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Slinging from an AS350

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Slinging from an AS350

Old 28th Feb 2010, 03:46
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Slinging from an AS350

Any one slung from the right seat of a Squirrel without the Dart floor window?? I have been doing it with a floor vertical ref window but now the company wants to change out the the machine but this new one is coming minus the window. I;ve tried leaning out the door that far but I cant get even close to seeing below the machine, I'm 5'10"
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Old 28th Feb 2010, 04:53
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Try using mirrors, that's the only way I have slung in a 350, short or long line.
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Old 28th Feb 2010, 05:31
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Mirrors work for me.
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Old 28th Feb 2010, 06:43
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Forget mirrors, to slow. Slide the seat as far forward as is comfortable , the floor curves in closer to the front and I know this is only mm but it all helps.Put the right hand shoulder harnest under your arm ,this gives you something to lean against ( helps stops the feeling of falling out the door) I'm just 6' and don't have a problem with 100' line , just use a 150' and you won't have a prolem
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Old 29th May 2015, 02:07
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AS350 vertical reference fire fighting

Hi all,

I would like to have some inputs from people who've used the Squirrel on fires with a long line.

We're working in salty environment and I'd like to get away from the spray. I have long lined fires before but never in a squirrel (considering we're slinging through the floor window) so the first things that come to mind is:

what do you do of the door?
Doing the occasional sling with the door on is manageable but I don't see myself sitting 8 hours crooked like bow. I guess it has to go, but where do you put it? An Australian guy told me he saw a pilot put it in the cabin.

What length on the line to use ?
I'm comfortable with 25 meters / 100 foot, I don't see any reasons to change that but I'm interested in hearing how you guys do it.

I'll take any inputs (preferably with explanation since there's a lot of "we've been doing it like this since the beginning of time" going around).

Cheers!
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Old 29th May 2015, 13:18
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AS350 vertical reference fire fighting

Door stays on, 100ft line nice.....prefer 130' line myself. Floor window lot less tiring than having head stuck in bubble window I find.
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Old 29th May 2015, 13:22
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If you use the window in the floor you need a longer line so you can see the load once in a while!

Phil
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Old 29th May 2015, 17:41
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AS350 vertical reference fire fighting

Jimny

If I take door off it normally stays at staging with engineer, along with headsets seat cushions etc. Wouldn't be carrying internal, there is a reason everything not strapped or bolted down comes out in 350 series, gets very breezy internally.

Once saw a rookie take both doors off a 500 and laid them in the bush......Cat D6 came around pushing in a fire break and you guessed it....ran over both doors...oops!!!!
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Old 29th May 2015, 23:44
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Doors on and 130-150' of line worked best for me.
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Old 30th May 2015, 13:46
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AS350 vertical reference fire fighting

Thanks for all the responses.


Door stays on, 100ft line nice.....prefer 130' line myself. Floor window lot less tiring than having head stuck in bubble window I find.
That would be my preferred way of doing it but in one of the aircraft we have the small floor window and my helmet is kind of in the way (easier if I remove the window vent thou). Also with the new 350seats (crashworthy ones) I'm somehow closer to door.

Then I was wondering if the door itself wouldn't be an issue with regard to obstacle avoidance (thinking of the midbeam with the door handle on)...
Bubble window sounds nice I think.

If I take door off it normally stays at staging with engineer, along with headsets seat cushions etc. Wouldn't be carrying internal, there is a reason everything not strapped or bolted down comes out in 350 series, gets very breezy internally.
You're lucky to have an engineer! I would have to shut down (company not too keen on leaving the aircraft running with no pilot at the controls), remove the door, do the job, shut down again and (if nobody nicked the door, they do that “here”), put it back on (not to mention the fire crews not really understanding what the hell the helicopter is doing!).

A lot of times we take off from our base with the bucket hooked on, I guess I’m gonna leave the door there instead.

I think you can judge the height better with the door off, the door somehow screws with my depth perception or something.
I understand the reasons behind the choice of a 130' line, but I'm gonna stick to something familiar for the first fires. We'll see for longer lines later.

