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The Hudson River "LTE" Accident


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Well, the preliminary NTSB report on the recent 206L-4 accident in NYC is out. Basically, it's just a rehash of the facts with the addition of the pilot's statement.

 

Here's a clip from the report:


"He climbed the helicopter over the water, turned the helicopter back toward an easterly heading to the helipad and again felt the onset of LTE. The nose of the helicopter began a yaw to the right, and application of full left pedal failed to arrest the yaw. The helicopter then entered an uncontrolled spin around its mast to the right. "I continued to attempt to maneuver the helicopter into the wind and gain some forward airspeed. This attempt did not effectively restore tail rotor authority."

 

Couple of comments here from a guy who has a lot of time in the 206L: me. And before you all jump in my sh*t and tell me that none of us were in the cockpit with that guy, let me say that you're right, we weren't. But he was not the first guy to ever fly a 206L-4, or make an approach into W30th with the wind ripping across the Hudson River. Although we weren't in the ship with him, some of us have been there before in EXACTLY that same situation.

 

Okay...moving on.

 

First of all, we have two separate conditions - LTE and LTA. In the former, the tail rotor becomes compromised in some theoretical way to a point where it's not longer producing thrust. I suppose some pilots believe that a tail rotor can "cavitate" like the propeller of a boat and become, well, ineffective. WRONG! This does not happen. As we've discussed, yes, the tail rotor can momentarily get into a "recirculation" mode. But once the tail turns even a little bit, the inflow to the tail rotor changes and...voila!...you're out of "LTE" - no more "cavitation!" But here's the problem: Momentum. Once that bitch starts going around to the right, it's awfully hard to stop. You have to push and hold FULL left pedal and maybe reduce torque to the main rotor a little.

 

In the second condition, LTA (loss of tail rotor authority) the tail rotor simply does not have enough "oomph" to counter the torque of the main rotor. This can happen at high altitudes...OR...if you're dumb enough to try to hover a helicopter in a ripping tailwind and you're at or near your torque/temp limit. Helicopters are like big weathervanes - they like being pointed into the wind. (Except the MD-500. It doesn't seem to care which way the wind is blowing.) This ain't rocket science. And that's a good thing because helicopter pilots ain't rocket scientists. And yet they fail to understand such basic physics!

 

This here NYC 206L-4 pilot tries to perpetuate the MYTH that tail rotor LTE is a stable condition that you can get into, much like main rotor LTE. I guess some would call it "sideways VRS." Only it isn't. In classic main rotor VRS/SWP your helicopter settles vertically into your own column of downwash, and yes, you might be on a free-fall elevator ride right to the ground with the collective up under your hairy, sweaty armpit and you going, "By jove, what the devil is going on here??" But as Monsieur Vuichard demonstrates, once you get ANY sideways airflow through the main rotor, you are instantly OUT of VRS. "Sacred blue!" as Monsignor Vuichard is often heard to exclaim. Same with the tail rotor.

 

The 206L-4 pilot claims that he used full left pedal to try to stop the yaw. Only he didn't. Because if he had, that ship would not have kept going around like that. Say what you will about the "weak-ass" 206 tail rotor. At sea level, a lightly loaded (i.e. under MGW) 206 has perfectly sufficient tail rotor, even in a damn 10-15 knot tailwind. Sometimes you have to be aggressive and make the helicopter do what YOU want it to do.

 

The pilot also claims that he tried to gain airspeed, but clearly he didn't. In fact, if anything the helicopter translated a bit more downwind as it went around. According to the video, when he circled around that boat he was pretty far out in the river. When he finally popped the floats and set it down he was very close to shore. It was only at the very end, probably when he chopped the throttle, that he lowered the nose in a useless, pathetic and much-too-late attempt to get airspeed.

 

TRUE STORY TIME:

 

Many years ago when I worked for PHI, I had a tail rotor drive failure in a 206B over an offshore oil platform. I had just lifted off to a hover prior to departure when i heard a "BANG!" It spun...I don't know, three or four times before I was able to get it down. There wasn't much wind that day (thank God!). Even so, each time the ship went around I could see that we were drifting downwind towards the edge of the deck. Things were happening REAL fast.

