When flying helicopters in the PC-based game Arma 3 (not a flight simulator), some of the cockpit have a large instrument panel directly in front of the pilot, obscuring the view of the ground ahead when flying low. However, the cockpit has excellent visibility to the sides.

One of the technique to achieve a precise landing is to land not forward, but sideways. For example, let's assume the pilot is seated on the right, and the helicopter is heading North and approaching a landing target from the South. When the helicopter is approximately 50 feet from the landing target, the pilot swings the helicopter to the left by applying left pedal, pointing the nose to West while keeping the helicopter travelling North. The pilot then completes the landing by looking to the right.

Is this technique valid in real world helicopters?


1 Answer 1


No. Often helos use windows on the floor of the cockpit near the anti torque pedals, which allow a pilot to look directly down at the landing area, as this example of a EC130 shows.

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Helicopter pilots seldom land at a sideways angle, save for landing on slopes terrain or a situation required to fit the helicopter into a space.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ One of the main reasons we do not land sideways is the chance of catching a skid on something (rock, terrain, etc) and rolling the helo over.... $\endgroup$
    – Richard
    Feb 7, 2018 at 2:39

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