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Autorotation Requirements by Country and License Type

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I am interested in knowing which countries around the world require touch-down autorotation training versus power-recovery-only training and for which license levels.


Hopefully this forum is used internationally.


I am assuming that SOME form of autortation training is required everywhere.


I can imagine that some countries only require power-recovery until you get to a certain level at which point full-touch-down may be required.


I can also imagine that military requirements differ from civil requirements. I am less concerned about answers for the military but it would be good information to have.


Please refrain from discussing whether you think it is a good or bad idea to do full versus recovery... I imagine that topic has been beaten to death in other threads. I'm just looking for actual requirements by country and license level based on knowledge dated July 2019.


I am using acronyms as follows..

PPL - Private Pilot License (or equivalent in your country)

CPL - Commercial Pilot License (or equivalent in your country)

CFI - Certified Flight Instructor (or equivalen in your country)


If you are giving an answer for the military then go ahead and give a name that describes the license/rating... I've no idea what those names might be. Perhaps something like "Navy Airman Class 3"


Here is an example of what a good answer would look like.....


Date of Information: 2019 July

Country: Narnia

PPL: power-recovery

CPL; power-recovery

CFI: full-down


Thanks for your help



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The US Army forbids touchdown autos in all standard airframes flown, with the exception of the remaining few TH-67 trainers in flight school. Touchdown autos were a normal daily training exercise prior to the switch to LUH-72s for flight school. Power recoveries are the only method trained and evaluated.

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  • 1 month later...

OK here goes, I will take a bite at this topic. Bring on the debate.



CPL: full down

PPC annual training: 25% full down, 75% power recovery



CPL: power recovery

CFI: limited full down

Bell and Robinson factory course: full down

PPC annual training: power recovery



CPL: Power on glide

Auto training whats that?

Actually did auto training there for Nepali pilots but due to lack of proficiency of local pilots they dont roll the throttle off. So they call the power on glide an auto for PPC purposes.


I trained in Canada with Chinook Helicopters. Did around 200 full down autorotations in my commercial course which was 100 hours. We did a few power recoveries so I would know how to do those too. This was with the Bell 47 and last 10 hours Jet Ranger. Honestly the power recovery on the 47 is a handful to get the engine rpm matched so its easier just to do a full down. Its a high inertia rotor system so plenty forgiving. Later I did CFI in the US at 300 hours and we did a dozen or so full down autos in the R22 in preparation for the CFI checkride. Over the course of my career have only done full down training during annual recurrency with 2 companies in Canada. All the rest have been power recoveries. Some of the best auto training I ever did was with Blue Hawaiian. They set a very high standard, must get to the spot every time with the trainer imitating the failure at different spots so you have to use range variation to make it. The most realistic and thorough training Ive experienced despite not doing full downs. One advantage of dual fadec EC130 is the snappy engine response so throttle can be rolled back on in the flare.


In my opinion the R44 is one of the best for auto training. It does full downs and power recoveries very well and is fairly forgiving. If the RRPM is kept at the very bottom of green arc just before the flare, you can flare hard and it will not overspeed. This allows a real flare to arrive at the spot with zero airspeed and then it can be a nice full down or if throttle is rolled on it will power recover without the torque spike typical of a Jet Ranger. Of course the H125 is awesome for that too but its 4 times the cost. And most companies dont want to risk their 3.5 million dollar helicopter doing full downs! When I did training with the R22 I did just enough autos with it so the student would have a fighting chance if the engine failed during solo. I suggested they invest in 4 hours of sold auto training with the R44 with a good Instructor who can do full downs and range variation. Some students did this but sadly most saved a few bucks at the risk of later saving their life. Its super important to build primacy for a good auto in the beginning. If you dont flare hard enough to arrive at a complete stop over a precise spot in a real life engine failure then the outcome may not be walkoutable. Im interested to go for an intro flight with the Cabri G2 to see how it autos. However since most initial training is done with the R22 my advice is invest in a few hours of quality R44 training including full downs with a good Instructor.


