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Emergency Training: A Question for CFI’s


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Is there really a paradox in helicopter emergency training? One study suggests there is; the authors claim that emergency procedure training is not necessarily based on the prevalence of emergencies in helicopter operations. The authors suggest that, “the possibility of transfer of skill and the cost of practice could explain the choices made by flight schools and aviation authorities whereas the safety of practice seems to influence the manufacturers’ choices”. We know that aviation authorities, flight schools, and manufacturers determine the training curriculum but what psychomotor skills really transfer to other operations? Why are some procedures, for example, a stuck pedal heavily stressed in some countries and not in others?

 

Ref.

De Voogt, Alex, & Van Doorn, R.R.A. (2007). The paradox of helicopter emergency training. The International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 17(3), doi: 10.1080/1050841070134309

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Well, emergency training is mostly based on mechanical failures--engine, governor, alternator, clutch. I would guess that the amount of time devoted to each is more dependent on their complexity, how long it takes a student to learn it, and the risk to the school. But aren't more accidents due to poor decisions/judgment, andhow much training do you really get on that?

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You’re right, motor skills and decision-making skills do have strong relevance to emergency training procedures.

 

The crux of the study was the lack of scientific research done pertaining to the development of helicopter emergency training curriculum. It is my understanding that curriculum development in this area is mostly based on the assumption of skill transfer with little scientific support. The authors explain that, “introducing the practice of procedures primarily for the possibility of transfer is far removed from the central questions of safety currently asked in aviation psychology”.

 

The authors point out that findings from general aviation research and statistical analyses from other studies, mostly pertaining to fixed wing training, have limited relevance in helicopter curriculum development. Does it? Would more psychological analysis benefit the development of a helicopter training curriculum? After all pilots graduate from flight training with the skills necessary to be safe pilots.

 

Ref.

De Voogt, A., & Van Doorn, R.R.A. (2007). The paradox of helicopter emergency training. The International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 17(3), doi: 10.1080/1050841070134309

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Tom22, any study that compares the research done about airplane flight training and helicopter flight training will show an area missing or insufficient on the helicopter side. Most attention/efforts in aviation revolve around airplanes because they make up 90% of the aviation world.

 

Emergency procedures are taught for every aircraft in a recognized training program and mandated as a separate area for 135 and 121 training. There is a section in every POH/Flight Manual on emergency procedures. More importantly, the question should be asked "When was the last recurrent training performed?" and how were Emergency procedures addressed therein?

 

Do you really believe this statement is factual when you look at accident rates and causes, "After all pilots graduate from flight training with the skills necessary to be safe pilots"?

 

I have two different Syllabi, one published by ASA and one by Jeppensen for helicopter training, and ADM (cause of 80% of accidents) is addressed only in preparation for the Knowledge/Flight test!

 

When the antiquated training methods of using Maneuvers Based Training(to PTS) is switched to modern Scenario Based Training(a new PTS), only then will we produce pilots with skill sets both in flying/controlling the aircraft and using good judgment and decision making processes. Much of the airplane flight training world has switched to SBT. I have an initiative started to switch helicopter flight training to SBT! We can reduce the helicopter accident rate and produce a much better pilot with higher order thinking skills!

 

Everyone be Safe,

 

Mike

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Mike, when you said ". More importantly, the question should be asked "When was the last recurrent training performed?" and how were Emergency procedures addressed therein?"

 

That got me. Why? Well, it seems most Part 135 operators don't do much in the way of recurrent training. Just a checkride and some ground Computer Based Training. As long as you(pilot) meets the checkride standards then it's good to go. If not the checkride is put on hold while the pilot and instructor work to bring it up to standard.

 

I really want to see a 1 hour flight training and 1 hour ground training made mandatory every quarter. If not, at least every 6 callender months.

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JD, in our time together in LV for Heli-success, I will show you what I teach about "Recurrent Training" and why it is necessary so you can incorporate it for FAASTeam Presentations locally!

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Do you really believe this statement is factual when you look at accident rates and causes, "After all pilots graduate from flight training with the skills necessary to be safe pilots"?

 

 

 

That was my own statement intended to provoke discussion.

Edited by Tom22
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...I really want to see a 1 hour flight training and 1 hour ground training made mandatory every quarter. If not, at least every 6 callender months.

 

That's how its done in the world of renting. Its usually every six months, but I know of at least one place that does it every three.

 

Its just Emergency Proceedures and Limitations, maybe a few Regs (kinda like a BFR), no SBT though.

 

Since you guys keep mentioning SBT, could you give an example of what a lesson would be like, and how you would incorporate Emergency Proceedures? :huh:

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R22butters, SBT emergency training just for you!

 

We are flying an R22 from your local airport to another about 40 miles away to drop some film off to a waiting person and then without shutting down the flight will continue to another airport about 30 miles away. There we will refuel, check weather and return to original point of departure. Enroute the Facilitator/Instructor could give you some simulated emergencies or just ask "what if" there was smoke in the cockpit, an alternator light, tach failure, etc. Maybe on the first approach you discover at the bottom when you start to pull power, you have a stuck right pedal. Of course you handle all of these flawlessly or respond verbally correctly! You drop off the film and depart to the second airport for refueling. Enroute you could have a comm failure, x-ponder failure, etc. How about a headset failure? Making you think now?

 

Your training is not only to handle the situation but more so to develop the mental skills to think it through. For BFR and such or recurrent training, maybe you have brushed up on E-procedures prior to the flight? But, what if this was just an everyday flight with you as PIC? How would things be handled?

 

Now the SBT would not have to include all of the items I mentioned. Maybe a few, maybe more depending on how you are training and what Certificate level you hold.

 

Items like diversions, altitude changes, airspace considerations, etc all come into play. Sure beats going out into the pattern and going around 10 times with different E-procedures each time.

 

Be safe,

 

Mike

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Enroute the Facilitator/Instructor could give you some simulated emergencies or just ask "what if" there was smoke in the cockpit, an alternator light, tach failure, etc. Maybe on the first approach you discover at the bottom when you start to pull power, you have a stuck right pedal. Of course you handle all of these flawlessly or respond verbally correctly! You drop off the film and depart to the second airport for refueling. Enroute you could have a comm failure, x-ponder failure, etc. How about a headset failure? Making you think now?

 

The transponder and comms failures are things we only did in ground during my training. Good stuff. I guess my question is how far can you safely take EP training? I think I trained at a fairly conservative school that lacked a formal, written procedure for teaching EPs (leaving CFIs to do what their instructor taught them). I thought a number of EPs were glazed over by my CFIs for one of 3 reasons:

  1. didn't know what he could do (eg, clutch light...can you pull the breaker in training?)
  2. had no (good) training or how to teach it (eg, PF
  3. or considered it too risky to teach (eg, PF

 

So who here would teach the following EPs to a 100-200 hr commercial student? If you'd do more than a verbal walkthru of the procedure, how exactly would you simulate the failure? For example, for an engine failure in flight, I'd announce engine out and expect the student to initiate an autorotation to a suitable location. Time permitting, I'd expect an attempt at an air restart. At 200' AGL, we'd terminate the maneuver. For CO light, I'd announce the CO light on, and expect the student to actually open the vents, shut off the heater, and state under what conditions he'd land immediately. Those are 2 easy ones, but what about these? My answers (based on the school I went to, not what standard I'd like):

 

  • Power failure
  • Power fail in taxi/hover (surprise throttle "chop" after briefing and many announced practice sessions)
  • Max glide configuration (wouldn't teach)
  • Air restart procedure (verbal only)
  • Loss of TR in flight (ground only)
  • Loss of TR in hover (ground only)
  • Engine fire in flight (verbal only)
  • Electrical in flight (verbal only)
  • Tach failure (surpise engine tach failure)
  • Governor failure (practice governor disabled)
  • Oil light (verbal only)
  • MR Temp/Chip lights (verbal only)
  • Low fuel light (simulated forced landing to 200 AGL)
  • Clutch (verbal only)
  • Alternator (verbal only)

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For BFR and such or recurrent training, maybe you have brushed up on E-procedures prior to the flight? But, what if this was just an everyday flight with you as PIC? How would things be handled?

 

I actually do "review" a number of things every 2-3 weeks, to keep them fresh in my mind. I'm sure I'm not the only one?

 

Thanks for the SBT example, it was very helpful.

 

The transponder and comms failures are things we only did in ground during my training. Good stuff. I guess my question is how far can you safely take EP training?

 

I've had both transponder and comm. failure in flight,...no biggie.

 

As for safe EP training. I had a Cfi "surprise throttle chop" me once in a hover (I had just repositioned it for set down, thought the flight was over!), we spun 90 degrees before I stopped it. Was it safe? Probably not, but we had a good laugh over it while I shut down...and damn, was I surprised! :o

 

I think an unannounced Gov, or Tach failure in flight is o.k., I've had both done on me.

 

I would also teach max glide/min rate autos, I've done them both, just do them off-airport to be more realistic! ;)

 

I also had the CO light come on once. No one ever went over that with me, but its not a difficult proceedure to learn yourself.

 

Unfortunately there are a lot of things that shouldn't be taught in flight (low-g recovery for instance), but if you really want to get a handle on which EPs to teach (and how) in flight, go take the Robinson Course. They've shown me a number of things (in the air) that regular Cfis won't!

:)

 

Oh ya, one more thing. We did loss of TR in a hover once. It can definitly be taught safely (wait until the end of the Private), and its a lot of fun too! :lol:

Edited by r22butters
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Kodoz,(Chris), "I guess my question is how far can you safely take EP training?"

 

Any CFI should be able to answer this before you fly with a pilot! It depends who you are and what level pilot you are training with.

 

When I did 135 initial or recurrent flight training, we did autos to the ground (st in, 90, 180, 270, 360s), after take off, on approach, every which way but loose! All stuck pedal conditions to the ground. I would never recommend this with a pilot training for a PTS.

 

Emergency Procedures should never create a dangerous situation for the pilots. Of course, ground training should always precede EPs. However, once ground training of EPs has taken place, then in flight "What ifs?" make the pilot think and make decisions.

 

Also, when using SBT the grading system and debrief are totally different. Learner Center Grading(LCG) is used. The PT (pilot in training) debriefs himself and Instructor on the entire flight and how he mentally approached everything and why. There is not always one right answer. The Instructor then debriefs the student on how he thinks he did. The thought processes are compared and the PTs actions are reinforced or slightly corrected.

 

The problem with EP training is the inexperienced CFIs, who were taught by inexperienced CFIs do not know or have not been taught themselves how to teach EPs or many other things. They do the best they can. I do not doubt their sincerety.

 

Always err on the safe side and plan ahead. Have some personal maneuvers limits and stay within them.

 

Be Safe,

 

Mike

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[*]Power failure <500 AGL (wouldn't teach)

Down to 300 depending on the ship and expertise of the pilots.

[*]Power fail in taxi/hover (surprise throttle "chop" after briefing and many announced practice sessions). Nope announce it and do it.

[*]Max glide configuration (wouldn't teach)I was taught this all the time as a student

[*]Air restart procedure (verbal only)

[*]Loss of TR in flight (ground only) No reason not to do it in the air.

[*]Loss of TR in hover (ground only)

[*]Engine fire in flight (verbal only)Kinda hard to simulate otherwise!

[*]Electrical in flight (verbal only)

[*]Tach failure (surpise engine tach failure)Just pull the breaker

[*]Governor failure (practice governor disabled)

[*]Oil light (verbal only)

[*]MR Temp/Chip lights (verbal only)

[*]Low fuel light (simulated forced landing to 200 AGL)

[*]Clutch (verbal only)Just pull the breaker

[*]Alternator (verbal only)

[/list)Just turn it off !

 

While I am commenting, I just have to say I hate the way they teach auto's today. The CFI looks at the student and says "engine failure". What kind of reality is that? I know all the issues with chopping the throttle but I have to say, after having an unannounced throttle chop a few dozen times early in my training, I know what that instant yaw feels like. Most pilots today have no clue what I'm even talking about or what it really feels like to lose an engine.

 

Sometimes I think we had better training 25 years ago than we do today.

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...I just have to say I hate the way they teach auto's today. The CFI looks at the student and says "engine failure". What kind of reality is that?...

 

I have to agree with you there. I haven't flown with an instructor willing to chop the throttle in years, (can't imagine how much my reaction has slowed?). :o

 

Bring back the throttle chop! :D

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I've flown with CFI's who will gladly chop the throttle, but only in the 300 series, and only after they've flown with me enough to know I won't do something dumb like pull the collective into my armpit.

 

Kodoz, why wouldn't you teach max glide autos?

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