A few new issues have been creeping up on some helicopter check rides. I thought I'd bring them to everyones attention.
1. Figuring limitations out (like Vne, Mcp and take off power) and other performance numbers requiring us to determine Pressure Altitude. I've seen quite a few applicants lately unable to correctly calculate pressure altitude. What that may mean is we maybe exceeding a limitation of the helicopter ,or incorrectly determine HIGE or HOGE
2. Low rotor RPM and blade stall. Most of my check rides are done in Robinson products and SFAR 73 specifically address' these two subjects. Unfortunately, from my observations, it looks like instructors are not teaching the subject or not evaluating it enough to insure each pilot understands the material. While SFAR 73 is aimed at Robinson helicopters, the knowledge and skills apply to all helicopter pilots.
3. Autorotations. Lots of problems coming up but mainly its been poor Rotor RPM control. RPM is life folks! I've seen low RPM from not fully lowering the collective, to exceedingly high RPM. Other issues have been poor peddle control and being out of trim, turning the helicopter downwind, poor timing on the flare (to high, to low), and not being remotely close to the intended touchdown point.