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Fatal Traps for Helicopter Pilots 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071488303
ISBN-10: 0071488308
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'This is compulsory reading for all helicopter pilots and passengers, as much can be learned from the mistakes of others. Most if not all helicopter accident types are in this well-researched book. Many of the aircraft accidents I attend as a rescue pilot have all happened previously to others. We need to use careful risk assessment and minimisation techniques to prevent reoccurrences in the future. This book highlights many examples of the risks that lie ahead for all helicopter pilots and passengers.' John Funnell, President Aviation Industry Association of New Zealand 'I would like to think that Fatal Traps for Helicopter Pilots is destined to become a well worn and dog-eared favourite in every helicopter training establishment and rotary pilot's bookshelf.' John Fogden, Manager Rotary Wing/Agricultural Ops NZ Civil Aviation Authority.. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

ACQUIRE THE LIFE-SAVING SKILLS NEEDED TO ELIMINATE OR REDUCE MOST HELICOPTER ACCIDENTS

A vital resource for pilots, helicopter enthusiasts, and aircraft maintenance technicians, Fatal Traps for Helicopter Pilots analyzes all aspects of helicopter accidents, including flight basics, engineering, meteorology, flight training, and human factors. This life-saving guide shows how proper preparation can help prevent accidents by addressing causes such as aerodynamic problems, mechanical failures, poor loading, mid-air collisions, and more.

Filled with case studies and first-hand accounts of accidents, the book organizes accident types by primary causes, presenting proven methods for eliminating or reducing the possibility of each type. Greg Whyte, an experienced commercial helicopter pilot and professional aviation writer, draws on his own flying experiences and those of other flight veterans to provide a wealth of practical information and safety tips that enables readers to:

  • Identify and address the common causes of helicopter accidents
  • Explore in-depth examples of accident scenarios
  • Examine the technical details of accident causes
  • Review case studies and first-hand accounts of accidents
  • Learn from the plain-English notes on avoidance and recovery

Inside This Aviation Accident-Prevention Guide:
* Basic Flight Principles * Vortex Ring State * Recirculation * Ground Resonance * Retreating Blade Stall * Dynamic Rollover * Overpitching * Main Rotor Strikes * Mid-Air Collisions * Mast Bumping * Engine Failures * Tail Rotor Failures * Mechanical Failures * Fuel * Fire * Ditching * Loading Issues * Winching * Weather * Crew and Pre-flight Hazards * Human Factors * Training Mishaps

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 395 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (December 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071488308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071488303
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Run Kodoz! on September 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
First off, the idea of dissecting accidents to learn what/what not to do is a great idea and something that rotorcraft pilots definitely miss out on--Whyte should be praised for taking the initiative to do this. On the downside, too much of the book is just raw accident reports (or Whyte's summary of them) that offer either the most basic details or minutiae that makes sense only to the manufacturer's engineers. At some points it's frustrating to read through these not knowing where they're going, or trying to understand technical details only to end a chapter without getting any insight from them. Whyte could have vastly improved this book by taking the time to cut through the crap in these reports and focus on the details relevant to the point he's looking at, although the page count would have been much smaller...

On the flip side, the value in this book comes from:
1/ It is specific to helicopter flight and operations
2/ Whyte's sorting thru all the accident reports that illustrate all the bad stuff you read about in your training. In addition, some (but not all) of the illustrations and explanations go far beyond what you'll find in other books (eg, the FAA's book), making it a good complement for what you'll need during your training. For example, Whyte's book has the best explanation of VRS/SWP that I've seen.

I would have liked to see more focus on R22-specific issues (the SFAR 73 accidents) and a chapter on personnel safety at landing sites would have been a nice addition. Operation-specific hazards (eg, long-lining, operations over water or dense forest), discussion of the relative risks in different ships, and an analysis of how a situation could have been averted or recovered would have made this book a grand slam. Don't get me wrong, all student pilots should read this book at some point in their training, but I hope Whyte will significantly improve the content in later editions.
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Fatal Traps is a very well thought out and informative book. I am an airplane and helicopter pilot, and as such have read many books on both subjects. This book manages to be very educational without a lot of superfluous material (as is a problem with a lot of aviation books). All the dangers brought forth are supplemented by very pertinent case studies. An excellent read for the helicopter student, or an engaging review for the seasoned veteran.
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Well,i had been looking for a book related to helicopter accidents and causes until i saw "Fatal Traps For Helicopter Pilots".The dramatic accident rate of helicopter operations always took my attention and made me ponder over the subject.This book gives vast information of helicopter aerodynamics and inspects the accident "cause" and "result" logic,rather than connect the dots theory.It does not matter if you are a novice or a veteran pilot,you had better have a look at the Fatal Traps For Helicopter Pilots,because i am sure that you would find something from yourself in this book.
Bottom line;Helo pilots must read this book in order to save lives,because the experince which is the most valuable asset in aviation world comes to you with a reasonable cost.
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By JP on October 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're a helicopter pilot, this is an absolute must read. If you're getting your license, study, but read this for fun. Learn from others mistakes and don't repeat them. I think this should be a requirement with all your other course materials. And I hate reading.
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By Reynoldsfx on December 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my husband, as both he and my daughter are helicopter pilots. I want them to be as prepared and safe as possible. Although these stories may be scary, if they can help save the lives of the ones I love so much, it's worth every penny!
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My favorite thing about this book is the amount of topics which are covered.

Definitely a great book and highly recommended for any pilot, even students. It also explains things like LTE and how to avoid them.

Improvements:
It would be great if the author made a website with videos of hard to find helicopter accidents like rotor stalls and settling with power. Color pictures. More case studies (there are enough to prove the point but more variety for each thing wouldn't hurt).

More tips on handling rotor stalls and other SFAR issues on low inertia rotor blade helicopters like the (ultra popular) R22. There was one tip in the book about a common sign of engine issues which was great.

A summary of important things to remember.

Thanks for a great book
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Deals with common, and some not so common, dangerous situations in helicopter flying and how to correct or avoid these situations. The teaching is done by providing real life examples of helicopter incidents and accidents. I found it to be very effective in communicating the concepts addressed. It is also very effective in instilling a healthy respect for the machine in a deep emotional way, at least it was for me; the accident scenarios illustrate well what happens when someone misses something or takes a cavalier attitude.
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I've done a lot of rooting around looking for information on helicopter accidents and this book is one of the few out there that is illuminating. If you're actually looking to stay out of trouble, this book has some very interesting material beyond the usual nut behind the wheel stuff that one sees elsewhere and is easily avoidable. It will make you think about the ostensibly improbable and clearly unintended.
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