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Full downs taught before CFI or not?


dosxx
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I didn't perform any full down autos until my CFI, but I did have them demoed before that.

 

I demonstrated full downs to my private students, and taught them to my commercial students (only a handful of touchdowns though). If the chief pilot would have allowed it, I would have taught them to my private students from the beginning.

Edited by PhotoFlyer
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If the chief pilot would have allowed it, I would have taught them to my private students from the beginning.

 

 

Hell ya, at some point during private training you ought to be able to do a recovery auto so clean, that you end up stopped 3 feet off the ground anyway, from there its just a hover auto down.

 

Do you not teach hover auto's to your private students? Then why not teach full auto's?

 

I did a full down B47 and two in the 22 (instructor on the controls...but not flying) before my private checkride. I liked the Bell 47 one better by the way !

 

I do know of several wrecked helo's from CFI's waiting a bit too long ( 1/10 of a second!) to jump on the controls. I think I would recommend them hanging on but no pressure until/unless needed.

 

Goldy

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From what I've heard from people up to this point, is that most larger schools(3-4+ CFI's) tend not to allow them to be taught before CFI stage. Possibly the main reason for this is that, there is normally one instructor, the Chief or Assistant Chief that teaches full-downs and the rest aren't allowed to. Insurance may be the reason for this. My school did it like this. Another school I worked in on the East Coast actually had this old AG-Pilot come in to teach them when they need them taught, while the Chief with 2000+ hours refused to teach them!

 

I guess if you work as an instructor in a small school, you may be the only person available to the owner to teach them, so you would be given more leniency and may be teaching them from the get-go. At that point if you're teaching them to one, you might as well teach them to all, I suppose.

 

That maybe an argument for choosing to go to a smaller school to both work and study over the larger ones. That is, if the trend I've seen, is repeated most other places.

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I kinda did one at the Robbie course. To tell ya the truth, it seemed that as long as you can get the flare close enough to the ground and level it off a couple feet off the ground, then its a hover auto and it sets down rather nice. One thing-try to get the airspeed to zero before leveling out and it seems to work. We did another, but I think Ken did most of the work on that one.

 

Later

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Yeah, they usually do a full down on the way back to TOA, I skipped the auto when I went 2 years ago due to traffic coming and going. ..oh well, maybe I'll take it again just for the heck of it. Anybody got $500 bucks they want to send me ?

 

BTW, several schools out here specifically teach ALL autos to the ground every time. I think maybe Western in Rialto may be one of those?

 

Goldy

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Full down from the start!! onto grass and tarmac the run on is real different, Had to do it before solo there was no real choice with my instructor, I think he enjoyed the look of terror on my face

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Okay, that's impressive. At thirteen hours, I was pretty good at getting her started, maybe even could check the oil by myself...

 

Different training culture across our borders I guess.

 

By the time I was ready to solo at 13 hours I'd done over 100 full downs in the R22. Before the 1st solo each student had to be able to do a full down with zero help from the instructor.

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After having an engine failure, and landing a real full down, I realize that I WAS NOT prepared to land the helicopter before I was taught touch downs. The problem isn't that these schools don't teach touchdown autos. The problem is that the power recoveries they teach are NOTHING LIKE A TOUCHDOWN! When I teach students the only difference between a power recovery and a touchdown is whether I decide to roll on or roll off the throttle. An auto to a power recovery should be so close to a full down that a student would land the helicopter from habit even if they had never done a touchdown auto.

 

When I was a student pilot the school I was at made us flare and recover at 200 feet because "it was safer." Once I got wise, I realized that this was infinitely more dangerous than performing the flare and recovery at 3-5 feet. Since that time I have seen at least a dozen other schools teaching autos in the same way. Why is it dangerous? #1 the risk of SWP is very high in that configuration. #2 you are teaching students that autos are terminated at 200 feet. Take that student flying solo, add an exploding engine, and you will have a destroyed helicopter and dead student. Why? HE TRIED TO LAND AT 200 FEET!

