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Thread: Helicopter crashes onto roof of Manhattan building in poor weather.

  1. #61
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLcrew View Post
    Keep in mind that helicopters routinely operate at very low altitudes (500' or lower), very low speeds, have the ability to change direction very rapidly, and, of course, land anywhere (at least, in theory), so operating in conditions that a fixed-wing pilot wouldn't go near is a regular occurrence for them.
    Yes, I am taking that into account, but even then it feels odd to me.

    I mean, even an R22 routinely flies at 80-90 knots (the cruise speed is listed as 110 knots but they normally don't fly that fast, but the autorotation speed is 65 knots and you certainly want to keep the speed faster than that so you don't have to first accelerate in case of engine failure). At that speed you are less than 20 seconds away from whatever waits for you past the 0.5 miles that you can see, including a cloud of which you are supposed to stay clear. And the cruise speed for the Augusta 109 (like the one in this accident) is around 150 knots.

    Then , while they normally fly at 500' or lower, the rule you quoted allows for up to 1200 ft, which is about 0.2 miles. Now you will have the visible horizon (in fact the fuzziest end of the fuzzy horizon) 0.5 miles away (when at that altitude it would be more than 40 miles in a clear day) and 25 degrees below eye level (when normally it would be at eye level). That is a recipe for disorientation. I would argue that it would be extremely difficult to maintain attitude control in those conditions without resorting to the artificial horizon, which is not even a required instrument required for VFR flight, and of course without being skillful at maintaining attitude control by reference to the artificial horizon in very marginal visual conditions.

    Again, not saying it is wrong, I never flew anything in 0.5 miles of visibility (except in a sim) and I never flew a helicopter (except in a sim). Just that from my armchair it doesn't feel well.

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  2. #62
    Member ATLcrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Again, not saying it is wrong, I never flew anything in 0.5 miles of visibility (except in a sim) and I never flew a helicopter (except in a sim). Just that from my armchair it doesn't feel well.
    From my armchair anything having to do with those flying bad ideas doesn't feel well.

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