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Posted: 7/18/2013 6:06:14 AM EST
Me and a few buddies on the SAR team were debating what the best high density altitude helo would be.

Helicopter must be currently commercially available.

Here is our typical mission parameters:

Airport Altitude: 4719 ft
Highest Peak in Southern AZ (Which is the one we do most of our missions on): 9,466 ft
Temp Range: 25*F - 120*F

Mission types:

Search - FLIR/Spotlight
Rappel - Must allow rappels for at least two individuals, not including crew. More is better.
Short Haul - Must be capable of shorthauling people via cargo hook
Hoist - would sure be nice. (We don't have one on the state Bell 407) We have gotten to work with the pararescue guys out of D-M when our bird is unavailable, and they definately have hoists. Makes life too easy.
Must fit at least one stretcher in the cargo compartment with all relevant medical equipment.
IFR Capable


I like the idea of the EC155. Fast, with aux fuel, long loiter time for search, hoist-capable. Dedicated SAR submodes in the autopilot are available.
Link Posted: 7/18/2013 7:37:41 AM EST
of the three helos I've flown, I'll say the 60. I think I've seen them at 15-20K, so seems it would work (do everything else you were looking at). I always made friends with the 60 guys on the boat, thankfully never had to use them.
Link Posted: 7/18/2013 8:34:40 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Andrew123:
of the three helos I've flown, I'll say the 60. I think I've seen them at 15-20K, so seems it would work (do everything else you were looking at). I always made friends with the 60 guys on the boat, thankfully never had to use them.
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Unfortunately, BlackHawks are not commercially available.
Link Posted: 7/18/2013 8:38:40 AM EST
sorry, 2nd line. I had not had lunch yet, that's my excuse for not reading.
Link Posted: 7/18/2013 8:49:12 AM EST
Why just one litter?

People move on the cargo hook?!

Link Posted: 7/18/2013 8:55:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2013 9:11:01 AM EST by JSteensen]
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Originally Posted By Sinister:
Why just one litter?

People move on the cargo hook?!

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Yup. We do. It's a little disconcerting the first time. We hook a 75-125 foot rope from the cargo hook with a weighted ball. We then clip into the ball, and can clip a litter or a screamer suit in. I've been up to 2500 AGL that way. It's spooky quiet @ 125 feet under the helo, and in forward flight, you stabalize and don't spin. It's the closest thing you can do to actually flying IMHO. Had a three way release - 1 electric, 1 mechanical, and one spotter with a knife - just in case they hit an emergency and have to cut you loose to save the bird. (I'd post pics if I had access to photobucket from work. I really need to get myself a contour helmet cam.)

The first time you qual doing it, they find a stock tank to dunk you in.

One litter is our current capability. More would be fine.
Link Posted: 7/18/2013 1:01:12 PM EST
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Originally Posted By JSteensen:


Unfortunately, BlackHawks are not commercially available.
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Originally Posted By JSteensen:
Originally Posted By Andrew123:
of the three helos I've flown, I'll say the 60. I think I've seen them at 15-20K, so seems it would work (do everything else you were looking at). I always made friends with the 60 guys on the boat, thankfully never had to use them.


Unfortunately, BlackHawks are not commercially available.


They're not?

Sikorsky S-70A



LAFD Firehawks


Link Posted: 7/18/2013 2:42:52 PM EST
What's your budget? Cost is always the first question the Director will ask.

Realistically, you can't expect to rescue every person who will need it by air. You will need to do a requirement study, 80-90% of your rescues over the last ten years will fit into a pattern. If you can have the capability to meet those requirements of weather/temperature/altitude in your budget, you will be lucky.

Some people will put themselves in a position where they cannot be saved by air. As my Coast Guard pilot friends say "we have to go, and we have to come back" they then say after that, " we're not dying for stupid".
Link Posted: 7/18/2013 2:49:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2013 2:50:36 PM EST by JSteensen]
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Originally Posted By F224:
What's your budget? Cost is always the first question the Director will ask.

Realistically, you can't expect to rescue every person who will need it by air. You will need to do a requirement study, 80-90% of your rescues over the last ten years will fit into a pattern. If you can have the capability to meet those requirements of weather/temperature/altitude in your budget, you will be lucky.

Some people will put themselves in a position where they cannot be saved by air. As my Coast Guard pilot friends say "we have to go, and we have to come back" they then say after that, " we're not dying for stupid".
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I am very well aware. this is a thought exercise. We do about 50% of our rescues by air, but that number would be greater if we had a more capable bird.
Link Posted: 7/18/2013 3:03:02 PM EST
Bell 412? Depends on how much your department can afford. Parts for the 412 will still be in production.

LA Sheriff's Department had a twin-turbine Sikorsky 58 a while back, but pretty sure it's gone away.
Link Posted: 7/18/2013 3:13:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2013 5:08:59 PM EST by SupaMan]
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Originally Posted By F224:
What's your budget? Cost is always the first question the Director will ask.

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bingo

Except pilots and directors can be full retard when it comes to this. Look at Phoenix PD for example. They bought an Agusta 109 for police work.

Why on earth would they do that? An MD 500 or even a 530f is far better suited to the observation utility work demanded, but pilots want twin turbine time so they can polish their logs, and directors like to be in charge of big cool ships.


Not too mention many times the directors skimp where it counts, such as when Phoenix PD had a NOTAR, when they really needed a 530 from the start.


With that being said, I vote bell 212 or 412
Much cheaper than EC155, more PAX than EC155, slightly less range than EC155, comparable cargo capacity etc.


Link Posted: 7/18/2013 3:26:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2013 3:28:41 PM EST by raimius]
Huey II would be my first inclination.
The CGB and second engine on the 212 weigh a lot. That, and the newer T53 on the Huey II puts out about the same HP as both engines on the 212 running at max continuous.
Link Posted: 7/19/2013 7:32:20 AM EST
Good stuff gents.

I'm liking the Huey and S-76 recommendations. CBP flies blackhawks out here as well, and we do get assists from them if our "victim" is a UDA.


Link Posted: 7/19/2013 4:23:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/19/2013 4:25:31 PM EST by entejager]
Agusta A109K2 or the A109E with Turbomeca engines will get it done with power to spare. The Swiss love em in the Alps.
Link Posted: 7/19/2013 8:02:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/19/2013 8:04:52 PM EST by A-36Pilot]
Not in production yet but should be available next year. Look at the EC-145T2. Great numbers. Big cabin. 4 axis autopilot for hoist ops. We were impressed when we demo'd it. The only downside I feel is the fenestron. Just not as much authority as there is with a conventional tail rotor.
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 6:28:09 AM EST
Just visited Camp Darby (Ahhhhh, the memories) and they have a new medevac. Took a picture of it. Can't remember the name/model but the inside is HUGE with enough room to stand. It looks like the back of an EMS truck. Fully articulated hoist (that's the only medevac possible in those Georgia mountains!)

Look into that one. I'll try and post the pic.
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 7:35:49 AM EST
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Originally Posted By RANGER_556:
Just visited Camp Darby (Ahhhhh, the memories) and they have a new medevac. Took a picture of it. Can't remember the name/model but the inside is HUGE with enough room to stand. It looks like the back of an EMS truck. Fully articulated hoist (that's the only medevac possible in those Georgia mountains!)

Look into that one. I'll try and post the pic.
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Most likely you saw the new Lakota, LH-72. They are considered a non deployable asset for state side homeland security, medical and support missions. 1/3 the cost to buy and operate compared to a Blackhawks. The newest versions have a " Security and surveillance " package on them with an high powered optical and IR tracker.
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 5:27:13 PM EST
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Originally Posted By F224:


Most likely you saw the new Lakota, LH-72. They are considered a non deployable asset for state side homeland security, medical and support missions. 1/3 the cost to buy and operate compared to a Blackhawks. The newest versions have a " Security and surveillance " package on them with an high powered optical and IR tracker.
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Originally Posted By F224:
Originally Posted By RANGER_556:
Just visited Camp Darby (Ahhhhh, the memories) and they have a new medevac. Took a picture of it. Can't remember the name/model but the inside is HUGE with enough room to stand. It looks like the back of an EMS truck. Fully articulated hoist (that's the only medevac possible in those Georgia mountains!)

Look into that one. I'll try and post the pic.


Most likely you saw the new Lakota, LH-72. They are considered a non deployable asset for state side homeland security, medical and support missions. 1/3 the cost to buy and operate compared to a Blackhawks. The newest versions have a " Security and surveillance " package on them with an high powered optical and IR tracker.

Yup, that's it. Looked very "capable".
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 6:15:31 PM EST
Depends how many people and how much fuel you intend to put on it.

I recall a couple buddies at Rucker PLed and a Lakota offered them a ride back...but couldn't take 3 extra pax over the 70ft trees around the RT until they burned off another 10 or 20 minutes of fuel.
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 6:24:32 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/21/2013 8:33:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/21/2013 8:37:24 PM EST by regalrocket]
Nothing beats a BV-234. But its going to cost ya.

So were not talking "best" were talking affordable, barely capable................
Link Posted: 7/22/2013 5:39:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/22/2013 5:44:19 AM EST by JSteensen]
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Originally Posted By regalrocket:
Nothing beats a BV-234. But its going to cost ya.

So were not talking "best" were talking affordable, barely capable................
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We are talking anything that will work. Honestly, Chinooks scare the shit out of me.

This is just a discussion. My agency doesn't plan on purchasing anything soon.

A bunch of us were just dreaming while we were busting our asses humping a body out out the mountains. (Helo had a chip light while it was inbound...so we did things the old fashioned way.)

http://www.svherald.com/content/local-news/2013/07/17/356515
Link Posted: 7/22/2013 6:24:35 AM EST
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Originally Posted By JSteensen:

We are talking anything that will work. Honestly, Chinooks scare the shit out of me.

This is just a discussion. My agency doesn't plan on purchasing anything soon.

A bunch of us were just dreaming while we were busting our asses humping a body out out the mountains. (Helo had a chip light while it was inbound...so we did things the old fashioned way.)

http://www.svherald.com/content/local-news/2013/07/17/356515
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Originally Posted By JSteensen:
Originally Posted By regalrocket:
Nothing beats a BV-234. But its going to cost ya.

So were not talking "best" were talking affordable, barely capable................

We are talking anything that will work. Honestly, Chinooks scare the shit out of me.

This is just a discussion. My agency doesn't plan on purchasing anything soon.

A bunch of us were just dreaming while we were busting our asses humping a body out out the mountains. (Helo had a chip light while it was inbound...so we did things the old fashioned way.)

http://www.svherald.com/content/local-news/2013/07/17/356515



I have lifted a blackhawk over a 10,000lb mountain and still had enough power to out run our apache and blackhawks in the formation at that altitude. They had to literally call for us to slow down. We moved that heavy HH60 without refuel for 1.5 hours.

The BV-234 is an absolute monster at altitude.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 5:32:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2013 5:33:26 PM EST by raimius]
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Originally Posted By CFII:


Yea. Flat Iron cant take all three people half of the time. That Lakota aint a heavy lifter.

But it is rigid rotor. Thats cool
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Originally Posted By CFII:
Originally Posted By raimius:
Depends how many people and how much fuel you intend to put on it.

I recall a couple buddies at Rucker PLed and a Lakota offered them a ride back...but couldn't take 3 extra pax over the 70ft trees around the RT until they burned off another 10 or 20 minutes of fuel.


Yea. Flat Iron cant take all three people half of the time. That Lakota aint a heavy lifter.

But it is rigid rotor. Thats cool

Yeah, I was wondering why they chose to use a helo that can't always OGE hover at sea level with more than a couple survivors for a rescue bird at a training base (pretty much guaranteed to have multiple crew members in any crash/PL situation.)
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:00:46 PM EST
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Originally Posted By A-36Pilot:
Not in production yet but should be available next year. Look at the EC-145T2. Great numbers. Big cabin. 4 axis autopilot for hoist ops. We were impressed when we demo'd it. The only downside I feel is the fenestron. Just not as much authority as there is with a conventional tail rotor.
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The EC155 has speed and range on its side. The EC145 or T2 would be good candidates. University of Utah uses an EC145 for mountain work currently with good results.

The latest EC135 variant will have improved high/hot performance which would work for what you're describing, and they have hoist and cargo hook options. If you wanted a single engine, or were looking at one for budget, the AS350B3e has the performance you'd need.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:03:54 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Sinister:
Bell 412? Depends on how much your department can afford. Parts for the 412 will still be in production.

LA Sheriff's Department had a twin-turbine Sikorsky 58 a while back, but pretty sure it's gone away.
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LASD has AS332 Super Pumas now which replaced their other SAR helicopters. Great helicopter if you have the budget.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:09:12 PM EST
Well, depending on how DEEP the GWOT(Global War On Terror....Oh, wait, Big Sister say's we can't say "TERRORISM") Draw down goes, there just MAY BE some UH-60's available as surplus!!!

