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Towing a Seahawk helicopter


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On 10/5/2022 at 2:09 PM, IH784 said:

Good afternoon,

Is anyone able to give me advice or tips on towing a helicopter from its tail landing gear? Specifically a Seahawk? What should I pay attention to? The nose of the aircraft? The direction of the tlg or tow bar? 

Blackhawks and Seahawks were equipped with a tail wheel lock actuator that minimized rotor torque and crosswind effects when the actuator was locked. The lock actuator also prevents the tail wheel from swerving during normal landings or when landing on sloped terrain and inhibits the shimmy of the tail wheel during takeoff or landing. You should get someone to give you some personal hands-on instruction; however, always remember to unlock the tail wheel (electrically or manually) before towing to prevent sharing the lock pin. 

 The handle attached to the lock actuator manually unlocks and locks the tail wheel. A quick–release safety pin, with an attached warning flag, is used to hold the lock actuator in the unlocked position during ground handling, preventing accidental tail wheel locking. The handle in the full-up position seats the lock pin, which secures the wheel in the center position. Placing the handle in the full down position unseats the lock pin, allowing the fork assembly freedom of movement.

 The locking pin will shear under high side load conditions to prevent damage to the fork, trailing arm assembly, or tail boom. It’s a safety pin which is not a big maintenance issue to replace, and pilots new to ground taxing normally shear it at least once. You’ll also find different variants on Seahawk tail gear. Some moved the tail gear 13ft forward to minimize the footprint on small shipboard landing areas, impacting your tow bar length. The main gear was also changed from a dual to a single oleo design to reduce weight; however, this change also reduced vertical impact capability from 38 to 17 fps which was acceptable to the Navy. 

Edited by iChris
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