powe check first, before I commit myself (this will do for a 300CB, the numbers need to be modified for your craft of choice!!).


I'll fly 500 feet above the confined area (pinnacle/ridge), then slow to a hover (into wind of course!) without descending. If I can hover OGE then I will be able to hover semi-IGE at my confined area.


Alternately, I can do a power check. In the R-22 and the 300C there is a chart, that specifies the max allowable MP you may use at any time (in the '-22 there's also that 5 minute rating for a little extre puff!). Fly over your spot at about 500' AGL, at the speed for best rate of climb, then pull collective to max allowable (if you can reach it) The difference of what the MP read at best rate of climb, and the max is your available power.


If you have less than 1", be careful! (cushion t/o required)

If you have 1-2" you can do a normal t/o

If you have 3" or more, you can do a towering

If you have more than 4" a vertical T/O is possible.


These numbers are good for the 300CB, but not entirely sure if you need the same power margin in the R-22. Some of you Robbo-riders may help more (I only got measly 10 hours in the thing!)


I also like to take moisture into consideration when calculating Density Altitude. 10% moisture gives an increase of 100 feet, so 100% moisture increases D/A 1000 feet.


Do you know how to calculate D/A without a E-6B Computer or a D/A Chart?? Also a good skill to have!!


I also like the "american way of reconnaisance too!





Turbulence (over ridgelines)

Forced landing areas

Entry in

Exit out

Landing area


or W O P P E R




Path in

Path out


Recon (landing area)


That would be my 2 kroner! :up:

Hope I didn't waste time or space on something that was not what you were looking for!!~ :up: :up: :D:P

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Confined area work can be extremely demanding. Sometimes trying to 'think' of all that info may distract you from performing the confined area itself!


How big is the hole? Can I get in there? What is the best approach? Is it safe?


The more you do, the better you get!

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thank you for the replies. greatly appreciated. I have a check ride coming up somtime in the future with the company I am working for, so just trying to get my though process back.


What about weird wind situations. Say you have a nice elongated are....road perhaps....but the wind is 90 degrees to the best approach/departure path. best to find another spot? I know every siuation is different. Just been a while since I've been at the helm and am trying to keep the creative juices flowing. Anything jetbox relavent would be quite helpful as well...


how does the 206 behave on a hot day at/near gross? is it a scrape in and out like a robbie? :unsure:

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If you're up for a PPC, take it easily and don't try out anything new! It's just another flight!


With regards to the wind, you should be flexible and on the ball, remember, as long as it is not a tail wind...


You are capable of doing cross wind approaches, and sometimes the best way in will be out of wind...

Remember to think ahead, and take your time! :rolleyes:

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Confined area is no different than a normal landing. Your angle of approach is the only thing that changes.


This is in reference to single engine helicopters, piston or turbine.


On any approach to a landing area, always have your landing area X in site at all phases of the approach at a fifty/sixty mph approach speed. Should you have an engine failure, you will always make the landing spot with a dead engine.


Pratice this method and never change your method and it will keep you safe.


Story Time:


Once upon a time in 47G2 a gollygeeust wanted to land in a certain area and I said I would do a flyby and see what it was like.


If you have ever been in a Beaver or Otter and the pilot is checking out the lake for rocks prior to landing, you will have some idea what my passenger was feeling at the time, wing over at 80% and looking straight down.


Well this time in my trusty G2, I was looking straight down at the landing area in a tight turn and turned to my pax to state that I could land there but he would have to go to another area for pick-up. My pax was turning green and trying to hold onto and or put his fingers through plexiglass bubble for a better grip.


It cost me the better part of six beers before he became convinced that flying in a turn was no different than driving a bike (moto) and there was no danger of falling out.


The only other confined area item to watch out for is when landing in a tree's, remember that the wind on approach is different below the tree line.


Have fun, you will only gain experience by being carefull.



Cheers, Don

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All good points,......


In my opinion.....

Most helicopters....R22, B47, B206, B212, (even a 407 on a hot/high day) ....all fly like a bag of spit when they are at max gross, so get used to it and fly accordingly. Always load-up the disc early, rather than later.......CRUNCHHHH, oops, too late.

Remember that helicopters don't just suddenly 'jump' up to max gross weight.

You took-off in the thing a little while earlier, (and it has only got lighter since then) so YOU should know how well or badly it is performing.

If you have gone to a higher and/or smaller landing spot then you should be aware of the extra skill required to land (and the possibility of just saying "No, let's go and unload some gear back at that beach we just passed".


For elongated holes in a crosswind.......face into wind then fly the helicopter into the hole sideways up the slot, with disc loaded, of course.

For a really strong wind, you may just have to bring it up to the clearing straight into wind, then descend slowly, but quite steeply into it........remember the headwind (and it's extra lift) will die as soon as your disc descends below tree-top level. Again, pre-load the disc.


For tail/main rotor clearance.......

1, On the recce, I mentally picture my helicopter on the ground, in the hole.

2, Does the helicopter fit ?????.......if so,....

3, I pick a target......i.e. "that mossy rock would be 4 feet to the right of my door post".

4, I fly to exactly 4 feet from the mossy rock and STOP.........knowing that everything else is clear.

This will be a **** useful skill when you are flying heli-skiing in your R22 and must stop exactly beside a small black flagpole.........or CRUNCHHHH, oops, missed it.

Basically. concentrate on putting your door post where it is supposed to be, then the tail and main rotors will naturally end up where they are supposed to be.


Engine failures on approach.....

Some pilots fly approaches in a certain direction... "because the engine may quit" etc. etc.......

........and then tag some trees with the tail rotor, and have to roll-off a perfectly good throttle to save everyone's butt !!!! DOHHHHH !!

Rememeber that as a risk-manager you must decide what are the most likely things to go wrong today, and how serious will each thing be.

Considering that modern engines are extremely reliable, in confined area flying, the most likely problem is not an engine failure, so plan your approach to minimize blade strikes, settling-with-power etc. etc., and then engine failures etc.

Once you are back up at 2000' AGL, or on approach to a large airport, your risk factors will change (i.e. blade-strikes are minimal).........so assess the likelyhood/consequences of each portion of your flight on an individual basis, and fly accordingly.

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Finally found my POwer Check thing...


The correct version is:

Power check in the hover:

1. Read the MP before starting the engine, then subtract 2 inches

2. Read MP in hover

3. The balance of 1 and 2 is power available


1" or less, running T/O is the oreder of the day!

1-2" towering may be possible

3" or more and a vertical T/O may be possible


In flight, fly at 41KIAS (300CB) at 500' above landing area

read MP in straight and level flight

Pull all available power (without busting any limits of course)

when RRPM starts to decrease, read MP then reduce collective

the balance of the two reading is power available

less than 4" is a running landing

4" no hover landing

5" low hover

6" hover OGE

you MAY require 1" extra in very humid weather!


(unfortunately this works for pistons only...) :up:

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On any approach to a landing area, always have your landing area X in site at all phases of the approach at a fifty/sixty mph approach speed.  Should you have an engine failure, you will always make the landing spot with a dead engine.


Pratice this method and never change your method and it will keep you safe.

This sounds like an "un-confined area" approach to me. I suspect that if you maintained 50-60 mph while trying to land a 206 with a load of pax on a log-pad off of a side-hill surrounded by 150-200 foot trees it wouldn't keep you safe.



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