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Advice on learning vertical reference landings

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Advice on learning vertical reference landings

Old 21st Oct 2018, 02:27
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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At a location that has to remain nameless....we were tasked to hover at specified heights directly overhead a specific smoke stack.....at night. We worked upwards at the specified intervals till several thousand feet above the ground.

We quickly decided to use the FLIR Unit to pick up our cues by slewing it down so it was vertical taking into account the hover attitude. We basically bore sighted the smoke stack using the FLIR. Add that we were using NVGs in addition to the FLIR made that the most unusual vertical reference maneuver I ever had the misery to do!
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 00:44
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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SAS, I can only imagine the “fun “ doing heads down night position keeping on a FLIR display at what sounds like significant altitude. I’m assuming the flight vehicle was absent any control augmentation to assist? Varying winds etc. Sounds a very very ultra high concentration task.
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 12:19
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by JohnDixson View Post
The Army had a vertical reference mission in 1964, for which they devised a creative guidance approach.

The mission involved carrying a sling load at the end of a 2000 ft cable, and flying the load around a specific course, and then landing the load precisely and softly, back at the start point. Moonless nights only.

The load was a full size model of the UH-1B and it was built with a double skin, separated by a dielectric. The skin was separated into a good number of sections, each with individual electric connections to a battery powered tape recorder.

The mission, flown by a CH-47A, would begin by landing next to the model and hooking up the sling. A WWII searchlight was oriented vertically, with a beam that extended well beyond the needed 2000ft. The ship was hovered up the beam, slowing near 2000ft so as to gently lift the model.

After pickup the beam was shut down and the CH-47 would fly assigned headings on a dedicated FT Bliss radar.while the assigned weapons for the night would fire live ammo at the model. each night flown involved a different weapon, varying from 30 cal to 40mm. Each hit on the model would be recorded as the projectile would short the two skins in that area.The return of the model to the takeoff site involved the reverse searchlight procedure. The CH-47 would stay a bit off to one side of the beam so as to keep the cable from draping all over the model.

Simple and innovative, the testing was almost completed, when one night with the larger caliber weapon in use the sling was shot away half way to the CH-47 and it was decided that sufficient data had been collected.
Hahaha! Awesome story - thanks for the morning laugh John!

Reminds me of the A6 towing a target for RIMPAC live CIWS shoot when the Japanese CIWS walked up the cable and shot down the A6...off Hawaii...

Last edited by Viper 7; 22nd Oct 2018 at 12:33.
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 12:44
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Had my co-pilot in the right seat for his first forecastle transfer - he did a couple dry runs ok, but started to go squirrely on the live hoist. Had to take control and put the man on deck cross-cockpit. Basically looking at the bridge windows, which were moving up and down of course...and backwards at 15 knots. Brain to hand interface near 100%...LOL.

This was long before I got to SAR boat hoisting off smaller boats...in the dark and worse wx, but at least we weren't flying backwards.
Google photo btw - not the event.
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 15:17
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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SAS, I can only imagine the fun doing heads down night position keeping on a FLIR display at what sounds like significant altitude. Im assuming the flight vehicle was absent any control augmentation to assist? Varying winds etc. Sounds a very very ultra high concentration task.

John,

A BK-117 with no SAS......known amongst the EMS crowd as the original "Vomit Comet" due to the things instability.

We tried doing it with just the Mark I eyeball of the Co-Pilot trying to look down but the Test Folks nixed that for lack of accuracy.

So after a Coffee and some brain storming....I suggested using the FLIR and we tried that and our success improved but still not good enough.......then we realized we had to compensate for the hover attitude of the aircraft and slew the FLIR to an appropriate setting aft of FLIR vertical to achieve "Aircraft" vertical and it worked way better.

It was very hard work....looking out on NVG's....listening to the CoPilot's steering commands....sneaking a quick look under the NVG's to the FLIR screen to see where the cross hairs were pointing....remembering they slid around depending upon the movement of the helicopter both in a horizontal plane but in all the other axis as well due to the control inputs and turbulence of the Out of Ground Effect Hover and wind speed variations.

It was a large smoke stack.....but it would have gone a lot better and easier had it been the size of a Cooling Tower not so far away!

