PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Helicopter crashes into the Hudson River NYC
Old 30th May 2019, 15:22
  #39 (permalink)  
FH1100 Pilot
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pensacola, Florida
Posts: 666
We can't be too hard on this guy. Those of us with umpteen-thousands of hours in 206's can smugly sit here saying, "Saw that one coming a mile off!" But everybody's got to learn at their own pace and peril. But let's be honest here: This was *not* a case of LTE. It was merely a case of a helicopter wanting to weathervane into the wind. As soon as it started to yaw, the pilot should have stomped on that left pedal and arrested the yaw. He did not. Perhaps he was thinking that his tail rotor had "stalled" and now he was "in LTE." Once it got going around, he still did not stop it although there were a couple of things he could have done.. And I assure you, a lightly-loaded 206L (one person on board, even topped-off) at sea level was absolutely capable of doing what he did, provided he'd been aggressive enough on the controls. It still might have swapped ends on him, but... show of hands...who hasn't had *that* happen once or twice in his career? This accident can and should be chalked up to "Uncommanded right yaw that was left uncorrected and the aircraft departed controlled flight." Blaming this one on LTE is not accurate nor fair to the 206.

LTE...or, "Tail rotor VRS" if you will is not a stable condition which persists as the aircraft goes around. The tail rotor never stops working. However, once the yawing momentum starts to build, then we run into LTA, or "loss of tail rotor authority" in which the tail rotor just might not be strong enough at that point. A fixed-wing airplane can get into a similar situation if it gets too slow when at too low of an altitude - even if it is above its stall speed.. At some point you cannot "power-out" of your situation and you MUST lower the nose and regain some airpspeed. But if the plane impacted the ground first, we would not blame the aircraft.

It is possible that had this guy been over flat, level ground, he might not have even spread the skids (if his cushion timing had been exquisite) and we just would've had an exciting near-miss video to watch.

Buitenzorg has it exactly right. The pilot will swear that he was pushing full left pedal. But most likely he was just pushing against his stiff right leg
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