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ChopperJ

ENG tactics

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Pay attention to the wind!

 

Don't forget to fly the aircraft - there's a lot to distract you.

 

Keep the news on the reporter's side.

 

Pay attention to the wind.

 

Pay attention to how much left (or right in an AS350) pedal you are using. If you're using an increasing amount, get some airspeed (and pay attention to the wind).

 

Set personal wx minimums, write them down, AND STICK TO THEM. If you decide to revise them, write the new ones down. Take this seriously.

 

Get a good aircraft/street GPS (like a Garmin 196/296/396). Learn it inside and out. It will be your best friend.

 

Always check the ATIS, or get wind checks from the local tower, so you can keep it into the wind.

 

Remember, the news already happened - you are just there to report it - nothing worth taking any risks over.

 

Oh yeah, pay attention to the wind!

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Thanks for the tips. Is the height/velocity chart your main limiting factor or do you use your own limitations?Is most of your time on scene spent in an OGE hover or if possible do you prefer to be in an orbit?

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Well I just wrote a whole long answer, then VR ate it, so I'll keep it simple this time around. The H/V chart is an absolute limit - I prefer to operate above it (and to be honest, have no reason to get to its limit).

 

As long as I have the power and forced landing sites, I prefer the hover. Sometimes (like all summer) hovering isn't an option in a B206 at near-max weight.

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I second that opinion keep it in the wind and not below the H/V diagram. I try to hover 1000AGL in an AS350 over congested airspace with camera operator and talent onboard so it can get busy. Remember you are PIC and if you are not comfortable with something don't do it. It is just news. You will not get any support from anyone once in the aircraft so set the limits right from the start, you can always relax later as you learn the airspace, timing of the show, hovering OGE next to multiply A/C, etc. Good luck, BB

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Pay attention to the wind!

 

Other than TLE concerns are you referring to tail rotor effectiveness? I won't be starting training until fall semester so here's a question:

 

There are a number of instances where you would want to crab or slip at a high angle and speed (For photo work mostly I suppose) - would you want to do it such that MR torque is assisting the slip; That is: The tail rotor is applying less force to keep A/C in equilibrium)? Either way you will reach a speed where the TR would lose effectiveness to turn the tail into the apparent wind - but I don't know that you would want to anyhow. I assume working with MR Torque would allow for a higher maximum slip speed/angle and use less power- does it get any deeper than that?

 

Aside from that - I guess my question is why do you see accidents that are the result of a loss of tail rotor effectiveness? It seems to me that the tail rotor should always be most effective when trying to weathervane into the wind. Aside from Settling with power loss of TR effectiveness is one of the biggest helicopter boogiemen that weighs on my mind.

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It seems to me that the tail rotor should always be most effective when trying to weathervane into the wind. Aside from Settling with power / loss of TR effectiveness is one of the biggest helicopter boogiemen that weighs on my mind.
...as they should be!

 

Not much reason to fly sideways in an ENG ship, but you may try for a crosswind hover (to keep the skid and/or exhaust out of the shot). If you do this, you want to avoid a crosswind that opposes tail rotor thrust (left in a Jet Ranger, right in an Astar), as that can be a quick trip to LTE. The 'other' crosswind demands more power, but is safer re LTE. Settling is not an issue - unless you stop paying attention to the aircraft. This can happen when you are right up against max TQ and busy trying to line up a shot, talk to ATC, listen to your reporter, and watch out for the other ENG helos that all want the same shot you have.

 

Bottom line, no shot is worth crashing for - we want to report the news, not make it!

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