Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Instructional Hazards

Flying a helicopter offers a different set of physical and mental challenges for a student. The stress of learning how to fly is coupled with the physical demands of flying the helicopter. The constant vibration of the aircraft, as well as the continually need to make control inputs to “fly” the aircraft, make helicopter flight a more physically and mentally strenuous type of flying. The vibration, noise, and stress can lead to fatigue, which can have a detrimental effect upon the ability of the student not only to fly a helicopter but to absorb instruction. To combat this hazard, limit the length of the lesson to less than an hour until the student becomes accustomed to the demands of this type of flying. For further discussion of medical factors associated with flying, refer to the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

As shown in Figure 1-6, the CFI must remain vigilant when the student has control of the helicopter because the student’s knee may get in the way of the cyclic movement. The student’s size cannot be changed, but it is the CFI’s responsibility to teach the student to be aware of how their size may affect the flight controls input.
Figure 1-6. Robinson Helicopter R-22.

The instructor should always ensure that all of the flight controls are unencumbered. Students are so focused on the task at hand when learning to fly and often times will unknowingly obstruct the flight controls. For example, water bottles, clothing and cameras can get stuck under the collective levers preventing movement, or anti-torque pedals can get blocked from movement by the students boot or shoe.

Another potential instructional hazard stems from the ability of helicopter rotor blades to strike the terrain or objects in a 360° arc. This unique capability of the helicopter must be stressed when teaching a student who is transitioning from fixed-wing aircraft. A fixed-wing pilot is accustomed only to the idea that one wing will hit if the aircraft is banked too far. If teaching someone who is transitioning from airplanes, the CFI needs to stress to the student the speed of the rotor and its close proximity to the ground.

No comments:

Post a Comment