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Flying in a helicopter ove the Gulf in this weather?

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Saw this radar image and could not believe it. A Bristow helicopter flying in IFR conditions over the Gulf of Mexico. (flightaware.com) More...

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izanti
izanti 2
In an S92 HELL YA! the G-V of helicopters, I would go anywhere in that!
c4net
Seat of the pants reply from a fixed-wing guy here: there is some amount of dampering of "turbulence" by a flexible-bladed rotary wing. HOWEVER, an up or down draft is another animal, as it is not simply a "pocket" of momentary upset, but rather a sizable column of high velocity air that the craft remains IN for the duration of horizontal traverse. You go WITH it. If it is descending at 50 fps, so are you. Now a heli MAY fair better in an attempt to counter the effects of the draft. But I cannot speak authoritatively as to the mathematical factors of whether, for example, the increase in high pressure on top of the rotor kills lift as greatly as it does to a fixed wing. In my head I picture that it would be similar, but the power-to-weight ratio of the heli is greater than that of most fixed wing aircraft and MAY be able to more effectively respond in opposition TO the draft.. I would LOVE to hear any of you who are more qualified propound on this though!("Thirsty Ignorance Knows No Pride" - Charles Fournet, 2014)
yr2012
matt jensen 1
A wee bit bumpy - not as bad as the hurricane hunters out of Biloxi tho
c4net
Hey, check out the "graph" readout... VSI got a workout right about the time it went thru that cell! Wonder what manuveuring speed is in the Helibus... ;-)
SWEATINTHSWAMP
Does turbulence have the same effect on choppers as fixed wing? IOW do you get the same movement due to the storm whether fixed wing or chopper? For some reason I thought choppers were not as subject to turbulence.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
I can promise you that turbulence can beat the hell out of you in a helo too. Only difference is in an plane you think your wings are gonna break and in a helo you think the blades are gonna break.
744pnf
744pnf 0
Are not blades wings?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Yes, but we call them rotor blades.
cbw
Collin White 1
I have also corrected the link for the squawk.
cbw
Collin White 1
Just as an FYI. If you click on the date in the activity log, it will provide you a deep link that is accessible at any time, even after the free 4 months of history. I have included the link here for this flight in discussion.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/BTZ592A/history/20141223/1405Z
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 1
So it looks like the time stamp on that image is 8:40, which would put the helicopter almost exactly half way through its trip, or about in that gap just west of the strongest storm. It's be interesting to see a similar picture with the weather showing for the time the helicopter was at a location. I'm guessing software has not been written to do that,t hough. Having looked at the loop just after the event, it looks to me like in any case it would have been virtually impossible to avoid all the storms, though. Doesn't stop me from being curious, though.
jcazalot
jcazalot 1
Finding holes! Get those boys home for Christmas
preacher1
preacher1 1
Probably not anything uncommon for down there. And for the uninitiated, turbulence is turbulence, no matter what you are in.
flygirl620se
That's a big ass heli! Would still bet it was a pretty wild ride. I prefer my E ticket rides anchored to the ground.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Did you capture the image while still in flight? I didn't see it until about half an hour after landing, so it's possible (from what I'm seeing) the flight could have passed in front of the line of storms.
ltcjra
ltcjra 1
I thought I captured during flight. I saw the helicopter icon on the map and immediately on it.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
I see there's a tornado watch in the area now.
c4net
You mean they may have vectored, Victor???
OK, I'M Sorry, but I could... not... resist!
Seriously, I think that the snapshot of the activity is a composite of radar data that depicts what the aircraft actually experiences real time. I say that based on previous images such as this from doomed flights which show, for example, the plane crashing right in the center of the storm's footprint. Can't recall any right off, but if i find one I reference it...
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 1
crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrt, what's your vector Victor?
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 0
Yeah, I've never heard that one before.... :)
khaiduk
Kevin Haiduk 1
Don't call me Shirley!

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