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Ditching (power off) to the water in an R22,...just how good are you?


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#1 r22butters

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 15:43

One of the "relatively" new changes to the 22 POH states that (now, after all these years) they want us to, "If time permits, unlach doors prior to water contact".

So now as I plummet towards the water screaming, oh' sh*t, oh' sh*t, oh' shiiiiiiit! They think I'm going to take my hand off the collective (of a 22 in an auto) switch with my hand on the cyclic, so I can unlatch my door, then switch back in time to flare,...?:o

Sorry Kurt, but even at 1300 feet (the highest I usually fly over water) I don't think I'd try that! I mean God knows what my left hand would do with the cyclic?!

So, how about you? Would you be that comfortable while ditching power off in a 22?
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fourteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#2 Thedude

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 20:14

That's why it says if time permits.

#3 r22butters

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 20:39

That's why it says if time permits.


Well then, just how high above the water would give YOU enough time?
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fourteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#4 Thedude

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 20:53

Well then, just how high above the water would give YOU enough time?


I haven't flown in an R22 enough to give an educated answer on altitude required. If you're high enough and react quickly enough to enter the auto and establish a good steady state descent it doesn't take much to transfer hands on controls and unlatch a door. You're making minimal inputs on the flight controls and should be able to do that with your left hand.

#5 adam32

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 21:56

4000 feet

#6 Eric Hunt

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 01:58

Depends on how much time you want to spend under water trying to open a bent/jammed door. And don't make the mistake of undoing your seatbelt first, or you will just push yourself back into the cabin instead of opening the door.

 

I would definitely open the door and re-latch it in the open position, to stop it banging shut again. But I haven't been in an R22 over water for 25 years. There is a reason behind that...


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#7 Wally

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:33

Depends on how much time you want to spend under water trying to open a bent/jammed door. And don't make the mistake of undoing your seatbelt first, or you will just push yourself back into the cabin instead of opening the door.

 

I would definitely open the door and re-latch it in the open position, to stop it banging shut again. But I haven't been in an R22 over water for 25 years. There is a reason behind that...

 

People die in submerged cabins because they weren't trained or prepared.  If you don't have floats, fly as high as you need to either auto across the water to a survivable landing or 180 back to a survivable landing.  If you're aware that a considerable body of water en route won't allow either technique, divert early when the extra distance is minimized.

If you need some extra sky under you to get time to pop the doors, take it. The most perfect auto fails if you don't survive.  

Exiting a ditched sinking helicopter is more dangerous than most combat situations- you have very little time, you will probably have limited vis, 'down' probably won't be down, seat-belts are designed to keep you in the cabin and are very strong, tangly, and the doors will require thought and technique to open.  Just finding the exits much less the door handle/jettison takes a SURPRISING amount of time in training.  I suspect that doing it for real...


Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...


#8 r22butters

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 14:25

You know another thing about ditching comes to mind. I'm supposed to carry a "pyrotechnic signaling device" with me, as I do fly "beyond power off glide distance from the shore" quite often.

I had been carrying one of those Orion marine flares, but as it expired last month it got me thinking again?

If I did find myself in the water and somehow made it out before drowning, Would I really be able to grab the flare from the seat pocket along the way? Its too big to carry on me, and I do not wear a flight suit, where I could just put it in the leg pocket.

I had a flare gun once, but swiched to the marine flares when I noticed the ones for the gun did not say they were water proof!

Thoughts,...?
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fourteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#9 Jaybee

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 17:34

Flying a helicopter with doors on ? Blasphemy !


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#10 Wally

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 19:44

You will have what you have on your person in most survival situations.  If you're flying over water, you should have and wear a 'flotation device'.

 

Vests generally have pockets, so there's your pyrotechnic, mirror, whistle, etc,, on your person.  I bought a DOT ANSI 2 vest for HEMS with a lot of pockets, didn't have to wear the company crap on scenes. Everything in a pocket, no flight bag.


Just a pilot (retired, so I have a LOT of time)...


#11 r22butters

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 20:45

My "flotation device" is one of those pouch style vests that I wear around my waist. I've only worn an actual vest once (ironically while flying a Mariner) I did not like it!
The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fourteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#12 WolftalonID

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 10:45

I am not sure when the last time you were in an R22. The door is burried into your shoulder its so small. The collective will be fine during an auto once it is established, so use your left hand to open the door. My left hand can reach my right knee. The R22 door is so close the handle is just about near my left knee!

My advise....dont fly an R22 so far out over water without floats installed.
Sometimes we think we know it all....only later to discover we only knew all we had learned. Never stop learning.

#13 r22butters

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 12:14

I am not sure when the last time you were in an R22. The door is burried into your shoulder its so small. The collective will be fine during an auto once it is established, so use your left hand to open the door. My left hand can reach my right knee. The R22 door is so close the handle is just about near my left knee!
My advise....dont fly an R22 so far out over water without floats installed.


Actually I was just in one about a week ago. Not only did I fly over a rather large bay, but I also flew over the ocean (no floats) aaaaaaah oh my god, oh my god, it was so scary,...oh wait, I had the door off, sorry! :D

Anyway, for me this is really only an issue during the winter, when its too cold to take off the door!

Then again, I wasn't asking for your advice, I already said what I would do! I was asking if YOU were comfortable unlaching the door,...and it seems you are! I'm happy for both you and your Orangutan arms!
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The only dream I have left is to live long enough to see the pilot shortage. Its been about fourteen years since they first told me it was coming, so,...

Aaaaaaaany day now! :D

#14 Thedude

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 12:44

Two engines is a nice solution also.

#15 WolftalonID

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 13:08

Actually I was just in one about a week ago. Not only did I fly over a rather large bay, but I also flew over the ocean (no floats) aaaaaaah oh my god, oh my god, it was so scary,...oh wait, I had the door off, sorry! :D
Anyway, for me this is really only an issue during the winter, when its too cold to take off the door!
Then again, I wasn't asking for your advice, I already said what I would do! I was asking if YOU were comfortable unlaching the door,...and it seems you are! I'm happy for both you and your Orangutan arms!

well I am 6’2”. So the description sorta applies...you should see me getting in one
Sometimes we think we know it all....only later to discover we only knew all we had learned. Never stop learning.




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