Version 1 / 4min read / Updated Tue 25 Feb 2020 / 221 views
The art of flying a helicopter is one that takes time to master, typically accomplished with a great deal of offline practice. The following sections will help to familiarize you with the basic helo flight principles, as they apply to Arma 3, so that you know what you should be practicing towards.
Considerations Before Lifting Off
Ensure that everyone who should be on the helo is loaded up and ready to go.
This applies mainly to transport aircraft, of course.
Look around and above the aircraft to familiarize yourself with what obstacles are nearby.
?Trees, power lines, light posts - anything that can cause a rotor strike must be noted and avoided.
Consider other aircraft.
If a multiple helo package is taking off, the aircraft must lift off in a predefined order to avoid colliding on takeoff. If working out of an active area where aircraft are coming and going at regular or random intervals, you must be careful to ensure that your takeoff does not run you into another aircraft working in the area at the same time.
Know where you're going, and have a plan on how to get there.
Trying to plot a course while already in the air is not ideal - whenever possible, as time allows, ensure that you've sketched out your route to the landing zone and know what terrain to expect along the way.
Once all of these are considered and checked for, simply apply power to the engines to lift off the deck. You only need to bring the helo a few meters off the deck to "take off" - there is no reason to go higher immediately unless terrain or obstacles force it. As you move away from the staging area, evaluate the terrain and choose your flight profile accordingly.
There are two primary aspects involved with landing - the basic procedures of the act itself, and the considerations that must be made when making a combat landing. Both are described below.
Basic Landing Principles
Be careful with your vertical speed.
Having a low vertical speed upon landing is very important - the most common way to wreck a helo is to slam it down too hard.
You can land safely with 30kph of forward speed, as long as your descent rate is very low.
You can get up to 40-45kph or so if you are careful. Bear in mind that the higher your speed, the easier it is to wreck the engine with too fast of a descent rate.
Pick LZs that have fairly level ground and are free of any major obstacles whenever possible, as this simplifies things.
If landing on a slope, land facing up the slope and be careful that you don't slide.
Oftentimes you will be forced to do a hover insertion when slopes are involved.
Approach the LZ in a fashion that allows you to see all of the obstacles in the LZ area.
Coming in via a shallow curving flight path can help facilitate this.
If landing in a particularly tight LZ, use your door gunner and crew chief to warn you of any obstacles as well as provide guidance on how you should maneuver.
If troops are already on the ground, they can act as guides as well.
Combat Landing Procedures
Decide on what kind of landing it will be.
Full touchdown, hover, moving, etc.
Minimize enemy threats via the approach route used.
Choose high alt or low alt as necessary, based on expected enemy threats.
Suppress with door gunners if possible.
If the LZ is hot, the door gunner fire can be an effective means of suppressing it long enough to set down and get the troops debarked.
Come in fast and touch down lightly.
A proper combat landing requires a good grasp how to flare a helicopter to rapidly bleed of speed without gaining altitude. Coming in fast is the best counter to enemy small arms fire - it's not easy to lead a moving helo, after all.
Tell your passengers to debark via "GO GO GO".
Once you've touched down safely, or have entered a hover or slow & low state (in the case of a 'hover' or 'moving' insertion), give the "Go, go, go!" command so that the embarked infantry can hear you. They will then begin exiting the aircraft and conduct their mission.
Listen for confirmation from the senior embarked player that all troops have dismounted.
In some aircraft you will be able to look into the passenger compartment to watch the unloading process yourself.
Once given the all-clear, take off and assume your next assigned task.
If feasible, your crew chief can continue suppressing the LZ as you depart.
UNITAF Standard Operating procedures (SOP) are adapted primarly from US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Our written and audio procedures are a combination of the following primary source materials, as well as our own learnings, modifications and adaptations:
- US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8)
- Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Leader Skills Level 2, 3, and 4 (STP 21-24-SMCT)
- The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills (FM 3-21.75 / FM 21-75)
- Leadership Development (FM 6-22)
- Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3)