View Full Version : Watching heli vids: why are there 2 people up there?

04-20-2008, 03:37 PM
Something I've noticed a lot in videos are when a pilot goes up to fly, there is almost always another person standing just behind and to one side of him/her. Most of the time, you see them carrying/starting/positioning/etc... the heli and that's about it. Are they up there to "block"(tackle/push/move/save) the pilot in case that thing comes back at him, or just to help out with the bird? Also, in another video, there were 2 more guys standing about 15-20ft behind them. Is this another function for safety? What pupose do all those people play? Are they the judges?
Mind you, I've only ever seen this in videos and I don't fly at a club, so the rules are a bit fuzzy to me.

04-20-2008, 04:15 PM
in competition the second person is the caller and reports to the judges what manuver is going to happen, when it starts and when it ends.

in fun flys the second person is the spotter and lets the pilot know what other planes or helicopters are in the area of theirs and informs the pilot of others taking off or landing and any other important stuff so the pilot can concentrate on his own heli or plane.

all the others that are standing around are onlookers and are supposed to be back in the pit area but there are a lot of people that can't get that through their thick heads.

04-20-2008, 04:45 PM
Caller huh? You never see them do anything besides stand there and watch. Do the judges have a card telling them the routine, or do they only find out as they are flying?

In the case of the other knuckleheads half-way out. The looked pretty official like they belonged there. I figured they were relays to the pilot, or crowd watchers to keep any 'streakers' from running out on the field. LOL ;)

04-20-2008, 08:10 PM
I can (but I don't want to) just imagine a streaker at a pro 3D event... :banana

I think that's the last thing I'd want hanging out in the breeze!!! :shock:

04-20-2008, 09:51 PM
It's called a spotter..... He is suppose to watch for other air traffic, people that might walk onto the field, etc... At funfly's it's a requirement for sponsored pilots I believe?


04-20-2008, 10:36 PM
It's called a spotter..... He is suppose to watch for other air traffic, people that might walk onto the field, etc... At funfly's it's a requirement for sponsored pilots I believe?


That's almost laughable if it is true. The sponsors require their pilots to have a spotter at a fun fly and then let them land a heli on somebody's head on a TV show.


04-21-2008, 12:04 AM
Hehehe...I saw that vid too!

I thought there was only 1 guy flying at a time at those events? I kinda figured it was all there for the purpose of safety in mind, but I'm not so sure having an extra body out there will help much! Besides which, if that good 'ol streaker did try to get a piece of the action, then he's getting what's coming to him!!!!

04-23-2008, 05:34 PM
We require a spotter at our funfly events regardless of sponsorship status. It's just sensible when there's full-scale traffic, or if it's a very busy runway. Nine times out of ten, you just help with carrying stuff, but that tenth time you'll actually be able to alert them to dangers they might not be aware of.

The spotter should be looking anywhere BUT the plane of the pilot he's spotting for.

04-23-2008, 10:12 PM
Well thanks for the info guys. I'll be attending my first event in San Diego in May, so I guess I'll be able to get a good look at what everybody has going on. I'm used to flying completely by myself or in Vista, CA, where we only go up one or two at a time max.

04-24-2008, 04:47 PM
Yeah, when there's only one or two aircraft in the air, a spotter is bored. But at some of our events, we have 8 or more flying at a time, and at those times a spotter is essential, as is inter-pilot communication, like "buzzing the runway", "dead stick", and "full-scale approaching from the south".