PDA

View Full Version : Question for you Military aviation types...



WackAMole
03-24-2012, 08:25 PM
Can one person fly a Blackhawk or does it have to be manned by two people?

I have read that it CAN be manned by one person in emergencies, but i want to be sure of my info.

I'm writing a scene with a UH60 and i really want to make sure i get it technically correct.

Some questions I should probably ask:

1. Once the chopper is set down, how long does it take before the people inside it can exit it?

2. How long before it can 'lift off'

Those are the important ones that i can think of, but I might add some questions if I run across any while im editing.

Thanks in advance for the help!

Medievalist
03-24-2012, 08:49 PM
You might want to pm blacbird.

Drachen Jager
03-24-2012, 09:11 PM
Yes, one person can fly.

People can exit before it touches down. So long as the jump won't kill them (they can exit then too, but they'll be dead).

It can lift off when the pilot wants it to, perhaps with about a second of lag.

WackAMole
03-24-2012, 09:36 PM
Thank you very much!

Richard White
03-25-2012, 04:16 AM
When you ask lift off, do you mean how long from a cold start until the bird is ready to go or do you have a different scenario in mind (aka, knocking out the pilot with the rotor already going and then grabbing his headphones, jumping into his seat and taking off)?

Helicopters are not like cars. It takes a bit to get one going from a cold engine.

Also, when you ask, getting out of the helicopter, are you referring to the pilot (how long from touchdown to completely shutting it down?, how long to just get out of your seat belt and then exit, leaving the motor running?) OR are you referring to any passengers who might be in the back - in which case Drachen's answer is reasonably correct.

Having been in an Air Assault unit, you can leave the bird as soon as it gets within jumping distance of the ground. Although it tends to be a bit safer if you wait for the wheels to make contact and then move out briskly, keeping your head down.

Course, if you're really in a hurry, you can always repel out of the Blackhawk or if you're really, really in a hurry, you can skip the whole riding in the Blackhawk and ride on a Stabo underneath the bird. Just be sure the pilot doesn't get too low to the trees though. It's a real experience riding beneath a UH-60 at about 90mph with nothing but your safety belt holding you onto that thin piece of metal and a cord hooked to the bottom of the bird.

WackAMole
03-25-2012, 04:22 AM
When you ask lift off, do you mean how long from a cold start until the bird is ready to go or do you have a different scenario in mind (aka, knocking out the pilot with the rotor already going and then grabbing his headphones, jumping into his seat and taking off)?

Helicopters are not like cars. It takes a bit to get one going from a cold engine.

Also, when you ask, getting out of the helicopter, are you referring to the pilot (how long from touchdown to completely shutting it down?, how long to just get out of your seat belt and then exit, leaving the motor running?) OR are you referring to any passengers who might be in the back - in which case Drachen's answer is reasonably correct.

Having been in an Air Assault unit, you can leave the bird as soon as it gets within jumping distance of the ground. Although it tends to be a bit safer if you wait for the wheels to make contact and then move out briskly, keeping your head down.

Course, if you're really in a hurry, you can always repel out of the Blackhawk or if you're really, really in a hurry, you can skip the whole riding in the Blackhawk and ride on a Stabo underneath the bird. Just be sure the pilot doesn't get too low to the trees though. It's a real experience riding beneath a UH-60 at about 90mph with nothing but your safety belt holding you onto that thin piece of metal and a cord hooked to the bottom of the bird.

In the scene im referring to, the chopper lands on an open highway long enough to grab an injured person on the ground and take that person back to the hospital. Its a medevac type set up.

There is one pilot and a nurse that tags along with him.

And thank you for that great reply! I am not real great at all the technical stuff but I feel like it's important if i am writing about something that i don't foul it up by missing some minor detail that a reader might pick up on.

BillPatt
03-25-2012, 07:18 AM
You can always parachute out of a chopper (I did). I never got to ride a Stabo, nor rappell out of one, darnit.

As to the highway pickup, it's literally seconds, as long as the pilot keeps the rotor speed up. One pilot can fly it. There's usually a copilot so that some of the tasks can be split up, as as backup if one of them becomes a casualty.

