Interesting Helicopter Facts That You Probably Didn’t Know

Interesting Helicopter Facts That You Probably Didn’t Know

Although people may see helicopters in the sky or on television frequently, not many people have actually ridden one. Unlike airplanes, they aren’t as widespread when it comes to large-scale human transportation. Consequently, you may be intrigued to learn more about them. Here are five interesting helicopter facts that you probably didn’t know.

Helicopters are Better for Emergencies

Aerial rescue operations make sense when you consider that certain locations are hard to reach by land. But what you may not know is that helicopters are better for emergency situations than airplanes. This is because they can hover over a fix spot, whereas planes must keep moving forward to remain airborne. Helicopters are perfect for picking up stranded people and can land in tight positions. In the air, they’re more maneuverable since they can fly in any direction.

People Have Used Helicopters To Escape Prison

Believe it or not, these same abilities have also allowed people to escape prison. The first example of a successful escape occurred in 1971. At that time, a man named Joel David Kaplan got out of the Santa Martha Acatitla in Mexico with a helicopter. Later on, he crossed the border to the U.S. safely. Many others have attempted helicopter escapes in many different countries, with some succeeding and others failing. There was even a successful attempt as recent as 2018 in France.

Birds Mistake Them as Threats

Birds seem to be able to identify most aircraft as non-threatening, since they’ll usually ignore them. However, various species of eagles tend to mistake helicopters as living enemies. In an effort to protect their territory and young, they have been known to fly up to helicopters to attack them. The most notable species of bird that people have captured footage of attacking helicopters is the Australian wedge-tailed eagle.

Helicopters Can Fly in Rain

Since they have more openly moving parts than a plane, you might think that helicopters can’t fly in the rain. In reality, the rotors remain unaffected by the falling water droplets and there are lots of pilots who have the training and certification to fly under such conditions. Still, helicopters will usually avoid taking off in harsh weather conditions to avoid unnecessary and life-threatening risks.

Helicopters Can Land If Their Engines Die

An interesting helicopter fact that you probably didn’t know is that helicopters can safely land even after their engines have completely shut down. The state that a helicopter enters in such a situation is called autorotation. Pilots must practice while they are still in flight school to manipulate their controls and land with a shut-off engine. They usually follow a certain path in the air as they come down. In this path, the helicopter first drops while moving slightly forward, then its nose turns upward to slow its descent before finally ending by touching the ground.

FAQ

What aircraft can help in an emergency?

Aerial rescue operations make sense when you consider that certain locations are hard to reach by land. But what you may not know is that helicopters are better for emergency situations than airplanes. This is because they can hover over a fix spot, whereas planes must keep moving forward to remain airborne. Helicopters are perfect for picking up stranded people and can land in tight positions. In the air, they’re more maneuverable since they can fly in any direction.

Can helicopters fly in the rain?

Since they have more openly moving parts than a plane, you might think that helicopters can’t fly in the rain. In reality, the rotors remain unaffected by the falling water droplets and there are lots of pilots who have the training and certification to fly under such conditions. Still, helicopters will usually avoid taking off in harsh weather conditions to avoid unnecessary and life-threatening risks.

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