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Aerology & Performance

This course is designed for all helicopter pilots operating in mountainous area or at the limit of the helicopter performance. But this program is suitable to all helicopter pilots who seek more safety while understanding the principles and effects of the winds on helicopter performance. This seminar provides insights of what techniques are best adapted to those situations. The course is built on a daily seminar and concluding flight training in mountains.

Full Day

The daily seminar

Attend a full day seminar that covers all relevant topics that is key for maneuvering in difficult conditions in mountainous area, at high altitude and of course in environment that are affected by winds.

Part one

Basic Principles

  • Engine and Transmission Limitations
  • Power Definitions
  • Maximal Power Available Formula
  • Power Required
  • Helicopter Performance HOGE & HIGE, Vx, Vy, Best Range
  • Back and Front Side of the Power Curve
  • Power Reserve
Part three

Wind – Friend or Enemy

  • Origin of Winds
  • Horizontal Pressure Gradient
  • High Winds with low Horizontal Pressure Gradient
  • Danger of high Vertical Wind Gradient
  • Danger of high Horizontal Wind Gradient
  • Turbulence Classification
  • Mechanical and Thermal Turbulence
  • Awareness of Turbulence
  • Effect of horizontal Wind on the Helicopter Performance
  • Computation of additional Power Required
  • Advanced „Woolometer“
Part two

Performance & Limits

  • Effect of Winds on Performance, HOGE & HIGE, Vx ,Vy
  • 3D Winds
  • Effect of Wind Components on Power Required
  • Effects of Drafts on Power Required Formula
  • Additional Power Required to Compensate a Downdraft
  • Power Reserve
  • Effect of Overpitching
Part four and five

Impact at Aircraft and Your flying environment

  • Danger of Rotors
  • Vortex Ring State Avoidance
  • Downdrafts on LUV-Side
  • Updrafts on LEE-Side
  • Eddy Shedding
  • Special Cases
  • Best Operational Techniques
  • Case Study of Incidents and Accidents
  • Approach Briefings Off-Airports
  • Study of Company Specific Sites

Participants of the daily seminar receive a certificate of attendance issued by the Vuichard Recovery Aviation Safety Foundation. The participation of the seminar is a prerequisite to attend the flight training.

The flight training

Benefit from the experience of thousands of hours flown in the Swiss Alps in Rescue Missions and learn from the experts first hand. The training is suitable for all pilots who seek to improve their skill in mountainous areas with challenging wind conditions but not limited to this group of pilots.

The flight training is going to cover the techniques discussed in the safety seminar starting with the flight briefing of the area indented to operate. During the training the elements such as wind and lamination will be addressed in each approach. The corresponding briefings will be used to ensure correct handling through all procedures.

The training will be done in small groups (3 to 4 pilots) in one flight with pilot seat changing within the group and will take approx. 2.5 to 3 hours.


This course is available globally in conditions where performance related limitations can be expected. Course hosted by local Operator or Flight School.

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