 

While teaching nothing but touchdowns from the beginning would be ideal, many instructors are afraid of touchdowns, so power recoveries are the standard. However, PLEASE, if you are going to teach nothing but power recoveries make them as realistic as possible so you don't kill a student.

Edited by PhotoFlyer
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If you look at the statistics, more aircraft are destroyed from practice touchdown autos then from actual engine failures. This goes against logic. I wish I had statistics on how many real autos result in a wrecked helicopter. If you get the collective down when the engine quits, do something that resembles a flare, and don't dun into something, it is likely everyone on board will survive. The touchdown auto is mostly for the sake of the aircraft.

 

From what I understand, the army and the air force have stopped practicing touchdown autos? And they have deeper pockets then anyone here.

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Different training culture across our borders I guess.

 

By the time I was ready to solo at 13 hours I'd done over 100 full downs in the R22. Before the 1st solo each student had to be able to do a full down with zero help from the instructor.

 

That's pretty interesting. So as far as the student is concerned, that is a good thing. And looking back I guess you are glad of all that experience of bringing her to the ground every time.

 

For the school, and owners, it can be good and bad. Good that all your solo students are as proficient as possible(under the circumstances-20 or so hours) at full-downs. Also, with a student knowing full well what it takes to put down without power, it would keep their head more in the game when flying over unfamiliar and hostile ground. Too many times have I seen students flying over something like a dense forest without thinking about their "outs" when the engine quits. The bad for the owners is the increased risk that comes when full-downs are practiced every time, as bad things happen very fast when practicing full-downs, although the same can be said for auto's in general.

 

Should this be one more thing for potential students to look out for when choosing a school? I'm sure the schools that are practicing this, are already including it in their sales pitch when talking to potentials. But should it be added to the list of Pros & Cons when making your decision?

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If you look at the statistics, more aircraft are destroyed from practice touchdown autos then from actual engine failures. This goes against logic. I wish I had statistics on how many real autos result in a wrecked helicopter. If you get the collective down when the engine quits, do something that resembles a flare, and don't dun into something, it is likely everyone on board will survive. The touchdown auto is mostly for the sake of the aircraft.

 

From what I understand, the army and the air force have stopped practicing touchdown autos? And they have deeper pockets then anyone here.

 

If you compare the statistics in a reasonable manner, there are far more touchdown autos practiced then there are engine failures. For a realistic comparison you need to know the number of engine failures, and the number of crashes. Then you need to know the number of touchdown autos practiced, and the number of crashes. Then you can make a reasonable comparison.

 

Your comparison is like saying more cars are destroyed in non-alcohol related accidents then from alcohol related accidents. Obviously since there are more non-alcohol related crashes we should stop letting people drive sober. Just doesn't work.

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There are a few things people do not tell the student, there is a difference when the donk quits than when on idle.

Also try the 44\500 with you and instructor then at max auw. totally different, was to me anyhow a real eye opener, you could stuff the thing big time.

We went out in the 500 with max fuel 2 pilots 2 pax not at all as I expected.

Just something to think about when talking to instructors, again the one I was with has thousands of hours & 3 real eng outs 2 at max auw.

Never flown the 22 I hear it is at max auw most of the time :ph34r:

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If you compare the statistics in a reasonable manner, there are far more touchdown autos practiced then there are engine failures. For a realistic comparison you need to know the number of engine failures, and the number of crashes. Then you need to know the number of touchdown autos practiced, and the number of crashes. Then you can make a reasonable comparison.

 

Your comparison is like saying more cars are destroyed in non-alcohol related accidents then from alcohol related accidents. Obviously since there are more non-alcohol related crashes we should stop letting people drive sober. Just doesn't work.

