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amazing helicopter pilot (?)

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amazing helicopter pilot (?)

Postby x9200 » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 9:22 am

http://youtu.be/oidL7Np9KEs

Could this be legit?
From the footage it looks plausible but then, if combined with this simple question: does it make any sense to transport Christmas trees with a helicopter and one by one....

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:15 am

I reckon, depending on the size of the trees and the density of the tree farm, It might not be plausible to drive big truck inside without damaging other trees, so if they have a number of crews inside cutting down the trees, it does make quick work of getting them out of the farm and loaded on trucks. Considering that a 6' tree costs upwards of $200 today, I'm going to say that it probably does make if financially viable considering how efficient that pilot is. Probably a lot less damage to the trees as well. But the pilot is damned good, I'll say that! That's the way we had to fly when flying loach back in the day as we would stay below the treeline racing up a river course making pedal turns in the same fashion. He's defo an ex military pilot.

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Re: amazing helicopter pilot (?)

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:41 am

x9200 wrote:http://youtu.be/oidL7Np9KEs

Could this be legit?
From the footage it looks plausible but then, if combined with this simple question: does it make any sense to transport Christmas trees with a helicopter and one by one....


amazing ? yes.

Height of Stupidity ? yes

it only takes a bit of a mistake to go croppers ..

And there goes a ~ US$ 500,000 B206 ..

And while I was not a flier, having worked with chopper lots, things can go from fun to oh-shit in a second, in choppers, and unlike fixed wing, when an engine quits or you loose lift, the choppers only go one way 'Pretty quickly and at an astonishing rate, to the final point of contact with Planet Earth .. "

And there are old pilots and there are brave pilots, but there are very very few Old and brave pilots ...

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Postby ecureilx » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:48 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:That's the way we had to fly when flying loach back in the day as we would stay below the treeline racing up a river course making pedal turns in the same fashion. He's defo an ex military pilot.


If you fly like this, as in todays' world, the insurance cover would be void ..

Military - yes, for civil - I don't think it is smart .. and if you crash a military plane, you don't get fired .. vs a civil unit ..

and for cost, with a used machine, you can make the numbers

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 11:51 am

It could be one more explanation - maybe it was not a regular work but sort of emergency or simply a bet or demonstration. I don't believe this style of loading could be sustained over more than 3h.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 12:33 pm

There seems to be a contradiction.

Why would you apparently carry a single tree at a time? The fuel is probably $600/hr, the all in cost with wear+tear etc much much higher.

So why not have the people on the ground, bundling up trees into groups of 10-20+, and the chopper taking those, in a calmer, cheaper, more sedate and less risky way?

I don't doubt for a moment that you could fly a chopper like that*, but am more challenged by why in the real-life business world anyone would wish to.



* And yes I have read Robert Mason's 'Chickenhawk'.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 1:14 pm

Not meaning to burst your bubble, JR8, but your costings are all wrong.

The helicopter in question (in the clip) is a Bell 206 JetRanger. For the record, the Estimated hourly Maintenance Costs are ~$285 USD/Hour and the current cost of Shell AvGas Jet A is around 5.35/Gal depending where you buy it. Hourly fuel consumption of the 206 is around 30 Gal/Hour. or roughly $160/hr, therefore TOTAL operating costs for the Bell 206 are roughly $450 USD/hour.

In the clip we don't know how many trees are being picked up at a time but with an average of $200/tree and roughly 50 trees an hour. That's $10,000/hour. if we on use $100/tree (as there is middle man and shipping) that still 5000/hour which easily covers the costs of the chopper and a crews hourly rates I would think.

If they are DTM then the profit is much, much higher.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 1:19 pm

OH, to answer your other question as to why someone would wish to fly like that? Just because we can. I can't get you any better reason, but when the guy, who was in my flight during my training days in Ft. Woltors TX, did a loop in a helicopter, which everybody though couldn't be done, when asked why.....

Why not.

Who knows, maybe he's being paid day rate to move a finite number of trees. When he gets done for the day it's done. 4 hours or 6 hours or 8 hours, it's still the same dayrate. It probably takes longer for the land based crews to gather up multiple trees and sling them up than he can do it with a single tree with the trucks that close to the harvesting site.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 1:33 pm

Wasn't a 'bubble', just an observation.

