• Please take a moment and update your account profile. If you have an updated account profile with basic information on why you are on Air Warriors it will help other people respond to your posts. How do you update your profile you ask?

    Go here:

    Edit Account Details and Profile

Who determines whether someone is flying as pilot or Co Pilot?

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
#61
As for flight students, I think that OPNAV states you can't sign for a helicopter until you have 500 hours flight time - putting 2 students in the helo might be a workaround. Again, paging Jim123 for an answer....
It states no such thing. It does state to be designated a HAC, you have to have 500 hours, but signing for the aircraft =/= HAC (and I know you know that). Signing for PIC only really requires currency (as defined by NATOPS or CNAF 3710.7 if no NATOPS).

The -57 is single-piloted, but really, are studs ever taught to fly it that way? I'd argue no, so why then send them on a solo by themselves? Besides, let's be honest, not every helo SNA is capable of flying solo to an OLF, let alone on a RI flight to another airport.
 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
#62
It states no such thing. It does state to be designated a HAC, you have to have 500 hours, but signing for the aircraft =/= HAC (and I know you know that). Signing for PIC only really requires currency (as defined by NATOPS or CNAF 3710.7 if no NATOPS).

The -57 is single-piloted, but really, are studs ever taught to fly it that way? I'd argue no, so why then send them on a solo by themselves? Besides, let's be honest, not every helo SNA is capable of flying solo to an OLF, let alone on a RI flight to another airport.

Maybe minimum crew per the TH-57 NATOPS is one pilot and one qualified observer? It's been a while - does that sound familiar?
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
#65
I'm not sure, but that sounds like a reasonable expectation. I'm sure @DanMa1156 and others can chime in.
Straight from NATOPS Chapter 5: "On all flights, a qualified observer shall occupy the remaining seat to ensure adequate visual surveillance. A qualified observer is anyone who is thoroughly briefed in cockpit conduct and safety, including intercom system operation and lookout responsibilities."
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
#66
I've heard about such pilots flying -58s in Desert Storm.

Ok, that makes sense for the Army and Marines. What's the Navy's excuse? ;)
In all seriousness, I cannot imagine not having at least another crew-member aboard. The Aussie's do it with one pilot and one NFO, and the Brits do it somewhat similarly to the Aussies, if I recall. Flying the helicopter is inherently unstable and requires constant attention and monitoring and control adjusting. It is not like a fixed wing aircraft where a fixed power setting and trim setting will constantly yield a consistent result. None of the FTI's for Advanced Helos even give power numbers, though, there are "gouge" numbers that exist for sim-land that translate roughly OK to the aircraft. This is totally unlike (Fixed wing) primary. Because the controls are constantly being adjusted, and we fly so low and have a low margin for error in airwork, I cannot imagine operating some of the weapons systems while trying to also manipulate the controls. Some of this is the ergonomics of our cockpit set up (as in, Hornets can fire all their weaponry from the stick, correct? Whereas 60's fire HELLFIRE from the HCU, fire rockets and guns from the cyclic [stick], and arm said rockets and guns on a panel that sits between the two pilots). Also, the sheer size of the 60 decreases its ability to safely clear the aircraft for turns or threat detection with only one pilot. The 57, while small, has terrible sightlines from 3-5 and 7-8 o'clock and obviously, like almost all helicopters, has no sightline at 6 o'clock.

Anyway, why all the pot shots at helo pilots all of a sudden? Who pissed you off? I've seen good natured ribbing, but genuinely felt respected by all the other pilots in the airwing in which I served.
 

samb

New Member
#67
Having a stable helicopter and a good cockpit resource management helps a lot, but it can be a bit challenging sometimes especially when trying to use two hands to flip through a pilot pack. At very low altitudes if I need to do anything other than a quick change of radio frequency I either climb or just land and do it once I'm on the ground.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#68
I believe back in the days of the -65A Dolphins, the Coasties would fly with one pilot, and the crew chief in the left seat until he was needed for hoisting the swimmer and such. But that was an attempt to reduce total weight due to the A's crap engines, not because anyone thought it was a good idea in and of itself.

I think the Ka-50 is the only single-seat military production helo of recent vintage.

 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#69
I believe back in the days of the -65A Dolphins, the Coasties would fly with one pilot, and the crew chief in the left seat until he was needed for hoisting the swimmer and such. But that was an attempt to reduce total weight due to the A's crap engines, not because anyone thought it was a good idea in and of itself.
I remember reading an article about the USCG's contribution to OIF and it highlighted that when the Navy folks found out that the -65 could be single-piloted all sorts of more senior folks started angling to fly it.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
#70
I remember reading an article about the USCG's contribution to OIF and it highlighted that when the Navy folks found out that the -65 could be single-piloted all sorts of more senior folks started angling to fly it.
I was never aware that any CG helos were in the Gulf. TACLET, yes, but they ride in Navy helos. With zero ASE gear, I'd be interested to see the reference.
 

