Helicopter Taxiing to Runway for Takeoff?


#1

The other day at BLM there was a Robinson R22 that landed “using” the runway,then taxied to wherever it was going. On the way out, he taxied down the taxiway, then pulled over to the side for a passing airplane, then continued to the runway. He took the runway and then departed to the north at the end. Does anyone know why he did this? It woud have been much shorter to just leave from where he parked. I have seen many other helicopters just land/take off from wherever they want. I have a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7evBP2bo8w)


#2

Because he can John.

It’s frequently also a matter of consideration for other aircraft if there isn’t a designated helicopter landing area that’s swept for FOD. By using the active taxiway and runway for his movements he’s far less likely to upset or sandblast parked aircraft.

It also demonstrates aircraft control.


#3

A good reason not to put a rotor craft too close to an active runway or operating aircraft can be found in NTSB NYC85FA145B, on the FAA docket, which just happened to occur at BLM.


#4

I took 1 or 2 lessons in a R22 and have a friend who owns a R44. I was told that they prefer to use runways because they can get a bit of forward speed going before they gain significant altitude. This reduces strain and increases cooling. R22s obviously can take off vertically, by it seems to be SOP to use a runway for this reason (reduce wear anyway you can)


#5

it may have been a training situation. if i was flying i would of departed once clear of the ramp if the conditions were good from there. we rarely taxi to the active runway departure area. http://a.imageshack.us/img44/5089/img1118w.jpg


#6

I have seen multiple helicopters do the same thing at the airport I frequent. A chinook that landed taxied on the ground to the runway threshold, hovered, and then started gaining airspeed and climbing. There were other aircraft in the pattern so I would imagine it was out of consideration for them.


#7

Large helicopters, such as Chinook’s, will often taxi out. They create such powerful downwash, they could easily damage things on the ramp. The two main reasons a lot of helicopters will go to the runway is for traffic, or to avoid damaging other objects with their downwash.


#8

They do it basically out of respect for everyone else. When they use a runway there’s no question of their intentions or direction of takeoff.

An R-22 will create basically the same damaging wash in a hover taxi to a parking spot as it would taking off from the same spot.

No one has mentioned obstacles. Helicopters don’t go straight vertical when taking off, they still need to increase airspeed to begin translational lift before climbing out at a steeper angle.


#9

No one has mentioned obstacles. Helicopters don’t go straight vertical when taking off, they still need to increase airspeed to begin translational lift before climbing out at a steeper angle.

They don’t need to. The life-flight at CXO is parked in a corner beside two buildings, and it goes straight up about 30, maybe 40 feet before gaining forward speed.
But that is a good point.


#10

Wow Will! I didn’t know you had a rotary ticket!

Or a fixed wing ticket.

Or even a driver’s license!

:unamused:


#11

Well, technically, they’re both correct. :wink:

I don’t think James was saying that they absolutely cannot takeoff vertically, just that they typically don’t climb to any significant altitude in a pure vertical climb.

Vertical takeoff is typically used only to clear obstacles or terrain. In a zero airspeed climb, options are VERY limited in the event of an emergency. That’s why a running takeoff is the preferred method.

As with everything, it all depends on the specific situation and aircraft. Temperature, weight, and wind conditions factor in to the performance calculations, just as on fixed wing.


#12

I understand gaining forward airspeed, but he went all the way to the runway, which is 7000 ft long. I don’t see why he didn’t do an intersection departure, which even quite a few planes do. Could have saved some time. I guess if maybe I ever flew a helicopter maybe I would understand.


#13

Either he thought it looked cool, he was heading that way, or he wanted to stick a little closer to the typical traffic pattern for noise reasons. Or maybe I’m completely wrong.


#14

Wow Will! I didn’t know you had a rotary ticket!

Or a fixed wing ticket.

Or even a driver’s license!

You didn’t?

JHEM, what’s 1 + 1?


#15

I agree. I’ve flown in helicopters that went straight up, no forward motion until many feet off the ground.


#16

Of course, I can get a hell of a good look at a T-Bone steak by sticking my head up a bull’s ass, but I’d rather take the butcher’s word for it.


#17

Do me a favor, from now on, take the butcher’s word for it.


#18

My point exactly, thank you Will.


#19

:laughing: :laughing:


#20

Define “many”.

And just for the record, I used to have a tactical rotary ticket!