Any other useful hints?
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Old 30th May 2015, 20:48
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with the door on, your peripheral vision is less effective so if you can take the door off you will find the astar easier to get used to. that doesn't help you in the winter if you do winter longline ops but with practice you will get used to it either way.
our fleet has varying sizes of LL windows ranging from the original eurocopter (small) to chinook (large) to the new eurocopter/airbus (largest). they can all be used in production work and it takes some adjustment going either up or down in size as the sight picture changes. one thing we never change at our outfit is the LL length. 150' seems to work in all of the environments that we work in.
cheers
fp
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Old 31st May 2015, 02:03
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Unlock the door.... look down and when you finish your drop, take your speed, put a little be the nose left and then lock the door...

do again....
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Old 1st Jun 2015, 17:50
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AS350 vertical reference fire fighting

Ha ha....just pop the door yeah righty oh! Don't know about you but it's bad enough reaching back to close the door on a 350 on the pad, let alone doing it multiple times in flight with a longline. Accident waiting to happen if you ask me. It sure is no jet box door. Don't really see what the problem is using floor window. Most of our longline stuff apart from bucketing is precision stuff, a lot of it in a Canadian winter so door off not an option. Depth perception not an issue once used to the picture.
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Old 2nd Jun 2015, 02:33
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Front door...And sorry i'm not fire figther, but i do that for sling gasoline drum delivery in the middle of nowhere and we don't have mirrors or so...Sure, It's not conventionnal, but efficient...particurlarly when people awaiting for gas...
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Old 2nd Jun 2015, 06:56
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100 feet can be done easily with the mirror.
150 feet are a bit more difficult but doable.
After 30 years flying mirror, I can't do vertical, it confuses me totally
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Old 2nd Jun 2015, 10:55
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AS350 vertical reference fire fighting

Most of our long line stuff apart from bucketing is precision stuff, a lot of it in a Canadian winter so door off not an option.
I used to fly in Scandinavia and we were used to keep the door on winter time, but after a couple of years of taking it off in the 30ºC heat (I moved to warmer latitudes), it's hard to go back.

Also, I don't think doing one precision job for a short period of time (let's say assembling a drill for an hour) or doing long distance sling work (where you can take a break from the uncomfortable position during the transits) is the same as sitting like a hunchback for up to 9 hours dodging power lines at MTOW (+the heat in the cabin)...

Maybe I'm getting old and my back/neck can't take it!

The 350 is probably one the few helis where being short is at your advantage for vertical reference work (at least with the door on).

The new crash worthy seats don't help either.
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 22:56
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AS350 Vertical Reference Equipment

Just looking for personal preference on viewing options on the 350. What set up do you guys use, floor window only, bubble door with pitch extension, MPVK or Airbus high vis door?

If you had the choice between the floor window or the bubble door with pitch extension or Airbus high vis door which would you choose for mast building?

Cheers
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Old 22nd Feb 2019, 02:30
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I’ve used all the floor windows. The bigger the better.
The standard floor window is my least favorite being the smallest. Dart aftermarket floor window is okay. Their oversized window is a little better. The best vertical reference floor window comes from Chinook Aviation. It extends 9 inches aft and 2 inches inboard of the standard window.

The Swiss Solutions Max Visibility Kit is the best product for Vertical Reference work. If you have enough work to justify the cost go for it.

Extensions and having to lean all the way out on the right side is extremely difficult and certainly not appropriate for mast work or setting any precision loads. I’m 6ft 2 and wouldn’t even consider this as an option.

Left hand drive is okay not ideal.

The MPVK or the the super sized floor window is the way to go.



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Old 22nd Feb 2019, 08:06
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I find the bubble window to be completely useless, and it fogs up like mad in the winter. Regarding the floor window, the bigger the better. With the small one and a helmet on it can be a struggle to see the load, especially light loads wih some head wind.
Without a window I’d be left to using the mirror. Can’t see myself being able to lean out that far through the door opening.

Also - it sounds like most of you use really long lines, 100ft+? We tend to use 50ft unless there is a good reason to extend.
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Old 22nd Feb 2019, 08:37
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There used to be a sliding pilot seat kit, from a NZ crowd I think, which let you slide the pilots seat quite a long way to the right. There was an extension that went onto the collective and the right peddle was also longer. I've flown the floor window as well and this mod was by far the best for me. Had to be door off of course or a bubble but I never saw one of those. This mod put you almost as close to the edge as in a 206. It even let you slide out for the load and back in again when done. By far the best setup for VR in a 350 that I know of.
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