Simplified EASA Regulations

EASA book cover

EASA Regulations

Everyone flying in Europe is familiar with the new EASA regulations. However, students, new pilots and pilots outside of Europe may find all these regulations confusing and the information they need, hard to find. The Basic Regulation is called Regulation (EC) No 216/2008. This regulation contains all the information and regulations relating to everything in aviation in Europe. It is a very large document and is supported by numerous other documents.

Nothing is ever duplicated in these regulations. The documents are very difficult to read and it is easy to miss an important piece of information.

Every week I get requests from all over the world from qualified pilots trying to find the information on how to convert their ICAO licence to an EASA licence. Much of the information you need can be found on this website.

But if you need more information about how to get an EASA licence or how to convert your FAA licence to an EASA licence or how to convert your ICAO licence to an EASA license, you can find all of this information in my book “So You Want To Get An EASA Pilot Licence“. This book is available on Kindle only. To read it, you must have a Kindle e Reader or have the Kindle app installed on your computer or your device.

The book has 59 pages and it describes in plain language, what is required to obtain (or convert to) the following types of licence:

  • LAPL(A) – Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (Aeroplanes)
  • LAPL(H) – Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (Helicopters)
  • LAPL(S) – Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (Sailplanes)
  • LAPL(B) – Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (Balloons)
  • SPL – Sailplane Pilot Licence
  • BPL – Balloon Pilot Licence
  • PPL(A) – Private Pilot Licence (Aeroplanes)
  • PPL(H) – Private Pilot Licence (Helicopters)
  • PPL(As) – Private Pilot Licence (Airships)
  • CPL(A) – Commercial Pilot Licence (Aeroplanes)
  • CPL(H) – Commercial Pilot Licence (Helicopters)
  • CPL(As) – Commercial Pilot Licence (Airships)
  • ATPL(A) – Airline Transport Pilot Licence (Aeroplanes)
  • ATPL(H) – Airline Transport Pilot Licence (Helicopters)

This book is priced at $1.99 and like all my books there will be special offers where large discounts can be found.

 

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Helicopter Power Checks

Manifold Pressure Gauge

When is the last time you had to do a confined area approach or take-off? Do you still remember how to do a helicopter power check? If not – you need to read this post.

Power Checks

There is no point in attempting to do a confined area approach without first doing a power check. The power check will tell you if you have sufficient power to do the approach or take-off.

During your training you will have been taught that the amount of power available will determine the type of approach you will use e.g. normal, running landing, zero speed etc. However I have a different view on this. If you do not have sufficient power to allow you to come to the hover Out of Ground Effect (OGE), you should not attempt the landing. My reasoning for this is as follows; if you are limited to a particular type of landing and you are also limited on power, then you will only have one attempt at it. If you mess it up then there are no options available to you. Always ensure that you have sufficient power available to come to a hover OGE.

R44 Raven II

Landing

  1. Fly straight and level at 500′ above the landing site at Vy (best rate of climb speed) = 55kts. It does not matter if you are into wind or not. Just make sure you are flying at Vy. Take a note of the manifold pressure at this speed.
  2. Find the pressure altitude by setting the sub-scale on the altimeter to 1013 mb and then reset to the QNH. Refer to the power table (mounted above the windscreen on the pilots side) and note the 5min power value.
  3. Subtract the power you were using at Vy from the 5min power value to find the POWER MARGIN.
  4. If the power margin is less than 7″ then you do not have enough power to hover OGE and you should not attempt the landing.

Take-off

  1. Come to a hover approximately 2′ AGL and take note of the manifold pressure.
  2. Find the pressure altitude by setting the sub-scale on the altimeter to 1013 mb and then reset to the QNH. Refer to the power table (mounted above the windscreen on the pilots side) and note the 5min power value.
  3. Subtract the power you were using in the hover from the 5min power value to find the POWER MARGIN.
  4. You will require a minimum of 2″ power margin to do a vertical take-off and climb OGE. 1.5″ will be required to do a normal take-off.

R22 (almost identical to R44)

Landing

  1. Fly straight and level at 500′ above the landing site at Vy (best rate of climb speed) = 53kts. It does not matter if you are into wind or not. Just make sure you are flying at Vy. Take a note of the manifold pressure at this speed.
  2. Take note of the maximum manifold pressure you are allowed to use (depends on model of aircraft).
  3. Subtract the power you were using at Vy from the max. manifold pressure value to find the POWER MARGIN.
  4. If the power margin is less than 7″ then you do not have enough power to hover OGE and you should not attempt the landing.

Take-off

  1. Ensure carburetor heat is fully cold.
  2. Come to a hover approximately 2′ AGL and take note of the manifold pressure.
  3. Take note of the maximum manifold pressure you are allowed to use (depends on model of aircraft).
  4. Subtract the power you were using in the hover from the max manifold pressure value to find the POWER MARGIN.
  5. You will require a minimum of 2″ power margin to do a vertical take-off and climb OGE. 1.5″ will be required to do a normal take-off.

