Sample Pilot Operating Handbooks
- Unfortunately, Robinson Helicopter Company has requested
that I remove the R22 Pilot Operating Handbook from this
Helicopter Operating Handbooks
The average modern flight manual is broken down into a standard set of
sections. Although the order and therefore the numbering will be different
from one manual to the next, generally speaking each manual will have each
one of these sections. One case where this is often not true is with older
aircraft. The FAA standardized flight manuals at one point, but aircraft
which were certified before that occurred will often have very non-standard
handbooks. Some older airplanes have handbooks only a few pages long!
- General which normally provides overview type
information about the aircraft and the manual itself.
For instance, in this section the Robinson manual has
descriptive data about the helicopter, a list of
abbreviations and definitions used in the manual, and units
conversion tables. Here is an
excerpt from the Boeing Vertol CH-47 operating handbook
showing an exploded view of the aircraft
- Limitations is that section of the manual which is
basically an extension of the FARs. Each item in the
limitations section has the force of law, and you break the
law if you exceed anything in this section. Examples of the
sorts of things you will find in here are airspeed
restrictions, powerplant restrictions, weight and balance
restrictions, and maneuver restrictions.
- Emergency Procedures is the section which gives you
the manufacturers recommendations on how to handle certain
emergencies you are likely to encounter in the particular
- Normal Procedures is the section which gives you the
manufactureres recommendations on how to fly the aircraft
during normal usage. This is commonly where you will find
the airspeeds the manufacturer recommends for best climb,
best range, etc. The preflight inspection sequence is usually
given in this section.
- Performance sections you charts and other
information which will help you to determine before or during
flight whether the intended operation is likely to be possible
give conditions of density altitude, gross weight, etc. For
example, the Robinson R22 handbook gives us an airspeed
calibration chart, a chart for determining density alititude,
in-ground-effect and out-of-ground-effect hover ceiling
charts, and the height velocity diagram
(dead man's curve).
- Weight and Balance gives us general procedures for
weighing the aircraft, information as to the longitudinal
and lateral stations of important places in the aircraft
(such as seats, baggage compartments, fuel tanks). It also
gives us some charts which can be used to determine whether
the CG is within limits.
- Systems Description is a section which gives a quick
description of major systems in the aircraft and how they
should be used.
- Handling, Servicing, and Maintenance is a section which
outlines the manufacturers recommended procedures for ground
handling, complying with inspections and maintenance, and
general servicing that the pilot can perform such as adding
oils, cleaning the exterior and interior, etc.
- Supplements is the section which describes optional
equipment available from the manufacturer or third parties.
For each option, there is a minature section of the pilot
operating handbook including limitations, emergency
procedures, performance, etc. I find it can get pretty
confusing to tell the impact of performance when you have
multiple options installed on the aircraft.
- Safety Tips gives some dos and don'ts, and in the
case of the Robinson R22 handbook includes the Robinson
Safety Notices, which are descriptions of things to do or
not do based on accidents which have occurred. Very useful.
paul at copters.com
(replace " at " with "@" to email me - this avoids SPAMMERS I hope)