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External load


niftyben
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Alrighty then.

 

I've got a bone to pick. I'm starting external load training shortly. I was trying to be a good little pilot and read up before I got there. I have been all over this site and the net and can't find anything relating to flying external loads. The best I have been able to find are people's wonderful storys. (and they really are wonderful) However, they don't do me much good in the cab of a 300cbi.

 

So the question stands: How?

 

I'm sure I'll get plenty of info from my cfi, but I always want to know more.

 

 

Help.

 

Thanks.

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Hi Ben,

 

I think one reason you haven't found any literature on longline flying is that it is very hard to put into words something that must be felt to understand. One way to "practice" longline flying on the ground is actually quite simple and probably make you laugh when I tell you. Get a piece of string about 3 feet long and tie a nut to it. No not that nut! , a 1/2" nut. Then practice swinging the nut out and following it to stop the swing. Pretty soon you'll be able to stop the "load" anywhere you want.

 

You didn't ask for this opinion, but I'll tell you anyway, 'cause I like to hear myself talk. Paying a flight school for external load training is ok if you really want to do it, like if you think you'll never have another opportunity to do it, or if you want to try it out before you jump into a career move. Otherwise it's not really worth the cost. The thing is, having a certificate from a flight school will not get you any closer to a longline job than not having it. The ten or so hours experience that you will have does not indicate to an employer your proficiency, or what line lengths you can fly or anything. It simply tells him you paid a flight school for 10 hours of training. It may indicate that you have initiative and some other admirable qualities, but come to think of it, those aren't in demand out in the woods either. Truly the best way to learn longline is working for one of the big operators who do it best. True, you'll start as a co-pilot and spend many hours counting logs, but you'll see techniques. Eventually, you'll get into the light ship and have a 200' line hung beneath you and sent off into the bush to teach yourself how to do it. That, and that little trick with the string is really all that you need.

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I had the same problem when trying to find a reference that addressed external loads. I did find one book by Phil Croucher that was very good and has a chapter on external lod ops. It also has some stuff on snow ops, mountain flying and various sorted bits of useful information. It would be a good start and is written for the entry level profesional pilot.

 

The Helicopter Pilot's Handbook

 

ISBN 0-9681928-3-1

 

The link is:

http://www.electrocution.com/aviation/

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Good advice that I received from some high time longline pilots is:

 

-Site picture. Just because you are looking down doesn't mean you don't need to use a site picture. Look at where the load will hang referencing the skids, rivots, cross tubess... whatever and find the sweet spot that the load will not swing. Remember in wind this spot may be downwind from where it normally hangs. This site picture varies with length of line too.

 

The key to keeping a load from swinging is knowing where it will hang motionless. This usually takes experience but if you watch the line as you pick up you can see where it naturally wants to hang. Follow this line out to the vanishing point (if you are familiar with this in drawing or painting.)

 

Reference the actual hook and not the load. Long loads of lumber hanging by chokers will give you a false center. The load can spin but if you reference the hook your site picture will be the same. For our longer lines we place something high contrast (cone, orange flagging, bright colored disc..) on the hook so it is easier to spot from 150 plus feet.

 

Also, do not look directly at the load; Look out at an angle. This will keep you from fixating on the load and not seeing what is going on around you. It also keeps you more stable. I sling mostly using my peripheral vision. I can see the load but I'm really looking at the terrain around the load to fly the helicopter... but what do I know.

 

-Rey

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amazon.com has "The Helicopter Pilot's Handbook" for $25

 

my two cents:

I took a "certified" sling-load course while working on my commercial (needed the hours anyway) and found it a very good way to learn to fly the helicopter with the seat of my pants (its kinda hard to lean out the door and keeping an eye on the RPM gage for example ;) ).

I'm sure its no door opener into the longline job e.g. - but its doesn't hurt having it in your resume.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Alrighty then.

 

I've got a bone to pick. I'm starting external load training shortly. I was trying to be a good little pilot and read up before I got there. I have been all over this site and the net and can't find anything relating to flying external loads. The best I have been able to find are people's wonderful storys. (and they really are wonderful) However, they don't do me much good in the cab of a 300cbi.

 

So the question stands: How?

 

I'm sure I'll get plenty of info from my cfi, but I always want to know more.

Help.

 

Thanks.

 

You may try Eurocopter (Aerospatiale), they had an excellent SB out in the late 70's, now that we are sue crazy they may have pulled it.

 

It is a big deal. I have spent years setting up loads as a mechanic, I have little SL as a comm heli pilot as I am fairly low time.

 

I can say this, double check your hook emer release and mirrors. Practice with them a ton on the ground until it is second nature. There are a bunch of tricks to keep the load from flying - do them all. Tie a small tree on a tag line, use a net as it breaks up the wind, all heavy parts in the bottom of the net. Do your power numbers, (one pilot wanted to shoot me for talking him into more load than helicopter) know your ship, decide early where you holdem and where you foldem (dump). The load wants to kill you, the ground crew will kill you - have GOOD comms with them, and a dead engine has killed the best there is at the wrong time. Stay out of the death zone as much as you can. We slung out a ton of crashed F/W. Trees on the top of the wings or take the wings off etc..

 

Canadian Helicopters offers (or did offer) a real-world course on this, call Jan Rustad, super fine mtn pilot and nice guy too at CH.

 

MROSE

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