Hover Taxi vs Air TaxiAir Taxi vs. Hover Taxi
The Air Safety Institute Instructor Reports
A course I remember conducted under FAR Part 141 was developed to include a chopper classification and a chopper classification assessment in a business aircraft certification. He was a very seasoned flyer who was currently involved in several of our company's turboprop jets. Apart from the culture shocks of having to deal with a (for him) very instable and playful Swiss 300 chopper, which, he was sure, needed at least one extra handful than he owned, he made outstanding strides.
He had a keen instinct for air quality, as a pilots of his own experiences would expect, and needed few instructions regarding air space, air transport or regulation, apart from a rapid comparison of the few cases where other regulation applies to heli-flying. In FAR 91. 126 it says: "Anyone who operates an aeroplane to or from an aerodrome in a Class B aerodrome must, in the case of an aeroplane nearing landing, make all the turns of that aeroplane to the left,...".
In the case of a helicopter: "Every flight engineer in a chopper must prevent the flux of fixed-wing helicopters. What to try to avoid With the exception of hovercrafts, most airport flights by chopper do not differ from their permanent mates. A review of the two RARs and the Airman's Information Manual (AIM) will show that the vast majority of the rules and best practices use the headings "pilots" or "aircraft", suggesting that these rules apply to everyone alike, regardless of the type of aircraft used.
However, in cases where a different method is used for different types of aeroplane, the text may refer either to fixed-wing aeroplanes, aeroplanes or helicopters. "Airplanes " and "Fixed-wing aircraft" are not fully substitutable, since the former also refer to sailplanes. In the immediate proximity of an airport, whether there is a turret or not, the difference between rotating and rigid flight operation can be seen.
Let us start by talking about airport operation without turrets, as they may have the greatest room for miscommunication. As FAR 91. 126 does not specify exactly how the chopper avoids the flux of rigid aeroplane air travel, much is at the judgement of the pilots in charge of the chopper.
Height is one of several ways in which the chopper pilots can prevent the start signal from flowing. Aircraft flight samples are usually 1,000 ft above the floor (AGL); chopper flight samples are usually 500 ft above the floor. Thus, when he approaches the airfield, the chopper pilots can decide whether to go below the permanent flight type.
If not otherwise stated, planes with firm wings must make anti-clockwise turns. If you know that, a chopper pilots can choose to create the right transport pattern, and that's what happens a lot, even though I've heard of a chopper pilots who has been punished by wireless for using "non-standard" transport method. Helicopters did not involve the applicant in disputes, and in this case he was undoubtedly right.
Firstly, by making transport pattern on the other side of the fixed-wing transport, the pilots were in accordance with the rules, and secondly, by not being in an awkward and non-professional dispute over the Common Transport Advisory Frequency (CTAF), they were avoiding an uncomfortable environment from which no one would have profited.
It should be noted that it is not forbidden for choppers to use left-hand side airspace, but it is the pilot's responsibility to demonstrate that no disruption of air travel in the stationary wings was due to the flight of a right-hand side patter. Although it is uncommon for an aircraft to take off or take off from a location other than the airstrip, there is often no need to tie the operation of the aircraft to the airstrip interface.
Possibility of operating from other areas is another way in which choppers can prevent the steady stream of air transport. Pilot can minimise the impact on other transport by approaching and taking off taxiways, helipads, loading ramps or even areas next to the runways that have not been improved.
It is not even necessary for the take-off or take-off to be directed towards the take-off and landing runways, although the obligation to prevent the flux of other transport and above all to ensure communications remains with the chopperilot. In spite of the flexible use of helicopters, the most frequent cause of confusion and incomprehension between fixed and rotating wings is bad communications.
CTAF should be used by chopper pilot to accurately indicate their intent. You should realize that this mobility is common for a chopper, but for an ignorant aircraft driver it looks like "cowboy" behaviour (and without real communications it is quite possible!). The FAR 91. 129 is concerned with the operation of airports with operational checkpoints.
For example, in the case of operation at non-tower aerodromes "a chopper should prevent the flux of rigid aeroplane transport. Chapters 4-67 contain much useful information about the use of VFR aircraft at screened aerodromes that must be read by both chopper and fixed-wing aircraft pilot. There are three ways to move around an airport: taxi, hover taxi and air taxi.
"Taxi " is used when a chopper has to move like an aeroplane on the floor, on taxiway or mandatory taxiway. These instructions are usually given only for wheeled choppers, and large chopper drivers often opt for this approach to pass parking planes to minimise downdraft of the rotors and the potential for damages to parking planes.
Often, when a pilots makes this inquiry to the towers, the concept "ground taxi" is used to make clear what is called for. As unlikely as it may seem, a helicopter with runners can use the surface taxi for very close range, and a pilots could opt for it when very powerful and squall wind provides hard air cushion heading in.
"Suspended taxi" means the floating motion of a chopper. Heights below 10 ft are common; they should not cross 25 ft without first leaving the spire. Speed should not surpass that for a quick stroll, although some helmsmen would be good Olympia racers if they could run as quickly as a floating taxi!
Due to the increasing downwind, chopper pilots should be very conscious of the potential for damages, especially to unprotected steering areas, panelling and doorways, when floating with their planes in the park. "Lufttaxi " is the prime way for the Air Taxi to move around an airfield because it is the fastest way to move a chopper from one location to another.
It is also the technique that causes the most irritations in aeroplane pilots who are not acquainted with the notion. During air curling, chopper helicopters are required to choose a height and airspeed combinations that will provide secure flying outside the "alternate area" of the high-speed map. It is also anticipated that they will stay below 100 AGL and make sure that staff, aeroplanes and rolling stock are not flown over.
Due to the higher velocities the pilot has to know their flight path release exactly, otherwise it can come to attacks on the take-off and landing area. The air taxi, like the previously described method of moving a chopper, is regarded as grounding. Which areas are suitable for which duration can only be determined at your own airport by contact with the control centre.
A typical aircraft takes off from a non-moving area and then rolls over motion areas to the starting point under floor space before switching to turret frequencies before entering the live apron. Due to its unmatched features, a chopper can take off directly from a non-moving area.
A descent need not be directed to the landing strip or even to the windward side, although if you wish to take off leeward at winds above 5 kn, the air traffic controllers will not accept the application unless the pilots explicitly confirm the windward velocity and heading. However, with such a solicitation, the chopper-pilot shall assume full liability for the security of the manoeuvre suggested and the turret shall accept the solicitation with the words "Proceed as required" and may contain other formulations such as "at the option of the pilot" or "at its own risk".
Of course, clear and unequivocal communication with the Turm is essential. There are very few cases where air-traffic controllers have not done their best to meet appropriate flight wishes from chopper-pilots, especially when the application has been made clearly and in time.
Before September 16, 1993, a pilot only had to interact with the control center if he landed or took off at the main aerodrome operated by the control center. Pilot, in particular chopper pilot, should be mindful that in reclassifying aerial space all movement into or out of Category G aerodrome requires communication with the turret, whether or not they land at the main aerodrome.
While FAR 91. 129 directs chopper drivers to prevent the movement of fixed-wing aircrafts, the turret can incorporate higher speed choppers into the flight path at velocities comparable to fixed-wing aircrafts. Therefore, neither stationary nor chopper pilot should be taken by surprise if they find themselves in a transport model, of course on a screened bay and under townmanagement.
Existence of mitigation zones or other limitations to aerospace could be another factor in the integration of chopper and ground flying operation. Borrows is a pensioned British Army helmsman and commander who is now the deputy head helmsman of a large US air traffic education organisation.