I was based at Riyadh Air Force Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, flying a AS365N-1 Dauphin for the Medical Services Division of the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF). We had actually been sent off to a tiny town 120 clicks out of Riyadh to get a man that had actually sunk and also got on life assistance. I was the airplane leader and also had an RSAF initially lieutenant as 2nd in command; in the back was a physician and also 2 trip registered nurses. We had actually left XXN at around 0230 as well as anticipated to be 1:28 en path. The touchdown area (LZ) at the town was a car park beside the hospital.We went to 6,000 ft. AGL as well as it was a regular however lovely Saudi evening. George, as I called the auto-pilot, was flying the ship. We were IFR as well as had definitely no ground referral– and also anticipated none till we came within aesthetic series of our location. It was so tranquil you needed to consider the panel to see to it you were certainly flying. As we got to 15 DME from the health center, we might see the lights of the emergency situation devices awaiting our arrival. We began a mild descent to 2500 ft. AGL, finished the pre-landing list, as well as resorted to a 5-mile last to the LZ. During that time I reduced the equipment as well as readjusted the power as well as mindset to raise drag.


The Dauphin has an one-of-a-kind tail blades style, called a Fenestron. As I included pedal to change for the modification in our power setup, I understood extremely swiftly that we had no tail blades authority. (The AS-365 did not have a typical tail blades; rather, the tail blades was confined in the tail fin as well as called a Fenestron, which runs like a ducted follower.)I swiftly examined to validate the problem as well as discovered that I had a complete series of

appropriate and also left pedal, yet without outcome. I right away informed the SIC to increase the equipment while I modified power in order to reach a risk-free elevation, at which time I validated that we did, as a matter of fact, have a total anti-torque failing. We carried out the emergency situation treatments for anti-torque failing 2 times after that decided to make an emergency situation touchdown in the car park. I had not been ready to fly that point completely back to Riyadh, not understanding what had actually created the trouble. We had no selection however to land at the healthcare facility. I advised the SIC to speak to the Saudi Police at the healthcare facility and also to recommend them to remove the car park as well as to have fire-rescue phase simply outside the wall surface.(All desert towns had a 6-8 ft. wall surface around the town to maintain the sand from hiding every little thing.)

We had really thoroughly reached and also leveled off at 2,000 ft. AGL, so we established the heading and also elevation pests while we performed our emergency situation treatments. When absolutely nothing functioned we took care of the ship around to begin a really superficial 4 DME last at about 70 knots with as couple of power adjustments as feasible. We had actually formerly alerted Riyadh of our scenario, suggested the clinical staff we were making an emergency situation touchdown, as well as for them to take the required preventative measures.

It was not a large parking area however my primary problem was the wall surface. We would certainly need to remove that wall surface with at the very least a 50-65 kts of ahead airspeed in order to maintain the ship in trim, after that touch down and also really hope the brakes held. There was no wind at the LZ. As we came close to the wall surface, I enhanced power and also drew the nose up simply a little in order to raise our elevation sufficient for the tail to get rid of the wall surface. As I did so, the nose, as anticipated, transformed around 10-15 levels. We removed the wall surface with the primary equipment, I counted to 3, as well as decreased the cumulative, creating the nose to go back to a regular placement.

The emergency brake was currently established and also as quickly as we influenced the ground the airplane skidded to a period in much less than 30 feet. The airplane suffered no damages and also there were no injuries. 2 hrs later on, a 2nd ship got here, we packed the client right into that airplane and also took the individual to Riyadh, while the various other staff remained with the 2nd ship and also the auto mechanics that had actually been sent out to identify the reason for the failing.

Helicopter diagram aboveHelicopter diagram above

Without the tail blades, a helicopter in a hover is irrepressible. The truths behind the failing went deep. The initial agreement to supply rotor-wing airplane to MSD was expected to be granted to Bell Helicopters.. Aerospatiale thought of a final, sweetie offer that supplied MSD with 9 365s. After the dust/politics cleared up, Bell supplied 2 212s. Aerospatiale had to come with the 365s in clinical arrangement virtually over night since of the late deal. They had them on the assembly line however the ships needed to be clinically set up along with getting rid of last manufacturing. In their rush, the push-pull pole that transforms the pitch of the anti-torque blades (which deal with for power input), was set up inaccurately. As the pole relocated, it endured the security cable that held the pole in position. As soon as that safety and security cable stopped working, the anti torque system stopped working, causing total loss of directional control.

We were really, extremely lucky because our failing happened throughout a decreased power setup. If the failing had actually taken place at a hover, where even more power and also therefore extra anti-torque input was required, the ship would certainly have quickly inverted. (Which is precisely what occurred throughout a later occasion). If the occasion happens throughout trip, while still a severe emergency situation, it is less complicated to deal with. The treatment is called a run-on touchdown, which is what we performed in this instance. In some occasions, relying on weight, if the tail blades stops working at a hover, the pilot swiftly lowers power and also the airplane kicks back to the ground. That’s the streamlined variation.

KEEP IN MIND: “For every activity, there is a contrary as well as equivalent response.” Some person called Newton called it his Third Law of Motion. I have no suggestion what the initial 2 were! Anyhow, the little blades on the back of the majority of rotor-wing airplane are called, wait on it … the tail blades (given that the huge blades on the top is called the primary blades). Tail blades is simpler to claim and also a lot more socially appropriate, than anti-torque gadget. As the primary blades transforms one method, the text of the airplane wishes to transform vice versa. Thanks, Mr. Newton.

Joe began flying in secondary school, offered in the army, as well as retired in 2022 at age 80 with 26,000 hrs complete time, consisting of 21,000 of rotor-wing time. His last task was as Chief Pilot, Walton County (FL) Sheriff’s Office. A lot of Joe’s rotor-wing experience was flying wildfire and also outside tons ops, yet he did invest 7 years doing “EMS things” in the United States, Saudi Arabia, and also Scotland. He likewise flew offshore in the Gulf and also North Sea, was an FAA Part 135 Check Airman in 9 various airplane as well as worked as Chief Pilot, Director of Ops under FAR Part 135 for an overall of 13 years. Finally matter, he had actually helped 23 firms as an agreement pilot.
Most recent articles by Joe Candlish (see all)