 

 

No, not at all. I am saying that all you have to look at is the number of crashes during practice, and the number of crashes during actual engine failures. It doesn't matter that more practice TD autorotations are performed. The only thing we need to consider is how many aircraft are wrecked and people are hurt. It is not about any kind of ratio. And if we did look at that ratio, it would be greatly skewed. Practice TD autorotations occur in a controlled environment. Real ones don't.

 

If 100 aircraft are destroyed in practice TD autorotations, and 20 are destroyed in real TD autorotations from 40 real engine failures, then if you stopped practicing TD autos and every single real TD auto ersulted in a wrecked helicopter, you would still have 60 less crashes.

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There are a few things people do not tell the student, there is a difference when the donk quits than when on idle.

Also try the 44\500 with you and instructor then at max auw. totally different, was to me anyhow a real eye opener, you could stuff the thing big time.

We went out in the 500 with max fuel 2 pilots 2 pax not at all as I expected.

Just something to think about when talking to instructors, again the one I was with has thousands of hours & 3 real eng outs 2 at max auw.

Never flown the 22 at max auw most of the time or so I hear :ph34r:

 

 

Are you talking about the psychological aspect of losing an engine? Because in a piston, idle and engine off have the same effect.

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No, not at all. I am saying that all you have to look at is the number of crashes during practice, and the number of crashes during actual engine failures. It doesn't matter that more practice TD autorotations are performed. The only thing we need to consider is how many aircraft are wrecked and people are hurt. It is not about any kind of ratio. And if we did look at that ratio, it would be greatly skewed. Practice TD autorotations occur in a controlled environment. Real ones don't.

 

If 100 aircraft are destroyed in practice TD autorotations, and 20 are destroyed in real TD autorotations from 40 real engine failures, then if you stopped practicing TD autos and every single real TD auto ersulted in a wrecked helicopter, you would still have 60 less crashes.

 

True, but did you consider that crashes in real engine failures would increase with a decrease in autorotation practice? Further, it still isn't a reasonable comparison. How many helicopters are destroyed in power recovery autorotations? Why not stop practicing all auto's because there are far more crashes in practice, then in real engine failures?

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True, but did you consider that crashes in real engine failures would increase with a decrease in autorotation practice? Further, it still isn't a reasonable comparison. How many helicopters are destroyed in power recovery autorotations? Why not stop practicing all auto's because there are far more crashes in practice, then in real engine failures?

 

I did consider that crashes in real engine failures would increase and I mentioned it in my previous post.

 

Fewer helicopters are destroyed in power recoveries then in TD autos. And why should we continue practicing power recoveries yet stop TD auto practice? Because it is the difference between dying and bending metal.

 

Being able to successfully pull pitch for a TD auto does not prove itself to be of value in terms of human life or injury because there are more people injured during practice TD autos, then real ones. And it doesn't make sense in terms of bent metal.

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For what it's worth, yes training with fulldowns is extremely dangerous. Here in Canada, a pilot's initial training is likely the most dangerous part of their career. The vast majority of helicopter accidents here are due to crashes teaching fulldowns. My former school is a perfect example. Since I finished in 2004 they have since wrecked two R22s during auotrotation training, one was a hovering auto, the other from altitude. No fatalities, just bruised egos. Hell I almost crashed doing them a few times. Lessons very well learned!

 

That being said I wouldn't change any of it, and I still highly recommend the school. My passengers and myself are safer for it.

 

When approaching a school as a potential student, ask them directly about their practices regarding fulldowns and stuck/jammed pedal training. I would say go for the school that does both to the ground, but that's just my view on it.

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Now from what I understand, Canada doesn't do it they way the U.S. does. Flight instruction isn't the norm for a 1st job. I'm told that most instructors up there have a lot of time and experience doing many different types of flying. Here in the U.S. though most of the flight instructors are between 200-1200 hours total time. That might at least be why schools in the U.S. don't teach T/D's from the start. Also might be why there are more accidents when teaching T/D's then power recoveries. We have low time pilots teaching T/D who might have just learned them themselves during their CFI training. Just a thought.

Edited by rotormandan
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