- The Quick Taxi -
KRAL (Riverside) has crossing runways - 16/34 and 27/9 - Helicopter students use the small section of inactive runway 16 to practice approaches and landings, but getting back to the school often times requires a full right overhead traffic pattern. This is the shortcut!
I hold the R22 just short of the active runway 27 - then get permission from the tower to cross the active runway (look for the shadow of the Cessna that took off over us) - then proceed to make a left turn pedal turn onto taxiway Alpha, then immediately make a right pedal turn onto taxiway Bravo - and then air taxi into our designated parking spot.
- The full pattern -
When "The Quick Taxi" is unavailable due to heavy approach/landing traffic on the active Runway 27/9 - then when returning to our helipad requires a full overhead right traffic pattern, which requires a lot of confined technical flying within the airports immediate airspace.
Start with a normal (into the wind) take off - at 50 knots, feel transitional lift pick up the helicopter and continue a right climbing turn to 1,300ft. After winding around 180* and facing downwind, you are now flying above departing aircraft and are looking for the left inside of Runway 16/34. Fly directly over the active runway 27 and begin your left descending turn towards the control tower, continuing the turn until you are lined up on Taxiway Alpha. After turning final, fly a normal approach landing to the helipad and then proceed to student parking.
- the quickstop -
This maneuver is used to decelerate from forward flight to a hover. It is often used to abort takeoffs, stop if something blocks the helicopter flight path, or simply to terminate an air taxi maneuver.
The maneuver can begin from just about any combination of airspeed and altitude, but is typically practiced from around 25 feet AGL and 40 knots. The maneuver can be broken down into 3 parts:
the flare, the deceleration, an the approach to a hover.
- the Auto Rotation -
Autorotation is a condition of helicopter flight during which the main rotor of a helicopter is driven only by aerodynamic forces with no power from the engine. It is a manoeuvre where the engine is disengaged from the main rotor system and the rotor blades are driven solely by the upward flow of air through the rotor. In other words, the engine is no longer supplying power to the main rotor. A vector of the rotor thrust in a helicopter is used to give forward thrust in powered flight; thus, where there is no other source of thrust in a helicopter, it must descend when in autorotation.
Or more simply put - If you're flying in a helicopter and the engine stops, the main rotor blades will continue to spin; by descending rapidly, it forces the rushing air up into the rotor blades and causes them to continue to spin and generate the needed lift (think of a blowing on a pin wheel) - as you near the ground, the pilot pulls back on the cyclic (stick) and gently flares the aircraft to slow the approach speed (like a quickstop, but with no collective) and use last bit of lift from the free-spinning rotor blades to land safely.
Pucker Factor: 10+