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RECIPROCATING ENGINE OUTS


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Is my theory flawed?

 

STATEMENT: Reciprocating "engine-outs" can be avoided easier in a helicopter than in a fixed-wing.

 

THEORY: When we monitor instrument trends in a fixed wing and notice a problem (i.e. high temps, low pressure, chips, other warning lights, etc) we try to make it to an airport because "off airport" landings need more ideal conditions than a helicopter.

 

But when we notice troubling trends in a helicopter we can land almost anywhere to check it out.

 

Of course, this does not include sudden catastrophic failures -- but even most of those failures are preceded with warning signs.

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The theory is fine, in theory, and considering the long-term average. In reality, every malfunction is different, and it's just not possible to accurately predict what will happen. Don't underestimate the desire of helicopter pilots to get back to the base without making a precautionary landing either.

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I ain't so sure. There can be ideal landing locations, and there can be crappy landing locations. It all depends where you are, what your options are, terrain, weather... Thus, the ideal landing location can become crappy, and the crappy location can become ideal. Fact is, you gotta work with what you got to the best of your ability.

 

When the engine quits, just remember the procedures and do your best.

 

Later

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