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HeliTorque :: View topic - Autorotation
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Torque, Chat, and Chill!

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Rotorman
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:46 am    Post subject: Autorotation Reply with quote

Hi
Please tell me, is it normal when flying around, you practice autoration your selv, or only with a CFI or copilot on board.
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WindSwept
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that certinally here in the UK, you would normally only practice autorotation with a CFI on board, infact im pretty sure your not allowed to autorotate for practive purposes without an FI? Could be wrong though.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other than the potential risks involved with not being sufficently experienced in the process why wouldn't you be able to practise it when solo? No aware of any law that says you can't..

I think you'll find however most SFH operators and schools will have their own 'rules' on what manouveres you can carry out when solo.

W.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Autorotation Reply with quote

Rotorman wrote:
is it normal when flying around, you practice autoration your selv, or only with a CFI or copilot on board.


Just don't do it to the numbers on the active.

"Student solo, Cleared for the option"
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WhirlyGirl
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would strongly advise that nobody practice autorotations without an instructor on board. One tiny mistake not corrected and it's curtains. Too many things can go wrong if you're inexperienced and I'm pretty sure I've seen insurance policies that specifically prohibit PPLs to practice autorotations alone.

Go up with an instructor once in a while to practice them by all means - it's well worth it, but for goodness sake don't let me have to read about you in a future AAIB report.

Sarah
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmm... I believe that it should be part of the training syllabus, but this is just my opinion. If an a student is taught with detail autorotations then they should go and do a couple on their own to power recovery, the aircraft will have different RRPM and handling/attitude chartacteristics in auto with one on board.

As mentioned though some insurance/school policies don't allow solo autorotations, unless FI qualified.

As instructors we have a duty of care to our students to show them power failures from many situations, not just 2000ft at 70kts. Not all should be practiced but atleast demo'd so the student has a basic knowledge of the handling required in different situations. This is providing that the instructor has completed them also to an acceptable standard under supervision of their FIE.

Engine Failures in:
- in cruise;
- on climb out (high power setting simulated at altitude);
- low level cruise;
- 500ft hover (CPL course).

... I feel should be covered by the FI.

Perhaps Mike Bill can throw his thoughts into this discussion.

Fly safe,

HH
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even instructors shouldn't be doing them unless they do them regularly, by which I mean every day!

Phil
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phil
Thats cobblers I am afraid. What is difficult about an auto ? In any machine with a govenor or good correlator then all you have to do is put the lever down maintain about a 50 kt to 70kt attitude depending upon type and the correct amount of pedal, most machines you dont even need to close the throttle if you are gentle in your flying. To recover is dead easy as well.
I am afraid we are getting to the point in flying and( everything else) where everyone wants to remove every last bit of riskto the deteriment of the overall picture. I am sure that we will be doing a written risk assessment shortly before we strap one on.
The student has to get confidence in himself, this only comes around with doing it ones self. Yes obviously the instructor has to be certain that the ppl or student is confident. I used to get all my ppl's on their courses to do solo basic autos ater doing lesson 17 adv autos.Dont now as insurance prohibits it.

Now if we are talking auto to engine off landing that is different and lthough that has been taken away by the CAA as too risky ? Why is it the standard of instructors has gone down ? Or what, notice I havent mentioned a certain training type !!!!
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Rotorman
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of different comment from very expirenzed people, not a single advise. As I understand only when you practice your are enabling to improve. Practice I don't mean only ones a year with a CFI. During my PPL (H) schooling, I was doing Auto nearly every leassons. I agree with Hughes500, but as a newbie I have to learn.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rotorman wrote:
A lot of different comment from very expirenzed people, not a single advise. As I understand only when you practice your are enabling to improve. Practice I don't mean only ones a year with a CFI. During my PPL (H) schooling, I was doing Auto nearly every leassons. I agree with Hughes500, but as a newbie I have to learn.


I think that what WhirlyGirl said is pretty good advice but then I would wouldn't I? Wink

Myself I am a PPL yet wouldn't even think about practising auto-rotations without an instructor on board as there is just too much that can go wrong. That coupled with the fact that most companies insurance policies don't even allow for it. As long as you have been taught them to a good enough standard and you have done them enough times to know what to do in an emergency then you should pull through.

If you are a PPL who has finished their training (actually training never finishes as we are always learning every time we fly) and you don't feel confident enough doing them then this shows that you need someone there showing you what to do. Even flying straight and level things can happen which can throw you off so something like an auto-rotation could possibly throw you off even more!

You said at the end of your post that during your PPL schooling you were doing them nearly every lesson but then you say that as a newbie you have to learn. I personally would rather learn with someone who has far more experience than I am just in case anything goes wrong.

If you are caught in a real auto-rotation then as long as you have had good schooling, have been demonstrated various auto-rotations and had a go for yourself then you should be able to bring the helicopter down without killing yourself.

I'm probably going to get shot for what I'm about to say but I don't care. If you bring yourself down safely but the helicopter gets written off then so be it!! I would much rather be alive and the helicopter written off than both of us written off!!

I see it that if the helicopters are well looked after then if that machine decides to give in on me then I am going to care about bringing myself down safely first, machine second! Although obviously the two go hand in hand to much of an extent! Wink

Even experienced instructors with many many thousands of hours can still have accidents / problems when doing something like an auto-rotation so it's not something to be scoffed at lightly.

I heard about many people (whilst I was training) who had just passed their PPL with under 100 hours and thought they are gods. They definitely were NOT and many crashed their lovely new machines. Luckily no-one ever seriously hurt but just under the belief that because they had passed their training that they are now ready for anything.

Whilst yes PPLs should be taught auto-rotations you have to remember that we aren't taught them to the standard that flight instructors are taught.

