Joined: Jul 20, 2004 Posts: 3702 Location: Birmingham, UK
Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:09 pm Post subject:
The fact you have to do teach confined area landings on an airfield ( by which its definition is a large open space), so when the student has his ppl what is he going to do with the machine, er take it home to a hotel etc etc ( a real confined area). I could go on but I have got to go and get airbourne !
What is wrong with practicing confined areas into real confined areas out in the middle of nowhere? Providing you aren't breaking the low flying rules and you don't trespass by actually landing there's nothing preventing us doing this.
Although it would be useful to have an exemption be able to practice exercise 26 into real world confined areas and private helipads, I think there are a good number of potential confined areas out in the countryside to give the student a good feel for the techniques required.
Joined: Jul 20, 2004 Posts: 3702 Location: Birmingham, UK
Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:29 pm Post subject:
That would be nice! The trouble is though, once the student has their PPL they are often reluctant to take the instructor back out due to the extra cost. I always recommend doing a few hours into "real" sites - hotels etc. post PPL - it's well worth it. That's what I did and it really helped build confidence when it came to doing it alone. Some schools also insist that going into particular private sites you have done it first with an instructor (again, different companies have different policies - not saying all schools have this rule but I've come across two or three that have).
And back onto the subject of solo autos - I don't think it's fair to say the "standards are going downhill" as some have implied. If an operator has put a rule in place not to allow certain things to be done on self-fly-hire then so be it - it's the operator's aircraft and it's them who will have to fork out when the spindle bearings need replacing at the next 500hr because nobody bothered to report an overspeed, and the operator's liability if heaven forbid somebody killed themselves. You can't stop a private owner from doing what he likes in his own aircraft however.
The only way to learn is to practice. The only way to stay current is to practice more. Once you've learned how to do it safely, you can practice on your own, just like any other part of helicopter flying. It's no different, if you pick safe, wellknown places for practicing and use common sence. I practised auto's alot when i was PPL (long time ago, and power recovery to the hover, of course!), i still practised few times a week when i flew pistons as CPL (again, long time ago) but nowadays it has somehow faded to the background.
Before a PC was like a piece of cake, i did all the auto's that examiner asked, nailed it to the spot everytime. Nowadays PC's are all about getting autorotations to the level they were on a last PC....
It's your best life insurance you can ever get while flying helicopters, so if you have a good chance, PRACTICE!! There's a big chance there's no instructor sitting next to you when the real thing happens, so better be prepared to deal with it on your own.
I have to agree almost entirely with H500, I've noticed the skill level of instructors eroding since I learned to fly, some of which I believe is because we train a lot on Robinsons, most training accidents involve rollovers or some form of EOL training gone wrong, solution remove the need for the student to demonstrate an EOL himself. Which permeates into pilot base and instructors never really getting current and leaving their instructor courses able but not proficient enough to go into the real world and teach EOLs straight away. Take that a couple of pilot generations down the line and we have a lot of instructors who won't do EOLs to the ground, even though there is a need to demonstrate the to the student during his PPL.
This is almost entirely due to the fact that we traiin on a helicopter that wasn't designed for it and in proficient hands can be made to engine off like any other, but it is VERY unforgiving. I for one will normally carry out a series of power recoveries if i've not been in an R22 for a while before going to the ground, in most other types i'll do one and the head straight for the floor.
There are obvious caveats to all of this, newly qualified instructors (typically at 300hrs) probably aren't ready for EOLS to the ground in an R22 no matter how good they think they are. Schools need to protect their aircraft and don't want the bad press or worse the injured students after a post autorotation incident.
The R22 is a double edged sword, it has enabled lots of people to become pilots who perhaps wouldn't, but it has directly influenced the slow but steady erosion of skills in the instructing world, some of which has been forced upon us (generally without much resistance) and some of which low houred instructors have chosen quite sensibly.
I seem to remember CAP421 (and no I haven't looked) advocating autorotation as a manouver like any other which could be used for a quick descent, no emergency, just a descent. That was probably the case when the 47 was around a lot for training, now with the R22 in place I think if it were encouraged solo there would be more broken R22s around the countryside (some of which I guarantee would go unreported).
There is nothing to stop schools mandating confined area training for their newly qualified PPLs if they've not been somewhere like a hotel before. Empty spaces in the middle of nowhere are a good start, but they don't tend have people coming out of the woodwork to see what just landed outside, the flight isn't over at the end of the approach its when the rotors stop and some pilots miss the point about protectng the helicopter ignorant general public who know no better when they want to come and have a look.
I've glossed over a lot of things in this but its another view on the whole autorotation and EOLS should we or not debate.
