Rotor Rooter: Rooting for Autorotational Success
Tuesday, March 5 | | 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall, Room N253
Flight Operations Track
The Rotor Rooter Program is an FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) education initiative aimed at reducing light-helicopter training accidents in support of the International Helicopter Safety Team’s accident reduction goals. Analysis reveals that approximately 18 percent of all helicopter accidents occur during training, while a large portion of these accidents occur during autorotation training.
The Rotor Rooter acronym series provides pilots with user-friendly acronyms to help them systematically identify, quantify, and mitigate certain risk factors associated with autorotations. These memory aids can help pilots remember critical factors, while also emphasizing the importance of utilizing systematic procedures for defending against risk factors inherent with autorotation training.
Many autorotation accidents are the direct result of pilots and their instructors not following checklists and procedures for ensuring the helicopter is properly configured within its environment. A false sense of urgency often results in sloppy or unsatisfactory performance.
Using the PRE-AUTO, HASEL, and RATS acronym briefing aids, coupled with OEM-approved checklists and procedures, will greatly enhance safety and communications between pilots and their instructors prior to and during autorotation training.
Steve Sparks is a passionate leader with an extensive background in helping organizations achieve their aviation-related safety goals and objectives. Primary talents include flight training education, corporate aviation marketing, and professional pilot development, along with recent experience in customer relations, simulator flight-training center operations, and various initiatives promoting regulatory compliance. Sparks holds airplane and helicopter flight instructor qualifications, along with an MBA in corporate finance and a doctorate in applied aviation and space education.