Last thing to remember: if your highway shoulders slope up, you're going to have to have passengers walk straight to the front of the aircraft after they enter or exit. When my dad was in 'Nam, a general exited uphill and lost his head.

jclarkdawe
03-25-2012, 07:32 AM
Is this a civilian medevac or military? If it's civilian, it's actually somewhat slow. The paramedic will get off the copter, go over to the patient, get a summary of the patient's condition, probably get a good set a vitals, get the paperwork, and then the patient will be loaded. O2 and IV have to be dealt with. Although minutes matter, seconds don't. And since a fair amount of the ground crew aren't used to helicopters, safe and slow is the order of the day.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

WackAMole
03-25-2012, 10:42 AM
Is this a civilian medevac or military? If it's civilian, it's actually somewhat slow. The paramedic will get off the copter, go over to the patient, get a summary of the patient's condition, probably get a good set a vitals, get the paperwork, and then the patient will be loaded. O2 and IV have to be dealt with. Although minutes matter, seconds don't. And since a fair amount of the ground crew aren't used to helicopters, safe and slow is the order of the day.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

It's military

CobraMisfit
03-26-2012, 11:19 PM
It's military

A military H-60 can make a very quick emergency pick-up if the situation demands it. The pilot would come in fast, flare, set down (and, like BillPatt said, rotor RPMs are kept at 100% while on deck so that you can pull power at a moment's notice), medic out to grab the patient, haul them into the aircraft, thumbs-up, pull collective (power), lift off, nose-over, and you're on the move.

This is assuming the patient is mobile or the aircraft is under fire. A less asture scenario would see a very deliberate course of action like jclarke described.

One thing to note is that unless it's a maintenence run, single piloted missions usually don't happen. This is especailly true in emergency situation (combat, medivac flights, etc.). The cockpit coordination required to fly, communicate, navigate, and work with the medics demands a full crew. If one person is injured mid-mission, then the other pilot can fly solo, but single-pilot isn't standard and against a lot of current military orders.

That said, it's your story, so literally anything can happen. Best of luck!

Hallen
03-28-2012, 01:45 AM
Yes, one pilot can fly it if necessary. About the only time this happens in the military is during a maintenance tests flight. Even then, usually a crew chief is sitting in the left seat.

During an emergency, it can get a bit dicey depending on what the emergency is. There is a condition where the automatic control of the engine's throttles fails and then the pilot must adjust the throttles while still flying the aircraft. The problem is, the throttles are mounted on the roof between the two pilots. Usually, the copilot would manipulate the throttles while the pilot flew. However, this is a very rare condition, so it's not like it's an impediment during normal operations. There may be situations where a Blackhawk is flown operationally with one pilot, but it won't be if it is a military Blackhawk unless somebody is doing something they're not supposed to.

Time to get airborne for a medivac bird can be as low as two minutes. The aircraft must be prepped, or "cocked", for this to happen. The crew goes out at the start of the shift, does a preflight, starts the aircraft, does all the pre-flight checks and then shuts down. Then the crew goes back through the preflight checklist right up to the "Engine Start" line and then stop. The aircraft is now cocked and ready to go. It is quarantined at that point so nobody messes with it. If it's set like that, you can go quickly. If not, then a very fast crew could have the engines cranking in 5 minutes (if the preflight was done, or omitted), and then flying a minute or two later.

I've been on the ground for less than 10 seconds while de-assing occurred, prior to taking back off. For assault missions, the less time on the ground the better.

For the Blackhawk, unless you have a big slope off to the side, you'll enter and exit from the sides. It's different from the old Huey's where you always approached and exited to the front if possible. The Blackhawk has a forward rake that tilts the rotor disk forward when it's on the ground. This means it's the point where the blades come the closest to the ground. Never enter or approach from the rear. Tail rotors are deadly.

There are dedicated medivac versions of the Blackhawk, but any model can be used for evac if necessary. Army medivac helicopters do not carry nurses. They carry a medic and a crew chief (mechanic). If you are carrying a civilian, then all kinds of paperwork and approvals are needed or you're in big trouble.

If you have other questions, let me know. I have a few hundred flight hours in Blackhawks.

Noah Body
03-28-2012, 06:30 PM
Hallen speaks the truth.

If you find you need the pre/post checklists for a UH-60, I actually have them.

Hallen
03-30-2012, 12:29 AM
Hallen speaks the truth.

If you find you need the pre/post checklists for a UH-60, I actually have them.

Don't you just love the first item, "Switches and circuit breakers, set"?
That one item incorporated something like 100 individual items to check and set. It was one of the "detailed procedures" we had to memorize when learning to fly it. I came from the Huey, which had a complete checklist on one piece of paper. :)