 

When it was finally over and we were back on the deck, the toes of the skids were sticking out over the edge and I was looking down through the chin bubble at the water 100' below. Yikes! This poor slob got reaaaally lucky that day, let me tell you! And everybody told me what a great job I did. Heh. The only thing I did was chop the throttle and try to keep it level. We hit the deck turning and I seriously thought I'd catch a skid and roll it over. But I didn't.

 

All that said, what the 206L-4 pilot stated to the feds is probably just what I would say. "I swear, officer, I was using FULL left pedal and it wasn't stopping the spin!" Everyone would know I was lying, but since everyone knows how awful the 206 tail rotor is supposed to be, everyone would gravely nod and agree that that's just what happened. And it's much better to say that than, "Gee, I panicked and froze and everything happened so fast and...I really don't know what I did!" And so this accident will go into the record books as "a 206 LTE accident." It will reinforce the opinions of the uninformed.

 

ANOTHER TRUE STORY:

 

In my early days of commercial flying when I was young and stupid(er), a mechanic and I went up in a 206L to do a power check. As I recall, we had to set zero airspeed and pull to a limit. Since it was cool out, I went up high, 2000 feet or so. It was really windy that day, and with the nose pointed into the wind I could not zero it out for some reason (weak skills, most likely).

So me, the big friggin' genius decides to do it downwind! That's the ticket! I come to a downwind hover. And I'm pulling and pulling and pulling...all of a sudden the nose snapped around so fast that I thought the tailboom had broken off. I mean BAM! I reduced power and banked into the turn. Now we were back into the wind - I don't think we went around even once. But it was, as the kids say, "scary af." (Ask your kids what that means.) Taught me a big lesson about tailwinds and 206's.

 

Sooooo, why am I being so hard on this 206L-4 schlub? Everyone makes mistakes, right? Even me, right? Look, I love the 206. I think it's a great helicopter. But it, like every aircraft has its limitations. However not all of those limitations are clearly spelled out and quantified. It can bite you. This is where that "piloting" stuff comes into play. If you're the type of guy who goes by absolute numbers and procedures in manuals and charts published by the FAA, you'll probably be a pretty fine pilot. But sometimes we helicopter pilots fly "out there" where the absolute numbers don't go...where you have to feel your ship, talk to it, and listen to what it's telling you. Maybe, after his first experience with the onset of t/r LTE, that pilot should've gone somewhere else and landed that day. We're not all skygods and not every aircraft can do everything we ask of it.

 

This 206L-4 muck-up will go down in history as a "classic 206 LTE accident." But it certainly was not.

 

 

(Lyn should pay me for this crap. I mean, he pays his other columnists, probably a lot of money! But you jokers get this stuff for free. Talk about getting your money's worth!)

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Very good explanations. Thank you for sharing.

 

I have two stories in the same line...

 

I was an instructor in the TH-57C (old 206). We were heavy and I let the student pull into the fuel pits and wait in line for our turn. I saw the situation developing, but was not worried too much about it, as I could take the controls if needed. The student made a right pedal turn, and the nose was now 90 degrees to the wind-line. The ship started to rotate, but I told the student to hold the skids level, and let out some collective, and put some forward cyclic in (I was now on the controls as well). We did one rotation, and when the nose aligned with the wind again, we stopped. Good lessons learned for all, and as it progressed slowly, it was not that scary of an event. We did a thorough debrief, and we all shared our perspectives.

