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HeliTorque :: View topic - Emergency landing procedures
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Student Pilots & Hour Builders

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spl23
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: Emergency landing procedures Reply with quote

A question that someone on here might be able to answer - my instructor couldn't, and Robinson's technical department refused to say anything that might result in a lawsuit... Wink

When briefing for the emergency landing drills in the R22, I was told to shut off the fuel and the alternator, but to leave the battery switched on so as to keep the use of the radio and the intercom (which seems sensible). I then started to think about this...

Why do you need to turn the alternator off? If you are in autorotation, presumably the engine has stopped, and the rotors have been disconnected from the driveshaft by the sprag clutch - so the alternator won't be turning anyway. So there is no risk of a spark coming from it, so why bother turning it off?

On fixed-wing, you do need to turn the alternator off, as the prop is directly coupled to the driveshaft, so a windmilling prop will spin the alternator and generate power, so you do have a risk of sparks. But I can't see that this is the situation with an R22.

When I raised this with my instructor, he didn't have an answer. The R22 POH just says "switch off all non-essential systems" without going into any detail, and when I asked Robinson for clarification, they just quoted the manual back at me.

So can anyone cast any light? Do you actually need to switch off the alternator during an emergency landing in an R22, and if so, why?
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PilotWolf
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably a cover all instruction - it's easier to remember 1 drill for forced landing rather than 2 or 3 depending on why you re in auto - might not be (complete) engine failure.

W.
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McBad
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question spl23. I'm just going through this training stage now and I'm being taught (1) establish steady auto and identify target field, (2) transmit abbreviated Mayday, (3) turn of mags, (4) turn off master battery switch, (5) pull mixture fully lean, (6) turn off fuel tap.

This differs slightly from what you describe as we don't touch the alternator switch, just go straight to master battery. I can't see what turning off the alternator would do to benefit the situation for the reasons you describe, although I guess turning off the battery would reduce the number of live circuits that might create a spark. (As an aside have you tried turning the battery master off whilst sat on the ground rotor running - surprisingly few things actually seem to go off.)

During practice I just touch the various switches and knobs but I suspect pulling the mixture and turning off the fuel in a real crisis might be tricky. The fuel taps on the R22s I've flown have all been pretty stiff and wrestling with that whilst trying to maintain 65kt would put my task loading way up the scale!

Hopefully someone will be along with a proper answer in a minute.

M
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spl23
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

McBad wrote:
During practice I just touch the various switches and knobs but I suspect pulling the mixture and turning off the fuel in a real crisis might be tricky. The fuel taps on the R22s I've flown have all been pretty stiff and wrestling with that whilst trying to maintain 65kt would put my task loading way up the scale!


I know what you mean - when I first read the emergency landing drill as described in the POH, I thought someone at Robinson was having a laugh. When I'm in an auto at the moment, I'm using both hands on the controls all the time - switching things off just isn't going to happen!
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McBad
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spl23 wrote:
I know what you mean - when I first read the emergency landing drill as described in the POH, I thought someone at Robinson was having a laugh. When I'm in an auto at the moment, I'm using both hands on the controls all the time - switching things off just isn't going to happen!


Lol, I'm glad it's not just me then! Laughing

M
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Jen
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got this all to look forward to on Friday Rolling Eyes Confusion
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the R22 POH in front of me (and I have the subscription for update so should be correct)...

It only states-

Power failure above 500 feet AGL

6. If unable to restart, turn off unnecessary switches and shut off fuel.

No mention of which switches is made.

Engine Fire During Start On Ground

3. If engine fails to start, shut off fuel and master battery switch.

Fire in Flight

2. Master battery switch - Off (if time permits)

Electrical fire in Flight

1. Master battery switch - Off.
2. Alt switch - Off.


W.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget by turning off the master switch you will lose the low rotor rpm horn and warning light, and the governor (important to consider when making a power on approach and landing).

Also, reaching for the fuel shut off is arguable. In an R22 do you really want to be reaching behind a panicing passenger when they could grab hold off your arm in sheer terror preventing you from getting your left hand back on the lever in time to control the rotor rpm? Good debate.

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spl23
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WhirlyGirl wrote:
Don't forget by turning off the master switch you will lose the low rotor rpm horn and warning light, and the governor (important to consider when making a power on approach and landing).


The loss of the low rpm horn is a very good point - trying to do an auto without that seems a really bad idea.

WhirlyGirl wrote:
Also, reaching for the fuel shut off is arguable. In an R22 do you really want to be reaching behind a panicing passenger when they could grab hold off your arm in sheer terror preventing you from getting your left hand back on the lever in time to control the rotor rpm?


I quite agree. Trying to get to the switches on the centre console is one thing, and doesn't involve moving your hands that far from the collective, but trying to reach the fuel cut-off, particularly with a passenger who will be blocking it with their upper body, strikes me as a move that verges on suicidal. Leaving aside anything else, shutting the fuel valve will do you no good at all if the impact is hard enough to rupture the tanks or the fuel lines above the valve. Which it may well be if you are faffing about with the fuel valve rather than the collective...
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McBad
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting debate. Whirlygirl, your comments about the horn, light and fuel shut-off are well made.

For the time being I'll toe the school line and then when I actually pass the flight test (hopefully in the next couple of weeks) I'll review the logic and perhaps adopt a different approach. [Edit: actually I will discuss with FI tomorrow as it is quite a serious issue.]

M.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aviate, navigate,communicate
Concentrate on getting the thing on the ground. Remember from the average cruise height of 1000ft agl you are on the ground in less than 30 seconds !!
The only thing to get rid of is the bat master at about 300ft with wings level, on most machines fuel shut offs are way too stiff
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:20 pm    Post subject: Emergency landing Reply with quote

This seems to be a thread of varying opinion. Maybe we should look at the reason behind "doing things".

When an engine quits, we may not be sure of why, and need a set system in place to deal with the emergency.
There are things that must be done to limit the risk of fire, explosion or both.

The electrical and fuel systems should be shut off prior to ground contact. When you do it, is really up to you.
Keep in mind that the lifeless engine may only be partial power loss, not complete engine failure! You don't want that engine to come to life as you approach the ground.

I have had to lock down the collective while shutting off the master, and fuel while in auto-rotation. Overriding the "locked collective" was not difficult.

It also depends on where the switches are located. I can knock off the master, alternater and fuel boost in one swipe. Some panels are not that user friendly. My fuel shutoff in the Bell 47 is under my left hand by the collective. In the 300, on the panel, easily accessible with either hand.

We train for the ship we fly. Procedures may be slightly different but overall, the safety aspect is the same.
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WhirlyGirl
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Emergency landing Reply with quote

afterburner wrote:
I have had to lock down the collective while shutting off the master, and fuel while in auto-rotation. Overriding the "locked collective" was not difficult.


How many engine failures have you had? Yikes!

Sarah
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:26 pm    Post subject: emergency Reply with quote

One too many my dear......
one too many.

Believe me it is far different when it is for real than practice, even to a full down auto. Mistakes are not easily tolerated. Lucky for me, constant practice paid off and things worked out fine.

Not looking to repeat the episode. Laughing Laughing
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have had one at 80 ft and 30 kts coming into land in a confined area, all I can say everything happened rather quickly !!!!!!!!!!!
Only damage done was to the rear cross beam on the 300 Shocked
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