Why do those huge military helicopters
-Chinook I think- fly so low? Just going from base to base...I see them all the time and just wondered why....
- Army pilotLv 67 years agoFavorite Answer
Few reasons really. We train as we fight and in combat we typically fly fairly low. Chinooks do a lot of resupply and lift missions, to do those you need to land (usually land often moving from FOB to FOB).
Stateside we do the majority of our training missions Visual Flight Rules (VFR). Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) traffic starts at 3,000 MSL so typically we are below that. We can request to fly higher, and do, especially for longer flights (that Chinooks are able to file IFR to do) but for the most part we conduct training lower. If we cant see the ground there is less training value for things like sling loads and just working on normal landings.
If you are close to a civilian airport as well the FAA has in place airspace restrictions so rotary wing traffic (that has a much easier time flying lower and slower than fixed wing) does not interfere with that airport.
All the cross country flights I've done have been below 3000 staying VFR the entire time.
- Lost EquationLv 77 years ago
They do not need to fly at a high altitude for just going from base to base.
The MH-47E Chinook was the ideal aircraft for operations over the Hindu Kush mountains. The helicopter can fly as high as 16,000 feet and can operate without refueling for about four hours.
- Anonymous7 years ago
You are less of a target..for less of a time...the lower you fly...especially if you are a slow a$$ aircraft like the Chinook
And in case you didn't know...helicopters aren't real high flying aircraft to begin with
- MAJ KevLv 77 years ago
Rotary-wing aircraft performance does not improve the higher they fly - as it does for fixed-wing aircraft.
Rotary-wing aircraft also usually fly much lower than fixed-wing aircraft to begin with due to tactical reasons.
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- SquidLv 77 years ago
You an easier target if you're higher up, and helicopters can't exactly dodge missiles.