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Air Restart

The Horrors of Intructing

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#1 R22139RJ

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 21:42

I was doing some instruction at a Helicopter fly in the mountains. There was a wide array of students looking to fly the R22. The fly in was geared toward experimental helicopters (Rotorway, Helicycle, Mosquito...) and many people were learning to fly in the 22 in order to be able to fly their own machines. This led to no briefing time as students were loaded in after each flight as the helicopter was running.

Being the inexperienced young, go get 'em instructor I was thinking value. I had done a few initial instructions, straight and level, turns and all that, then I flew with a guy who had Robinson time but it has been a few years. He hovered well and seem to pick things up again and at this point, began my string of bad decisions.

We were flying out of a meadow and in the sierras, tree rule the landscape, giant, F*** off trees. We started at the meadow for a traffic pattern, I wanted to make it just like you would at the airport, 500 agl, 1/4 mile away. Problem here, is the terrain from the meadow had about a 100 foot upslope, usually not a problem but mistake number 1. On the downwind, I decided on training value instead of keeping it safe and being extra high. I decided to let him use carburetor heat for the landing and you can all see where this is going. Count mistake number 2.

The mountains are cold in May so the student had a nice puffy jacket on. I said ok, downwind checks... his hand reached forward around the left side of the stick. I figured, holy crap, thats the mixture... "NO, NO, NO, Not that one," my hands got ready for the auto, well, little did I know he reached for the trim in the front thinking it was carb heat. So if its not that one, it must be the red one and the sound of the engine leaving me. He removed the guard, pulled mixture.

Being at 500agl of the meadow I was looking at maybe 400agl over my current flight path and 80ft trees for a landing spot. I thought, flare high fall straight down or go through the trees.... I took my hand off the cyclic, put in the mixture, yelled repeatedly restart, restart, and thankfully the student made it happen. Engine fired right back up, I have never rolled on throttle so hard. Entered a nice right base and took my new favorite helicopter for landing.

I've learned so much in such little time.
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#2 kodoz

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 00:32

Thanks for sharing.

Not that it would have helped you, but I teach my students right hand under the legs for mixture (it's uncomfortable, and impossible in flight), left hand for the reach-around to pull trim. Anybody else doing this?
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#3 gary-mike

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 00:43

WHoooo! Sounds like your hind muscles got a prison prep! Glad to hear the outcome was good.
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#4 Sonic04GT

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 14:56

Wow. Glad you (or he) were able to make it happen.

#5 rodrop

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 19:54

Thanks for sharing

#6 eagle5

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 13:21

I thought about this one last night as I was running around the pattern, and I noticed a couple of things that might help?

1. If you just slide your left hand down the collective the carb heat is right there! No need to take your hand off!

2. I always seem to use my right hand to pull the mixture, cuping the guard as I push the button and pull.

Maybe it'll help, maybe it won't?

#7 Heli1223

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 19:15

Thanks for sharing.

Not that it would have helped you, but I teach my students right hand under the legs for mixture (it's uncomfortable, and impossible in flight), left hand for the reach-around to pull trim. Anybody else doing this?

I thought about this one last night as I was running around the pattern, and I noticed a couple of things that might help?

1. If you just slide your left hand down the collective the carb heat is right there! No need to take your hand off!

2. I always seem to use my right hand to pull the mixture, cuping the guard as I push the button and pull.

Maybe it'll help, maybe it won't?




I agree with both of you guys. My instructor taught me to use right hand for mixture and cyclic ONLY. Left hand for the rest. This sounds like it might not work, but it becomes a sub-conscious thing...
HOWEVER, I would say to use 'right hand under my leg' as a mixture technique would help things along if you're flying the R22. It wouldn't help in the R44 though...but then again, in the 44 it won't be a problem as with the 22 I guess?
To be on the safe side...right hand = mixture + cyclic ONLY + ALWAYS double check. ALWAYS.

Funny thing. I heard a story of a student flying circuits for solo consolidation and he he didn't have mags on BOTH even though it was part of his checklist every downwind leg of every circuit at least... His one mag failed and what was sad was that the one mag that was good was the one that was inactive...

I guess we should then...uhm...double check that we are REALLY checking also?... <_<

#8 Heli1223

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 19:16

I was doing some instruction at a Helicopter fly in the mountains. There was a wide array of students looking to fly the R22. The fly in was geared toward experimental helicopters (Rotorway, Helicycle, Mosquito...) and many people were learning to fly in the 22 in order to be able to fly their own machines. This led to no briefing time as students were loaded in after each flight as the helicopter was running.

Being the inexperienced young, go get 'em instructor I was thinking value. I had done a few initial instructions, straight and level, turns and all that, then I flew with a guy who had Robinson time but it has been a few years. He hovered well and seem to pick things up again and at this point, began my string of bad decisions.

We were flying out of a meadow and in the sierras, tree rule the landscape, giant, F*** off trees. We started at the meadow for a traffic pattern, I wanted to make it just like you would at the airport, 500 agl, 1/4 mile away. Problem here, is the terrain from the meadow had about a 100 foot upslope, usually not a problem but mistake number 1. On the downwind, I decided on training value instead of keeping it safe and being extra high. I decided to let him use carburetor heat for the landing and you can all see where this is going. Count mistake number 2.

The mountains are cold in May so the student had a nice puffy jacket on. I said ok, downwind checks... his hand reached forward around the left side of the stick. I figured, holy crap, thats the mixture... "NO, NO, NO, Not that one," my hands got ready for the auto, well, little did I know he reached for the trim in the front thinking it was carb heat. So if its not that one, it must be the red one and the sound of the engine leaving me. He removed the guard, pulled mixture.

Being at 500agl of the meadow I was looking at maybe 400agl over my current flight path and 80ft trees for a landing spot. I thought, flare high fall straight down or go through the trees.... I took my hand off the cyclic, put in the mixture, yelled repeatedly restart, restart, and thankfully the student made it happen. Engine fired right back up, I have never rolled on throttle so hard. Entered a nice right base and took my new favorite helicopter for landing.

I've learned so much in such little time.




Thanks for sharing the story R22139RJ !!! An amazing story of miss-communication causing death to be a reality all of a sudden as part of your day and then an amazing reciprocal teamwork effort saving the day...simply amazing...I actually never though a restart would be an option to be quite frank. This opened up my mind although I still wouldn't try a restart if the engine dies by itself :unsure:

#9 R22139RJ

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 13:07

I hadn't read the replies and the left had carb heat is a pretty good idea to teach.

Right hand red!


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