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Odysseus

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About Odysseus

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  1. The conditions in that video are eerily familiar. It looks exactly like it did on that ferry flight I wrote about in Helostories a while back, right before...
  2. First off, I don't know how to do that. Secondly; My god man how lazy are you! Its the same damn website! Just go to the Aerodynamics, Mechanics Forum and look for my name. Its the second one down! (the only reason its not first is because someone decided to respond to an 8 year old post)! Geeze Louize!
  3. I realize I have no control over what is discussed here, but I would prefer to keep this about ADM/CRM which I believe is a far more important topic. However, I already told you where I posted the mechanics of what happened!
  4. I said the same thing when I was a noob. Thing is when a real situation happens, its not all that easy to stick to your guns. In my last adventure of stupidity and luck I discovered that "get-there-itis" is a much more powerful force than I had ever imagined. I was overcome by it, and it definitely clouded my judgement! This time I was there to complete a mission. I traveled a great distance to hook up with this operation to build time, and I wasn't quite finished yet, so I didn't make a big stink about it and demand that I be dropped off at that airport, like I should have. My one track mind was focused on getting those precious hours and thus I was willing to stupidly endanger my life to get them. All I can say is, learn from my stupidity!
  5. I certainly have a problem asserting myself. I've taken a class on SPRM, but now I think I'll take one on CRM. I've always thought of that as an airline thing, but I guess when 2 pilots are together and its not really an instructional flight (i.e. time-building) we do constitute a "crew", and I need to learn to be more insistent that the CFI next to me treats me like a fellow pilot and not a pre-solo student (which is how I felt on this flight).
  6. I’m out with a cfi doing pattern work (just time-building stuff, I’m already a rated pilot). Suddenly (getting a weird feeling from the helicopter) the cfi takes the controls. With a worried look on his face he asks if I felt it too, I say yes. He then decides, "We’re going home!" This feeling, possibly new to him, was all too familiar to me. The last time I felt it (fortunately in a hover) I decided to cancel my flight until a mechanic had a chance to look at it, even though then (as with now) the feeling only lasted a handful of seconds then went away, never to return. The flight after me however did not, and had an engine failure! Fortunately for them they were also just in a hover. I mentioned to the cfi that I had an experience like this once before which resulted in an engine failure. Then I mentioned that we could just land at the airport (whose pattern we were still in by the way!), but he insisted we were going home. Home was about seven miles away. Along the way we passed several open fields to which I responded, "We could just set it down there,…or over there?!" To which he told me to be quiet so he could listen to the aircraft. So now we’re crawling seven miles back home at 70kts and 600’ while he stares at the tach ready to execute the perfect auto at any time. So what could I do? Feeling trapped and helpless (as we now pass over trees, wires, and houses) I pushed my ass back into the seat (giving me a nice vertical spine angle) pulled my feet in close, and nervously waited to become a statistic! Fortunately we made it back ok, but the mechanic did find something (with the same part that failed the last time I felt this) and even though they didn’t feel it was serious enough to fix just now (but could wait for the next scheduled maintenance) in the air, you never know? So why not listen to the guy next to you who’s had a similar experience and just land as he recommends? He said if we had landed in one of those fields and nothing was really wrong that it would create bad publicity for the company and he would probably be fired. Ok, fine, I get that, but we still could have landed at that airport (whose pattern we were in!) and no one would have cared! Given my experience this was a Land Immediately situation, but even if I'm just being an overly caucious pussy, it was at least Land As Soon As Practical, and an airport was RIGHT FRICK'N THERE! I realize that given my decision making past (for those who read it) that I'm not really in a position to complain about someone else, but this just really got to me, I think that’s it for me and time-building!
