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Off Airport Landings

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  • Founder

Having gained a little skill in flying helicopters I'm trying more challenging landing spots, but with mixed results. One of the first places I tried was visually a nice solid structure but the helicopter simply fell right through it like it wasn't there.


This week some friends are in France and sent me a nice photo this morning of a castle they were visiting:




This is Fort Saint Andre, Villeneuve-Les-Avignon, Languedoc-Roussillon, in Avignon, and I thought it would be a nice place to go take a look at during my daily flight. The MSFS 2020 version is not so impressive:




But at least it appeared to have a flat roof that would make a good landing challenge.


After three failed attempts my best guess is that there is something invisible on the roof. A few feet before touchdown it seems like you bump into something and bounce back up. If you cut the power too much and let it descend you crash, so there is something solid there.


So, I wonder what experiences you've had with off airport landings? I'd be interested in places that make good destinations without being overly difficult.


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Wondered how you were getting on with helo!  Looking good.


Many of the overlays are very good, some are ok and some float over or under.  Here is a video from yesterday that I uploaded raw with no edits.  Yes it was after dinner and a few drinks so a couple of maneuvers are vomit comet.


Below are examples of overlays that are perfect, over and under.  This is a sim so what you see may not be what you get.  I usually come in slow and if the front of the skid hits, I back off give it some juice and try again.  Keep off the edges as sometimes the back of your skids will fall through.  This is actually pretty good because it makes you control the collective til everything is fully down.  I like the 500 here because it is very sensitive to tail strike and keeps me honest.  I have almost stopped using the drone except for pics now.


As far as where I land?  Well being xy, all the world is a... landing site. 

Catalina Yacht.jpg

Daniels Bay.jpg

Moscow U.jpg


Red Rocks.jpg


STL Arch.jpg


Catalina Peak.jpg

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OK so I had a go at you landing site and it is one of those hard ones due to a mushy surface.  There is no rhyme or reason to the buildings.  I have landed on tin shed roofs that would barely support a man and solid looking buildings that mush through.  This is a good training thing though since you need to control collective all the way and gently set down rather than dumping it at the end.


Here is your building with a landing  with a 170# pilot on board.  I shut down and "got out".  There is a better spot in the middle and there feels like bushes pushing the aircraft around near those dark spots.



Fort Saint Andre 1.jpg

Fort Saint Andre 2.jpg



I then changed the W&B to max and started spool up.  As soon as the rotor started turning, the aircraft teetered and registered a crash.  Went back with 13# over loaded and got a landing but could not fully drop the collective.  Went back the last time with the same weight and found a spot where only part of a skid sunk and a dropped full collective.



Fort Saint Andre 3.jpg

Fort Saint Andre 4.jpg

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  • Founder

Looks like I should go visit Rome, that looks like fun. I've been exploring parts of France while my friends are there but nice to have another destination.


Thanks for confirming the problems with building in Avignon. I see you managed to land on the area between the round turrets; I had been trying to center myself in the round turrets so never tried where you went.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm enjoying this series of posts hugely!  There were so many places when I was RW flying that I was tempted to set a H-34 or H-46 down on.  At risk of losing my license of course.  So it's fun to see others simming what I always wanted to try RW! 


Having said that, though I flew into the area several times, the "Arch" was one place I was never tempted to land on. 





Being an old chopper guy I usually fly low and slow.
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Nels, Rome is very good for detail and overlay.  Also, check out the front range of Colorado from north Denver to Colorado springs.  Some of the scenery is so good like around Red Rocks, it is almost like being there!  A couple of landings near Evergreen I could almost  smell the Ponderosa Pines!


Rupert, thanks for the comments.  The Arch even in the sim is a pucker factor 9 since it has very little visual reference.   An old acquaintance of mine did lose his license for setting down with a load of roughnecks at a bar.  He flew slicks in your neck of the woods and time frame.  He had a high adrenaline requirements that one tends to build in stressful situations!  I'm a full generation out and experienced Tet 68 as a grade schooler in the midwest!  You boys had and have my respect!

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Hey Buck,


We all do what we need to do at the time. 


After Vietnam I discovered my older brother John was one of the Marines serving underground at Khe Sanh during Tet.  I flew resupply missions there several times and hadn't a clue he was there.  I also, without knowing it until they were offloading the stretcher at a med station, med-evacued my brother in law George from another combat zone.  While waiting for the wounded to be off-loaded I looked out the window and recognized his face as they were carrying him in.


In the last five years I was honored to play Taps at both John's and George's funerals.  They were both good men who lived happy lives despite having been wounded.  And in George's case disabled.


But then again, when it comes down to it, we're all brothers, whether we served in the armed forces or not.

Being an old chopper guy I usually fly low and slow.
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1 hour ago, Rupert said:

But then again, when it comes down to it, we're all brothers, whether we served in the armed forces or not.

+1 Semper Fi

Always Aviate, then Navigate, then Communicate. And never be low on Fuel, Altitude, Airspeed, or Ideas.

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Laptop, Intel Core i7 CPU 1.80GHz 2.30 GHz, 8GB RAM, 64-bit, NVIDIA GeoForce MX 130, Extra large coffee-black.

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