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Another use for helicopters


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I ran across this on an engineering software website and thought the VR crowd might enjoy it.

Werner Greipl, a helicopter engineer, pilot, and alpine rescue instructor based out of Ottobrunn, Germany, has been involved in avalanche control flights in Europe where they apparently toss sticks of dynamite out of a helicopter to trigger controlled (or at least intentional) snow slides. While this sounds like a real "blast", :P I suppose after a while the novelty might wear off.

 

"As we were throwing dynamite out of the helicopter's side door, it was always a little touchy," explains Greipl. "Having 50 kilograms of dynamite or more in the cabin and some guy sitting in the back with a lighter or some matches - it always made me feel a little nervous."

 

As a result, he designed a device to do the job without carrying explosives inside the helicopter. Here's a link to the website about the avalanche blaster that has a video of the blaster (and the helicopter) in action. Pretty cool. :)

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"As we were throwing dynamite out of the helicopter's side door, it was always a little touchy," explains Greipl. "Having 50 kilograms of dynamite or more in the cabin and some guy sitting in the back with a lighter or some matches - it always made me feel a little nervous."

 

When I was a student, in order to get me focused on smooth approaches and stable hovering, I was presented with a hypothetical scenario. The scenario was to imagine that there was a bride in the back seat, wearing her white wedding dress and sipping red wine from a very full wine glass.

 

I think I just found my NEW scenario to present to students... :D

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We used to do quite a bit of explosive avalanche testing/control when I worked in heli-skiing. I would rather have a person tossing bombs than trusting a machine to light and release an explosive device. And no one uses matches or lighters anymore. Its all very controlled and quite safe really.

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