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Training in the wind


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I have more than one grievance with the Mid-west, the wind being one of them. I am wondering what most CFI's consider too much wind. For the last month and a half we have had sustained winds in the 15-20mph range with gusts up to 25-30+mph. My CFI says it is a waste of time and money to train in anything over 12-15mph wind with more than an 8-10mph gust differential. Does this sound about right for training condition limitations?

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If you have to ask that question it probably means that you haven't flown enough to be able to set your own personal minimums. Ask your instructor whether he is comfortable flying. If he doesn't mind, tell him you'd like to go up and see what he means. You probably don't want to be training close to the ground when the wind is gusting like that.

 

Try to schedule your flights early in the morning. Usually the wind isn't as strong.

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I have more than one grievance with the Mid-west, the wind being one of them. I am wondering what most CFI's consider too much wind. For the last month and a half we have had sustained winds in the 15-20mph range with gusts up to 25-30+mph. My CFI says it is a waste of time and money to train in anything over 12-15mph wind with more than an 8-10mph gust differential. Does this sound about right for training condition limitations?

 

What kind of a ship? R22's have some published safety notices, larger ships like the 44, 47 or even the 300 handle the gusts better. I can recall training days with my CFI in 30 knots winds in the R22. I didnt look forward to flying those days, but we did. The B47 is so big and heavy it hardly moves much in 30 knots, just the tail windmills around a bit.

 

Here's one of the SN's http://www.robinsonheli.com/srvclib/rchsn32.pdf

The Robinson R22 Flight Training Guide states students should not fly solo in winds in excess of 15 knots.

 

Goldy

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I have more than one grievance with the Mid-west, the wind being one of them. I am wondering what most CFI's consider too much wind. For the last month and a half we have had sustained winds in the 15-20mph range with gusts up to 25-30+mph. My CFI says it is a waste of time and money to train in anything over 12-15mph wind with more than an 8-10mph gust differential. Does this sound about right for training condition limitations?

Sounds like your instructor is afraid to fly in the wind. Does he think that as a working pilot you'll always be flying in little to no wind ? I trained in 25 to 30 knot gusting to 40 lot's of times ( Huges 269C ). I still fly in it now. Wouldn't know how to fly in that type of wind, if I didn't train in it. You must & need to learn to fly in the wind.

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The winds may be above your comfort/skill level but that doesn't mean you shouldn't fly in them. You build those skills by doing it (with an instructor). I often take students up when its very windy just so they can get a feel for what the helicopter will do. We may not fly long, but it gives them an idea of what it is like and it helps to build their skill and confidence level. Don't just go burning up flight time though. Make it a lesson on the effects of wind and how to safely operate in those conditions.

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If you cannot hover yet, I doubt you'd get much out of flying in high winds. Afterwards, however, wind is your friend, learn to use is. :blink:

 

Of course if you're flying a Robinson they won't let you fly in high winds,...for a while. :(

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I should have included all pertinent information in my original post, I apologize, rookie mistake. At this point I have only been up three times. I only have about 2.5hrs from back in February. I am training in a 269a. My instructor says once I get to about 15-20hrs that he will take me up in the wind and that by that point I should have enough of the basics figured out to recognize the effects of the wind vs. pilot error. He thinks that at this early stage in my training I have not yet developed a feel for the helicopter and would have a difficult time learning anything. Sounds like from what everyone has said his approach is about right. I think I am going to have to find a way to be more flexible with my scheduling (two hr drive to the heli)so I can be able to better take advantage of the few calm days we do get, at least until I get a little experience.

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Trust your instructor!

Those weeks with high winds and your desire to fly are often depressing and it might even feel unfair. Especially if you have to drive two hours to the school and look forward to your next flight a whole week long!

But it seriously is a waste of money to fly in such high winds. Although flying in 15kt winds might be possible in your stage of training you have to ask: is it useful? No, it isn't! You are busy enough to keep the spinning part up and the greasy side down and until you don't master this part you are better off if you don't have to care about the wind spinning your tail around.

 

The one thing you will learn real fast during your training - and that probably holds true for this industry as a whole - is to shrug your shoulders about bad news :(

There are way too many things you can't do anything about, so why worry? ;)

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I have to agree with Goldy and 500E.

 

I absolutely hated flying in the wind to the point I would cancel anytime the wind was reported more than 10 knots. Eventually I was found out by my instructor (who has 25,000+ hours) and he sat me down and said the following:

 

"Anyone can fly when its calm. Anyone can hover when its calm. Anyone can land on the cart when its calm. But not everyone can do those things well when its windy."

