Giles Robertson wrote:
Automatic gearboxes fail too often on the road, without much warning,
for me to want one in a chopper. At least if a fixed wing engine fails
you can attempt to glide.

I've talked about that to a real helicopter pilot at our local club:

Most real rotary pilots would tell you then that they'd much rather be
autorotating down to the ground from 100 ft than "glide" from an altitude ten times that much in an airplane...

Taking into account that your odds to find a reasonable spot to land are
usually much better in a helicopter than in an airplane, this sounds
convincing to me.

On the other hand, the European (JAA) syllabus for the PPL now requires
new students to be proficient in no-engine landings, where your
instructor takes you to an altitude of say 1000 ft and shows you how
to reach the threshold without engines.

While it's certainly a good thing to be familiar with such a situation,
the whole thing gets pointless if there isn't a runway, road or
whatever ...

So, I can understand the rotary folks who keep telling you
that they feel a lot safer in their choppers in that regard :-)

But then there are of course also limiting factors for the
autorotation to work (e.g. altitude & speed)


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