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Video of Skycrane getting LTE

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Imagine the view from the cockpit?  Wow!  The mast (axis of rotation) sits wayyyyy back from the cockpit... did you see how fast they wipped around when dropping that load?  Also, pretty darn close to the trees without being able to see what was coming next.  Scary?  A complete understatement.

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Scary is right!!


Do you guy's have any insight as to the flight conditions that contributed to this occurence?  I'm working on my CFI rating and I think it's important to analyze what might have happened during that video in order to further understand the concept of LTE and it's causes, and more effectively pass on the information to students in the future.


Here's what I gather from the video.

During the first few seconds of the video, you can see the smoke blowing through the trees that indicates the air-crane was approaching the drop zone in a downwind condition.  I don't know the airspeed that those pilots usually perform the drop, but to me it looked like their groundspeed was about 50 knots??  A sudden increase in wind velocity could've had their ASI reading in the 20 to 30 range...perfect conditions for LTE.

Obviously, the helicopter was operating at or near max gross weight at the beginning of the drop, and about 20,000lbs lighter after the drop.  I would suspect a substantial decrease in MR torque during the drop that would lead to a right pedal application to maintain heading, right?  

So...right pedal application along with a sudden wind gust from 120 to 180 degrees, low airspeed, high gross weight, high density altitude (mountainous region), high pilot workload, are all factors that might have contributed to LTE right?

Ok, enough from the low-timer :D , let's hear from some of you high-timer's that have some real world experience!  Who knows, maybe the pilot flying that particular air-crane online here at VR...

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Another one from pprune forum



Another LTE video (from the aircraft)


This one happened right before my eyes a couple of months ago,


I was flying the blue 206L that you will see in the movie, I asked a friend if he could take some video of me, to which he instantly agreed, so there I was posing for the camera ship when all of the sudden he began to spin violently until he almost hit the ground, and all before my eyes!


Note the big brown building in the back right before he begins to spin, he's a lot higher than that 42 level building when he begins to spin, and when he recovers he's only about 7 levels above the ground!


This helicopter operates daily at a TO WT that doesn't allow for OGE hover due to our altitude and the installed equipment, he allowed airspeed to decay and here is the result.


Turn up the audio and listen to the helicopter as it spins and recovers.


The video is about 3.4 MB

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I was there and saw this with my very own eyes.  I'll bet it sure got their attention.  It sure got mine!  I know I was "impressed", that's for sure.


Pretty good guesswork on the speeds and conditions during the incident there Bart.  You're just about on the money I would say!  Except that I believe that by dropping the load, they had less torque pulled and therefore needed less peddle, and so the tail rotor became more effective after the drop.  Hence only one turn.


Never say never, but it's a good idea to try to never let this happen to you.  The only thing that saved these guys is the fact that they were able to dump their load.  Had it been a non-jetisonable load they would more than likely have been done for.


Forgive the "armchair" critique here guys, I'm certainly not pointing finger at anyone, that's for sure.  But, in fire fighting sometimes it's a real wild ride.


Always, no matter what you're doing or where you're doing it, make the best attempt you can to give yourself an "out" or some form of escape route.


Keep it safe, cheers for now,



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