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Tips For A Rookie

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I cannot disagree with you High Velocity;


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


That will decide not only your angle of approach, but also rate of decent vs load factor and speed.


Paragraph has been modified accordingly.


Having never taught, I just do these things automatically.


Story Time:


One time working a power line with Ontario Hydro out of Kenora, I had to drop of 3 guys and a bit of equipment between some power lines west of Kenora.


Landing between the lines was not a problem, when actually into wind.


This day on approach with a heading of 360 degrees the wind was coming from the left at about 270-280 degrees, so I set up for an approach to land, no problem until I reached the point of no return, then the wind shifted to about 240-250 degrees.


The disc was loaded and I did not have enough power to nose it over and get out from in between the lines without hitting them.


So, I lowered the collective slightly, waited until the last moment, pulled the sucker into about 75 degree nose up, as I was in the flare the tail rotor struck the only stump in the landing zone, sheared the drive shaft,

I levelled out at the same time cutting of the engine and landed with no further damage to the a/c, other than being 20 degrees left of heading.


This was all done automatically.


The helicopter was flown out the next day, by me and I beleive Brian Nuttall was the engineer in Kenora at the time.


It would have been a non event, except for one bloody stump.


The average day for most jockeys that have been around for a while.


Cheers, Don

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Re: quote from OverTalk

"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."

(I don't know how to use the website buttons to pull quotes from others' posts)


I appreciate this point as it was the most significant issue I recall trying to wrap my head around when I was introduced to confined areas and I think Overtalk puts it well.


Early on in intro to confined's training it seemed very counterinstinctive to depart the height/vel zone (even briefly) to get into an LZ. If you're going into a tight spot (as helicopters do), you are adding risk to your flight and sacrificing some of your safety net. I recall relating well to my CFI explaining the engine failure may move down in ranking on the list of problems one may encounter as they execute a c/a landing then departure. It's up to the pilot to recognize all potential problems but constantly give thought to the changing biggest issues.


Like arriving home late from drinking with the boys. Plan ahead, maybe recci pass your house at normal traffic speeds to count lights on, consider your approach may HAVE to be with the engine off for noise abatement into the driveway, on short final enter via the path of least obstructions being mindful of your reducing speed (tip-toeing perhaps), load your disc early (finalize alibi in case of rude awakening), don't slow too much (or you'll be vulnerable to random wakenings after you should have already made it into the bed), in the last few feet strip off clothing/airspeed) while keeping your eye on your spot until touch down. If busted, fly it to the ground (request sex).



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