Yes we might get into an auto-rotation one day that we need to get out of and hopefully our schooling will enable us to do just that but hopefully also as much we won't be doing anything silly like hovering in the avoid curve or other such silliness Wink

It's kind of akin to driving a car. We get taught what we need to know to drive the car to the conditions that a normal motorist would face. We don't get taught how to drive like a rally driver as we shouldn't be doing that.

I know the two aren't quite the same but they're close. If you had just recently passed your driving test and were a little worried about going on the Motorway, what would you do? Would you just go right out onto the Motorway without anyone else or any knowledge of what you are getting into? I don't think so.

That's why we have the Pass Plus courses for drivers or friends who are fully qualified who can give you that extra pair of eyes you need at such a vulnerable moment. The same goes for auto-rotations. There could possibly be something that you miss that a qualified instructor wouldn't miss and this could be the difference between a good landing and a nasty one.

Just my thoughts though and what I would prefer.

WhirlyGuy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hughes500
Quote:
I am sure that we will be doing a written risk assessment shortly before we strap one on.


We have already reached that stage having to complete a written risk assessment form prior to any training exercise.


Whirlyguy
Quote:

I think that what WhirlyGirl said is pretty good advice but then I would wouldn't I? Wink


Yes, unless you want to sleep on the sofa! SmileSmile

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whirlyguy
Quote:

I think that what WhirlyGirl said is pretty good advice but then I would wouldn't I? Wink


Quote:
Yes, unless you want to sleep on the sofa! SmileSmile

W.


Hey I get to sleep wherever I like. This is the naughties (00's) you know!! Wink

WhirlyGuy


Last edited by WhirlyGuy on Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhirlyGuy wrote:

If you are caught in a real auto-rotation then as long as you have had good schooling, have been demonstrated various auto-rotations and had a go for yourself then you should be able to bring the helicopter down without killing yourself.

I'm probably going to get shot for what I'm about to say but I don't care. If you bring yourself down safely but the helicopter gets written off then so be it!! I would much rather be alive and the helicopter written off than both of us written off!!


Quite right, WhirlyGuy. I doubt any owner would want anyone killed in their helicopter - if it's written off, then insurance fixes it. Insurance can't fix someone who has been killed in the the incident.

I think it is important to note that the most vital thing about engine failures (particularly in the Robinsons) is the ENTRY to an autorotation. Even if you did nothing at the bottom (no flare, nothing) you're still very likely to survive if you've successfully got into auto. Why? Well, what's the rate of descent - about 1800ft/min maybe 2000ft/min? That's just over 20mph by my reckoning - I'd certainly fancy my chances of survival if I drove a car into a brick wall at 20mph!

That's not to say that I condone "doing nothing" - of course, have "a bash" at the flare, slowing down the ROD will help cushion that landing, and prevent more damage... but the point remains - entry into an auto is vital to get right!
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a good discussion, but I do agree with Hughes 500, the standard if instructors is going in the wrong direction, however their employers and the CAA are having an influence on this!

Whirly Guy:

"I personally would rather learn with someone who has far more experience than I am just in case anything goes wrong."

But we are not talking about initial autorotation training on your own, only when you have been able to demonstrate abillity to safely conduct them.

"If you are caught in a real auto-rotation then as long as you have had good schooling, have been demonstrated various auto-rotations and had a go for yourself then you should be able to bring the helicopter down without killing yourself."

Not if you don't practice them regularly I am afraid.

Rotorman:

Ask your CFI what the schools policy and insurance requirements are. If so, get some practice in with your FI, get up to date and in current practice with autorotations and if allowed, go for it.



Right I am away to jump in my low enertia S92 and pray the engines don't stop because there's no instructor on board.

Fly safe,

HH Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HaggisHunter wrote:
Whirly Guy:

"If you are caught in a real auto-rotation then as long as you have had good schooling, have been demonstrated various auto-rotations and had a go for yourself then you should be able to bring the helicopter down without killing yourself."

Not if you don't practice them regularly I am afraid.


I think I'd have to disagree on that point although in a certain way of disagreement Wink

My disagreement would be that when you learn to drive you are taught the controlled stop (used to be called Emergency Stop). You learn it and know how to use it but hopefully will never have to use it and I reckon that if everyone followed the road rules a lot better then I really do whole-heartedly believe that we would have zero crashes on our roads apart from that is if brakes fail and unseen circumstances.

That out of the way my point is that you know how to do it and shouldn't forget it as it is part of what you need to legally be allowed to drive. Practising this is possible but again even just in a car I would say you would be best practising this with someone else in the car just to let you know when there is definitely nothing behind you. We can't see everything all of the time.

Same goes for auto-rotations. I totally agree that if you don't practice something like auto-rotations regularly then there is less of a chance of it all going 100% perfect and not even getting a slight dent in the helicopter but as long as you have practised them to a good standard and have been taught well then it's something you should be able to perform to a standard good enough to protect your life.

If I may swear for a moment here? Sod the helicopter. As soon as it decided to not keep you in the air that was when it signed away its rights to being thought of as the sole reason to keep it protected. As long as you get down with your life in that kind of situation that is the utmost important factor as far as I'm concerned. Let the company sue you if they like. As long as you were doing everything you were supposed to do then the helicopter is probably going to be to blame Wink

Life is much more important than the frame / body of a helicopter in my eyes! Wink

I totally understand that you are talking about practising these after you are qualified as a PPL but still would it not be best to do this with a more experienced pilot on board until you have a LOT of hours / experience of performing auto-rotations whilst under guidance?

That along with the fact that I wouldn't think there are many (if any) commercial schools that would allow you to practise auto-rotations on your own then I don't think you would probably even get the chance to do this?

WhirlyGuy
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