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Dynamic Rollover

New students and experienced pilots alike need to continually be cautious on the helicopter "pick up". A rushed pickup could lead to a dynamic rollover in a split second if a skid is caught or there is too much lateral cyclic input when collective pitch is applied.

A dynamic rollover is described as a helicopter crash where the helicopter has rotated onto it's side after having caught a skid on the ground while lift is applied by the main rotor system. Three things must be present: 1. A pivot point other than the center of gravity 2. A rolling moment 3. exceeding the critical angle of 5-8 degrees.

The Helicopter Flying Handbook warns that the critical rollover angle is 5-8 degrees, depending on the helicopter, winds, and loading.

A pilot that senses a rolling moment may mistakenly add lateral cyclic in the opposite direction of the roll. This will not recover the helicopter.

The only pilot action that may recover the helicopter is lowering the collective, thus placing the weight back onto the skids.


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