Accession Number:

ADA243804

Title:

Operational Survey - VFR Heliport Approaches and Departures

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.

Corporate Author:

SYSTEMS CONTROL TECHNOLOGY INC ARLINGTON VA

Report Date:

1991-08-01

Pagination or Media Count:

66.0

Abstract:

This report documents a field survey about helicopter performance and operational considerations pertaining to heliport design issues. Helicopter operators, manufacturers flight instructors, and FAA Technical Center pilots were surveyed in an attempt to relate their actual VFR helicopter operating techniques to heliport airspace requirements. The opinions and information obtained from the 88 pilots surveyed from around the country represent 17 types of helicopter models operating at a broad spectrum of density altitudes. The specific data has been summarized and characterized so as to be representative of the civil helicopter industry. Results show a wide variation in opinion, even among pilots flying the same aircraft models, about what constitutes safe straight approach and departure distances, adequate acceleration distances, and realistic climb angles. Pilots opinions indicate that they can climb at higher angles than are indicated by the profiles presented in Helicopter Physical and Performance Data, DOTFAARD-90-3, in order to clear close-in obstacles. However, in flying these higher angles, pilots are flying through portions of the heightvelocity envelope that the FAA and the manufacturers recommended be avoided. During the formal review process a number of FAA officials concluded that in many instances the pilots perceived performance capabilities that exceeded the aircrafts performance capabilities. Also, of concern were instances when the aircraft could perform the maneuver, but the steep climb descent angles needed would substantially increase the risk of an accident.

Subject Categories:

  • Helicopters

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE