Nearly Retired Posted June 22, 2013 Report Share Posted June 22, 2013 So I was talking to this 206B pilot recently - young guy. I mentioned how much I liked the machine and the guy made a face. "Oh, I prefer the R-44," he said. I was, like, huh? Then he related a story of how he was doing a flight in a 206B with a really heavy load. He came into his LZ with a right crosswind and could barely hover *and* had just about full left pedal applied. "Well there's your problem, you had the wind on the wrong side," I said. "No!' he said suddenly. "The left side is the wrong side! You'll get into tail rotor LTE!" I asked him how much time he had in 206's, and he admitted that his 206 time is under 50 hours. Probably well under, I'd guess. Most of his flight time was accrued as a CFI, and he boasted to me that he ran a flight school for a period of time (implying that HE knew what he was talking about and I did not). Anyway at that point I realized I was talking with a gen-you-wine helicopter expert, so I gently eased out of the conversation and went back to my table and my beer. Next day he called me up - one of my nitwit friends gave him my number. He said that overnight he thought about our little talk and said he had to reconsider his thoughts on the subject. Perhaps weathervaning tendency *was* a more dominant force when deciding which crosswind to select for a hot/heavy approach. I had to admire his openness. But then he said something that truly pissed me off. "Still, I just prefer an R-44 with its strong tail rotor over a 206 with that weak-ass tail rotor." I shook my head and looked at my phone. "Say WHAT?" I explained to the youngster that, look, I've been flying 206's all my life - got six or seven thousand hours in them - admittedly all at sea level, but I've done some really hairy things over the course of my career. And I have never, ever, EVER hit the left pedal stop. I have NEVER gotten into LTE. And yet I read on the internet all the time about how the 206 has this terrible, deficient, defective, weak-ass tail rotor. Something doesn't compute. Apparently, two myths have grown in flight schools across the land: 1) That the 206 has a deficient tail rotor; and 2) That you should avoid wind off the left because it will cause the ship to IMMEDIATELY enter into T/R VRS and start spinning around uncontrollably. Pilots are genuinely scared to have the wind off the left, which to me is simply astonishing. Both of the above myths are WRONG. Some of us have been flying 206's for many, many years and have somehow, perhaps miraculously avoided spinning around uncontrollably like a top even though we make our approaches with the dreaded left crosswind. Yes, a direct left crosswind *can* get the t/r into LTE. But AS SOON as the nose yaws even a little, the tail rotor exits LTE. It does NOT "stall" or quit working entirely. Same with a wind from the left-front. Yes, the main rotor vortices *can* impinge on the tail rotor, causing variances in thrust. But they are minor and, more importantly, MOMENTARY. I was quite frustrated and disappointed with both convesations I had with this young 206 expert. I had planned on giving him some friendly, fatherly advice, but ultimately decided against doing so. I feel badly about this. I mean, I really could give this kid a very thorough 206 make/model checkout, something he apparently did not ever get before getting a job as a 206 PIC. But when "2,000 hour" pilots come off as if they already know everything there is to know about flying, I back off. I still don't know all there is to know about flying. These friggin' S-55's I'm flying this summer are teaching me new stuff every time we go up. And this is my third season flying them. And I've got a little more than 2,000 hours total time. 8 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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