That feeling you forgot something

If you are working in aviation anywhere near a ramp or a hangar, chances are you had to deal with rotor or jet wash at one point or another. Working in a hangar for years, I have noticed that helicopter people in general are more aware of the wind they make than the fixed wing guys. I think it’s because we actually see the devastation we can create because it’s all around us rather than just behind us 😉

Where I work, we not only deal with rotor wash, we deal with A LOT of rotor wash. The Chinook makes the most down-wash of any helicopter I have ever flown. If we forget to close the hangar doors back at the home base when a Hook is landing, it gets more than annoying, it gets exciting! I believe if you landed a Chinook where Chuck is landing his Hughes 500, we’d actually push the hangar door in, even if it was closed. I’ve seen it happen before.
Flying this thing we are trying to be as conscientious as we can trying to avoid getting people angry at us. But even when we land far away on the runway and taxi in, we still make a bunch of wash. And then, just getting the fully fueled 40 ton aircraft rolling again requires quite a bit more wind than taxiing in. It’s tough at small airports and the result is often slightly upset aircraft or FBO owners.

Not sure if Julio is mad at Chuck on this one or more at himself for forgetting to close the door. I guess the lesson with this strip should be: If you fly a helicopter and you see the hangar door open, don’t land next to it!

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4 comments on “That feeling you forgot something
  1. Joshua says:

    Propwash etiquette seems lacking these days. I’ve seen CFIs teaching their students to cover the entire runup area with their propwash and telling anyone who asks them to please swing their tail a few feet over to make some room to “f— off.”

  2. jan olieslagers says:

    “I cannot shake the feeling” – sounds a bit odd, but perhaps it is common in your area. “I cannot shake OFF the feeling” would feel more common.

  3. Bernd says:


    google disagrees by 10:1.

    I’m fluent in English and do simultaneous interpretation German/English, and “shake the feeling” is the common idiom. “Shake off the feeling” is just a normal construction, and not really wrong, but far less common and a hallmark of a non-native speaker 🙂

  4. L says:

    Agreed, in ‘murka, “shake the feeling” is a common phrase, whether it is correct by MW’s standards or not. (I am not an English teacher, I merely relay the word of the common folk)

    And while prop wash etiquette is taught in flight schools and written about in training books, I feel they do not spend enough time on it. I have witnessed a friend start up a club Bo (with the “Bonanza proper” 2000rpm) in front of a hangar party. Tents and BBQ went flying everywhere, not a good way to make friends. (and yes, I did suggest moving the Bo farther down the row of hangars before he did that, didn’t register with him obviously)
    I try to be mindful of others but not everyone has common sense nowadays.
    Please be careful and safe out there. You too probably wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of unwarranted and unnecessary prop wash.

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