 

More recently, I was flying an OH-58, and we (my observer) decided to do some snow landings in the mountains (a rare sight in California where we fly). The MSL was around 6500 feet, and the DA was approximately 7000+ 'ish. I did my site survey, did a power check, and started a normal, head loaded approach with approximately mid range torque. When I was almost in ground effect, in a slightly creeping forward hover, both of us discussed the need for right pedal to align better with the landing zone and avoid some large snow mounds. I glanced at the torque gauge and we were pulling 98 % (max 100). I realized I did not have the power to use any more left pedal without over-torquing, so I transitioned forward from the area with the nose out slightly toward the right, not using any left pedal. There was no issue, but it could have been a significant over-torque. Again, it developed slowly, and we were able to communicate and keep up with the situation.

 

Also, when snorkeling water with the Huey, and the torque started creeping higher than I wanted, I had two options. 1. Dump the water and start again. Or 2., and I read this in a magazine article about this recently, if I had the clearance and obstacle free departure required, I would transition to forward flight with the nose slightly to the right, not using any left pedal. I now use a pre-flight planning chart for the Huey that shows pedal authority margins (kind of) with altitude, so I can plan better.

 

I am no expert, and I am a fair to midland pilot, but knowing what you are seeing, feeling, and experiencing, can help predict your actions and outcomes. That is why I enjoyed reading your discussion... more tools for the sack.

 

I have had my share of not so swell events as well, to be honest. But those are less common, and seem to be less common as I get grayer.

 

Thanks for your explanation... it was interesting, well written, and fun to read.

Edited by mudkow60
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Wow, Matt! Kudos to you for actually reading all of that...*and* for sharing your stories as well. You are humble about your skills as a pilot but, based on everything you've written (and what's been written about you) I would disagree. You obviously know what you're doing. I'll bet that you are still fascinated by the way these crazy contraptions fly - and will never stop learning about how they do it.

 

That said, you're absolutely right. But feeling, hearing, seeing, and experiencing...it all takes time in the seat messing with the controls to absorb - it doesn't come overnight. It's been stated that the 206L-4 pilot in NYC had 900TT and only 100-hours in make/model. Seems awfully skimpy to me, especially to be doing sightseeing and stuff in that NYC environment. So in a way we can't really fault him. He was probably doing his absolute best. But his employer hired a guy who might not have been "ready for prime time" as we used to say, and then threw him to the wolves, sending him off that day with a jaunty, "Come back when you're done...don't crash!" They should be damn glad they only got a wet, wrecked helicopter. It could have been worse. A lot worse.

Edited by Nearly Retired
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You might say a Lack of Training,...Evidently or perhaps Little To no Experience with the sitiation? Either way, if one's Landing is Terribly Embarrassing, one should expect Little To no Empathy from one's boss, probably resulting in Loss of Thy's Employment. :D

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Without immediate full left pedal and a reduction in collective, I think you're in for a ride like this guy. The aircraft didn't just magically start rotating on it own: it started to weather vane at a high torque setting (classic LTE situation) and he was late (or never) getting on the pedals. Once the rotation starts, I don't think only full left pedal is going to stop it on a 206, but I could be wrong (never experienced it).

 

It can happen to any helicopter with a tail rotor, IMO. I know a pilot (very experienced) that wasn't so lucky in an R-44 and he didn't survive it. Where I work, we had the same thing happen recently in a 407. The pilot was able to recover but it was very close to ground. I guess I contradicted myself, but he did do what we're all taught: lower the collective, mash the left pedal and try to get some airspeed. The 407 has very good TR authority. Once you raise the collective (the accident pilot did and you can see the rotation speed increase), you're probably screwed.

 

The only way to make a downwind approach is very slowly and extreme vigilance on the pedals. Though not ideal, it can be done safely. Since I don't think they will find anything wrong with the aircraft, I'd call it LTE. Once he raised the collective, he was done at that altitude. I don't think it's worth getting wrapped around the axle (pun intended) on terminology.

 

What I'm trying to say is whether you a) do nothing and crash b ) do what your taught and recover, or c) do everything you're supposed to do and still crash, it's all the same thing: LTE.

 

https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20130727X31220&AKey=1&RType=Final&IType=FA

Edited by helonorth
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Helonorth, I'm not surprised you haven't heard of LTA (loss of tail rotor authority). Many low-time and inexperienced pilots still have much to learn. Don't feel too badly. But LTA is not a new term, and I did not make it up.

