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Length of Long Line

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#1 Hobie


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:45

I've noticed differing lengths of the line used in long line work.  What goes into determining what length to use? 


I'm guessing rotor wash is a big factor both in the ground crew working ( A/C roof installs) and effect on load in flight?? 

#2 500E


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:27


A fair amount of discussion here, not a happy read, as pilot died.

Fly the dream fly 500

#3 AS350 pilot

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 14:11

Solid question!


Lots goes into determining what length of line to use. Some factors are; what type of helicopter you're using (the heavier the helicopter the more down wash you're going to put off), what's on the end of the line, precision or non precision set, production or non production work, the height of the surrounding trees and or terrain, etc. 


Air conditioner units are typically precision and production without much of anything in the way. If you're quick the ground crew doesn't have to spend much time under the down wash so you may want to use a 50' line. The shorter the line the faster you can move.


A power pole set in a steep canyon with tall trees may require you to use an extremely long line just to clear the trees, then add the length of the pole into play and you could be up to 300' from the bottom of the pole. Down wash is not a factor from that height but your visual cues are seriously diminished. You have to move slow and remember the "slow is smooth and smooth is fast". Just do it right once. 


Dropping water on a fire? The longer the line, the slower you can move over the fire line without your downwash effecting the flames. That's a plus because tanked helicopters have to get low enough that the water actually does something and fast enough that the downwash doesn't make the fire grow….use a long line and you can drop more accurately on flames at a slow forward speed or no forward speed for a concentrated drop. 


Physics don't change with the length of line you use so don't be intimidated with a longer line if it keeps you more clear of terrain. 


Hope that helps answer your question.

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#4 Hobie


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 22:04

 I always will pull over and watch long line work with awe.   Good info.  Thx.

#5 500F


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Posted 22 May 2017 - 14:09

Visibility is another factor. With some aircraft like a 500 or a lama you can use a shot line and see the load quite well. In some aircraft like the AS350, Bell medium or I would imagine, a Blackhawk you need at least 75" just to get the load to where you can see it. 

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