Helpful tips

How do pilots know wind direction?

How do pilots know wind direction?

The wind speed and direction can be computed using an E6B flight computer with relatively little effort. If you have instrument references the problem gets easier: GPS is the ultimate solution — it can display your ground speed and ground track, from which you can derive the winds.

What wind speed affects helicopters?

The BK117, the helicopter we fly most, has one particular wind-related limitation: It is unsafe to start up or shut down in wind speeds over 50 knots (about 90 km/h) due to the risk of the overhead blade striking another part of the aircraft when it’s rotating at a low speed.

Why does a helicopter circle before landing?

The main reasons why helicopters circle overhead are to burn less fuel and stay on station longer, give the occupants the best view of the scene, and to keep the helicopter in a safe flight condition if the engine were to ever quit.

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Which way do wind arrows point?

Wind barbs point in the direction “from” which the wind is blowing. In the case of the diagram below, the orientation of the wind barb indicates winds from the Northeast. The term easterly means that the winds are from the east.

Does strong wind affect helicopters?

Strong winds may impact the flight of a helicopter greatly as they push and pull on it in the air, causing the rotorcraft to move off course. They can also slow down or speed up the helicopter depending on whether they blow against it or move in the same direction that it is traveling.

Can a helicopter fly in strong winds?

Yes and no! Strong winds may prevent the helicopter even starting up, as the rotor blades are susceptible to ‘sailing’ and the possibility of striking the fuselage. As a result, all helicopters have a maximum wind speed limit for starting.

How long can a helicopter hover in one place?

Generally, though, a helicopter can hover anywhere between 2- 5 hours on average before it needs to be refueled. The length of time depends on the type of helicopter, the efficiency of the engines and main rotor system, as well as the kind of hover a pilot wants to hold.