Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

Leaving helicopter with engine/rotors running - merged threads

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

Leaving helicopter with engine/rotors running - merged threads

Old 13th Nov 2003, 20:49
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Denver, CO and the GOM
Age: 59
Posts: 515
Leaving helicopter with engine/rotors running - merged threads

Hi gang,

I've personally witnessed many times where the pilot gets out of a running helicopter (ground idle, controls locked) to perform a necessary task on the ground. I've never done it myself, but I can envision a time when it might seem to be the best choice.

My question - what do all you pros think about the practice? Is it common in certain arenas (EMS, for instance)? I couldn't find a reg beyond 91.13 covering this.

Last edited by Heliport; 27th Jan 2004 at 23:44.
Flingwing207 is offline  
Old 13th Nov 2003, 21:36
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 4,195
Its done all the time. Folks who work with Helicopters have to get out to do a variety of related tasks if they dont have a ground crew etc......
And yes, there have been runaway Helicopters from Pilots in a hurry and not frictioning the thing properly....
B Sousa is offline  
Old 13th Nov 2003, 22:02
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 573
The scenario for the pilot to exit the helicopter with rotors turning must be carefully thought about. Here are some of my choices:-

1. Passengers have departed and have left a door open. Flat ground. Little or no wind, no gusts of wind. No chance of other persons entering under the disc.

That's all folks

As most modern engines have a run-down time of 2 minutes or less, any other scenario, especially with untrained/unbriefed persons nearby I would close down, sort the problem and restart. Remembering to ensure that the TOT/T4/ITT temp is below starting minima, usually 150 degrees Centigrade before engine relight.

The time this would take would be less than 5 minutes and there would be that nice confortable feeling that all is safe and done properly.

If a situation of saving life were to require instant disembarcation then so be it BUT at no risk to others.
Head Turner is offline  
Old 13th Nov 2003, 23:01
  #4 (permalink)  

Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: White Waltham, Prestwick & Calgary
Age: 68
Posts: 3,826
Not one of my favourite practices, but if you do do it, do not take the hydraulics off, as the controls may motor - just use the control locks

paco is offline  
Old 13th Nov 2003, 23:54
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 3,682
This has been discussed before.

The flight manual says the pilot must remain in the a/c.

The crash checks state that the pilot can get out to investigate a battery overheat???

From an insurance perspective, what would happen if I left the a/c and it 'did its own thing'?
Thomas coupling is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2003, 00:51
  #6 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
From an insurance perspective, what would happen if I left the a/c and it 'did its own thing'?
Good question TC. If I may add a few more questions to your posting that may be worthy of further consideration.
What would happen to the pilot's licence?
What would happen in the event of injury/damage to third party? Would the insurance, company or personal, cover said pilot against claims? I doubt it very much.
I think I will continue to do what I have always done, shut down and investigate, much better option.

Fly Safely,
Old 14th Nov 2003, 01:05
  #7 (permalink)  
john du'pruyting
Posts: n/a
I'm pretty sure that UK regs state that a pilot must be seated and strapped in at a pilots station if the blades are turning under power. However, at home at the moment so can't be sure. One thing is certain...Somebody out there will correct me if it's not true.
Old 14th Nov 2003, 01:24
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: SW England
Age: 66
Posts: 1,272
..or even if it is..

(digs out all old pics of SOAF B205s offloading at Saiq and burns them before anyone accuses him of doing same...)
Thud_and_Blunder is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2003, 04:07
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: AUS
Posts: 331
I would have thought that the biggest danger when picking up pax in an uncontrolled area would have been somebody walking into the tail rotor. It doesn't matter how often or how well you safety brief people, they still want to walk around the back.

When picking up unsupervised people I get out as soon as I land to get control of the people, especially in a 206 if the baggage compartment is to be used as it is behind the cabin.

No doubt it would be safer to shut down on every pick up but its just not practical or even possible in a lot of cases.
overpitched is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2003, 04:44
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Great South East, tired and retired
Posts: 2,890
There are plenty of situations to get out with it all turning and burning. Fire bucketing is one - a wire tangles on your bucket, or the "sock" doesn't go back; we only carry a light fuel load so a top-up is needed about every 40 minutes - leap out and pump it in by yourself. Shutting down is totally impractical - time wasted in run-down, waiting for TOTs, the count of engine cycles going through the moon.

You are sent to a remote site to collect fire inspectors for a quick recce - get outside the rotor disc, find out what they want, guide them in strap them in, go flying. Land again, get out, get them out, put the seat belts back inside the doors, shut the doors, go flying.