Why go out on the lawn and pick up a leaf at a time, when you can use a rake and gather up 50? That was the kind of thinking.

The Jet-rangers potential payload is over half a ton, so I don't understand the 'busy' and dangerous drama in the air to take out what appears to be a tree at a time.

In fact in all the forests I've seen loggers build 'logging trails', cut the trees and take them out by truck, or if needs be towed out by bulldozer.

It doesn't seem clear what the video is, documentary, or some kind of spoof, comedic mock-up, or test of pilot skill. Nothing from the uploader/comments seem to clarify it, and the technique vs economic equation just doesn't make sense to me.

But there we are eh :)

p.s. written prior to your follow-on above

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Postby ecureilx » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 2:04 pm

x9200 wrote:It could be one more explanation - maybe it was not a regular work but sort of emergency or simply a bet or demonstration. I don't believe this style of loading could be sustained over more than 3h.


my 2 cents say .. it can be done, until he looses focus for a second, and makes an eeny meeny mistake :) then it will be fun ..

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Postby Max Headroom » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 2:34 pm

Just for those who may not be aware of this. A helicopter doesn't necessarily crash like a brick when the engine conks out. Just like fixed-wing aircraft, choppers can glide. They call it auto-rotation, where the flattened out rotor blades actually function kind of like a wing through their drag while they're spinning freely as you're in a controlled, albeit rather steep, descent.

The idea is that just before impact, the pilot increases angle of attack, allowing the spinning blades to "bite", which gives you a landing window, i.e. 1 single all or nothing whack, to set the chopper down, reasonably gently too I gather - so long as the manoeuvre is timed correctly of course. Chopper pilots tend to spend a lot of time exercising this trick, for obvious reasons.

The other thing is that some choppers have engine redundancy, i.e a spare engine, though I'm not sure if this applies to this Jet Ranger also.

Be gentle with me, SMS :)

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Re: amazing helicopter pilot (?)

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 2:40 pm

ecureilx wrote:And while I was not a flier, having worked with chopper lots, things can go from fun to oh-shit in a second, in choppers, and unlike fixed wing, when an engine quits or you loose lift, the choppers only go one way 'Pretty quickly and at an astonishing rate, to the final point of contact with Planet Earth .. "

And there are old pilots and there are brave pilots, but there are very very few Old and brave pilots ...


The very first thing you are taught after learning all the controls and how to hover (which is an art in itself) is how to auto-rotate to a powerless landing. We are introduced to it in Flight training while leisurely cruising along when the IP chops the throttle without tells you beforehand. The bird literally drops out from under you and the pucker factor is unbelievable the first time and always remains to some degree or another. But learning auto-rotations and practicing them regularly will save your butt numerous times in the course of flying (saving my arse 4x during my 18 month tour - all behind our own lines and save one "messy" one, otherwise unhurt-pride was the only injury on the messy one) Of course, at the level he is flying in the demo, he wouldn't have a ghost chance in a snowstorm of landing it powerlessly. However, unless speared by a tree branch, he would probably survive setting in down in the trees as they are small. Your sayin' is just a ripoff of the diver's saying of "There are old divers and bold divers but damn few old bold divers! (ours even sounds better). LOL

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 2:55 pm

Yep. I have seen some documents with such landings.
Probably much more dangerous situation is when near the ground you lose control over the tail rotor with too much power in the main rotor. For this x-mass tree harvesting I would be more concerned about the rope getting into any of the rotors.

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Postby Saint » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 3:06 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:In the clip we don't know how many trees are being picked up at a time but with an average of $200/tree and roughly 50 trees an hour. That's $10,000/hour. if we on use $100/tree (as there is middle man and shipping) that still 5000/hour which easily covers the costs of the chopper and a crews hourly rates I would think.

If they are DTM then the profit is much, much higher.


They are lifting about 20 tree each time

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Postby Saint » Thu, 12 Dec 2013 3:13 pm

Take a look at the 3rd video from about 6:20 mins

http://laughingsquid.com/harvesting-chr ... in-oregon/


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