Flight TV - Issue 10

Second day of 52nd Russian Open Helicopter Sports Championship.
Precision flight and landing, parallel fender, parallel slalom
This is the second English issue after 2-year hiatus. We need your feedback and will improve.

Текстовая версия выпуска

Hello! I’m Ignat Solovey and this is Flight TV, the only Russian TV program on general aviation. I’m the cameraman and your host here. Our 10th English issue is about the second day of 52nd Russian Open Helicopter Sports Championship. This production is supported by Russian Helicopter Sports Federation and International Academy of Helicopter Sports.

In our first report today we cover parallel fender.

The idea of parallel fender is to carry a 7-kilogram (or 15 pound) regulation load on a rope through slalom gates and two barrels, and leave a load in a third barrel. Rope length is varied: first it’s 4 meters, then 6 meters, then 8 meters. 12, 18 and 24 feet, if you’re non-metric. At this task the whopping seven crews were technically impeccable, so it was only the tiniest timing difference to define winners.


International Grade Master in Helicopter Sports

You can’t relax even for a split second here. One may think that you flew one or two times, trained some and won — no, won’t happen. We all have more or less similar skills and our level is almost equal. Nerves are the main thing for us at competitions. It all matters: how did you prepare mentally, how well did you sleep, if you have any problems at work… How do you tune yourself for the task matters too, if you’re set to win or to be more careful… Today everyone were very careful at the second task, so the results aren’t the best, but those who scored 300 kept that count.

There’s popular opinion that helicopter sports pilots from Moscow are the most experienced. Like one of our Russian viewers commented: if there’s a reason at all to compete with those who have the most means for training in this very expensive sport? Practically we witnessed perfect fender performance by Russian Airforce, Russian DOSAAF, Belarusian DOSAAF and Ukrainian team, apart from private pilots from Moscow. There are several more tasks after that competition, so the competition is very intense.

Our next feature is about Precision Flight and Landing.

Despite it looks easy for an observer, that’s very complex and highly technical task. Enough to say that no crew scored three hundred in it. Everything is penalized: flying lower than 2 meters and higher than 3 meters, for example.


Helisport Judge 1st Class

Precision Flight is like a short program in figure skating. It shows all piloting skills. A helicopter moves over the competition ground with two chains attached, one shorter and one longer. The longer one shouldn’t leave the ground and the shorter one shouldn’t touch the ground. This way it moves around the competition spot forward and backwards, does two full turns and two 90-degree turns, moves sideways… All this is done within one-meter margin.

Precision Flight ends with Precision Landing on a five by five-meter spot with a requirement to touch the ground within 5-centimeter-wide line, and every millimeter counts. Each helicopter has mark: on each ski on Robinson R-44, and on each side of a hull on Mi-2. Marks location is the only difference between these types in this competition. While holding altitude is a task in itself, it is landing where crews have the most penal points: imagine setting several tons within couple of inches.

The winners here were the International Academy of Helicopter Sports crew: Maxim Sotnikov and Oleg Puojükas on R-44. Second and fourth places were taken by the Airforce crews on Mi-2, third place went to another Robinson machine. The difference between the first and the fourth position is just ONE penal point. Fate, or chance, you name it…

Another kind of competition is the Parallel Slalom. What is it and what’s the purpose — watch our next feature.

In this task no crew scored 300 points, as it was with Precision Flight. It was the weather that spoiled the game. Summer 2017 is unusually chilly around Moscow, and on July 13th the weather changed like kaleidoscope: from autumn-like rainshower to proper sunlight.


Helisport Judge, Russian Federal Class

The weather did press, everyone waited for the rain, then for the rain to stop... In sports it’s like this: the man is ready and tense, and then — snap! — here’s the problem, people just burn out, right? I was in sport myself and I know how it is… The competition starts, you wait for your turn and then one hour weather delay and you just loosen…

Helicopter slalom task is to pass a bucket full of water on a rope through two-meter tall slalom gates, not touching that gates and not spilling any water, and then set that bucket to a small table. Again, without any spillage. Thus, pilot has to feel his helicopter, operator has to account for bucket inertia, and both have to understand and predict each other’s actions. Operator is as important as a pilot, and the final success is their mutual. That’s why CRM methods don’t work in competition and it’s the most cooperative crews that win. There are no shortcuts for the newcomers either, it’s only practical experience that works here.

Mathias MEDL

Private pilot, Robinson R-44, Team Austria
I’m Mathias Medl, I’m the youngest member of the Austrian team. I study biotechnology in Vienna. I started competition training this year and made my R-44 rating two months ago. It’s very nice here, I’m amazed by the hospitality of Russians, it’s really great: if it’s even a small problem everyone comes at me and helps me, it’s really awesome. I like the flavor of the whole competition.

It’s only one thing to add here: International Academy of Helicopter Sports was created exactly with the purpose of sharing skills and knowledge

This issue number ten is over. I’m Ignat Solovey, your cameraman and host here at Flight TV.  We need your feedback! Please share your ideas and opinions in comments on YouTube, or on Facebook, or on Instagram. I manage our accounts myself, so I hear whatever you say. You see the links on your screen. Thanks for watching, stay tuned for more… and fly safely!