Python1287

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#72
In all seriousness, I cannot imagine not having at least another crew-member aboard. The Aussie's do it with one pilot and one NFO, and the Brits do it somewhat similarly to the Aussies, if I recall. Flying the helicopter is inherently unstable and requires constant attention and monitoring and control adjusting. It is not like a fixed wing aircraft where a fixed power setting and trim setting will constantly yield a consistent result. None of the FTI's for Advanced Helos even give power numbers, though, there are "gouge" numbers that exist for sim-land that translate roughly OK to the aircraft. This is totally unlike (Fixed wing) primary. Because the controls are constantly being adjusted, and we fly so low and have a low margin for error in airwork, I cannot imagine operating some of the weapons systems while trying to also manipulate the controls. Some of this is the ergonomics of our cockpit set up (as in, Hornets can fire all their weaponry from the stick, correct? Whereas 60's fire HELLFIRE from the HCU, fire rockets and guns from the cyclic [stick], and arm said rockets and guns on a panel that sits between the two pilots). Also, the sheer size of the 60 decreases its ability to safely clear the aircraft for turns or threat detection with only one pilot. The 57, while small, has terrible sightlines from 3-5 and 7-8 o'clock and obviously, like almost all helicopters, has no sightline at 6 o'clock.

Anyway, why all the pot shots at helo pilots all of a sudden? Who pissed you off? I've seen good natured ribbing, but genuinely felt respected by all the other pilots in the airwing in which I served.
Might be ignorant from only a couple of flights in the 60....

I got a good deal flight off the ship in the left seat in a 60S. I got a good amount of stick time that flight and it was explained to me that I was being assisted by an AFCS. Since that system was on, basic flying and airwork seemed relatively effortless. Again, I didn't do any hovers or crazy side flares, but the computer did make it easy.

As a single seat Hornet guy, I've been able to fly and use mission systems by myself because the aircraft makes it easy to do. Given the fact that the AFCS (if that is what it's called) is the analogous magic system for the helicopter, couldn't you in theory employ mission systems by yourself since the computer makes the flying task easy?

I do understand the other limitations you mentioned (threat detection, visibility, etc.). I also understand that the system can break. Then again, if that system broke down you would RTB instead of using your mission systems anyway.

Not trying to stir the pot, just looking for your take on this.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
#74
Might be ignorant from only a couple of flights in the 60....

I got a good deal flight off the ship in the left seat in a 60S. I got a good amount of stick time that flight and it was explained to me that I was being assisted by an AFCS. Since that system was on, basic flying and airwork seemed relatively effortless. Again, I didn't do any hovers or crazy side flares, but the computer did make it easy.

As a single seat Hornet guy, I've been able to fly and use mission systems by myself because the aircraft makes it easy to do. Given the fact that the AFCS (if that is what it's called) is the analogous magic system for the helicopter, couldn't you in theory employ mission systems by yourself since the computer makes the flying task easy?

I do understand the other limitations you mentioned (threat detection, visibility, etc.). I also understand that the system can break. Then again, if that system broke down you would RTB instead of using your mission systems anyway.

Not trying to stir the pot, just looking for your take on this.
Short answer....it could be done, but the UI would need to be drastically changed. An in-between solution would be to follow the Brit and Aussie model and have a Left Seat Crewman or TACCO. They obviously make this work, but they also don't have the availability that the US does, so it's a little easier. For LOG and some MIO missions, being able to switch controls can be handy to downright necessary. But really, probably the single-biggest reason to keep it the way it is is because it gives us the flexibility to mix crews across all 6+ pilots on a det (or more if on the carrier/big deck). Sure, you may not have 6+ HACs, but you can still mix and match if someone goes med down, is needed in the tower/LSO shack, needed as a LNO, etc. Again, as a service and a military, our availability blows away our allies, and I'd argue part of that is the flexibility we have with having all pilots (and even all dedicated tactical aircrewman now).

But all that said, yes you're right. I'm more than capable of flying a -60 by myself and navigate. There's some switches and CBs I can't reach from the right seat, and there's some times where having a third hand would be beneficial for safety's sake. Add in doing tactical missions along with not flying yourself into the water at night, and two bodies, whatever they may be, becomes a necessity. At least with how our aircraft are currently configured.
 

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
#75
This is a chicken and egg discussion. Could you build a Helo with enough magic in it and the right cockpit placement that it could be flown by one person? Absolutely. Could you mission-ize that same aircraft with sensors and weapons and still have it be used by one person? Probably would depend on what mission you want to do. Having the ability to have multiple crew on board does allow the aircraft's systems to do multiple things at once.

There are plenty of people in the world who fly helos single piloted. Air Ambulance comes to mind.
 
Top