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Helicopter Flight Time

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Helicopter Flight Time

Old 4th Jan 2013, 16:06
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Helicopter Flight Time

Just found this in the CAA's "A Guide to EASA Rules Effecting Helicopter Pilots":

FCL.010, Definitions:
"Flight time helicopters" means from the momement a helicopter's rotor blades start turning, until the moment the helicopter comes to rest after the flight and the blades are stopped.
Anyone else picked up on this?
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 16:18
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Isn't that what it was under JAR?

Tam
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 16:54
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I haven't been keeping too close an eye on the ever-changing admin rules in all the changes.There seems little point, since they seem to change again every few months. However, at some point in the not too recent past we seem to have moved from the old "when it first moves under its own power until rotor stop" into this new version.

I am contemplating the effect of these changes, particularly in the context of flying school operations. Early time students presumably still spend forever between engine start and the first lift into the hover. If this is now "flight time" it must have considerably lengthened the average flight time to get a licence, and make it even less feasible to do the course in even anything approaching the set down minimum.

Have maintenance flying hours been aligned with these changes? I could imagine that there might be scope for a disguised price-hike on charge-out rate for some.

In a non-flying school context, does everyone include into flight time sometimes significant periods spent at flight idle? That would certainly cost some types of European operations dear?
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 18:07
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Maintenance uses Airtime ("Skids Off the ground to Skids On the ground")...so no change there...

But you´re right: They are constantly changing their definitions...
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 18:14
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Isn't that what it was under JAR?
No idea.

I've always used the flight timer on the aircraft.
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 18:42
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Under JAR, I always log the crew time as the time from when the aircraft first moves under its own power for the purpose of takeoff until the rotor blades next come to a stop.
This means that if, for example, you taxi for takeoff at 0900, land at 1050 and disembark the pax and then taxi to the compass bay for a compass swing shutting down at 1200, then that would be 3 hours crew flight time.
If, however, you taxi to the compass bay at 0900, return to collect pax and then taxi for departure at 1010 and then shut down at 1200, that would be a crew flight time of 1 hour and 50 minutes.
The aircraft flight time would be the time that it spent with the skids (or wheels) off the ground.

Simple

Last edited by the beater; 4th Jan 2013 at 18:56. Reason: The above assumes that you are not 'taking off' to perform the compass swing. This would be my interpretation of the rules certainly, at least, for an aircraft on wheels ground taxying.
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 19:03
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As an operator of a wheeled u/c helicopter, I always add on the estimated ground taxying time where appropriate when logging personal hours flown. The aircraft hours for the tech log get copied to the minute via the w.o.w. controlled data computer, which is interrogated during or after shutdown. So unless I fly to and from helipads, my log book hours show a few more minutes than the aircraft tech log hours.

Looks like folk in my position can now add on a few more minutes each trip (not that I'm hours grabbing; it really matters not a lot after thirty years or so).
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 19:50
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Does anyone who is an EASA fan know why they decided to go through the hassle of such a change? Was there a substantive reason or did they just do it because they can?

Is there some sort of record that a stranger could look at fairly easily (bearing in mind that I have a life)?
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 19:53
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I believe it used to be from lift off until the blades stopped turning

Phil
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 19:58
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good news for those hour building in a Bell 47 then!

We spend a good 3-4minutes on the deck before flight so my monthly hours should go up nicely now...!
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 20:54
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Audit of Pilots log book

Is it right to log more time ? than you log in the A/C Tec log
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 21:35
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Jetgas

I think you will find the answer above.

manufacturer uses skids off to skids on for component times.
Captain for your log book is different, rotors start to turn until they have stopped. Means in a 300 in a strong wind you could have boiled the kettle before the blades have stopped !
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 22:05
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Audit of Pilots log book
Is it right to log more time ? than you log in the A/C Tec log
Simple answer = Yes. Ask The CAA.

A helicopter is effectively flying once the rotors are moving air. It matters not whether or not the wheels are in ground contact.
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Old 4th Jan 2013, 22:40
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Does anyone who is an EASA fan know why they decided to go through the hassle of such a change? Was there a substantive reason or did they just do it because they can?
Not sure, but many would argue that when the blades are turning you are (or should be) in command of it, whether on the ground or not, and should an accident occur you would ultimately be responsible, so it's only fair that your logged hours in command reflect that. Personally I think it's a fairer way of logging time in command.
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 03:24
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Hughes500, you want to be careful about your statement with regard to manufacturers and component times!

Last time I looked at a Robbie flight manual (R22Beta) it said that engine start to engine stop was to be regarded as flight time, in other words whatever the hour meter says, and that if you had a collective switch fitted, then your flight time is the hour meter + 10%.

Anybody close to an R22 flight manual able to confirm that this statement is still in there somewhere? Many many moons have passed since I last looked at a Robbie up close
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 04:35
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Does anyone who is an EASA fan know why they decided to go through the hassle of such a change? Was there a substantive reason or did they just do it because they can?
JAR FCL-2 had the same definition, but the CAA chose not to adopt it and maintained their "from the moment the helicopter first moves for the purpose of flight until the blades come to a stop" definition. EASA Part FCL is part of EU Law, so the CAA can't make autonomous exceptions any more - if you saw some of my recent e-mail exchanges with them, you'd know what I mean

anyone who is an EASA fan
I hasten to add that I am not a fan!

Last edited by 212man; 5th Jan 2013 at 04:43.
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 06:08
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Anybody close to an R22 flight manual
The aircraft Maintenance Release is the place to look, filled out by the LAME as per the instruction here from the Maintenance Manual

Hmm, don't know if that link worked as below.


http://www.robinsonheli.com/manuals/R22/R22MM_3.pdf

Last edited by topendtorque; 5th Jan 2013 at 06:09.
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 06:40
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noooby

I was refering to proper helicopters
R44 uses a lever datcon for its overhaul so therefore they must be using skids off skids on !
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 07:26
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This has been discussed many times before. There are a number of definitions of 'flight time' each of which is tailored towards its use in the applicable regulation. The three main uses are:

1. to establish the hours for continuing airworthiness - which is wheels up to wheels down;

2. to establish the hours for qualification in licensing terms - which is usually regarded as stick time; and

3. to establish the basis for responsibility and flight and duty times - which is as defined in ICAO Annex 6.

With respect to the 3, States look to ICAO to set the definition and that, reproduced from ICAO Annex 6 Part III is as follows:
Flight time — helicopters. The total time from the moment a helicopter’s rotor blades start turning until the moment the helicopter finally comes to rest at the end of the flight, and the rotor blades are stopped.

Note 1.— The State may provide guidance in those cases where the definition of flight time does not describe or permit normal practices. Examples are: crew change without stopping the rotors; and rotors running engine wash procedure following a flight. In any case, the time when rotors are running between sectors of a flight is included within the calculation of flight time.

Note 2.— This definition is intended only for the purpose of flight and duty time regulations.
States, in their basic regulations, should differentiate the three uses for the very reasons that have been discussed in this thread (which repeats a discussion from other threads in PPRuNe).

Jim
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 13:57
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Hughes500, if you were referring to "proper" helicopters, might I suggest you change your name

LOL

topendtorque, thanks for the link.
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