 

He went on to explain that flying in the wind (within the limitation of your abilities and your ship) is a fantastic experience and makes you a much better pilot. Heaven forbid that you (meaning me) were to ever head out on a cross country on a clam day only to return to find the wind blowing and you low on fuel. What then..?

 

I am glad that he insisted that I go out in the wind. We have 20-30 knot winds here and a lot of days where its 10 gusting 15 or 20. Those are the days I head for the pad and practice my hovering. Those are the days I spend doing peddle turns, those are the days that I spend doing pick-ups and set-downs.

 

I do it then so I am not afraid to go fly in the wind, and frankly I feel it makes me a better pilot. If nothing else, it sure makes flying without wind a lot easier!

 

I am learning still. I have just under 1,000 hours rotor now and I want to continue to expand my abilities and capabilities as a pilot. Wind is something we are not going to get rid of anytime soon.

 

 

Just my $.02 - your mileage may vary!

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I should have included all pertinent information in my original post, I apologize, rookie mistake. At this point I have only been up three times. I only have about 2.5hrs from back in February. I am training in a 269a. My instructor says once I get to about 15-20hrs that he will take me up in the wind and that by that point I should have enough of the basics figured out to recognize the effects of the wind vs. pilot error.

 

For what its worth, I agree with your CFI, with your little time, it wont help you much to be flying in gusts. So live with it, fly when you can, and prior to going solo, do yourself a favor and fly in some windy conditions. The 269 is a fairly solid platform..

 

Have fun up there.

 

Goldy

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I also would have to agree with your CFI. I usually will break it down like this for my students flying the 269C.

 

Starting Private: No more then about 15kts

After a couple solo flights, and getting in to X-C's: up to around 20 - 25kts

Private Checkride time: I'll take them out up to 30kts or so.

 

My commercial Students: Anything is fair game up to around 35kts (Where my personal limit for instructing is).

 

Really these are just guide lines though, it really depends on the student and how well I feel they'll learn from going out in higher. From my experiences taking a private student early on in his training (still having difficulty hovering in about a 5 foot square, or keeping the nose fairly straight) out in anything 15kts or higher really doesn't do any good. The student usually gets frusterated and worn out and doesn't learn much at all.

 

I do agree that you need to learn in high winds, but for now trust your instructor. If you want to give it a try, ask him to take you out in higher winds, but keep in mind that it's going to be difficult and probably frusterating.

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I should have included all pertinent information in my original post, I apologize, rookie mistake. At this point I have only been up three times. I only have about 2.5hrs from back in February. I am training in a 269a. My instructor says once I get to about 15-20hrs that he will take me up in the wind and that by that point I should have enough of the basics figured out to recognize the effects of the wind vs. pilot error. He thinks that at this early stage in my training I have not yet developed a feel for the helicopter and would have a difficult time learning anything.

 

I'm glad you clarified your situation. Your CFI is correct. At this point in your training (2.5 Hrs total time) that type of training is of very little benefit. With 2.5 hours your skill level in calm winds has not even developed.

 

For all practical purposes, you're just a ride-along under those conductions with your CFI doing the flying. Is that what you're paying for? That's a good CFI. Most would have taken you up just to log the time.

 

It's all about a learning process, step-by-step.

 

Let's edit that quote:

 

"Anyone can learn to fly when it's calm. Anyone can learn to hover when it's calm. Anyone can learn to land on the cart when it's calm. Most of all, anyone can learn to do those things well when it's windy."

Edited by iChris
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It makes a difference what the character of the wind is like. Where Goldy and I fly, if the wind is out of the northwest 18-20 kts. it's no big deal in the R22. But if the wind is out of the east and more than 18 kts. you're going to have work do to since the turbulence becomes a major issue. I have different personal limits depending on wind direction and terrain factors, and they are much lower when I fly the 22 solo.

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When I was first flying solo, I had a endorsement limit of 15 knots. Problem is, 15 knots here could easily be 20 or 25 knots over there. I quickly figured out which way the wind patterns would evolve and which airports were protected. Wind out of the North at Van Nuys, run east into the shelter of the mountains to El Monte. Just 30 miles away, and winds would be 25 at VNY and 5 at EMT.

 

So, maybe there are some areas where you fly that are more sheltered this time of year?

 

Like Susie said above, we have the coastline to our west, so winds out of the west are nice and smooth regardless of speed. Every location is different.

 

Fly Safe !

 

Goldy

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Let's edit that quote:

 

"Anyone can learn to fly when it's calm. Anyone can learn to hover when it's calm. Anyone can learn to land on the cart when it's calm. Most of all, anyone can learn to do those things well when it's windy."

 

I like it....

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