The hole got very small when looking at it from three thousand feet.
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 17:36
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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RANT
Until I joined this site I was not aware of how difficult it is to land a helicopter on a spot with the aircraft aligned correctly.
Give me a break...we were landing on small bush helipads and confined areas with no pads before we even went solo.
Of course our instructors had thousands of hours of bush experience ..
What has changed?
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 19:22
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Originally Posted by albatross View Post
RANT
Until I joined this site I was not aware of how difficult it is to land a helicopter on a spot with the aircraft aligned correctly.
Give me a break...we were landing on small bush helipads and confined areas with no pads before we even went solo.
Of course our instructors had thousands of hours of bush experience ..
What has changed?

Now instructors are lucky to have 500hrs and with all the PC tick the box parade going on, a training helicopter is lucky to get off an airfield... other than that, all good...
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 21:18
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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SAS, a BK, no SAS, at 3K, night, wind variability? Better you than I. Only had one flight in a 117-at Hanover in 1982 with Mr Hoffman. A very fine gentleman and aviator. But that had SAS and it was the proverbial “ Dollar ride “ demo.
On he other hand, is that why you adopted SASless, or was it in remembrance of maybe being made to fly the 47A without SAS? How many nights did you do that mission?
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 23:16
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Getting to the OP, it would seem to be advice on trolley landings? All ours were marked fore and aft with skid lines to give reference when lining up from behind, then a marking to where the cross beam should be when on the trolley.

Always approach from well behind and 'hover taxi' into the trolley keeping a reference ahead that aligns your eye view to where the skids should be: don't over-reference the markings at this stage.The reference may vary day to day depending on where the trolley is parked. When at the approximate position fwd, look out to ensure the skid is aligned and the crosstube is up to the appropriate mark, then down on the collective while using the yaw pedals to keep aligned with the fore and aft lines. Practice makes perfect, but a smaller trolley will inevitably cause loss of reference when the nose of the machine goes over the front!

Aids already mentioned (if it's a small trolley) are the glassfibre rods either side of the eye line, but cap the tips: one pilot at Essendon managed to punch the tip of one rod through the side window of an AS355.

All my pilots would have little problem aligning the machine this way, even my non-SAS BK117 could be plonked onto the right spot time after time. If the approach is tight and a more vertical approach needed, then kick off to the left to give a better downward vis out of the side window, then pedal turn to straighten up when a few inches off the deck.

Re SASless' tale of derring-do in a BK, we would carry out lighting checks at night for Melbourne Airport in the BK117, requiring OGE hover with small moves to check the TVASIs and other approach lighting. Talk about being in a black hole out to the west with absolutely no ambient light!
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Old 22nd Oct 2018, 23:31
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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To John down under...."derring do" is not how I described what a right royal pain in the butt that Task was over two nights for me and one other crew.

What really made it fun is the powers that be would not tell us "why" we were doing that.

I surmised it was because some prick's wife said she was having an affair with a helicopter pilot and he was having some revenge.


Brother John,

While working for a very large oil company in the Middle East....which had its own Flight Department operating under the FAA Registry and Regulations.....I felt the need to choose a proper Room Name for use at PPRuNe.

We were flying night VMC offshore in Non-Stablized 212's as the management (all former PHI guys) had cancelled the Sperry Systems that the aircraft had been spec'd with in order to cut the purchase price as they felt air conditioning was more valuable.....until they discovered the performance decrease....and then removed the Air Conditioning.

Leaving us to really sweat due to both the heat, humidity, and exertion flying in the pitch damn dark with no horizon in an unstabilized 212.

The management took the position that despite being offshore in the dark with no horizon or surface lighting for much of the legs....as the weather was VFR....we were VMC and not IMC.

Thus, my choice of "Sasless" was made....to remind me of just how utterly stupid some people can be.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 03:03
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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SAS, went on a demo trip to the Gulf with a Westland crew and their Blackhawk. Flew a Dubai Major one night and 100 miles inland at 3000 ft it was +43C in the cockpit. I can imagine, only slightly, what flying the 212 was like on a day after day basis down low.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 03:56
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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Summer in the Persian Gulf gets hot and humid for sure.

The Bell 412s had air conditioning that was great when it worked and you had long sectors where the cabin doors stayed shut!

The vents on the 212 felt like hair dryers blowing really hot air!

Add the Sun shining into the cockpit windows....and it made for a long day of flying.
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