Confined Area

Purpose: To land a helicopter in a safe and efficient manner away from the airport environment.

Note: Read Safety Notices SN-16, SN-17, and SN-37, before proceeding.  IGE and OGE hover ceilings will be determined before the flight.  Just because you landed there before does not mean you can do it today!


A high recon will be done at 500 feet AGL at 60 KIAS.

  1. Winds
  2. Obstacles
  3. Entry/Exit
  4. Elevation (power requirement)
  5. Landing Zone (rocks, grass height, slopes, etc)

A low recon

  1. Look for Obstacles.  Detailed observation of landing zone.

After the Recon, the prelanding checks will be done the same as the normal pattern.

Upon turning Final, the aircraft should be headed into the wind and aligned with the intended point of touch down. The pilot will maintain 60 KIAS and 300 feet AGL.

The angle of descent should be no steeper than necessary to clear any barriers in the approach path.

A safe angle of descent over barriers must be established to ensure tail rotor clearance.

Note: After coming to a hover, take care to avoid turning the tail into obstructions.

Note: Special consideration must be made to ensure the aircraft does not gain a descent rate great than 300 fpm with airspeed less than 30 KTS!


Take Off

On the recons, you should have the take off path located.

If necessary, reposition the aircraft to a more suitable spot for takeoff.

Takeoff profile should be altitude-over-airspeed, but not steeper than necessary to clear any barrier.


 Performance Standards Private ACS Commercial PTS
Exhibits knowledge of the elements related to confined area ops: high/low recon, suitable approach path, termination point, departure path, suitability of the landing surface, etc.
RPM Normal Limits Normal Limits
Common Errors

  1. Failure to perform proper high/low recons.
  2. Failure to track the selected approach path.
  3. Inadequate planning to assure obstacle clearance during the approach or departure.
  4. Failure to consider emergency landing areas.
  5. Failure to select a definite termination point during the high recon.
  6. Failure to consider effect of wind direction or slope.
Safety Considerations

  1. Positive exchange of controls
  2. Guard controls in the event the student applies abrupt control inputs, special emphasis on cyclic
  3. Special focus on RPM management and manifold pressure through the final approach.
  4. Maintain awareness of surrounding environment (i.e. Aircraft, terrain, etc.)  Special emphasis should be placed on density altitude, winds, and gross weight
  5. Avoid large power changes and large inputs of left pedal as this may drop RPM
  6. Ensure that landing zone is well within the performance criteria for the day
  7. In mountainous environments, pay attention to wind direction, speed, and turbulance
  8. If it doesn’t feel right, go around