 

Helonorth says...

I can tell you, with absolute certainty, an MD500 likes to be pointed into the wind.

 

Here's all I know about the 500,

 

A while back, a friend of mine was pulling sock line with a 530. On an off-day, he said he had to go out and "inspect" something at the job site. He offered to take me along. We get out to the site and he proceeds to circle around one of the new powerline tower. In a high OGE hover, we went 'round and 'round, sometimes sideways this way, sometimes sideways that way, sometimes backwards. He was obviously showing off for me. I won't say I was scared, but I was..."concerned." It was not particularly windy, but I wouldn't have pulled that crap in a 206. My friend did not seem to be having any trouble controlling the ship - no extreme control displacements. And the ship seemed to be perfectly comfortable doing what he asked of it. I was impressed.

 

Now, about LTE:

 

Let's say there's a fixed-wing pilot who makes a downwind takeoff with something less than full engine power, and runs it off the end of the runway. The pilot reports that he was merely being "conservative" in not abusing his engine, and that his technique had worked 99 prior times...although all 99 times were with a headwind. Would we call such an accident "Loss of Engine Effectiveness?" No, of course not.

 

Similarly, the NYC 206L-4 pilot did not get into LTE. His ship merely...and quite naturally...began an uncommanded yaw into the wind and he did not stop it - although he could have. It did not "snap" around suddenly or violently. And he can swear on a stack of Bibles that he used full left pedal, but he did not.

 

Over on the PPRUNE forum, a guy named Buitenzorg writes about a phenomenon which describes what I agree happened. When faced with unexpected and scary events, we humans often tense up. The L-4 pilot probably *was* pushing the left pedal, but his right foot and leg was probably stiff on the right pedal, preventing any movement. So from the L-4 pilot's perspective, he thought he was pushing the pedal to the stop. It's just that he didn't move the pedals to their full travel. It's an interesting read, if anyone cares about how helicopters crash.

 

The NYC L-4 crash was not "LTE."

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I have heard of what you describe as "LTA". You're describing not having enough TR thrust for the conditions. You can't lose something you never had. That's why the term doesn't exist: it doesn't make sense. Never heard of it. You probably made it up.

 

And I think you just admitted you have never even flown a 500. I have flown the 500 for 400 or so hours in just the conditions you describe, but thanks for telling me how it flies. Somebody that can handle a 500 like that makes it look easy. It's not.

 

So tell me this: what is LTE? We know what you think it isn't (everything). This outta be interesting. PS whether you recover or not is irrelevant.

Edited by helonorth
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I have heard of what you describe as "LTA". You're describing not having enough TR thrust for the conditions. You can't lose something you never had. That's why the term doesn't exist: it doesn't make sense. Never heard of it. You probably made it up.

 

And I think you just admitted you have never even flown a 500. I have flown the 500 for 400 or so hours in just the conditions you describe, but thanks for telling me how it flies. Somebody that can handle a 500 like that makes it look easy. It's not.

 

So tell me this: what is LTE? We know what you think it isn't (everything). This outta be interesting. PS whether you recover or not is irrelevant.

I think what NR is getting at is that LTE vs LTA is the equivalent of vortex ring state vs settling with power (or power settling, or settling with max power if youd prefer).

 

Some people argue over the specifics of settling with power (vs vortex ring state), others lump it all into one category. Same goes for the tail rotor.

 

Personally, I think the distinction is worth making. To me, LTE is an aerodynamic problem, a detrimental airflow circulation that results in a sudden decrease in T/R thrust. LTA (limited tail rotor authority) is simply reaching the left pedal stop (in a counter-clockwise M/R) due to high power demand/ high DA / right crosswind. Both can result in the nose (and more importantly the tail) going where you dont want t if corrective action is not taken.

