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Could use your input, Seriously thinking about making a change!

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Per a previous post i mentioned where an individual informed me to pull max power on ever flight as the helicopter is "maintained at higher standards (I.e. oil change and sparks plugs every 50 hours.) therefore we are allowed to pull redline on every PU".

(I disagree with this completely)

 

to followup with another event which also took place that day i I went back to speak with 1 of the 3 individuals which i am butting heads with and was informed "I was wrong, because i elected to do a max performance over some trees rather than perform a take off & approach to land over a busy parking lot"

 

Being i am a relatively low time pilot but trained very well, i am looking for your thoughts.

 

My first inclination is to let them do as they wish and leave as it is already apparent they care more about not making a passenger nervous about going over a tree than ignoring regulation which rrequires you to maintain enough altitude to be able to land safely with dmg'n person or property.

 

I did voice my opinion but was shortly informed "You can survive landing a heli on a car but going over the trees scares passengers".

 

what are your thoughts?

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Most new passengers are scared of flying period....so that has no bearing on my decisions as a pilot to fly per the regulations, and also fly in a manner that makes them feel safe. Max redline takeoffs are going to feel weird to them, as would entering an approach with a fast rate of decent, as would doing a cyclic climb or decent vs a gentle collective climb or decent, as does flying out of trim, etc etc etc.

 

If your helicopter has limitations, like the ones I fly,(robbies), maintenence frequency has no bearing on allowance for redlining it on power. The FAA would hold you as PIC accountable for following the published limitations PERIOD.

 

I was currious if you were in a 141 program or a part 61 program? I have noticed that schools that are part 61 tend to do what they want vs what the regulations require, far more often than a school that provides a very structured 141 program.

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Most new passengers are scared of flying period....so that has no bearing on my decisions as a pilot to fly per the regulations, and also fly in a manner that makes them feel safe. Max redline takeoffs are going to feel weird to them, as would entering an approach with a fast rate of decent, as would doing a cyclic climb or decent vs a gentle collective climb or decent, as does flying out of trim, etc etc etc.

 

If your helicopter has limitations, like the ones I fly,(robbies), maintenence frequency has no bearing on allowance for redlining it on power. The FAA would hold you as PIC accountable for following the published limitations PERIOD.

 

I was currious if you were in a 141 program or a part 61 program? I have noticed that schools that are part 61 tend to do what they want vs what the regulations require, far more often than a school that provides a very structured 141 program.

 

 

Well it is good to know there are some people out there that are on the same side i am on this one. I as well fly Robbies. I was taught at a Part 141 school and actualy at a Very Very good school!

 

i will say this much in reguards to the situaion as i have said it many times to the people that i am associated with; there are ALOT of things that i was taught during training that are considered here as being "Overly Cautious". and looked down upon, that being said. I am going to continue to stand my gound.

 

I have tried to voice my opinion even backed with regulation. I was told "i am like every other new pilot coming out of training thinking i know the regulaions, and the reality is that i don't know ****"

now the par that makes me laugh is that the guy that said that to me is a student which was placed in charge and not evn rated. But he said he knows because he has been around aviation for years..... he almost made me snort!

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I use whatever power it takes to do what I need to do. If it takes pulling to the redline (whatever the first limit is under the conditions) I use it, but I don't use it every time, only when necessary. My takeoff direction depends on lots of things - the wind, obstacles, what's on the ground (people, houses, hospitals, whatever) and it may change from takeoff to takeoff. Different pilots can assess the same takeoff differently, and there shouldn't be an argument about which way was better unless there was an obvious and serious safety issue. I go whichever direction I think is best at the time, and I'm prepared to back up my decision. Like everything else, judgement and experience are necessary, and neither is available the first time you do something. I try to learn something new every day.

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I'm with Gomer Pylot on this: Use all you got or what you need to operate safely. The aircraft is deigned and certified to run at the red line, so use it. "Oh, but what about fuel economy (or whatever)?" The few gallons and dollars you save by not running at the limit is more than wasted by the extra flight time.

That said, always abide by the RFM. For instance the AStar book says use hover power for X, Y or Z. There are other times when I might run at a lesser power than max, but those situations are not something I could explain in a forum post.

