Helicopter Commercial PTS
by Philip Greenspun and Kasim Te; updated December 2008
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Used in helicopter training
at East Coast Aero Club in Boston.
This is intended to be used during a stage check for a Commercial
applicant in a Robinson R22 or R44. It is a condensed version of the
FAA standards effective August 1, 2006. Where the PTS does not
specify an airspeed, the number is from the Robinson POH or FAA
Rotorcraft Flying Handbook (RFH). Use a red pen to mark an
applicant's performance next to the FAA standard.
Areas of Operation and Tasks
- Preflight Procedures: cockpit management; passenger briefing; before takeoff
- Radio Communications and ATC Light Signals.
- Traffic Patterns: corrects for wind drift; altitude
±100';"appropriate airspeed" ±10 knots.
- Airport/Heliport Runway, Helipad, and Taxiway Signs, Markings, and
Lighting: emphasizes runway incursion avoidance.
- Vertical Takeoff and Landing: ± half of intended altitude;
max. 2' lateral/forward movement; no aft movement; heading ±10°
- Slope Operations: considers wind, obstacles, passenger unloading;
recognition when too steep; heading ±5 degrees.
- Hover Taxi: forward, backward, sideward; ±2' ground track;
constant rate of turn; ±2' of pivot point; heading ±10° after pedal turn; ±1/2 of "recommended hovering" altitude.
- Air Taxi: safe airspeed and altitude
(suggest 50 KIAS and 70'; RFH says < 100'); altitude
- Normal and Crosswind Takeoff: knows height-velocity diagram; manufacturer's
recommended airspeed (60 knots) ±5kts; wind shear/wake
- Normal and Crosswind Approach: wind shear/wake
turbulence/settling-with-power awareness, arrival ±2'.
- Maximum Performance Takeoff: uses max power; after clearing
obstacle, transitions to normal attitude, airspeed (60 knots
±5), and power.
- Steep Approach: 15° max angle; avoids
settling-with-power; arrival ±2'.
- Shallow Approach and Running Landing: knows purpose of maneuver,
effect of landing surface texture; reduces carb heat before landing;
ETL during surface contact; landing gear parallel with ground
track. No standard for arrival spot.
- Go-Around: makes timely decision to discontinue approach; "proper
control input to stop descent and initiate climb" (add power; pitch
for 60 knots); 60 knots ±5; runs checklist
- Rapid Deceleration ("quick stop"): maintains tail boom clearance;
heading ±5 degrees.
- Straight-in Autorotation: selects "suitable" touchdown area; R22
65 knots; R44: 70 knots; ±5 knots; RPM "within normal limits";
arrival within 100'. Applicant: ___________
- 180-degree Autorotation: selects "suitable" touchdown area; 65/70
knots ±5; RPM normal; arrival within 100'. Applicant: ___________
- Pilotage and Dead Reckoning: identifies landmarks;
makes en-route corrections to fuel, ground speed, and heading
calculations; position ±3NM of planned route; arrival ±5
mins. of initial or revised ETA; "appropriate" altitude ±100
ft; heading±10 degrees.
- Navigation Systems and Radar Services: signal loss recognition;
intercepts and tracks a given course, radial, or bearing; recognizes waypoint
passage; locates position using cross radials; "appropriate" altitude ±100 ft.
- Diversion: accurate estimation of heading, groundspeed, arrival ETA, and
fuel consumption to alternate airport; altitude ±100 ft; heading ±10
- Lost Procedures: maintains heading and climbs, if necessary;
identifies landmark; plans precautionary landing for
weather or fuel.
- Power Failure at a Hover: heading ±5 degrees; minimum
sideward movement; no aft movement. Applicant:
- Power Failure at Altitude: selects "suitable landing area"; 65/70
knots ±5; compensates for wind speed and direction to avoid
undershooting or overshooting; terminates with power when directed by
the examiner. Applicant: ___________
- Systems and Equipment Malfunctions: analyzes the situation and
takes action in at least 4 of the following areas: engine/oil and
fuel, hydraulic, electrical, carburetor or induction icing, smoke
and/or fire, flight control/trim, pitot static, rotor and/or
anti-torque, various frequency vibrations.
- Settling with Power: altitude to permit recovery > 1000'
AGL; prompt recognition and announcement; appropriate recovery.
- Low Rotor RPM Recovery: knows when it is likely; prompt and correct recovery.
- Confined Area Operation: "proper high and low recon" (we suggest
500' AGL, 60 knots for high; slower than normal approach speed for low
recon); "avoids situations that can result in settling-with-power"
(RFH says "no steeper than necessary"); terminates in hover or on
surface "as conditions allow"; ground recon; selects "suitable takeoff
- Pinnacle/Platform Operations: same as confined; pay attention to "acceptable
approach angle and rate of closure"
- After Landing and Securing: minimizes hazards of rotor downwash;
considers safety of persons and property; checklist usage; postflight
Want to start training in Boston with East Coast Aero Club? Call
781-274-6322 to enroll, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2008 Philip Greenspun.