For this reason I hope the R44 cadet gets some traction in the training industry. Having worked as a 300 hour newly minted CFI I was not confident at that time to do full downs with students in the R22. The R22 training style auto most students learn in my opinion teaches bad auto habits in the most critical phase of primacy training. This is because of low time instructors and the unforgiving nature of the R22 for autos. To avoid the dreaded costly overspeed the flare is gentle and high, throttle rolled on early and usually terminates with airspeed carried into a fly through. Thats not how to do a real life save your ass auto if the engine quits. I love flying the R22, super fun little helicopter but it is the worst of all makes/models for auto training in my opinion.


Im glad I learned my primacy in the Bell 47 with full downs.


This summer Im new on the Bell 212. We did actually practice autos during training despite twin engine but it was power recovery with throttles rolled back on early before the flare. Most of the focus was on one engine failure at different altitudes and airspeed and respective procedures. There was a company on fires this spring that had an engine failure on the 212 while bucketing. He dropped the bucket, secured the engine, and flew to a safe landing for an engine replacement. Vertical hover in or out of 100 foot trees confined area with a 10 man fire crew the outcome probably would involve bent metal. At least a chance of no bent backs but that situation would sacrifice the machine. After all these years on singles I do like the big heavy twin more than I expected.


We should all have a plan on how to successfully crash. No time to figure it out in the heat of the moment. Primacy will prevail. But even with only a few seconds to play out the scenario your reaction can be critical to the outcome. Pre-thinking your plan for thick trees, water, steep mountainside, congested city, which way to turn for wind, etc... will give a fighting chance for your reaction.


I recommend reading Shawn Coyles Little Book of Autorotations.


Also recommend Factory Course Training. Did both Bell and Robinson factory courses. On the Bell course we did an auto from 200 ft and 40 kits while climbing out from take off to full down. Had never actually done that before. That was on the Bell 505 which is a fantastic trainer. Bit on the spendy side however.


Interested to hear others opinions on this topic.


Let the debate begin.

Edited by Whistlerpilot
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Well what the Hell, I'm just bored enough to enter a thread the op will most likely never return to so here goes,...



Based on my experience with schools I've trained/rented/time built with over the years;


September 1, 2019


PPL; power recovery

CPL; power recovery

CFI; I'm not one, but I hear they get to do full downs.


As for the debate,...


Well, not being a cfi I had to seek out full downs. I did a bunch with Jerry Trimble in an old R22hp up in Oregon. Didn't think they were all that hard compared to power recovery, but I did enjoy doing them.


One time on a job interview the guy rolled the throttle off on me as we passed directly over the runway numbers at around 500' or so and said, "land on the numbers, sometimes the only good spot is directly beneath you".


Never started an auto from directly over the spot before, so it took a bit of minimum rate and "s" turns to get it lined up, but I made it,...power recovery though. Hadn't auto'd a 44 in two years (and never done one like that before) so I was really proud of that one!


Don't get to do many autos as a casual renter. When you can only afford an hour every six weeks or so, the last thing you want to do is waste that flight on an instructor!


I do find that mental practice of autos every so often seems to keep the skills decent enough to handle it. As I discovered on a recent flight with a cfi where my autos were just fine despite not having done any in almost two years.


If I were flying commercially though, I'd want to actually do them regularly, but couldn't care less if they were power recovery or full down.


Full downs are more fun though. :)

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When I learned (in the military in a Huey) every auto was a touchdown, and it only reverted to a power recovery if it was obviously not going to work. Yes, there were a few training accidents along the way, but The Powers That Were insisted on touchdowns. Now that all the singles are gone, so is the requirement.


This continued into my next career with police work in a B206, where the aviation administration granted us the right to fly below safety height at night, as long as we practiced NIGHT TOUCHDOWNS TO AN UNLIT PAD. Yeah. So, we did it. Got away with it for many years, but eventually the Phickle Phinger of Phate pointed at us, we had a heavy landing and cut off the tail boom. They went to power recoveries after that, which actually satisfies about 98% of the training values in an auto.


In a real auto, the best you can do is fly the machine such that you are over an apparently suitable area at the right height and speed and rotor rpm to enable a flare and touchdown. But what is underneath you most likely isn't level, or clear, or smooth, or free of logs or boulders or hazards you didn't see from 500' when you picked that spot. It is just luck, what happens after the flare. The bird might be trouble-free, or it might roll off down a hill.


Practicing touchdowns on a level, hard surface of an airfield shows you what might be possible, but is in no way representative of what you will get in the bad old outside world. Yes, it gives you confidence, but is it false confidence?

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