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Low Flying

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Tactical Helicopter guys do lots of low flying, often in formation and often at night on goggles.


In order to operate in that environment they take several classes, flight training and instruction. As for low flying areas, they are kept up to date with regular reconnaissance trips and sometimes photos of hazards. All pilots operate in those areas with marked maps. The entire process is done to map out low fly areas when the units deploy too.


Just to go out low flying for the heck of it is nearly always an invitation for an incident or accident. 412Driver keep at it with those young eagles, besides teaching the perils of unnecessary low flying let them know that military low flying is very regimented and documented because it is hazardous. Also remember military low flying in helicopters is always done with two pilots trained in low flying ops so there are two sets of eyes, so if you are going to try it alone.....you are setting yourself up for grief. If we ever have to low fly in a war zone, all that training is what helps us avoid some very deadly traps. Some basics that get engraved in our noddles are:


-Anything man made means WIRES, nearly everytime!

-Never just look for wires, look for the poles!

-Never cross over a wire, always over the pole.

-Never assume that your route is free of wires even if you just flew it the day before, always assume someone could have strung something up literally overnight and therefore always keep looking for wires and poles.

-If you are going to operate in an area for a job at low level, demand time to fly a recce and mark a "wire and hazards map/diagram". Keep it up to date and always carry with you when you fly for reference and updates.


And remember to old saying, you will never be able to beat the lowest flying record, you'll only ever match it and it might cost lives.


Fly safe :)

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Guest graunch1

Now, if I could only type :huh:


I went for a nap-of-the-earth flight in a Kiowa a few years ago. It was indeed a buzz. I didn't think that 90 mph could be so fast until it was 2 feet off the ground ;)


Low flying for those who haven't got the training, skills and planning usually results in only one end result. All the wreckage is in one small area.

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Low flying, whether fixed or swing wing is a skill that has to be built up over time. If you are never flying low, then are on a animal capture job one day, you'll be sorely unprepared. Of course depending where you do your flying, it may or may not be a practical thing to be bombing arorund LL all the time, but up in the Territories, there's precious little to hit (other than terrian) and the comfort level can be built ovwer time.



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...............but don't make it a habit, (even in the Territories). Do it only when it's needed.

You have two friends in aviation,.....altitude and airspeed.........you should try to always have some of both, or lots of either one......especially if the engine quits........(even in the Territories).





Oh yeah......don't forget Glen Livet. He can be a **** good friend too !!

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That's exactly what I'm not saying. If you are going to be engaged in LL ops, you should know how you and your a/c react to various situations. That knowledge cannot be be learned in a book, here, or the bar.


Engine failures are soooo rare, that if that's the primary thing you're guarding against, you'll never dare to be in the air. But if you are stuck in low weather which tends to happen a lot in the VFR world, the last thing you should be stressed about is handling the a/c.


I personally think that the TC flyer with the "LL Checklist" is very misleading, but I guess that's another post. :D

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I agree that low level ops are a part of our industry, and therefore pilots should be familiar with the rights and wrongs, and how a helicopter will react.

Teaching this to new pilots was discussed earlier in this topic. It can only be beneficial.


My point was "don't make it a habit, (even in the Territories). Do it only when it's needed."


Bunny, you said in another thread that you were new to the heli industry. You will shortly find how different our world is from the fixed wing world.

Good Luck, Captain.

If you don't have altitude or airspeed as often as possible, you'll need all the luck you can find.

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Yeah, I certainly agree that being prudent about it is very important, and I do look forward to learning it all over again in the rotary world. I guess the main issue I have is that flight schools so rarely teach real world habits to the young guys that it gets frustrating froma operational point of view for the operator.


The whole "runway behind, sky above" thing is nice if your flying for fun from A to B, but up North where you're operating out of REALLY short strips and working with game branch all the time, those same edicts can get you in trouble. Packing too much fuel for example in off-strip work will get you nowhere fast, and as I stated before, the capacity to feel a level of comfort down low is vey important whwn slogging along in the soup in an airplane when you can;t stop and wait it out. Of course moderation, maturity and common sense are always the overiding factors, but TC's blanket approch to LL ops is backwards in my view.


Thanks for the welcome to your side, I am truely excited and humbled all over again. As I said before, if there is any rules of thimb you guys live by, I'd love to hear them. have a great weekend.

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