 

And having logged quite a bit of time in both the MD500 and 206L, the MD500 does in fact have noticably improved T/R authority and better handling in crosswind and tailwind conditions when compared to the longranger. Thats not to say an MD500 pilot doesnt have to work the pedals, but it is an easier to manage aircraft with the nose pulled away from the wind.

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I don't know why you guys want to keep hammering on this one? I mean there's only a few of us left here and we've had this discussion a thousand times with each other already,...but since no one likes my jokes, fine,...I'll give my two-cents,...again.

 

A few years ago I was on a checkout in the 44. The guy wanted to do swp, but he wanted me to do it downwind. So I point us down wind at about two grand, and begin slowing to a hover. So what do you think happened? Yeah, that's right, as soon as I got slow enough the nose snapped right!

 

Was that LTE? Hell yeah it was! Did I cause that LTE? Hell yeah, I did! Why? Because like an idiot I forgot that tailwind hovers lead to LTE. Did I spin out of control? No! I put in some (but not all) left pedal (and because its a Robby not a Bell) it stopped about 90° later.

 

LTE does exits. It may be the cause of the accident, but pilot error is the cause of LTE. LTE is not a "get out of jail free card", you're still gonna have some splanin' ta do!

 

,...and HGP if you try and start that f*cking swp/vrs thing again, we're gonna have to cut your balls off!

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I'm with you on LTE butters. While Bob is right about what he says regarding LTE he seems to think it shifts the blame from the pilot to the aircraft. Maybe that was the excuse pilot's made back when Moses and Bob were flying helicopters together (just playing with you bob) but today I'm pretty sure it's looked at like VRS. No one would say oh that damn helicopter got into VRS despite the perfect actions of the pilot. Same goes for LTE. Yea its a thing but its the pilots fault if he crashes because of it.

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I feel like I'm one of the few that was taught as a PP no less that if your groundspeed is lower than the tailwind then there is absolutely nothing dangerous about a tailwind approach or hover. Proven by flying in those actual conditions. I was very lucky however to be taught by one of the best.

 

I very stupidly put myself into an "LTE" situation once trying to please a tour customer wanting a picture of some dolphins, came around on me faster than I could say OH F^$! and stopped as soon as I weathervaned back into a head wind with the left pedal through the chin bubble...

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Fred Sed:

While Bob is right about what he says regarding LTE he seems to think it shifts the blame from the pilot to the aircraft.

 

Actually Fred, I was saying just the opposite. In this case, the so-called "LTE" was a pilot problem, not an aircraft problem. The aircraft acted normally: It wanted to face into the wind; that's what they do. The PILOT acted incorrectly: He did not stop the uncommanded right yaw when he could have; he lost control of his aircraft.

 

When I give pilots a 206 checkout, before we ever go flying, one of the things I do is walk them to the back of the helicopter. We go about 20-feet behind the ship at the four-thirty to five o'clock position. I ask them to look at the helicopter and imagine the tail rotor disc. Then I ask them to visualize how much of the tail rotor is blanked off by the vertical fin. I conclude by getting them to imagine what a tailwind from where we are standing would do to the ship in a hover. At that point it's easy to see why the 206 has such a strong weathervaning tendency and why 206 pilots must be acutely aware of *any* uncommanded right yaw when hovering with a tailwind. You must be deadly serious about controlling your yaw when hovering downwind. If you're sloppy on the pedals...God help you.

 

"LTE" is one of those myths that we've heard about for so long that we accept it to be true. The FAA gave us those diagrams warning us of the hazardous wind conditions we might find ourselves in. But guess what? Nobody has ever gone out and quantified an "LTE" event. Nobody has ever gone out in a 206 with a Go-Pro and documented what happens if you are foolish enough to hover in a (gasp!) left crosswind...or if you're stupid enough to go out and hover with a tailwind, or a left-quartering headwind. We all just accept that if we do such things the likelihood is that we'll crash and burn and die! I mean, it's a fact, right?

