For rearward flight, the tip-path plane is tilted rearward, which, in turn, tilts the lift-thrust vector rearward. Drag now acts forward with the lift component straight up and weight straight down. [Figure 2-43]
Pilots must be aware of the hazards of rearward flight. Because of the position of the horizontal stabilizer, the tail end of the helicopter tends to pitch downward in rearward flight, causing the probability of hitting the ground to be greater than in forward flight. Another factor to consider in rearward flight is skid design. Most helicopter skids are not turned upward in the back, and any contact with the ground during rearward flight can put the helicopter in an uncontrollable position leading to tail rotor contact with the ground. Pilots must do a thorough scan of the area before attempting to hover rearward, looking for obstacles and terrain changes. Slower airspeeds can help mitigate risk and maintain a higher-than-normal hover altitude.Are you ready to start your journey learning to fly helicopters? Learning to Fly Helicopters, Second Edition, provides details on the technical and practical aspects of rotarywing flight. Written in a conversational style, the book demystifies the art and science of helicopter flying.