I'm not sure HOW the Firehawks got out into the civilian world, but they did! SO, there IS A PATH for that to happen. But, It's gonna cost you chief!
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 10:01:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2013 10:05:55 PM EST by H60ADriver]
Hawk's are flipping expensive to operate. One of our MTP's got bored and did the math a while back assuming an average flight crew. Mid grade- CW2 and CW3 up front, and E5 and E6 in back. And then he sat down and ran over all of the TBO's, scheduled maintenance, averaged out the unscheduled maintenance across our fleet of 21, Fuel, Other POL products. And he came up with about $8,100 per flight hour to operate a UH60A+ or UH60L. Pretty substantial when you start comparing it to various UH1 models that could fill the role pretty well outside of combat.

Also regarding the Hawks in civil service. Sikorsky is not prohibited from selling them to civilian customers, with the appropriate funding you could in fact walk in and order one. Appropriate funding for the newer models is starting to approach $25-30 Million though, minus the military hardware you could maybe get one for $15 Million, which is a HUGE sum of money for a rotary wing aircraft. Generally there just isn't a wide market for the S-70 (Civilian production UH60), because of the cost to operate and the niche that fills, while great for the army, it's commercial use is pretty limited. There are more comfortable helicopters to fly passengers, one's that can lift more, fly cheaper, cost less to operate. It makes sense as a military catch all solution, but, not so much for a commercial or civil firm that has a more limited scope of use and could purchase a bird targeted at that scope of use.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 3:43:58 PM EST
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Originally Posted By H60ADriver:
Hawk's are flipping expensive to operate. One of our MTP's got bored and did the math a while back assuming an average flight crew. Mid grade- CW2 and CW3 up front, and E5 and E6 in back. And then he sat down and ran over all of the TBO's, scheduled maintenance, averaged out the unscheduled maintenance across our fleet of 21, Fuel, Other POL products. And he came up with about $8,100 per flight hour to operate a UH60A+ or UH60L. Pretty substantial when you start comparing it to various UH1 models that could fill the role pretty well outside of combat.

Also regarding the Hawks in civil service. Sikorsky is not prohibited from selling them to civilian customers, with the appropriate funding you could in fact walk in and order one. Appropriate funding for the newer models is starting to approach $25-30 Million though, minus the military hardware you could maybe get one for $15 Million, which is a HUGE sum of money for a rotary wing aircraft. Generally there just isn't a wide market for the S-70 (Civilian production UH60), because of the cost to operate and the niche that fills, while great for the army, it's commercial use is pretty limited. There are more comfortable helicopters to fly passengers, one's that can lift more, fly cheaper, cost less to operate. It makes sense as a military catch all solution, but, not so much for a commercial or civil firm that has a more limited scope of use and could purchase a bird targeted at that scope of use.
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The UH60 evolved out of the Army's requirement for a sightly faster ( by 25kts), longer range helicopter that could survive on the modern battlefield and carry the then standard 9 to 11 man Infantry squad. It doubled the carrying capacity of the UH1H and met all other requirements, it will be with us a long time. Yes, they cost about $8k per hour to operate.

The Huey II can perform all the necessary missions up to 10,000' @ 65F for a max gross OGE hover that your pondering here. Proven, reliable airframe, easily maintained and they cost about $1400 per hour to operate, all costs included. Not to mention they are easy to fly and just sound right...
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 4:15:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 5:30:33 PM EST by JSteensen]
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Originally Posted By F224:


The UH60 evolved out of the Army's requirement for a sightly faster ( by 25kts), longer range helicopter that could survive on the modern battlefield and carry the then standard 9 to 11 man Infantry squad. It doubled the carrying capacity of the UH1H and met all other requirements, it will be with us a long time. Yes, they cost about $8k per hour to operate.

The Huey II can perform all the necessary missions up to 10,000' @ 65F for a max gross OGE hover that your pondering here. Proven, reliable airframe, easily maintained and they cost about $1400 per hour to operate, all costs included. Not to mention they are easy to fly and just sound right...
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Originally Posted By F224:
Originally Posted By H60ADriver:
Hawk's are flipping expensive to operate. One of our MTP's got bored and did the math a while back assuming an average flight crew. Mid grade- CW2 and CW3 up front, and E5 and E6 in back. And then he sat down and ran over all of the TBO's, scheduled maintenance, averaged out the unscheduled maintenance across our fleet of 21, Fuel, Other POL products. And he came up with about $8,100 per flight hour to operate a UH60A+ or UH60L. Pretty substantial when you start comparing it to various UH1 models that could fill the role pretty well outside of combat.