Edited by Wally

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The manufacturer sets the redlines, and sets them conservatively, because they have to guarantee that there will be no issues operating right up to them. Nothing will explode just because a limit is slightly exceeded, because it is guaranteed that nothing will happen right up to it. But exceeding limitations repeatedly will degrade the machinery. An analogy I've seen is a jar of beans. Every time you exceed a limit, you take some beans out of the jar. Eventually the jar will become empty. You do not want an empty bean jar, so take out as few as possible. Intentionally exceeding limits is prohibited, and should never be done, but sometimes a limit is exceeded. You took beans out of the jar. The penalty depends on the RFM. It may be nothing, or it may be grounding. It depends entirely on what the RFM says. Anyone who has been flying for a long time has exceeded a limit somewhere along the line, and anyone who says he hasn't is either lying or in complete denial, or hasn't been getting the job done. Sometimes you have to fly near or at the limits or else just forget about doing the job you're paid to do. You should approach the limits cautiously, and try to stay within them, but you still have to go there.

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One of the aviation axioms passed to me that I have always remembered is that if you want to have a long aviation life you need to be prepared to walk away from any job. I learned that saying "No" never ended my career.

 

That being said, I have also seen over the years that the high white horse I would climb up on has luckily gotten shorter and shorter for those times I fell off of it. Some of the things I KNEW to be true might have had more shades of grey. In the end, safety is your responsibility, follow the voice in your head and the feeling in your gut and what you believe to be true at the time. Being right and proving it to others is less important than going home at the end of the day.

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I have to thank you for your input. It is inevitable that limits are broken, i am just trying to make the best of a very odd situation. Thank you

 

I guess my white horse is still pretty tall, I just don't want ot be the fool that cuts his legs out from under him on Saftey related issues.

 

 

Thanks for the input!

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I have tried to voice my opinion even backed with regulation. I was told "i am like every other new pilot coming out of training thinking i know the regulaions, and the reality is that i don't know ****"

 

 

Accurate

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Per a previous post i mentioned where an individual informed me to pull max power on ever flight as the helicopter is "maintained at higher standards (I.e. oil change and sparks plugs every 50 hours.) therefore we are allowed to pull redline on every PU".

(I disagree with this completely)

 

to followup with another event which also took place that day i I went back to speak with 1 of the 3 individuals which i am butting heads with and was informed "I was wrong, because i elected to do a max performance over some trees rather than perform a take off & approach to land over a busy parking lot"

 

Being i am a relatively low time pilot but trained very well, i am looking for your thoughts.

 

My first inclination is to let them do as they wish and leave as it is already apparent they care more about not making a passenger nervous about going over a tree than ignoring regulation which rrequires you to maintain enough altitude to be able to land safely with dmg'n person or property.

 

I did voice my opinion but was shortly informed "You can survive landing a heli on a car but going over the trees scares passengers".

 

what are your thoughts?

 

As others have stated, power utilized on take-off is totally dependent on the specifics of the situation. Would I be concerned with always using maximum take-off power if I always operate at a weight/DA that requires it? No. You are still in compliance with the aircraft's limitations and it was designed and proven to operate within the published parameters.

 

If I'm operating at a low weight/DA, and I can maintain a suitable rate of climb without using max power, then I see no need to raise the collective right up to the limit (mainly to give myself an extra margin in case there is a sudden need to apply more power pedal).

 

Another thing to consider is how your collective setting affects auto-rotating. Some may say that using max power gives you more altitude sooner, which can certainly come in handy if the engine quits. Others may argue that it is detrimental because the high blade pitch angle will result in faster RRPM decay if the engine fails.

 

As for you avoiding the parking lot; you are misinterpreting the regulation. There are many times where your LZ will be surrounded by things on all sides that could be potentially damaged if the engine quits. It is absurd to think you will always have a 'clear' path when taking off or landing. And, in some situations, making a forced landing into a parking lot could be preferable to going down in the trees. It depends on a lot of variables (such as tree density, canopy type, height, etc.)

 

§91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

b Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

© Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface—

(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b or © of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and

(2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph © of this section.

Without knowing your colleagues/superiors I can't tell you whether their advice and judgement are sound. They could be full of crap. Or maybe not. Keep an open mind as to what they are presenting; they may be offering you completely reasonable, 'real world' advice. However, if you feel that what they expect is really not safe, then obviously don't do it.

Also keep in mind that as your career progresses (especially beyond the CFI stage) your views and your 'comfort zone' will change. A few years down the road you may see certain things that you once viewed as 'unsafe' to be completely reasonable. And vice-versa.

*Edited for grammar, word choice and tone.

Edited by Hand_Grenade_Pilot

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Batting 50/50 with my concerns one to keep fighting the other could go either way. I checked with a check pilot for a 135 op and FAA evaluator i know.

both said same thing; given the information provided. Do exactly as i have been and refuse to bend on the "Safety" issue i was presented with, the other i am just going to give on and do the best i can.

I also got the chance to spend some time learning about HEMS operations. (Never is a bad thing to learn as much as possible).

