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Wire Strikes in Helicopter


Flyinrock
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As an adjunct to my post re; bird strikes, how about addressing wire strikes as well? As in the other post, I've also experienced a number of wire strikes while crop spraying/dusting. One strike I had occurred at night with rotorcraft. I might add, the only wire strike I've had with helicopters?! It was exciting enough and I was fortunate to get back on the ground without further damage or injury. Aside from that one, I've had 18 logged wire strikes with fixed wing over a 40 year career in aerial application.

Anyone interested in discussing the issues or techniques?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest pokey
I've had 18 logged wire strikes with fixed wing over a 40 year career in aerial application.

Anyone interested in discussing the issues or techniques?

 

 

Is there a special "technique" that is needed to hit a wire? <_< hmmm,,,,I came close a few times both in fixed wing and helicopter. ( guess i didnt have my technique down properly) B)

 

All kidding aside, yes i bet 18 strikes & you still flying- you must have alot to tell, please do.

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  • 2 years later...
As an adjunct to my post re; bird strikes, how about addressing wire strikes as well? As in the other post, I've also experienced a number of wire strikes while crop spraying/dusting. One strike I had occurred at night with rotorcraft. I might add, the only wire strike I've had with helicopters?! It was exciting enough and I was fortunate to get back on the ground without further damage or injury. Aside from that one, I've had 18 logged wire strikes with fixed wing over a 40 year career in aerial application.

Anyone interested in discussing the issues or techniques?

 

 

I've found the following steps can help minimize the chance of wirestrikes.

#1 Dont fly low unless there is a reason you need to be low, know what safe altitude is for the area, if im not sure I use 500' VFR

#2 Dont fly down revines, canyons etc. a huge # of wirestrikes happen in revenes because spans are extra long

and support structures are usually on a the rigetops, hidden, or in the case of catenary suspensions, nonexistant.

#3 Assume wires are invisible, they often are depending on lighting aplitude/angle, background, ect.

#4 learn to read the hardware on the structures and you can anticipate where the lines are.

#5 Assume all cell towers have guywires until you can confirm otherwise.

Utilites Avation Specialists teach a great course on this subject called "Flying in the wire and obstruction enviroment".

 

Dave

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  • 9 months later...

Here is one that will kill a high time ag pilot I know from exp. Wires on both sides of a road at the end of a spray run. You think you are looking at the wires on your side but, actually looking at wires on other side, and misgudge pullup. Even when you know there are wires on both sides for some reason the ones on the other side a person will fixate on. Here is my remedy, as you are flying at the wires, keep your eyes moving right, left, right, left, right, left, and pull up early, then make more trim passes. This coud apply to anyone taking off towards wires also. I think this is what killed a heli. ag pilot in Minnasota a few years ago. The owner said to me, I dont know why he just fiew right thu the wires. I ask, were there two sets of wires? and he thought for a moment, and said yes.

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yep, just today I watched a video of a near miss in similar circumstances. powerline patrol with 765kv towers ahead visable a long way off which the pilot had become somewhat fixated on, and he nerly missed a set of 345KV (smaller) towers about 1500 ft before the 765kv crossing.

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flyinrock,

 

Are you the same one that used to post on alt.aviation.rotorcraft?

 

My technique for wires is the same as for birds, trees, other aircraft; see and avoid. Know where to expect them, and always expect them everywhere else. "All roads have wires" is a good mantra. When flying low at terrain flight levels, my mantra is almost literally, "Bird...trees....wires..." when calling out the hazards. Rinse and repeat for the duration of the low altitude flight, and mix for variety and flavor.

 

Paranoia works in helicopters!

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The day I have my first wire strike is the last day that I fly. If I am not dead, I will have realized I have lost my ability to operate an aircraft conservatively and safely.

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  • 5 weeks later...

RockyMountainPil Your ego and arrogence is in every post. ( I never got out of a heli in 20 years that was running) (I am to good to hit a wire) I have met know it all pilots like you and usally they are substandard pilots. Pilots like Chuck Yeager, Charles Lindberg and others dont have to brag, other people do it for them. Your wife does not count. Do us all a favor and take your egotistical, pompus, Gods gift of pilot attitude to JH or someplace else. Maby you never aquired the ability to fly a helicopter with the right attitude in the first place. Maby you have just been lucky MR. RockyMountainSuperPilot.

Edited by spraypilot
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RockyMountainPil Your ego and arrogence is in every post. ( I never got out of a heli in 20 years that was running) (I am to good to hit a wire) I have met know it all pilots like you and usally they are substandard pilots. Pilots like Chuck Yeager, Charles Lindberg and others dont have to brag, other people do it for them. Your wife does not count. Do us all a favor and take your egotistical, pompus, Gods gift of pilot attitude to JH or someplace else. Maby you never aquired the ability to fly a helicopter with the right attitude in the first place. Maby you have just been lucky MR. RockyMountainSuperPilot.

 

Bravo, nail on head!

 

Thank you!

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