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Passenger Grabs Controls After Pilot Collapses

When Carli McConaughy pulled on the big control column in the middle of the helicopter she was flying in over Honolulu last week, she had no idea what she was doing but she likely saved her own life and those of her fiancé and the unconscious pilot beside her. ( More...

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bbabis 18
Now that is amazing! The chance of surviving a helicopter crash with only rudimentary cyclic controli is probably less than winning the powerball. Everything had to have gone just right. Glad all survide.
WhiteKnight77 8
As a former rotorhead, I have to believe that she pulled up on the collective and not the cyclic as the article states between the seats. Now for the unintiated, it could be confusing as to what works what. Did she grab the collective or the cyclic? Unless there is a different article by a more knowlegable reporter I doubt we will actually know. As a crew chief, I loved practicing auto-rotations, it was almost like a roller coaster ride, depending on if trying for a distance one or a get to the ground easy (paraphrasing) one.
bbabis 2
The R44 has a center cyclic control between the seats that branches right and left. For rides, usually the left branch, left side pedals, and left collective are removed. It probably was the center cyclic bar that brought the nose up before impact after the pilot slumped forward. As you said though, it’s just the news. Who knows?
patrick baker 3
congrats on your lucky guess. If she had ever operated a bobcat to do land renovation, then the helocopter was not entirely new to her. But, not entirely equivalent. Heartfelt congrats are in order here and so offered.
very lucky
steve steve 1
Awesome ..
Hirouchida 1
Does the collective drop in an R44 if a pilot releases it? Pulling back on the cyclic just before a ditching would change the attitude to a belly forward smack instead of a catch the skids and forward roll over crash. Had to be timed pretty good.
bbabis 2
The collective friction is pilot adjustable. I always flew it tight, with no movement on its own. Even then, I would think if a pilot's hand and/or arm slumped onto it it would move down some. Probably more knowledgeable R44 pilots than me on here. I did good enough to still be alive. Still the most flying fun I've ever had though.
Hirouchida 1
Thanks bashadan for posting this and to Bill Babis for the info on an R44. I have a minimum of time at the controls of an R22 and wonder if the lady yanked up on the collective and pulled off an autorotation to reduce the descent speed. Most reporters would not know the difference between a collective and a cyclic. The questions I now have is how do you pull up on a cyclic and is it between the seats on a R44?
Crazy! So glad to hear everyone made it out safe.
MrTommy 1
Wow! Just WOW!
my goodness! I guess this couple had a little "divine intervention",considering the article states she had no flying experience of any asuured the pilot and his company are thanking her as well..they should sponsor the lady for flight lessons and certification!
Charles Adams 1
Here is God staring everyone in the face. Give thanks where thanks is due.
Rob Smith 1
I have had a pilots license for over 40 years. But I don't have a clue about flying a helicopter!
Charles Adams 0
Here is God staring everyone in the face. Give thanks where thanks is due.


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