 

Some of us are old enough to remember: The phenomenon of "LTE" was discovered a long time ago by OH-58A pilots doing NOE. They'd be slow, and they'd get into a tailwind situation. As they'd make a right turn, sometimes a yaw rate would develop and the damn thing would "spin in." True enough, the original 206/OH-58 did not have the most robust tail rotor (not to mention that big dang fin). It developed a bad reputation among Army pilots - which spilled over into the civilian sector when the guys got out. "The 206 has a weak tail rotor and can spin in!" And so it became legend.

 

I've got over 7,000 hours in all of the various 206's (mostly all at around sea level). I've *NEVER* touched the left pedal stop, and in my normal tour/charter/photo flying I've never gotten any uncommanded right yaw that I could not get under control. Am I a super-pilot? Hardly - I can supply references who'll swear that I'm not. But I understand how helicopters fly. And I know that the tail rotor of a 206 never stops working, never stalls, never "cavitates." I pay attention to where the wind is coming from. And I don't ask a 206 to do more than it...or I...am capable of.

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I feel like I'm one of the few that was taught as a PP no less that if your groundspeed is lower than the tailwind then there is absolutely nothing dangerous about a tailwind approach or hover. Proven by flying in those actual conditions. I was very lucky however to be taught by one of the best.

 

I very stupidly put myself into an "LTE" situation once trying to please a tour customer wanting a picture of some dolphins, came around on me faster than I could say OH F^$! and stopped as soon as I weathervaned back into a head wind with the left pedal through the chin bubble...

Could you elaborate? I am assuming you made a typo, because having a groundspeed lower than the tailwind component results in weathervane tendency and increased power demand. Hovering OGE (0 groundspeed) with a 10 knot tailwind, is not a good position to be in.
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"LTE" is one of those myths that we've heard about for so long that we accept it to be true. The FAA gave us those diagrams warning us of the hazardous wind conditions we might find ourselves in. But guess what? Nobody has ever gone out and quantified an "LTE" event. Nobody has ever gone out in a 206 with a Go-Pro and documented what happens if you are foolish enough to hover in a (gasp!) left crosswind...or if you're stupid enough to go out and hover with a tailwind, or a left-quartering headwind. We all just accept that if we do such things the likelihood is that we'll crash and burn and die! I mean, it's a fact, right?

 

You're so melodramatic!

 

,...and with such a Charles Bronsonesque grudge against LTE! I don't remember Bob, do you have a mustache?

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The descriptions in the OH-58C Technical Manual are spot on for what I've experienced in regards to LTE. Vortex Ring on the tail rotor just required a bit more "dancing" on the pedals and cyclic inputs to control the attitude. Other than the higher workload it was not really a big deal for a careful pilot and I never ran out of pedal. My flying was generally max gross, moderate DA, and frequently all the way up to the wind limitations.

My biggest concern hovering tail into the wind was that I had to be more careful about obstacles on the ground where I wanted to put down, since I knew I wasn't going to be able to be as precise with skid placement.

One thing I was always careful of was making a transition to high power with the tail into the wind. That's a good way to start a spin you can't stop. But that's like pilot 101 stuff.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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I think you misunderstand me Bob. First off LTE is real and I disagree with you calling it a myth. Call it what you want but in certain aerodynamic conditions helicopters lose tail rotor effectiveness. But it is easily correctable and avoidable. What I was saying before was you seem to be on a crusade against LTE because you think pilots are using it as an excuse to crash a helicopter. I'm saying that pretty much everyone I've met views it like a VRS/SWP crash. Yes the immediate cause was an aerodynamic condition but the root cause was the pilots failure to avoid and then correct for that condition. I don't think anyone see it as a get out of jail free card. If someone says to me oh that was a LTE crash I don't think oh those damn Bells... I think that pilot either needed better instruction or had a lapse in judgement. Is anyone here arguing its the helicopter's fault?

 

Edit: After rereading my previous post I can see it was my poor choice of words and not Bob's reading comprehension that caused the confusion.

Edited by Fred0311
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First of all, Butters STFU.

