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fulldownauto
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Just found this video and thought it to be a little out there. . . Is this really what I'm expected to do when I leave to go fly tours? (sarcasm. . .)

 

If you were the FAA, would you consider this reckless and dangerous? Tell me that was less than +/- 30 and 60. . .

 

Take particular note of about 3/4th of the way through when he climbs and then pushes over that small peak. Certainly there must have been an element of low G.

 

While I don't have any problem teaching or flying the maneuvers he displays (with the exception of the pushover), I certainly wouldn't fly them with 4 paying passengers, no matter how much they tipped me!

 

I would have liked to roll the throttle off on the pilot at several points, just to see where he was planning his outs. . . They were there, but just like the passenger notes at the end, "It's a good thing you didn't have to autorotate over that mountain!"

 

I don't doubt that the pilot has probably flown that route 1000 times and is very used to it, proficient, etc. But he is simply not using effective risk management. It's that one time that the passengers weigh 250 pounds instead of 170, you overtorque that style of takeoff. Or a sudden tailwind occurs on landing, you overtorque into the ground. That one day a local business decides to string a new powerline and you plow through it. Or the day you've been working 8 hours and an engine failure occurs but you weren't quite ready for it. . . These are the reasons that the determine the way in which we should fly: to minimize risk.

 

Enough of the rant. Think about the way you fly, take a Socratic oath, and fly as safely as possible.

 

Blue Skies.

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Doing hammerheads and pushovers in a 206. Stupid doesnt cover this, you must be braindead to try this with passengers?! Putting your own life at unnessasary risk is bad enough as it is, but four passangers. Talk about poor ADM and SA.

This is certainly nothing anyone should try and copy.

 

2rst1

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Take particular note of about 3/4th of the way through when he climbs and then pushes over that small peak. Certainly there must have been an element of low G.

 

Enough of the rant. Think about the way you fly, take a Socratic oath, and fly as safely as possible.

 

Blue Skies.

First, as a veteran of many state fair, motocross, air show, fly-in and the like ride sessions, I agree that I would never offer such a ride. However, I am going to differ slightly with the tone of this thread, and more specifically with the Low-"G" claim.

 

NOTE: I don't know anything about the circumstances of the flight, the skills of the pilot, the condition of the helicopter, or the tolerance of the locals to these kinds of flights. Therefore I am in no position to pass judgement on the pilot.

 

Low flying presents hazards. Flying over inhospitable terrain presents potential risk. Doing both increases the odds that with an engine failure, a safe landing will be challenging indeed. Kind of like passing a big truck with oncoming traffic - there's a point where if the engine stopped delivering power, we would be well and truely stuffed. As a solo driver, I am comfortable with the odds. With passengers, if they know and accept the risk, I'll pass the truck. If not, I don't.

 

In that 206, we have no clue whether the pax knew the potential hazard, but perhaps they did. After all, what are the odds that the power will fail? If the aircraft is well maintained, not abused and has good fuel, they are pretty close to zero. About the same as the odds that a wheel will come off of my car - it could happen, but it's highly unlikely.

 

Now about the pop-over the little peak. Remember there are two ways to make a helicopter go down, but only one causes the low-'G' condition. Also required for a hazard to present itself is a notably tail-high attitude and thrust from the tail rotor to create a rolling moment. So if you are flying a loaded Jet Ranger at, say, 70KT, and you dump the collective (listen to the turbine unload before the nose starts to go down), you are going to maintain positive "G" on the main rotor, as well as pretty much zeroing out the tail rotor thrust. Your pax will still get light in their seats, but there's no hazard of uncommanded roll or mast bumping.

 

I am not endorsing "thrill rides", and the part that had me the most worried was the approach and rapid deceleration to the pad (seems like there wasn't much wind to play with), but it was well executed. Judging by the performance at take-off, there was a light fuel load in that Jet Ranger. The low flight over the buildings? Well, maybe the folks who own the buildings own the helicopter. Still...

 

OK, so this video could well be an example of everything we want to avoid - a classic "what not to do" primer. Or it could be a record of a flight that the pilot considered very carefully, made by request from the passengers, who were fully informed of the increased risk such flying entails. We certainly don't know from watching YouTube.

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I agree that it's hard to tell exactly how extreme the maneuvers were. Passenger reaction is not a conclusive indication. I've had pax get almost sick from what I considered a standard maneuver, a standard banked turn to final of less than 30 degrees. I did notice that these pax requested a gentle ride, and it doesn't look like they got what they asked for. Tour pilots giving thrill rides hoping for a big tip seem to me to be at least part of the reason for the high rate of tour accidents and fatalilties. The part of the ride that I thought was unreasonable was the very low pass over the road and parking lot. There is no excuse for endangering innocent people on the ground. I always try to avoid overflying houses, cars, etc while landing, and it's not difficult or dangerous to make a pattern that avoids this and land with some crosswind. Making simulated gun runs on parking lots and streets is not an exhibition of good piloting.

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I agree that it's hard to tell exactly how extreme the maneuvers were.

 

I swear the purpose of my post was not to nitpick the heck out of the guys flying, but. . .

 

Attitude Reference

 

I also agree with you Fling, that that pushover probably wasn't dangerous. Though I still contend, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. . .

 

Thanks for the input.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe the pax wanted that kind of thrill ride flight?

 

After looking at it a few more times, the first turn is just like a crop turn. We did a couple in the Robbie not to long ago. The pushover was probably ok for the 206, but the hot approach looks like one of my approaches.

 

I wonder how much they paid for a 3 minute flight?

 

Later

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The turn is probably not as bad as what one might think. I can do a +30 pitch with a 60deg left or right roll, pull a little cyclic and kick the tail around to what ends up only being 10-20 degrees nose down, all according to the attitude indicator verified by my cross-check, all at cruise power settings, and still have the left-seater swear I rolled to 90 degrees or more because he wasn't cross-checking instruments. I guarantee you that it doesn't look or feel like just +/-30 or 60 left/right, but the instruments don't lie. The proprioceptive and vestibular systems do, and so does the eye when it isn't using a valid attitude indication. And, I wouldn't consider an edge of the windshield a valid attitude reference, especially when the aircraft is moving in more than one axis. Maybe it is just me, tainted by what and where I fly?

 

Looking at the windsock, it looks like it is almost straight out. Both when the aircraft lifts off and when it returns. That could account for the backing up takeoff and the "hot" approach into the LZ. The low approach on the built-up area unsettles me no matter what else I might find an explanation for.

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As someone said in a prior post we don't know all the facts on this flight. However, I would leave the "hot dogging" for the airshows when no one else is on board. There is no real reason to be doing these things on tour/charter flights. I remember a certin accident quite some time back in the Grand Canyon where a pilot flew low level off the deck and to simulate a car going off a cliff did a push over at the edge but wasn't able to pull up out of it. I have not read the report recently but have been told it could have been a HYD lock during the push over. If that's true or not doesn't really matter, it takes only one slip for everything to go south on the flight. Just food for thought.

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