ANSWERS: 1
  • A pilot can perform an autorotation from any altitude that the helicopter is capable of flying. There is no ceiling caused by aerodynamics. However, there is a ceiling imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration during the certification process. In the aircraft's operating handbook in the limitations section, there will be a "maxiumum operating density altitude" or something similar. In the past, this was only limited to aerodynamic forces and power available. Recently, the FAA has stipulated that the maximum altitude also take into consideration the autorotation characteristics of the aircraft. The aircraft must be operated at an altitude that, in the event of an in-flight fire, it will be able to autorotate to the ground in five minutes or less. Of course, each helicopter is different but at a general rule, helicopters in autorotative state fall at 1,500 feet/minute. At 1500 fpm for five minutes...7,500 feet above the ground would be the ceiling. PLENTY of altitude for helicopter operations.

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