Congratulations to Tim Piper for completing his Eurocopter EC120 type rating! He will now be flying our EC120 helicopters for our commercial charters as well as instructing on the Robinson R22, R44 and Cabri G2!
Once you’ve completed your ppl(h) or cpl(h) you too may consider getting a type rating on a larger helicopter…
EC120 Type Rating By Cap’n Tim Piper
The Eurocopter EC120 is a great pilot’s machine, as long as the checklist is followed the start can be very uneventful although exciting as you hear the Arrius 2F turbine engine start to come to life. Under instruction of Ken I lifted it into the hover using a lot of right pedal due to the fenestron tail rotor being less efficient than a conventional tail rotor system in the hover, this could take a little bit of getting used to unless you have previous experience with the Cabri G2 helicopter. Transitioning into forward flight I started to relax into the aircraft and was feeling at home. Climbs, descents, and turns are all relatively simple compared to the smaller piston aircrafts even the autorotation’s are no way near as fraught with the dangers of over speeding the rotor system or running out of inertia when you have finished the flare. The whole experience was very enjoyable even the test at the end.
Airfield detail was the most enjoyable part with some real challenges, Tail rotor failure, hydraulic failure, engine failure in the hover and from circuit height, you would have thought we were having a bad day but as they were all simulated it was all ok. Overall the aircraft has a very unrushed feel to it allowing the pilot to fly the aircraft even if an emergency has occurred. Best part, it’s a great big toy with a jet engine in it, every man’s inner child’s dream!
During the Type Rating course along with lots of flying (minimum flight time is 3 hours + test) I had ground school with my instructor Ken and completed self-study of the flight manual and emergency procedures in depth.
If you have a chance to have a go in one I would grab it by with both hands!