Reading some of the posts about the close calls we have had got me to thinking about my past years flying and the many mistakes I've made and the close calls I've seen and had myself. One thing I missed in much of my later flying years is the way we instructors, at the Army helicopter school at Fort Wolters, Texas, shared our screw ups and close calls It was very common for an instructor to come in from a flight, sometimes still white faced, saying, "Holy S*** did I screw up". Of course some of the screw ups were in full view of the other instructors and students.;f The ego was put aside and the tales were told with the hope that it might keep someone else from making the same mistake. This was a heck of a learning experience for a buck instructor with just a little over a thousand hours. Like the saying goes, Learn by other's mistakes, you won't live long enough to make them all yourself. With your permission I'll post what ever comes to mind. Don't bother telling me what Regs may have been broken or how stupid some people's (mine mostly) actions were;Q The following I posted on another thread a little while ago. In the 60's I was an instructor at Ft. Wolters, TX, the Army primary helicopter school. I went through school in 64 and was back instructing Army students from 66 to 71. We were very hard up for training aircraft so the Army bought Hughes TH-55's. (a killer POS) The civilian Flight Commander of the first "test" class wrote the Th-55 is not only totally unsuitable as a trainer but it shouldn't be in the air at all. The Base Commander tore up the FC's report and tried to get him fired. When the Base Commander retired, he went to work for Hughes as a vice president. $$$$$$$ (later I saw in the news paper he was brought back on active duty and court marshaled, a 3 star General's son was killed in the TH-55) One of the killer tricks the TH-55 had is what we called "Tucking". If the student and instructor weren't right on it when the instructor gave the student a practice engine failure/autorotation, the Hughes would slide right, turn left, roll left and nose over (down) in a split second. The helicopter would be anywhere from nose straight down to "tucked" over on it's back. Since we flew 500 feet above the ground there usually wasn't enough time to recover and a number of students and instructors died from "Tucking". One day I was talking to another instructor about tucking and he told me about another instructor who recovered before hitting the trees by using fixed wing spin recovery technique (I was a FW instructor). He actually did clip the trees a little. A few days later I chopped the throttle on my best student. He was a split second slow entering the autorotation and I was a split second slow getting to the controls. (it's the good students that kill you) The Hughes snapped over and we were looking up at the ground through the rotor blades. The helicopter wasn't completely over on it's back. Maybe about 25 or 30 degrees past vertical. No doubt at all we would be dead in seconds. It would take too long to explain all the control movements I did in the next few seconds. First I tried a "normal" helicopter recovery but the nose stayed over. Then I remembered the FW spin recovery and the nose started coming up. Now it looked like we were still going to hit the ground before I could pull out of the dive. I don't know if we missed the ground by 3 feet or 8 feet but now we were screaming at big power lines. I kept pulling the nose up and we cleared the lines by a few feet. I could see the individual wires in the cable. I kept climbing and in a minute I began shaking so badly I had to give the controls to the student. I don't know how many were in the "Tucking" survivors club but not many. The Hughes had other tricks like venting exhaust gas into the cabin. Another long story.