Don't get me wrong the Robinson in my opinion is a cracking personal helicopter, on another note how many schools respect the wind limitations in the AD in the flight manual of the R22 ?
For PPLH training you have offically get an off airfield area endorsed by the CAA. The fact that just about everyone ignores this is actually a good thing.
Still come back to the idea of doing autos as dangerous to student and aircraft. So do schools stop students doing quickstops solo. That exercises has way more ability at
1. rotor overspeed
2. engine overspeed
3. Exceeding manifold pressure or overtorque
4. Hitting the ground.
You will be surprised at the number of times people actually autorotate in a descent and dont actually realise they are doing it. Safer to aotorotate if too high coming into land ( providing you are far enough away)if you are too high, get down then pull the power back in to stabilise at a sensible rate of descent than come in too slow too high with a massive rate of descent and then expext the engine to stop you !
That would be nice! The trouble is though, once the student has their PPL they are often reluctant to take the instructor back out due to the extra cost.
Simple to solve, Whirls. Don't charge! Just go and enjoy the lunch.
I seem to remember CAP421 (and no I haven't looked) advocating autorotation as a manouver like any other which could be used for a quick descent, no emergency, just a descent.
I was going to mention something like that earlier - when I was training, one of my instructors demonstrated that very technique. I seem to remember we were a bit high for Tollerton, so put it into an auto, lost 1000ft quickly, recovered and ended up at a reasonable height for approach. Interesting to learn that it's (might be?) in a CAP document.
Have to say, it's an option I've never exercised on my own - I've been high for a couple of sites, but elected just to orbit around to lose the height, and to get a better look at the landing areas. _________________ J.
One interesting point to note certainly in the 300 is that if you do engine offs on your own (not suggesting you do, but for the instructors) is that if you flare at the usual kind of gate height and with the usual kind of vigour you will reduce your rate of descent quicker and end up slightly higher than expected or if you vary the flare down to the ground you will probably float further than you expected the first time you try it. It may only be noticable if you had someone with you and they get out, if you went straight into a series of EOLs alone you may not even notice.
Its probably is the same in most light training helicopters but I've only ever done it in a 300, what do the R22 instructors observe if they ever get the chance to do it ?
Joined: Mar 03, 2009 Posts: 7 Location: Stratford-upon-Avon
Posted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:55 pm Post subject: Practice Autorotations
Can we put this subject unequivocally to bed. Helicopter insurance policies generally state, and I quote the Hayward Aviation Policy specifically:-
Section 1 Loss of or Damage to Aircraft, paragraph 2 "Insurers shall not be liable for losses arising as a result of practice autorotation on piston engine aircraft unless the pilot is accompanied by a suitably Qualified Flying Instructor".
If a PPL practices autorotation without a suitably Qualified Flying Instuctor, they are not insured. Insurance is a requirement of the law. Hence practice of autorotation by a PPL is in breach of the law.
If autorotation is required for operational purposes, ie collision avoidance, sudden need to rapidly lose altitude or in response to an emergency iaw checklist then you would be covered.
It does not define what is meant by a "suitably Qualified Flying Instructor". Common sense would imply that the instructor must have the skill necessary to conduct the autorotation without risk to the aircraft.
Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:14 am Post subject: Re: Practice Autorotations
Hope this clarifies the subject.
Definitely good enough for me and confirms what I thought. For me though even if insurance did cover it I wouldn't really want to be practicing something like that (without a competent instructor anyway) as it's a bit akin to practicing crashing a car into a wall in the hope that you can do it right and not get hurt
Thanks for the information there Mike, much appreciated.
Interesting that the Haywards Policy that Mike quotes only mentions pistons
Insurers shall not be liable for losses arising as a result of practice autorotation on piston engine aircraft......
Not all turbines have high inertia, some are fairly easy to overspeed, I wonder if the turbine engine polcy says though shalt not autorotate ..... in a turbine.
I'd be interested to see what the other insurance brokers / underwriters have to say about it.
And what additional cost they would charge to waive that clause (or even if they would), as we know everything has a price eventually.
In the current era, with most people learning on R22s I am certainly not advocating people throwing them towards the ground , but I don't think it should be across the board, whats the big problem in a properly set up 206 ? If a pilots skill level is so borderline that they cannot recover from autorotation in a benign aircraft like that perhaps gardening would be a better passtime.
Are we confusing an autorotative landing with entry into auto and recovery at 500 ft here. ie the difference between lesson 16 and 17 ?
As usual insurance companies are trying to wriggle out of everything. Students wont be able to go and practisce anything soon. Still think quickstops are easier to get wrong than autos in my humble experience
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