Jump to content

Landing In Deep Snow?

Recommended Posts

I'm not so sure about that MG. If one has screwed up and gotten oneself into whiteout,how can you be sure your not drifting anyway. Sounds like a good way to roll the machine over.

If it "works" for you ..fine but it sounds like you got REALLY lucky.

Never land in powdery snow without references. The closer to the A/C the better. A shrub in the chin bubble is perfect. NEVER land in the middle of a frozen lake or snow covered field. If you feel you must...look for a game or ski-doo trail,something packed.

Having the landing lights full on sometimes is a help as it will define the snow in close to the machine.

Make sure you pack the machine through the crust since the deeper you are the more stable the machine will sit.

It also won't settle onto a customers leg when they are out tramping around the skids.

Just my 2 cents.


So then what would you do when you cant see go up and have a much longer decent after slaming into a tree or what???

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Food for thought

I was landing in an oil well with a couple passengers with a Jetranger, although the snow wasn't up to the belly of the a/c, the bear paws were holding my tail in the air. As my passengers got out the same side and stepped around the skid to the cargo door they must have loosend the snow under the bear paw and caused the left side to sink. It wasn't enough to cause a problem (still at 100% rpm) but it got my heart a pumping!! After that I explain in my saftybriefs about the bearpaws and why to stay away when in deep snow.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Mountainflier


Just a couple of other things to consider. Don't get caught up with the amount of snow out there. Whenever you're working in snow, make sure you have good reference no matter how much there is. A couple of inches of soft and fluffy will get you in as much trouble as bottomless powder when it comes to reference. The closer you can land to whatever the reference is the better, but remember if that object is going to be inside the rotor disk, make sure it's short enough to not get into your blades.


It is also better to use more than one object, if you loose one, you may get a second chance if you have another reference to switch to. Judging your speed can sometimes be tricky in flat light, I've seen my point of reference vanish as I passed by it more than once. Having that backup will save your bacon.


Another trick an old timer taught me was to develope a standard approach. No matter the conditions the last phase of an approach to landing should be exactly the same. The theory behind this is that if things go terribly wrong in the last few feet of your approach, nothing changes. If you're coming in with the perfect speed with the disk loaded and all is set up just right, nothing should change from any other landing. If you know you're set up, everything is just right then you loose all reference with a couple of feet to go, if you do everything exactly the same as every other landing, you should AND I STRESS SHOULD arive at your spot with the spinning side up.


Flying in snow is tricky business and catches us all off guard every once in a while. Be extra carefull out there and use everything you have at your disposal to make it safer for you.


Fly Safe



Oh yeah, one more thing. At some point in your career you're going to have the chance to fly different types of aircraft. Multibladed aircraft tend to have shorter blades and a more condensed area of downwash. In this case the snowball tends to come a little later in your approach. So.....great we can see for a longer period of time. But watch out, that condensed area of downwash will make things very white very quickly, right when you really need to see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So then what would you do when you cant see go up and have a much longer decent after slaming into a tree or what???

MG Relax. It's not personal it's just an opinion.

In my previous post the point was to not get yourself into that situation.

I know it occasionaly happens though. Every winter landing is different and must be evaluated. Ask yourself questions: Whats the temperature? Will there be a crust from warm weather or freezing rain? Can I HOGE to clear some snow from the hole etc.. Failing that ,treat every landing expecting whiteout.

As for your last post ,why would I slam into a source of visual reference.


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...