Also regarding the Hawks in civil service. Sikorsky is not prohibited from selling them to civilian customers, with the appropriate funding you could in fact walk in and order one. Appropriate funding for the newer models is starting to approach $25-30 Million though, minus the military hardware you could maybe get one for $15 Million, which is a HUGE sum of money for a rotary wing aircraft. Generally there just isn't a wide market for the S-70 (Civilian production UH60), because of the cost to operate and the niche that fills, while great for the army, it's commercial use is pretty limited. There are more comfortable helicopters to fly passengers, one's that can lift more, fly cheaper, cost less to operate. It makes sense as a military catch all solution, but, not so much for a commercial or civil firm that has a more limited scope of use and could purchase a bird targeted at that scope of use.


The UH60 evolved out of the Army's requirement for a sightly faster ( by 25kts), longer range helicopter that could survive on the modern battlefield and carry the then standard 9 to 11 man Infantry squad. It doubled the carrying capacity of the UH1H and met all other requirements, it will be with us a long time. Yes, they cost about $8k per hour to operate.

The Huey II can perform all the necessary missions up to 10,000' @ 65F for a max gross OGE hover that your pondering here. Proven, reliable airframe, easily maintained and they cost about $1400 per hour to operate, all costs included. Not to mention they are easy to fly and just sound right...

What is the altitude for max gross OGE hover @ 110F for the Huey II?
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 4:26:04 PM EST
The US Army pays about $2500/hr to run a basic Blackhawk A/L/M model. I believe this figure is operating cost and does not include the purchase price of the aircraft, but dont quote me on that. The army pays something around $7m to buy a basic UH Blackhawk. That hourly cost is so low because of the economy of scale the US army has with a fleet of thousands of Blackhawks. Also the army budgets man hours for mechanics at $40/hour last I knew, a figure not possible in the commercial world.

They are unsuitable for commercial use as they were designed solely as a durable combat taxi. Double or triple redundant systems, two pilot requirement, vertically challenged cabin, and lots of added weight/cost for things commercial operators are unwilling to pay for make it infeasible for commercial or police use. It'll do anything you can think of, but you likely can't afford to have one.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 5:08:20 PM EST
Max gross hover altitude is not a reasonable question. You should ask where can it hover while carrying the equipment you need to carry.

A civilian agency will never get a Blackhawk to max gross weight. One a state could get would be around 15k lbs with 4 crew and fuel and have a max gross of at least 22k lbs. do you need 3 tons or more of equipment to rescue a lost hiker? You could sling load a ec145 and have weight to spare. Or two jet rangers! 4 crew and 12 dudes in combat gear don't max out a basic army Blackhawk.

I have hoisted near 11k PA(cold, so da was probably under 10k) in a 81 A model with power to spare. I've landed above 15k also. Depends on what model you get and what junk you put in it, it's easy to throw thousands of lbs of junk onto such a big helicopter.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 5:45:49 PM EST
Ive seen SAR ops done upwards of 13000' with a 407 with landings. Any aircraft can do it. It just depends on the normal payload and typed of operations. Almost any aircraft can be operated at the 10000' area it just depends on how many people are going, how long your staying, how much fuel you need, does it have to be OGE or can you get by with circles.

Sorry javascript:insertText('');that was absolutely no help at all
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 6:43:08 PM EST
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Originally Posted By great308:
Ive seen SAR ops done upwards of 13000' with a 407 with landings. Any aircraft can do it. It just depends on the normal payload and typed of operations. Almost any aircraft can be operated at the 10000' area it just depends on how many people are going, how long your staying, how much fuel you need, does it have to be OGE or can you get by with circles.

Sorrythat was absolutely no help at all
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True story, the Eurocopter AS350, which some consider to be somewhat anemic, especially when compared to a Black Hawk or Modern Huey rebuilds, Holds the record for highest altitude landing and takeoff. Um, at the summit of Mount Everest... So with proper flying technique it can be done, just, some require a little more skill and finesse than others.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 6:43:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 6:55:48 PM EST by JSteensen]
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Originally Posted By great308:
Ive seen SAR ops done upwards of 13000' with a 407 with landings. Any aircraft can do it. It just depends on the normal payload and typed of operations. Almost any aircraft can be operated at the 10000' area it just depends on how many people are going, how long your staying, how much fuel you need, does it have to be OGE or can you get by with circles.