  7. So I’m on a ferry flight, scud-running because its Marginal VFR and I’m hungry for discounted R44 hours, when in front of me I see the entrance to a small valley. On the hill to the left is a tower whose wires follow the hillside down to the right. The overcast layer sits just above top of the tower. My navigator (the aircraft owner) says to fly towards the tower. I express my concern with the overcast layer, but staring at his ipad (at a program which apparently tells him we are high enough to not hit anything) he says to stay at this altitude and we’ll be fine. As we pass over the tower (barely) I express my concern as I begin to see the fog getting a bit too close, but my navigator says he still has reference to the ground so we’re ok. A few moments later the ground disappears, the white fills the windscreen and I say, "…and we’re IFR". Staring at his ipad he instructs me to make a 180 to the left. Staring at the Artificial Horizon I make the turn, however struggling to not make it too steep. Eventually the ground reappears, but as we find ourselves now trapped in this valley surrounded by hills and fog I find myself getting slower and slower in a struggle to stay VFR. Soon after he expresses his concern about my airspeed, "You wouldn’t want to have an auto at this speed", the ground disappears and the white once again fills the windscreen, to which I reply again, "…and we’re IFR" . This time, still staring at his ipad, he instructs me to head slightly left. Again staring at that Artificial Horizon, I’m able to keep the "wings" level, but cannot seem to keep the nose level! Despite watching the blue get higher and higher on the gage, I just can’t get myself to push forward on the cyclic! I have no idea what the other gages are saying since all I can focus on is that one! As it turns out (although unbeknownst to me) I was getting into Settling with Power and was now dropping vertically, a fact suddenly realized to me as the ground finally reappeared accompanied by the Low Rpm Horn and the helicopter shuttering! Out of the corner of my eye I see him reach for the controls (which confuses me) so I say, "You got it?", he says, "No", to which I dump the Collective and lower the nose. After regaining control I see a clear patch of dirt on top of a hill to my right and express my desire to land there, to which he replies that it seems to be clearing towards that highway to the left so follow it. This time the path does clear up, we exit the valley and within ten minutes land at a small airport, where I tell him I’m done and get in a cab. This was all just to get a handful of hours in an R44 in order to meet the time in type minimums for a summer job next year!   So why did I do it? What I told myself I’d never do? What I thought only a moron would do? Intentionally fly VFR, in a VFR only ship, towards what was obviously IFR? I’d been to several IIMC seminars from the FAA Wings Program to two Rotor Safety Challenges, as well as "Land and Live" at Heliexpo! I’d heard many accident reports of pilots killing themselves trying to dodge the clouds! Robinson Safety Course stories of R44 IIMC deaths! I knew better, yet I still did it! All I can think of, is that the night before the flight he imparted several stories of ferry flights he had done with much more experienced pilots than he. Flights where he took the controls because they were not comfortable flying into the Marginal VFR conditions, including one nasty rain storm and one scud running incident in the mountains, in which he actually saw lightning. So I guess, maybe, that I just didn’t want to seem like a pussy? Plus I really wanted those discounted hours! He, the aircraft owner, and just a private pilot, had more total time than me, but less than half my helicopter time. He was an instrument rated fixed winger with apparently most of his time from long cross-countries such as this flight was to be. So maybe that’s why I trusted his direction? He’d done this flight many times before.   One thing I did find odd though. When we found ourselves trapped just before that second IMC encounter and I found myself slowing more and more, to which he remarked that I should speed up because I wouldn’t want to do an auto at such slow a speed? It stuck me as odd that I was concerned with hitting something as visibility got worse and worse (which is why I kept slowing down) but he was concerned with an engine failure?! Is this because he was an experienced instrument pilot, even if it was fixed-wing? I am not instrument rated. Regardless of his direction, it still comes down to me. This was my fault, not his. I was the one on the controls! We should be dead, and if that Low Rpm Horn had come on just two seconds earlier, when all I could see was a wall of white, we would be dead! So here’s a great example of poor decision making. Hindsight is always 20/20 and we never should have taken off in Marginal VFR for a ferry flight in an R44! Not to mention the many opportunities I had to land! You know after surviving that first Inadvertent encounter with Instrument Meteorological Conditions one might think that I would have said, "This is f*cked up!" (which I actually did say) and just landed? Yet I continued on, trying to find a way out of that fog covered valley!? In fact the idea of landing never even occurred to me until after that second encounter! A fact that I still struggle to understand? I don’t know how long I was in the white, but it felt like an eternity! An eternity waiting for a sudden SMACK! Not a good feeling to have, and one I’ll never forget!
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