If you follow the power check procedure you will not have any power issues on take off and landing and you will definitely feel more comfortable knowing this. If you would like information on other types of helicopter power checks, just let me know and I will find the information for you.

The power checks described above are relevant to circuits and confined area operations (among other things). Circuit procedures can be found here Circuit Procedures.

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Over-pitching

What Is Over-pitching?Over-pitching

Overpitching occurs when you demand too much power from the engine and a drop in Rotor RPM (RRPM) occurs. When you keep raising the collective lever without any consideration for power limitations; you are increasing the pitch angle of the main rotor blades. As the pitch angle is increased, drag is also increased. To overcome the drag, more fuel must be added to the engine to increase power. This is normally done by a correlator or a governor or both.

If the collective lever is raised further, at some point the engine will be at full throttle. Any further attempt to raise the collective will result in a reduction of RRPM as the engine has no spare capacity to overcome the drag on the blades. This is a very dangerous situation. “Overpitching”.

As the RRPM decays, the main rotor blades will cone more and the coning combined with the reduction in RRPM and subsequent loss of lift (due to reduced airflow over the blades) will cause the helicopter to descend.

A pilot’s automatic (but INCORRECT) reaction to stop the descent is to raise the collective. Obviously this will increase the pitch angle and cause a further reduction in RRPM and a faster rate of descent.

Recovery From Over-pitching

The recovery from over pitching is not instinctive and relies on good training habits. When the low RPM warning horn/light comes on during normal flight, you must react immediately.

  1. Lower the collective to reduce the pitch angle and thereby reduce the drag on the main rotor blades.
  2. Simultaneously open the throttle to help recover the RPM.

Combining the collective movement with the throttle movement will recover the RRPM in a timely fashion.

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Basic Autorotations

Basic AutorotationsDuring your helicopter training, you will eventually have to learn how to glide the helicopter in unpowered flight. All helicopters can glide. We call it “autorotation“. We practice autorotations so much in the course of training that they become a part of normal helicopter flight. But do not think that autorotations are common in real life. Engine failures are extremely rare and tail rotor failures are even rarer. So how do we do a basic autorotation?

Your instructor will probably do all the throttle work as you will not have to use the throttle in a real emergency. Check with your instructor as to what the verbal warning will be before commencing an autorotation.

Basic Autorotations

  1. Make sure that you are in straight and level flight. 80 knots and 2000 feet above ground level (agl) is a good starting point. Look outside at the horizon and make sure that you take note of where it appears to cut through the windscreen (your reference point). When you perform part 2 in this list, count to 3 before you look inside at any of the instruments.
  2. Lower the collective lever fully down. This is the most important thing to do in any autorotation. When you feel the collective hit the bottom stop, raise it up again approximately 2.5cm (1″) to prevent a rotor over-speed. As you lower the collective lever, the nose of the helicopter will try to drop due to the change in airflow over the tailboom. This must be prevented by use of the cyclic. The nose will also try to yaw dramatically to the left (in most helicopters – check with your instructor). Prevent this by adjusting the pedals.
  3. As mentioned in 2 (above), as you lower the collective, the nose will drop. We do not want this to happen. In fact, we normally want to make the nose come up a little bit to help restore rotor RPM. Therefore you need to come sufficiently aft with the cyclic to achieve a nose up attitude. This will also slow the helicopter down to autorotation speed (normally 60 – 70 knots).
  4. As the nose yaws left, put in sufficient right pedal to keep the helicopter pointed straight ahead. This requires a lot of right pedal due to the large reduction in torque. If you have done this correctly, the helicopter should remain in trim (balance). NOW YOU CAN LOOK AT THE INSTRUMENTS inside.
  5. We are only interested in 3 instruments:
  • The Air Speed Indicator (ASI)
  • The tachometer for rotor RPM
  • The slip indicator.

The main thing to remember is that you should not look inside as you are moving all of the controls. Look outside and count to 3 after you feel the collective hit the bottom stop. As long as you keep the helicopter speed steady, the rotor RPM will also remain steady. If you find that you are doing 90 knots and you should be at 60 knots, smoothly move the cyclic aft to reduce the speed. If you do this quickly, you could over speed the rotor system. Also, if you find the speed has reduced to 50 knots, smoothly move the cyclic forward to increase speed. If you do this quickly, you may get a rotor underspeed. Do not chase the needles. Look outside at the horizon to maintain your attitude and thereby maintain your air speed.Remember that when you move the collective, it takes about 3 seconds for the rotor RPM to change. If the low RPM warning horn or light comes on, lower the collective slightly and check that the RPM is recovering.

Basic Autorotation Recovery

To recover, your instructor will open the throttle and provide power to the rotor system. He will tell you when to begin the recovery. To commence the recovery, smoothly raise the collective up until you reach the normal climb setting for your type of helicopter. Check the temperatures and pressures. Make sure there is NO traffic around you (especially above you). With a little practice you will find that you will become quite proficient at basic autorotations.

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