MD Helicopter's Factory Trainer returns to ASTREA Base
MD Helicopter factory pilot & CFI Nick Page returned to ASTREA Base this week with a helicopter in one hand, a cup of Starbucks in the other, and a huge CFI smile. The smile is probably because like the rest of us he is still getting paid to fly helicopters, or in his case fall out of the sky 40-50 times a day in teaching that emergency procedure called a full touch down auto.
Either way, if Nick has ever lost one ounce of enthusiasm for flying and teaching, he sure doesn't let it show. The most important thing is that once he leaves we all have a renewed level of confidence that if the engine does ever quit, we have the skills to get it on the ground and walk away.
This block of re-fresher training focused on night time autorotations. For anyone new to the concept of autorotations, it is a state of helicopter flight that allows your rotors to keep turning as you and your aircraft rapidly descend to a spot on the earth below. Collective down, 60 knots, keep the rotor rpm needle in the green, pick out your spot, flare, cushion the landing with up collective and the remaining energy in your spinning rotors.
For a practice full touch down auto the you generally start at about 80 knots, and 500 feet AGL. The throttle is rolled to idle and remains in this position until the helicopter is on the ground. How well does it work? The above aircraft has approximately 85,000 full touch down autos on the airfraime & it is still flying.