The Hiller UH-12 POH actually mentions “Emergency Exit in Flight” as an emergency procedure. What emergencies would make the pilot do this and why don’t other helicopter POH’s mention this?

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    $\begingroup$ This is exactly why no helicopters use parachute any more. $\endgroup$ Mar 24, 2019 at 2:35
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    $\begingroup$ Erin, what helicopters are you familiar with where the crew routinely wear parachutes? I flew them in the 80's and 90's and never wore one. $\endgroup$ Mar 25, 2019 at 21:35
  • $\begingroup$ @KorvinStarmast the UH-12 manual linked mentions unbuckling the parachute harness when ditching, so apparently parachutes were worn at the time. $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Mar 26, 2019 at 9:04
  • $\begingroup$ I fly a light airplane very often, with no parachute, and have never felt the need of one. And I'm not alone in doing this. In the airfield where I have my plane, I have never seen a parachute... $\endgroup$
    – xxavier
    Mar 26, 2019 at 9:43
  • $\begingroup$ @jwenting were Hillers typically flown above 1000' agl? $\endgroup$ Mar 26, 2019 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


One example of a helicopter bailout that I am aware of was the ditching of a USAF Sikorsky HH-60G during the infamous "Perfect Storm." After several failed attempts to refuel from a tanker in the extreme weather the pilot decided to ditch. He hovered to allow the other occupants to bail out, but he was unable to bail out himself as the engines flamed out from fuel exhaustion and he autorotated to the water. After it hit the waves it rolled over. At this point he realized that he had not jettisoned his door as per the procedure for bailout or ditching so he was trapped. He managed to escape, but one of the other crew was lost at sea.

  • $\begingroup$ Tom, did the 'bail out' include a parachute? $\endgroup$ Mar 28, 2019 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ @KorvinStarmast No parachutes. Most of the crew were rescue swimmers. They jumped from low altitude. But the waves were so high that if they didn't time it right at the crest they fell like 40 feet to the water. $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Mar 28, 2019 at 17:11

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