Flying low in helo's is awsome

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by FLMarine, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. FLMarine

    FLMarine

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    Just started the tactics portion of advanced helos and I have to say I've been waiting for years to do what I did today. 100 KIAS low apporaches 20 ft over the trees to an open field. Also did some 360 overhead approaches at 80 KIAS, 60 angle of bank turns, and 30 ft over the trees terminating in a no hover landing. I still can't belive they pay me to do what I'm doing. Here's a photo of me right after my solo last week. I'll get you guys more pictures of this week or next.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. flyandscuba

    flyandscuba

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    Sounds like you're having fun! I'll keep an eye out for you when I fly over Harold, Spencer, and Pace OLFs. If you hear Cessna or Rescue 483 on the radio -- that will be me...
     

  3. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    FLMarine
    I still can't belive they pay me to do what I'm doing.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    I know the feeling. :)

    Before I got the Army flight school I was spending every spare cent on fixed wing flying.

    After finally getting in training at Mineral Wells I thought isn't this amazing, they are teaching me to fly helicopters and even PAYING me to do it.
    I kept waiting for someone to tell me it was a mistake and I had to go home.

    I went through flight school as a Warrant Officer Candidate so along with learning to fly choppers we had all the OCS BS.
    The normal washout rate in each class was over 50%.

    The last few months at Fort Rucker, flying UH-1s and H-19s, I bought my Army wings.
    Then every time I got aggravated at the military BS I'd polish those wings and think, Another day and I've screwed you out of another few thousand dollars.;f

    Good luck.
     
  4. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Flying Low.

    In 64 my last phase of training was Tactics, in the field.
    The thinking at that time was low and fast was the best tactic because they figured it exposed you to enemy fire for the shortest period of time.

    So we were doing most of the flying about 150 feet and lower.
    The students were always getting *** chewings for flying too low.

    It was a ball flying cross country skimming the trees and dropping down in the fields buzzing the farm hands.;f

    They gave us very old maps for navigation.
    Like we would be looking for railroad tracks that had been torn up 20 years before.;f


    In the class behind me a student hit the trees at the edge of a field going full bore and crashed in the field.

    The co-pilot (student) was thrown thru the windshield still strapped in the seat.

    Some field workers dragged the co-pilot away from the burning Huey but couldn't get to the pilot.
    (That made us feel bad for all the times we made those workers duck)

    The school officials were going to wash the co-pilot out of school for what they perceived as his part in the crash, but decided to let him graduate.
    (He already was finished all the flying required)
    He graduated on crutches.


    Fly safe.
     
  5. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    Uncle M2, I thought when you started flight school the army was still flying pterodactyls. ;9

    FLMarine, when you’re cutting those 60º monkeyshines, just be sure to keep your rotor head loaded. What's after the TH55? You gunning for a Cobra? (pun intended)
     
  6. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    pterodactyls

    ;z ;z ;z


    Close to it. The Sikorsky H-19 was almost as old;f


    No Slim, FLMarine isn't flying that TH55 killer POS.
    He's flying a real helicopter.^c

    [​IMG]
     
  7. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Not pterodactyls...by that time they'd graduated to tethered blimps... it was the Civil War you know.



    Low Level is fun. Low Level with guns attached is even more fun. :)


    As to Reeeeeeeeeeeally low level I remember hearing about a Special Forces team being picked up in the desert during Sandbox War #1, where the Blackhawk going in was so low they had to pull UP to clear a donkey in the middle of the desert, meaning they were about five feet off the ground.... most of the way in, at full power.
     
  8. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    I was in Air Cav and Attack Helicopter units. We always flew as low as the skids would allow; if you weren't seeing the shiny side of the leaves, you were wrong.

    EDIT:
    Whoops. That should have been 'silvery side of the leaves.'
     
  9. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

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    Does a helo have a ground-effect like effect that will increase its lift automatically when its moving fast near the ground?
     
  10. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    No. A helicopter experiences ‘ground effect’ for different reasons and it works kinda backwards from an airplane's.

    All lift-producing wings create a wingtip vortex, including a helicopter’s rotating wing. And since its wing rotates, so does its vortex. As a result, a copter's vortex goes all the way around and is sort of donut shaped.

    Like an airplane, if that vortex circles 'round unimpeded and slaps the wing back on its top, it's bad for efficiency. But because the helicopter’s donut-shaped vortex is so enormous by comparison, its impact on performance is equally enormous. Hovering out of ground effect (OGE) has an extremely high power requirement because there's nothing to impede the vortex donut; you're constantly flying in your own downwash.

    When a copter is close to the ground, interference from the ground breaks up that donut and eliminates its loss of efficiency. That’s the source of a helicopter’s ‘ground effect’. Breakup of the wingtip vortex is a minor contributor to fixed wing ground effect but, in the RW world, it’s da big dawg!

    But something funny happens to helicopters when they start flying forward. The vortex donut naturally gets blown backwards and, at some magical speed (between 15 and 20 knots) you outrun the donut altogether (loose donut = gain efficiency). The aircraft passes through a phase called ‘effective translational lift’ (ETL) and it takes off like a herd of birds. So since you've already outrun the donut, you don’t really need the ground to break it up any more; past ETL, ground effect has much less ...uh ...effect. Even though you might be at the same altitude, your proximity to the ground now has little to no impact.

