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HeliTorque :: View topic - Sticking it in a Field
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Flight Safety

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WhirlyGirl
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:41 pm    Post subject: Sticking it in a Field Reply with quote

It's not happened to me (yet) but I thought it would start off a useful topic if we discussed peoples experiences and advice with regard to letting down into a field if the weather closes in and you want to sit it out.

What do you say to the farmer when he comes out and see you burning and turning in his field? Are most friendly or have they been known to come out with a gun in their hand? I've heard a few stories about farmers... Laughing

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Hughes500
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

think of it like this, it is better to be down there wishing you were up there than being up there wishing you were down there !!!
Never had a problem with anyone, but be civil and polite, always offered a ride or paid for a round of drinks
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helicopter-redeye
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done it several times, all under some form of service (rad or FIS) bar one.

Just say good morning/ afternoon/ etc and explain the situation and the owner is usually happy and interested.

Avoid flelds of crops and animals to avoid any possible litigation issues. Difficult to damage grass fields.

The line '..any chance of a cup of tea' usually works well.

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WhirlyGirl
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Redi,

What did you say to the radar / flight information service you were talking too? Something like "letting down to a private site due to deteriorating weather?" Presumably they'd rather you were safely on the ground than attempting to battle through it...

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mastercylinder
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally telling them that you're landing due weather is enough. I've never worried a whit about telling them whether its a rocky outcrop, private land, etc...they really don't care. Always try to let them know that you've landed so they can cancel your SAR (unless you can do it yourself by phone on the ground).

My experience (only one, thank goodness) was about 7 years ago. Two aircraft in company (veeeerrry loose formation) going from Canberra to Nowra (the military field). It was a student nav trip, so I was just watching my young padawan. Weather forecast fine and beaut all the way. Funnily, as we travelled it got worse and worse and as it did we got closer and closer to maintain visual with each other. After a while I (as the second aircraft) suggested we think about turning back but as we turned we found the door had closed behind us. Continued on for a few minutes but the weather continued to get worse. Finally I suggested that the rocky plateau down below looked more inviting than inadvertent IMC and potential icing. We landed right near each other (after informing Nowra approach of our situation)...cancelled SAR just as we were skids on. Had a nice lunch in the back of one of the machines as the rain pummelled down for about 30 minutes. After that, weather got better, we cranked em up and finished the trip.

A nice memory as opposed to a two column inch story about two squirrels crahsing into the hills and killing everybody.

MC
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I told them exactly what I was doing. On one occasion with Manchester it was holding due bad weather. On another with Scottish, waiting for improvement (this one by phone due hills). Everybody always very helpful and supportive, and understanding the reason why.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done it a few times. The first one, I landed near an impressive country mansion, was invited in and fed a wonderful Sunday roast lamb lunch.

Most recent time, I lobbed onto the front yard of a nice-looking house, it turned out to be a distant cousin!
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think all the comments on this are good and valid.

If you need to do it, do it. Don't hesitate. If the thought is in your mind that you should be doing it, don't press on, land while you can.

As soon as possible tell someone in the ATC world what you are doing. Perhaps even tell the local bobbies if you think it may prevent any media panic with various 'eyewitness reporters' around!

Never had to do it because of weather, but while transiting through France, had to land to phone the ATC of our next refuel stop to get permission to enter their ATZ due to a radio failure. (not allowed to enter controlled airspace without r/t)

Met by French farmer, told him what was happening, in my limited French. He invited us in for coffee cake and the use of his phone.
We left him and his wife with our many thanks and a Squadron badge.

...Next stop Jersey, now thats when the weather came in and is a different story!! Shocked
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Rotorboater
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Done it a few times, last time I was miles from anywhere & had to sit in the cab with rain hamming down (& leaking in) for naerly 3 hours, next time I will try & land near a village or pub!
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NoordzeeCowboy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got caught in a forecasted snowstorm once that arrived 6 hours to early in Bosnia and I had to turn it around in a gorge after I couldn’t see the headlights of the cars below me anymore (100ft agl). Managed to creep into a Dutch base before it was a complete white out. Couldn’t put it into a field, I didn’t know where the mines were….
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SilsoeSid
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That situation sounds familiar NoordzeeCowboy. When we did it though we had General Dannatt on board!

Good job it was at night and we were on goggles, it might have made him worried!! Shocked
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NoordzeeCowboy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was on my own....Flying the chedder Gorge on my way to the Metal Factory with a CAN Bell following me watching out for CZ HIPS coming th other way!!!! Ahhh good times. Laughing
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SilsoeSid
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was nice of the Canadians to keep an eye out for you.
Mind you, they probably felt sorry for you in the chicken leg!
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe!!!! But i spoke to them afterwards and they told me they were actually a bit lost.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing .....Nice one
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