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I started a thread in the general forum about military checkrides and how they were set up. After a few replies someone started talking about a crash while doing a boost off. They continued saying it was the second most dangerous manuever behind the auto in that certain aircraft. What the hell is a boost off?

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I started a thread in the general forum about military checkrides and how they were set up. After a few replies someone started talking about a crash while doing a boost off. They continued saying it was the second most dangerous manuever behind the auto in that certain aircraft. What the hell is a boost off?

 

 

Without getting too technical, Boost is basically like the hydraulics in smaller helos (please nobody slam me on this, I'm aiming for simplicity in this explanation) like jetrangers. It provides smoothness in the flight controls and helps dampen torsion vibrations from the rotor systems. Like in light turbines with hydraulics, you have to demonstrate the ability to fly the helo without this system online. I fly the blackhawk, and we train to fly boost-off even at a hover. I wouldn't say it was the second-most dangerous manuever, but if you get comfortable with flying with all of the stability and trim systems (and boost), the hawk can get a little squirrely. I think almost all of us hawkdrivers have a bent or broken tailwheel lockpin from one messed up boost-off or roll-on landing or another;) Nothing serious, but just a little damage to our pride.

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I started a thread in the general forum about military checkrides and how they were set up. After a few replies someone started talking about a crash while doing a boost off. They continued saying it was the second most dangerous manuever behind the auto in that certain aircraft. What the hell is a boost off?

I didn't say it was the second most dangerous, just that it was right next to autos in it's difficulty. There isn't a lot of danger even rolling a Seahawk from a 10' hover, but boost off is one of the more difficult maneuvers (relatively speaking). In other words, difficulty is not the same thing as dangerous. Autos aren't particularly hard to do in the H-60, just hard to do right without substantially more practice than is given in navy flight training. As a comparison, the 60 is, in my opinion, more difficult to auto than a JetRanger.

 

Boost off not only makes the aircraft less stable, but also increases collective and rudder pedal loads significantly. It is not too hard to land the aircraft boost off to a large area like a runway or field during the day. It is a whole new story landing on a ship (frigate, not aircraft carrier) at night boost off. The aircraft that got dinged up by an O-4 at our squadron occurred after one of our aircraft on detachment had to do a boost off landing at night on a ship. I guess the O-4, deciding he needed to prove he still had it, went out to practice boost off. He got a little squirrelly and pitched nose down pretty far in a hover. He dinged up the two ESM antennas on the nose (VERY EXPENSIVE) without hitting the rotor tips or the radar antenna housing below the ESM antennas. The accident attracted much more attention than it otherwise might have because of the dollar figure involved in replacing the ESM antennas.

 

The point of the boost off example in the other thread was to show:

1) SH-60s are not necessarily THAT easy to fly. It's not an aircraft that "doesn't take much pilotting [sic] skills like the older aircraft (H-3, H-46, etc)."

2) Not all O-4s/monkeys can fly one

 

Note: ESM = Electronic Surveillance Measure (ie very expensive and sensitive directional radar detectors).

Edited by Rob Lyman
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Oh, i miss read your post rob! sorry....when i read it i interpreted "boost off" as an action, i had all kinds of crazy thoughts as to what it might be!!! I was thinking it was like that launch the fighters use only for a helicopter! but yeah it all makes sense now!!! thanks for the replies.

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