    Once you're past ETL, however, you'll gain both airspeed and altitude even with a constant power setting, but it has nothing to do with proximity to the ground. Its effect is that pronounced. You hit ETL, the aircraft shudders (a side effect of ETL), then begins to climb and accelerate. It's pretty amazing.

    A helicopter actually flies two completely different ways (and you gotta learn both). Below ETL, it hovers. Hovering is like riding a unicycle on top of a beach ball. Above ETL, it flies pretty much like an airplane. That’s why there’s so much positive transference when going from rotor wing to fixed wing but so little going the other way around.
     
  11. FLMarine

    FLMarine

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    Learning how to fly the T-34C was a hell of a lot easier than flying the TH-57B (Bell 206). You also loose ground effect once you are higher than your rotor diameter from the ground. For the TH-57B it's about 30 ft or so when you start to loose ground effect. Belive me, I was pushing that big red "I belive" button learning about the areodynamics of the helocopter and how to fly it, lol.
     
  12. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    So the Navy taught you to fly FW, then RW?? ;g Dewd, that's bass-ackwards.

    You do know you can ditty-bop on down to the FAA and get commercial tickets for everything the military says you're qualified to fly, right?
     
  13. TimC

    TimC Uhavthecontrols

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    Hello M2. I have seen you use the above quoted term regarding the TH-55 a few times in this forum. Perhaps you have not reviewed the last 15 or so years in which the TH-55 was in use. I instructed in them the last 18 months before they were retired, and the Army went to the "multi-track" system using the Huey. As far as I know, no one was killed in a TH-55 from an aircraft material failure during the entire time it was used in Ft. Rucker. In fact, my co-workers generally loved the 55 for it's ruggedness as a trainer. You are correct to a degree that it did have some troubles in the early years of use such as tail rotors coming apart in rain. However, all those problems were fixed, and they were very reliable for myself and many other IP's here. We were somewhat sad to see them go. Sorry, but I just had to say something favorable about the 55, and that to the IP force at Ft. Rucker, it was not a "killer POS". ;?

    P.S. I currently fly the TH-67 which is the Army equivalent of the Navy TH-57. We have a low level corridor into our base field (Cairns AAF) which is flown at 50' above the trees at 90K. My students always love that route particularly if they get to see the alligator which is sometimes sunning itself.
     
  14. TimC

    TimC Uhavthecontrols

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    Here is a photo from a stagefield in 1987. I need to get some image hosting one of these days...
     
  15. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

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    Alligator my hiney! It ain't no reptile laying on the sand bar that catches the attention of the young aviators, it's the topless Dothan debutants. ;G They can home in on the scent of coconut oil faster than a stinger can home in on turbine exhaust. A covey of them Dothan debs is easy prey. ;f
     
  16. TimC

    TimC Uhavthecontrols

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    We're not allowed to fly that low over Dothan...:)
     
  17. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    Why? Too many "uh ohh, we've got a problem; have to set her down" situations? ;)
     
  18. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Hi Tim,

    I didn't know the TH-55 was brought back.
    What year?

    About the last I saw of it was when we were flying them out to Davis-Monthan in Arizona about 1971.

    I'm glad you all had better luck with the TH-55 than we had in the 60's.

    They had been using Hillers and some Bells at Fort Wolters for many years before adding the Hughes about 1966.

    I think the final count was about 15 pilots killed in the Hillers and Bells and about 50 killed in the Hughes in the few years it was there.

    I don't even remember where I got those figures but I think they are pretty close. A Hiller fatality was rare but TH-55 fatalities were common.
    5 guys were killed in two days.

    I think the accident rate was about 5 to 1.
    The afternoon I crashed the Accident Investigation Team was at the stage field looking into a TH-55 crash from that morning.

    You could just about touch anything on the helicopter and the chances are it caused an accident.

    One of my students pass out fixing to take off but flopped the Hughes on the ground and fell out of it. Very lucky man.
    Carbon monoxide that the Army said wasn't happening.;Q

    If you haven't seen this thread, there's a couple posts that explain why I was sure glad to finally stop flying them.:)
    http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=208088
     
  19. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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  20. TimC

    TimC Uhavthecontrols

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    Hi M2,

    The TH-55 came to Rucker in 1973, and was retired in mid 1988. I'm uncertain as to when it was brought back since I didn't realize they stopped flying it before '88. There was only one fatality, and it was not a material failure. We still could get into "nose tuck" if one didn't apply sufficient right pedal during an auto, however it was very easy to remedy. At some point, a few inches was removed from the canted stabilizer to reduce the tucking tendency to a managable level. Otherwise, it was a quite rugged design that sometimes took a hell of a beating. Perhaps they worked out all the bugs by the time primary training was moved to Rucker. Personally, I learned to fly a Bell 47D-1. This flying sure beats working for a living...;) The photo attached is the helicopter I soloed and in which I got rated; flown by my boss/IP on a helicopter ride. This was in PC Beach, FL.


    P.S. Thank you for the pic hosting info.

    Edit: For sp! ;g