Helicopter Pilot Basic Knowledge Questions

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200+ questions that a helicopter pilot should be able to know from memory. (Written for Robinson R22 students but could be used for most helicopter pilots).

Where can you legally land a helicopter?

Anywhere as long as you have the proper permission from the land owner and/or state/local government and will not do harm to person or property. FAR 91.119

What documents are required on-board the aircraft?

ARROW - Airworthiness Certificate, Registration, Radio Station License (not required in US), POH (Operating Limitations), Weight & Balance. FAR 91.203

What required on-board document/s must be visible in the cockpit?

Airworthiness Certificate

Do maintenance logs have to be carried in the aircraft?

No, not under FAR part 91. Yes under FAR part 135.65.

What inspections / items do you look for to determine that the aircraft is legal for flight?

Airworthiness Certificate & Maintenance Logs.

What does TBO mean?

Time Before Overhaul - Manufactures put a time limit on parts like a warranty and recommends/requires that a part be changed out before the TBO time.

Can you fly with parts past TBO?

The type of operation will determine the requirement of overhauling the engines. For FAR part 91 operations there is no regulation that states that overhauls are mandatory. If your aircraft is operated FAR part 135, then overhaul is mandatory: FAR 135.421

Can you fly with parts on a helicopter that are past life-limits?

No, it will no longer meet the requirements for its airworthiness certificate.

What are AD's?

An Airworthiness Directive (commonly abbreviated as AD) is a notification to owners and operators of certified aircraft that a known safety deficiency with a particular model of aircraft, engine, avionics or other system exists and must be corrected.

What are SB's?

Service Bulletin

What is the danger of flying over gross weight?

Center of Gravity would be off not allowing you to properly control the aircraft as more and more fuel burns off. It is also illegal FAR 91.9(a).

What is the danger if you over-speed the main rotor?

Over-speeding of the main rotor can cause sever damage to the main rotor mass and may cause separation of the main rotor mass from the helicopter resulting in an uncontrollable decent.

What is the danger if you over-speed the engine?

Over-speeding of the engine could result in damage to the engine which could cause the engine to seize causing the pilot to perform an non-powered (autorotation) landing.

What is the danger of exceeding manifold pressure limits?

Exceeding manifold pressure limits could damage the engine as well as blade failure as noted in Robinson Safety Notice SN-37 & SN-39

What does the red line on the MAP gauge represent?

R22 Beta II (0-360-J2A Engine) - 24.1 in. Hg and not to exceed this number.

What is the danger of Vne?

Vne - NEVER-EXCEED AIRSPEED. R22 - Up to 3000 ft density altitude: 102 KIAS. Above 3000 ft density altitude, see placards on page 2-11.

Why are the RPM limits of the main rotor different with power off than power on?

Because the main rotor can safely handle the RPM's at those given RPM's where as the engine can not.

For a Robinson R22, what are the RPM limits for the main rotor with and without power?

Power on: Max 104% / Min (0-360) 101% & Min (0-320) 97%.
Power off: Max 110% / Min 90%.

Why is the Robinson R22's engine de-rated?

By de-rating the engine, the R22 achieves acceptable high-altitude performance without use of supercharging or turbocharging, thus saving the weight, complexity, unreliability, and increases engine life.

What do you do if you have an alternator light comes on in flight?

Indicates low voltage and possible alternator failure. Turn off nonessential electrical equipment and switch ALT off and back on after one second to reset overvoltage relay. If light stays on, land as soon as practical.

What is the danger if you engine oil overheats?

Can cause serious engine damage and engine failure may occur.

What is the danger if CHT (Cylinder Head Temperature) overheats?

A blown head gasket can occur causing serious engine damage and engine failure.

Why is there a minimum gross weight in the Robinson R22?

A minimum gross weight is required in order for the helicopter to be within CG (Center of Gravity) limits.

Can you fly solo from the left seat?

Solo flight from right seat only. It is in the POH (2-6)

What is the danger of using low octane fuel (80 grade)?

Not using the proper octane fuel will cause a poor air/fuel mixture in carburetor engines (R22). This causes excess fuel to be left in cylinders causing premature ignition and engine knock which can eventually lead to engine damage.

What is the "full throttle" line on the MAP (Manifold Pressure) chart mean?

Means that achieving this altitude is theoretical and most likely unattainable at the current temperature.

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