Jump to content

Notice: Effective July 1, 2024, Vertical Forums will be officially shut down. As a result, all forum activity will be permanently removed. We understand that this news may come as a disappointment, but we would like to thank everyone for being a part of our community for so many years.

If you are interested in taking over this Forum, please contact us prior to July 1.

Autorotation Choice

Recommended Posts

There is no "one size fits all" answer. Time of year, temp of water (or thickness of ice), depth of water, height of trees, slope of the ground at the lake (or inlet if on salt water) are all considerations when making that split second choice. There is no point of landing in water and then dieing of hypothermia if you should have to wait for rescue and can't get a fire going (carry a lighter in your pocket...). Knocked unconcoius on the ground or in the water in an upside down machine, post crash fire if going for the trees, who are your passengers (little kids?)... lots to think about. So many considerations.
Some places on the West coast you could conceivably get caught in the (tree) canopy when autorotating into trees 200 feet up, can you imagine a post crash fire in such a situation? Falling through onto the ground from that height is also not a very appealing option. Also putting it down on steep ground and rolling to the bottom of a slope... sounds delightful. Anywhere it is relatively flat and in areas where the trees are not as tall it might be the better option to go to the trees though there are still some places on the flats where the trees are tall enough to make landing in them a challenge to say the least.

As H56 mentioned a water egress course is a good bit of training to have but also to run through the scenario in your mind from time to time so that when you are faced with making that decision it will come to you with out hesitation.


Just a few thoughts,



  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love this question.


I can't remember if I asked it on here, or just to various training pilots / CP's, but I'm also curious in the choice between a cutline that you KNOW is narrower than the rotor diameters, or the trees to either side.

Would rotor contact at tree height over the cutline lead to an unpleasant drop to the bottom without anything to slow the body of the machine down? Would choosing the denser foliage be the preferred option?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dense foliage, and the denser the better as there is a chance you could just end up on top and be able to climb down (happened three times to Al Ascah). Widely spaced trees are just obstacles.


For the cutline you would have to pull everything you have before you reach the treeline, as it is useless afterwards. Then accept the drop. A jetty or 500 would probably take that without doing too much harm to the occupants, but I'm dubious about anything else.


Oh yeah, don't forget to go in tail first.


If the water is shallow, maybe, but if you end up underneath and have to get out - well, all the egress training in the world is useless if your arms are broken.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...