I did hear the story and see the photos of an R22 - the pilot thought there was an unusual vibration, so he landed on the only treeless area around, a rock above a cliff. Not an even surface, and when the pilot got out to examine the problem, he didn't stand on the skid. Maybe the controls weren't frictioned up. Maybe the cg changed, and anyway, the machine started to jiggle. Pilot grabs hold of helo as it jiggles towards edge of rock and tries to pull it back. Then he thinks "What the hell am I doing?", lets go, and watches the machine disappear over the edge.
Ascend Charlie is online now  
Old 14th Nov 2003, 06:22
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Age: 72
Posts: 4,232
Arrow CAO 95.7

CASA have an exemption for helicopter pilot to be away from the controls here . Main points are:

Skid helicopters only
Controls to be locked
Must be essential to the safety of the helicopter or passengers
Pilot to remain in the immediate vicinity of the helicopter

Last edited by John Eacott; 14th Nov 2003 at 07:29.
John Eacott is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2003, 06:50
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: N20,W99
Age: 49
Posts: 1,118
S76 was destroyed by this practice a few years back

We had a pretty noticable accident a few years back of an S76 being completely destroyed (Villahermosa, Mexico) as the pilot left the acft and it rolled over by itself, I don't know how exaclty, maybe Nick knows a little more about this incident.

I myself have to do this very often, for various reasons, to take a leak, up or download pax, get my camera, etc. etc.

On I DO friction the thing tightly, I used to take the HYD out, but have stopped doing this recently due to possible motoring, and always at idle, never at 100% NR.
BlenderPilot is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2003, 12:35
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Port Townsend,WA. USA
Posts: 440
When I got my first ride in a B206 on the north slope of Alaska the pilot got out (engine on) and he told me to climb in, as he left the area.
So I looked at the back seat, which appeared full, so I thought Oh boy! I get a front seat.
Well, I had been taking fixed wing lessons so I knew the pilot sits on the left.
I got in the right seat, all the way in (trying not to touch the cyclic), then looked over and noticed the left seat controls were not installed. Oops
Looking over my shoulder, a guy in the back seat said "You better sit back here".
Turns out the jetranger has three rear seats,not two.
Don't think the pilot even noticed.
slowrotor is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2003, 15:58
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Great South East, tired and retired
Posts: 2,890
perhaps the 76 pilot forgot to turn off the autopilot before departing the seat. It can do wonderful things when wind tilts the disc or tries to yaw the aircraft on the ground.

There are no frictions, just electric trims, to hold the controls steady. If he turned the trims off, the disc can flop around quite a lot, but at least the autopilot can't drive it. My choice would be:
Idle RPM
trims on
autopilot off
park brake on!
Ascend Charlie is online now  
Old 14th Nov 2003, 20:03
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Here,there &everywhere
Posts: 248
Had a discution with CASA about this one.It says all controlls should be locked, but only a few a/c like the BK have locks for both the Collective and Cyclic.They said that the wording might be changed soon
Dynamic Component is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2003, 06:28
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The Daylight Saving Free Zone
Posts: 731
Was strobing a 206 tailrotor some years ago. Heli was at 100% and flat pitch and I was about 10-15 feet away from the T/R. While tuning the chadwick in, a shadow appeared over my shoulder, looked up and there was the pilot who was supposed to be in the cockpit running the bloody thing!

With a big grin he asked, "how's it looking?"

I quickly walked away until he got the hint.
sprocket is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2003, 07:18
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 12
Two things to remember if you do get out and the helicopter does roll up on its own, so as to be still insurable.
1 I had to get out for a safety check, funny noise, pax safety, etc, don't say a got out to have a leak.
2 Do say you stayed within the area of the rotor disc, then you are still in control of the helicopter, in insurance speak.
HFT is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2003, 07:40
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: canada
Posts: 242
Talking Canuck rules!

Canadian reg's require a "competent" individual at the controls when a/c is running. Some wording like that.

Things that are done in the bush without the eyes of the DOT on you are not always the right choice. EMS or Offshore, you'd never get away with that. As far as my experiences go.

Ask the 76 driver whose machine rolled over (with him standing on the outside.) Wonder what his company/ DOT/ Insurance did???

donut king is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2003, 08:10
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: australia
Posts: 5
Exclamation why hydralics off?

sure it sits there nice and steady, but in a gust, wouldnt the now manual inputs from the wind hiting the blades, directly effecting the controls, easily over ride the frictions? the frictions would hold the hydralic-assisted controls a lot easier i think!
backberner is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2003, 08:17
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Age: 72
Posts: 4,232


If you read CAO95.7 (linked in my earlier post) you'll see that CASA only allow the pilot to leave the controls for helicopters equipped with skids: narrows the field regarding types Altho' I've heard reference to the practise of turning hyd's off, can't see the point, really. What does it achieve?
John Eacott is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.