Sorrythat was absolutely no help at all
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Stable hovers are good when you are rappelling onto a 20 foot diameter pinnacle thats over 100 feet above the surrounding terrain...or they have you attached to the cargo hook of the bird via a rope.

Crew will be no less than 3 (pilot, copilot & spotter/medic, with two SAR team members being inserted...every time, plus 24 hour packs and if any other equipment (tech gear, swiftwater gear, etc.)

Don't get me wrong. I love the 407. Great little platform that gets us into some TIGHT spaces in the mountains and canyons. It is frusterating when they come in, do a power check and have to wave off. We were just dreaming.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 7:31:46 PM EST
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Originally Posted By JSteensen:

Stable hovers are good when you are rappelling onto a 20 foot diameter pinnacle thats over 100 feet above the surrounding terrain...or they have you attached to the cargo hook of the bird via a rope.

Crew will be no less than 3 (pilot, copilot & spotter/medic, with two SAR team members being inserted...every time, plus 24 hour packs and if any other equipment (tech gear, swiftwater gear, etc.)

Don't get me wrong. I love the 407. Great little platform that gets us into some TIGHT spaces in the mountains and canyons. It is frusterating when they come in, do a power check and have to wave off. We were just dreaming.
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Originally Posted By JSteensen:
Originally Posted By great308:
Ive seen SAR ops done upwards of 13000' with a 407 with landings. Any aircraft can do it. It just depends on the normal payload and typed of operations. Almost any aircraft can be operated at the 10000' area it just depends on how many people are going, how long your staying, how much fuel you need, does it have to be OGE or can you get by with circles.

Sorrythat was absolutely no help at all

Stable hovers are good when you are rappelling onto a 20 foot diameter pinnacle thats over 100 feet above the surrounding terrain...or they have you attached to the cargo hook of the bird via a rope.

Crew will be no less than 3 (pilot, copilot & spotter/medic, with two SAR team members being inserted...every time, plus 24 hour packs and if any other equipment (tech gear, swiftwater gear, etc.)

Don't get me wrong. I love the 407. Great little platform that gets us into some TIGHT spaces in the mountains and canyons. It is frusterating when they come in, do a power check and have to wave off. We were just dreaming.

Five people, plus victims? Yeah, I'm going to say the Huey II or something like an AW139
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 7:33:55 PM EST
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Originally Posted By raimius:

Five people, plus victims? Yeah, I'm going to say the Huey II or something like an AW139
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Originally Posted By raimius:
Originally Posted By JSteensen:
Originally Posted By great308:
Ive seen SAR ops done upwards of 13000' with a 407 with landings. Any aircraft can do it. It just depends on the normal payload and typed of operations. Almost any aircraft can be operated at the 10000' area it just depends on how many people are going, how long your staying, how much fuel you need, does it have to be OGE or can you get by with circles.

Sorrythat was absolutely no help at all

Stable hovers are good when you are rappelling onto a 20 foot diameter pinnacle thats over 100 feet above the surrounding terrain...or they have you attached to the cargo hook of the bird via a rope.

Crew will be no less than 3 (pilot, copilot & spotter/medic, with two SAR team members being inserted...every time, plus 24 hour packs and if any other equipment (tech gear, swiftwater gear, etc.)

Don't get me wrong. I love the 407. Great little platform that gets us into some TIGHT spaces in the mountains and canyons. It is frusterating when they come in, do a power check and have to wave off. We were just dreaming.

Five people, plus victims? Yeah, I'm going to say the Huey II or something like an AW139

As it stands now, if we rappel in, we go back one team member and one victim on the short haul.

Sometimes one of the members waits a long time if they aren't a medic for a ride out.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 12:48:23 AM EST
I saw The Everest landing helicopter right after it did it.... Completely stripped of everything not needed to simply fly from base camp to the summit. It couldn't have carried a second person up there. Also had no fuel to go anywhere but base camp to summit and back. He did it simply to say he did and have a record that can never be broken. It's cool and all, but has no practical use given the zero cargo capacity. Many helicopters could do the same thing.
Link Posted: 7/25/2013 2:32:32 PM EST
It really too bad they don't make an updated version of the old Husky (the current K-max fuselage isn't suitable for SAR). With twin counter rotating main rotors it needed no tail rotor. All the power went into lift. It was powered by the same engine (I think it had it first) that the first Hueys were powered by. In it's day it set a number of altitude and lift records.

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