 

Secondly, I am not on a crusade against LTE. I just think that too many times it is used as an excuse for poor piloting. Because it's hard to disprove. If the pilot says he got into an "uncontrollable" spin that he could not stop with full left pedal, then who can say otherwise? And who would? We try very hard to exonerate the pilot.

 

In one of the recent Boeing 737 Max-8 crashes (Lyon Air or Ethiopia, I forget), the MCAS was erroneously commanding nose-down trim. The pilots tried using the electric trim switch on the yoke, but as soon as they were done trimming the nose up, the MCAS trimmed it back down. The airplane got faster and faster becuase the dummies in the pointy end NEVER PULLED THE POWER BACK. Thus, the manual trim wheel became unusable because the aerodynamic forces on the stabilizer made it too difficult to move. Eventually, the nose-down forces on the control wheel got so heavy that both pilots pulling together could not get the nose up.

 

The fact that these pilots never throttled back is astonishing to the investigators. Why *NOT* pull the power back? Well, because they were getting an erroneous stall-warning indication for one thing, but their THREE airspeed indicators should have persuaded them that the stall-warning system was malfunctioning and that it would be safe to slow down. They did not. They *did* shut the stabilizer trim switches off, which should have allowed them to regain pitch attitude control, but they were still too fast for the manual trim wheel to be used. So instead of slowing down and reducing the aerodynamic forces on the elevator, they unbelievably turned the stabilizer trim switches back on! It sealed their fate. The MCAS continued to command more nose-down trim. They crashed. And now all of the 737 Max-8 planes are grounded.

 

Sooooo, what part of this accident did pilot-error play? Yes, the airplane was not reacting normally, but people smarter than me theorize that it could have been saved if the pilots were...you know...sharper. They did not have to be going that fast.

 

Okay, back to the matter at hand. I would wager that 90% or more of all Bell 206 "LTE" accidents are simply pilot-error, where the pilot let the aircraft get out of control. Claiming that an accident was "LTE!" tarnishes the reputation of the Bell 206, a safe, reliable aircraft in which I have considerable time and experience. In fact, I probably have more time in a downwind OGE hover in a 206A than many of you experts have total time. Yes, I'm talking to you, Butters.

 

The NYC L-4 accident was not LTE. Let's stop calling it that. He did not lose effectiveness of his tail rotor; he simply did not avail himself of all the power it had.

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First of all, Butters STFU.

 

Sure thing pallie, just let me know when Death Wish 206 comes out.

 

,...'cause LTE's gone too far this time!

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IMHO, this particular incident was poor ADM which resulted into LTE causing a crash. Fix the ADM, and the link in the accident chain is broken.

 

During 206L check-rides at a former ENG employer, we were required hover OGE at 1500 feet, downwind, then start hovering backwards until the machine snapped around. Pilots were required to apply full left peddle and lower the collective and fly out of it, which we did, with a loss of about 150 feet at minimum, 300 feet at max. I can say, it didnt take much to get the machine to snap around. The lesson, dont attempt to hover downwind.

 

Birds understand the importance of landing into the wind. If their tiny brains can grasp the significance of this concept, maybe we humans should do the same.

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Could you elaborate? I am assuming you made a typo, because having a groundspeed lower than the tailwind component results in weathervane tendency and increased power demand. Hovering OGE (0 groundspeed) with a 10 knot tailwind, is not a good position to be in.

 

No typo.

 

But you are changing the rules of the game.

 

I said "dangerous'. You said "more power" and "not a good position".

 

I never claimed it was the best idea or even mentioned power.

 

If you are cognizant of the situation you put yourself in and the inherent risks and limitations that imposes on you and thereby how to get yourself out of it there is nothing "dangerous" about the maneuver. Idiot pilots make it dangerous not the maneuver.

 

In a rush to be right though everyone wants to change the rules of the game, instead of taking a deep breath and allowing there brains to wrap around a new thought.

 

For whatever its worth, my instructor won many awards including the Art Scholl for his Helibatic Airshow Act. I have been privileged with getting to explore the edges of the envelope with him.

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