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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by benyflyguy, Jan 9, 2019.
pretty slick job to rescue an injured skier.
Wow. The pilot compensated perfectly for the weight and CG shift as the crew reboarded the helicopter.
I wonder if sticking the wire cutter into the snow was beneficial. He definitely had the master's touch.
I doubt the WSPS had any beneficial effect...maybe the opposite as a potential pivot point...anyway mountain helicopter pilots tend to be superior skilled aviators to successfully fly in those conditions and altitudes...not for the feint at heart...damn fine job.
Seemed like the front of the skids were angled perfectly to the mountain slope, which was probably a bigger benefit than the wire-cutter. Either way, seeing how close the rotor blades were to the surface makes me pucker up and I wasn't even on board!
You're probably right, I didn't even look at the skids. The wire cutter is so short it most likely didn't play a part.
The touchdown spot was on a hella steep slope. As you observed, the rotor disc was really close to the snow.
Definitely some very impressive ship handling.
Not to even mention the high density altitude and its effect on aircraft performance. Of course if he misjudged the distance and the blades contacted the snow, this conversation would be a lot different.
When someone can balance balls and skill-amazing things can be done.
Well done if I do say so myself. I would have been worried to be on the ground that close. If things would have gone wrong, I doubt any of them would have survived.
Mountain top yard sale for sure.
Those were my first two thoughts as well. I would have thought any contact with the snow/ground would make you less stable, but he seemed to use it to his advantage. And man, I was puckering looking at the rotors. Of course, you read enough books by VN helicopter pilots who talked about the need to clear obstacles by a couple of feet and I guess better pilots than me get a good feel for things like that. I'm a big chicken when it comes to clearance.
It actually makes it more stable. We used to unload/load stuff like tool boxes or components out of running helicopters with a skid on a safety fence or ridge line. Without that "fixed" point every push or pull would make the whole aircraft move. While it's always fun to watch, those types of ops are common in that environment, especially in Europe, and are usually part of the operators training program.
And as an FYI, the "angled skids" are actually extensions and are part of the wire strike kit. The front of the skids under those extensions have a small curve like you see on other helicopters.
I've never had anyone get in or out w/o the skids being firmly planted, so yes, that makes sense now. Thanks.
Same with a wheel(s),if the LZ allows for an anchor point, it makes for a more stable operation.
Kudos to the pilots who do this!! .got to know and trust your stuff.
That's a fact. But one time I had to extract some rangers in trouble and the PZ was in a swamp, not quite large enough for the rotor disk. Used the blades like a bush hog to cut small bamboo on the way down. Huey rotors were tough. Thank God and Larry Bell.
I've heard stories like that before, guys using the rotors to clear bamboo and small brush to make their own LZ.
Meh. I've skydived and rappelled out of helicopters. The skids were far from being planted in both cases.
What you have to watch out for is the tail rotor, which is a lot more fragile than the main rotor. That's where crew coordination comes in - the crew chief and gunner usually stood on the skids on either side of the UH-1 (with long safety straps) to tell the pilot to turn left, turn right, etc. in close proximity to obstacles.
WIth the CH-47 especially, you need eyeballs looking behind the aircraft. https://www.businessinsider.com/wat...ople-with-steep-slope-pinnacle-landing-2018-7. It's a hoot to fly, your cockpit suspended in space away from good visual references as you work the controls with great care -- all the time listening intently to the flight engineer who's looking out the back, or straight down through the "hellhole".
There are many ways to fly for money or duty, and to be satisfied doing it, but I really can't think of much I'd rather do than fly a helicopter on a real world mission. It can be a true life-saving machine. You don't get better than that.