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Departing Oil Rig


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I am low time so be easy on me!




I would say it depends on the current wind conditions. More than 15 you are in ETL when you pull pitch, less than 15 your not in ETL.


Next, I know a few engineers that did not like diving off the deck in the hot summer months. So, I would say that the helicopter goes OGE before or close to ETL, thus the dive some of my friends have told me about. They said it really scared them because the pilot never warned them about that.




Be gentle,



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Maybe. Depends on your takeoff technique and especially on the wind. If you've got a 30 knot wind blowing, a not uncommon occurrence, then you're in ETL at a hover on the deck. On a hot, still day in August, you're going to go below the level of the helideck if you're loaded, and you're almost always at or very near max gross weight out there. The technique in a Bell is to get right to the edge, with your blades out over the edge, hold an absolutely still hover at 100% torque, and wait for enough lift to get over the edge without hitting the tail rotor on the fence. You let the aircraft descend while gaining airspeed, and fly away. It does require some practice and technique, but we've been doing it for 50 years with few accidents.

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A common departure from a platform (especially a small one) will be to hover, check power, and if you have a sufficient reserve, pull to max take-off power, then depart. This ensures you will be climbing away, with no chance of hitting the tail on the way out.


If you are using max power to hover IGE, there's a good chance the aircraft will settle as soon as the rotor disk is no longer completely over the deck. If you choose to make this type of takeoff, you'll have to either kick the tail out or dive to clear the tail. These are both unsafe practice, better to get rid of a little weight and try again.


You have to get a thick skin pretty quick in the GOM - the first time you raise the collective and you realize that the weight that's in the helicopter is a lot more than the weight "they" said was in the helicopter will define you as a GOMer. Either you will lower the collective and inform them that some weight has to come off, or you will somehow drag the bird off the deck. Do the former, and they'll learn quickly not to BS you on the weight. Do the latter, and it's just a matter of time...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Same thing in the jungle.

Everytime I would go out and look at the aircraft, UH-1H, it was always loaded to the gils with no weights noted. "OK, everything comes OFF! I want weights or noone goes home today!" Guess how quickly everything was manifested in the future.

We used to always hover back to the far corner of the pad, pull all the power you had, usually ending in a droop, and run across the pad walking the droop to get through ETL.

Made for some pretty interesting droops and settling OGE.

Hey flingwing206, you keeping the greasy side down?


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