Night Flight (Part Two)

Taxi Technique Landing lights usually cast a beam that is narrow and concentrated ahead of the helicopter, so illumination to the side is minimal. Therefore, slow the taxi at night, especially in congested ramp and parking areas. Some helicopters have a hover light in addition to a landing light, which illuminates a larger area under […]

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Night Flight (Part One)

The night flying environment and the techniques used when flying at night, depend on outside conditions. Flying on a bright, clear, moonlit evening when the visibility is good and the wind is calm is not much different from flying during the day. However, if flying on an overcast night over a sparsely populated area, with […]

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Night Vision

Diet and general physical health have an impact on how well a person can see in the dark. Deficiencies in vitamins A and C have been shown to reduce night acuity. Other factors, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, smoking, alcohol, and certain drugs can greatly decrease night vision. Lack of oxygen can also decrease night […]

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Vision in Flight

The visual sense is especially important in collision avoidance and depth perception. A pilot’s vision sensors are the eyes, even though they are not perfect in the way they function. Due to the structure of the human eye, illusions and blindspots occur. The more pilots understand the eye and how it functions, the easier it […]

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Visual Deficiencies

Night Myopia At night, blue wavelengths of light prevail in the visible portion of the spectrum. Therefore, slightly nearsighted (myopic) individuals viewing blue-green light at night may experience blurred vision. Even pilots with perfect vision find that image sharpness decreases as pupil diameter increases. For individuals with mild refractive errors, these factors combine to make […]

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Common Errors of Attitude Instrument Flying

Fixation Fixation, or staring at one instrument, is a common error observed in pilots first learning to utilize instruments. The pilot may initially fixate on an instrument and make adjustments with reference to that instrument alone. Omission Another common error associated with attitude instrument flying is omission of an instrument from the cross-check. Pilots tend […]

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Helicopter Control

Control of the helicopter is the result of accurately interpreting the flight instruments and translating these readings into correct control responses. Helicopter control involves adjustment to pitch, bank, power, and trim in order to achieve a desired flightpath. Pitch attitude control is control of the movement of the helicopter about its lateral axis. After interpreting […]

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Flight Instruments

Operational flight instruments free the pilot from the necessity of maintaining visual contact with the ground. When attitude instrument flying, it is crucial for the pilot to understand how a particular instrument or system functions, including its indications and limitations. It is also important for the pilot to ensure the helicopter’s instruments are operating properly […]

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Emergency Equipment and Survival Gear

Emergency Equipment and Survival Gear Both Canada and Alaska require pilots to carry survival gear. Always carry survival gear when flying over rugged and desolate terrain. The items suggested below are both weather and terrain dependent. The pilot also needs to consider how much storage space the helicopter has and how the equipment being carried […]

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Lost Procedures

Pilots become lost while flying for a variety of reasons, such as disorientation, flying over unfamiliar territory, or visibility that is low enough to render familiar terrain unfamiliar. When a pilot becomes lost, the first order of business is to fly the aircraft; the second is to implement lost procedures. Keep in mind that the […]

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Multiengine Emergency Operations

Single-Engine Failure When one engine has failed, the helicopter can often maintain altitude and airspeed until a suitable landing site can be selected. Whether or not this is possible becomes a function of such combined variables as aircraft weight, density altitude, height above ground, airspeed, phase of flight, single-engine capability, and environmental response time and […]

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