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Ntsb Wants Terrain Avoidance In Helicopters

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Quote: "Using what you have available to you to make your job as easy and safe as possible." :angry:


Red Dawg - if you persist in using common sense and airmanship as well as encouraging the use of such aids to others I shall be forced to report your posts. Severe censure if not outright expulsion will be sure to follow.


Your simplistic answers to simple problems that could, so easily, be made into complex problems with confusing, expensive, ineffective if not out rightly unviable solutions will only encourage others to do the same.


We remember with horror the Air Regs ands Airnav orders, which when laid one atop the other were less than 3/4 if an inch thick. Only through brilliant efforts at streamlining and simplification did we come up with CARS which easily stack to a height of over a meter (Before toppling over like a drunk on Saturday eve. They also now make equal sense as the aforementioned tippler!)


We remember maps of superb quality and clarity - it took years of research and development as well as millions of dollars to come up with computer designed and drawn inaccurate ones printed on both sides. Easily a five fold increase in "stupid." They also help keep our SAR assets in good training.


How did we ever survive with those ops manuals which were dim mimeographed documents covered in coffee and beer stains which basically said:” Stay above 5 feet and don't do nothing Stupid." "Telegraph or, at least, leave your position and intentions in a cairn on top of a prominent hill once a month if able.”, “No news is good news." and "Send signed flight reports by dog sled once a month."


Now with our new company manuals (another stack over 1/2 a meter high and growing at an alarming rate.) the level of efficiency and safety of our operation is assured. By the time all applicable limitations and requirements have been found, debated, computed and applied rapidly approaching darkness as well as flight duty time regulations will preclude any commencement of aviation. Besides we know that night flight is dangerous and to be avoided at all costs.


The mere thought of how the Dangerous Goods people have helped us lead me to remember with a shudder how we used to risk our lives by merely saying – “ If it smells bad, has smoke coming from it, or is under pressure and hissing I ain’t gonna carry it”

How many helicopters did we loose a year before the DG guys saved us? Must have been one or two a week!


I am sure they, at sometime in the future, will solve the problem of how to carry all these books and regulations and some clothes to our work assignment while staying within out 20 KG baggage limit.

In the interim the temporary expedient of delegating their dispensement to the same famous group who ship our spares is working brilliantly. They should arrive sometime in 2009.


I hope you will take the advice offered here and desist in your efforts at clarity and common sense – no good can come of it. :up:




FYI: I figured out that the AVAD on the 76 does not say: "CHECK GEAR" @ 500 radalt but is actually a recording of my ex saying "CHEQUE DEAR! CHEQUE DEAR!" No wonder it annoys me so.

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The article is not specific enough to be able to establish a "requirement", as I said earlier it could be a little fix or a big one.


I don't know why you guys are getting your shorts in a knot anyway. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have a Radio Altimeter (RadAlt) installed in your aircraft unless the assistance of an electronic aid offends your rugged individualism.


As for their usefulness in VFR OPs, when the aircraft I was flying was equipped, I found them useful, especially while longlining. It's just a matter of using what you have available to you to make your job as easy and safe as possible.


I did not know anyone had there shorts in knot...was just putting the question out there to see if anyone could shed some light on how the system would be implemented in an environment that involves varried terrain, multiple landings, and close proximity to the ground.


If I am not mistaken a radar alt tells you how high above the ground you are at any given moment. I would assume if one was flying over a constant elevation ie the water...this would be an effective means of terrain avoidance. If you are flying in the mountains and lose reference I do not believe a rad alt is goiing to do you a **** bit of good. Well it will give you a second or two to kiss your *** goodbye. . I would take a moving map gps set on the terrain avoidance screen to a rad alt. But even that is not effective below a couple hundred feet. As for long lining...I guess it could be useful to some, not really sure how though...I prefer to look out the window to judge my height and closure rates. I do not know how terrain avoidance system is going to make a day of heliskiing or flying surveyors safer.


Terrain avoidance definitely makes sense for some missions but a blanket rulling requiring every helicopter that carries more than six people on any type of mission to employ it is a bit absurd. Welll in my opinion anyway


But thanks for the insight Reddog, maybe someone else can constructively answer my question.

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I have a novel idea concerning this problem. How about paying attention to "what-the-f*ck" is happening on the flightdeck. If you don't do that much, it doesn't make much difference what you put in that a/c because something else is going to happen sooner or later.........bet on it.

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I think you are confusing "avoidance" with "alerting".


"Terrain avoidance" would require the whole shebang, fully coupled four axis autopilot, EGPWS and real time GPS mapping. In other words, a helicopter that will warn you and then avoid the terrain problem all by it's self even if you do nothing. I don't think that is going to be the requirement. Your poor 206 would never get off the ground with all that gear installed.


A "terrain warning" system is just that, it warns you if your height AGL decends below the limit you set on it.


In the GOM situation a RadAlt and some effective company SOP's would have avoided result.

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Cap...I could not agree with you more!


Reddog, I appreciate your "definitions" but I am not confused..you have not answered my question...how does the necessity of a "terrain awareness" system benifit a vfr pilot flying a mission with multiple landings, moves, etc.


I don't think that it makes sense and is a silly ruling that will not make a hoot of differnce for most operations. The best protection against flying into the ground is the pilots awareness. There is no excuse for that to happen in a two pilot environment. Not saying a rad alt would not have provided a visual clue and prevent the accident...but nothing beats due diligence in the cockpit. Now if their alt, vsi were not functioning due to a plugged static port...and the gps was offline..and the artificial horizon was faulty..I suppose one could fly into the ground while paying attention. The fact that they were flying vfr on a dark featureless night does not make much sense..even still they should have been treating it like an ifr mission.

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