 

Thanks guys.

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Once on upwind I noticed the CAT in the yellow. I asked the much more experienced CFI next to me if he would pull in some carb heat for me. He said don't worry about it, we takeoff with the throttle wide open so we cannot get carb ice on takeoff...just the opposite of Safety Notice 25!

 

Safety Notice 37 covers exceeding limits. Max takeoffs are fine (as long as your engine is running good) but we're Robbie's not Schweizer's we generally don't pull to the red line.

 

I would have picked the trees over a busy parking lot too.

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I'm with Flying Pig. I use the minimum amount of power as possible. As for passengers, the way to keep them the calmest is to tell them in advance what you are doing. If you surprise them they get more scared than if they get a chance to digest in advance.

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Flying Pig, and anyone interested in discussion-

I'm in fairly durable, robust and reliable aircraft, so I use max available power as soon as the RFM, height velocity chart, and any other consideration allow it... usually.

I want to spend as little time as possible in climb and transit as possible, so I pull to the first limit and hold that. The helicopter is usually deployed for time critical transport, so the few minutes saved is operating to the greatest benefit, can multiply operations in a duty period, most turbines run most efficiently at max power, and flight time is more expensive than fuel, other costs at reduced power and speed. If the segment allows I will climb to a DA that allows pulling all limits simultaneously to gain that efficiency. At one time I did a fair bit of performance planning for those legs, now I use a 600 fpm climb to cruise and and 300 fpm descent seems to work out. GPS makes it easy to watch ground speed and adjust cruise altitude, time the start of the descent.

 

None of this applies on short legs, I don't see any point in pulling to the red line on most 3 or 4 minute legs, accelerating up to max power cruise and immediately deceleration. Shorter legs when you're always in the climb until you start an approach are also an exception...

Edited by Wally

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Hanging on the engine is a necessary evil when flying for a living. That is, believing you must always have an out which guarantees a no-damage landing after an engine failure is a misconception. You do what you can to minimize the risk while getting the job done and this is accomplished through training and experience. Furthermore, I tend to stay out of other peoples cockpit as I want them to stay out of mine. With that, there are many variables when considering a departure path. Determining the power available is high on the list while trying not to “scare” the passengers is low-er on the list…. for obvious reasons….

 

For me, I only use the power that I need to clear my obstacle and the difference between the two is my margin. However, sometimes the max setting is required while other times the max isn’t enough……

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The best takeoff/approach path is YOUR call, you're the PIC! You're flying a Robinson so let the chart tell you when you can pull up to the redline, not some guy in the pilot lounge!

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Like with anything in life, just let your ears perk up when someone tells you "we always do it like this."

 

 

"My first inclination is to let them do as they wish and leave as it is already apparent they care more about not making a passenger nervous about going over a tree than ignoring regulation which requires you to maintain enough altitude to be able to land safely with dmg'n person or property.

I did voice my opinion but was shortly informed "You can survive landing a heli on a car but going over the trees scares passengers".

what are your thoughts?"

But seriously.......You guys are all working pilots and you are arguing with each other about how to take off and land? Have you seen the stuff helicopters do on a regular basis?
Edited by Flying Pig
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This reminds me of a yogi ism (Yogi Berra)

"I don't always do it the way I always do it".

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I'm with Flying Pig. I use the minimum amount of power as possible. As for passengers, the way to keep them the calmest is to tell them in advance what you are doing. If you surprise them they get more scared than if they get a chance to digest in advance.

 

Exactly what is do. I just talk to them about everything i am doing to make them as comfortable as possible. even to the extent of explaining clutch lights coming on....

it get redundant but it works.

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Ladies and gentleman.

 

I think this has brought to light some very real and legitimate responces concerning this topic. I want to thank each of you for your input as i weight my options. I have done alot of thinking about this over the last few weeks and i believe i know how i am going to handle the situation.

 

First, let me say that i am alway trying to gain insite into things that i am puzzled by; this topic for me was concerning for the obvious reasons and as such i understand we are all going to have a differing opinions from both sides of the industry. Owners, ground crew and the PICs will have their own opinions differences in experience levels aswell as knowledge to pull from.

 

I appreciate the input and will use it to aid me in making my decision.

 

Thank you!

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But seriously.......You guys are all working pilots and you are arguing with each other about how to take off and land? Have you seen the stuff helicopters do on a regular basis?

 

 

From the sounds of things, we are dealing with CFI's and/or tour pilots.

 

 

 

With that in mind, the answer is probably no, they have no idea outside of what they have seen on youtube.

Edited by Rotorhead84

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