Page MenuHomeFeedback Tracker

Unable to Autorotate in Helicopters With Engine Failure
Closed, ResolvedPublic


If you get in any helicopter, let's say, a Littlebird, climb to 2,000 feet MSL and shut the engine off, you basically fall straight from the sky with absolutely no response from control inputs. In the real-world, there is a technique that helicopter pilots use that allows them to make a successful forced landing with an engine failure. This maneuver is called "autorotation," and I've included a Wikipedia link for more info on this down below. Obviously, you're not going to be able to successfully land every single time you have an engine failure. A successful landing depends a lot on the circumstances, such as altitude, airspeed, pilot skill, and extent of damage to the aircraft. The point is, however, that the aircraft should not fall in the manner that it does, especially with a high airspeed. Landing a helicopter with a CONTROLLED engine failure in Arma III, is near to impossible -- At least I haven't found a way to do it yet. Furthermore, lowering the collective during an engine failure seems to have no influence over the aircraft's ability to fly. In the real-world, pilots train for engine failures regularly, climbing to a sufficient altitude, lowering the collective, and then performing the aforementioned maneuver to safely land. I highly recommend taking a look at some of the flight dynamics. While arguing over aerodynamics in general is pointless, considering there is no way to EXACTLY replicate flight characteristics in a video game, I do think this is an important issue with the flight model of the game. I understand this is not a flight simulator, but I believe it's important to include, or at least somewhat simulate autorotation as it would add to the dynamics of the game. If a pilots lost engine power, he or she would have a chance, provided they knew how to perform the maneuver and was skilled enough, to potentially make a successful forced landing. As of now, a mid-air engine failure is an automatic death for the pilot and crew on board the aircraft as they have no opportunity to make a successful forced landing.

Autorotation Wiki:

Example of Autorotation: {F19348}


Legacy ID
Game Physics
Steps To Reproduce

(1) Get in a helicopter of your choice at the Stratis airbase.
(2) Climb to an altitude of 2,000 feet MSL.
(3) Shut off the engine.
(4) Push the nose over to gain airspeed and increase air flow over the blades.
(5) Try and maneuver the aircraft down to a place of landing.

Event Timeline

larrythedoughboy edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
larrythedoughboy set Category to Game Physics.
larrythedoughboy set Reproducibility to Always.
larrythedoughboy set Severity to None.
larrythedoughboy set Resolution to Fixed.
larrythedoughboy set Legacy ID to 1999774319.May 7 2016, 2:02 PM
ceeeb added a comment.May 9 2013, 12:32 PM

Related (possible duplicate) of closed ticket #6502

Confirm. Autorotation impossible here....

dcs:ka-50 autorotation example

i think developers and moderators dont know about autorotation)))) (recently closed tickets)

Well, the first thing I did before I posted was specifically search for the term "autorotation" with no results. Unfortunately, this ticket is a duplicate. However, in the duplicate ticket (0006502), the moderator wrote that you could autorotate by holding the "collective lower" key. I have experimented and tried this with no change. Maybe I am missing something here?

ceeeb added a comment.May 10 2013, 1:21 AM

When searching, it can be helpful to change the Hide Status filter to "none"

Autoration landings are possible in Arma 3, see for some tips. I have no idea how realistic the current implementation is.

Bohemia added a subscriber: Bohemia.May 7 2016, 2:02 PM

They know about it, it's just that alpha isn't focused on vehicles much including helicopters. Arma 2 had auto rotation and Take on Helicopters even had a tutorial segment of it, these were all done by in house BI staff.

Ceeeb, as you point out, Arma II does simulate autorotation (Whether intentionally or not intentionally), but that is Arma II. If I'm not mistaken, Arma III uses a different flight model. If you attempt this maneuver in Arma III, you will find the flight model is not sufficient to simulate it.

NodUnit, I think I remember one of the developers talk about how they weren't focusing on the vehicles too heavily early on in development which makes sense. Who knows if they are going to make changes to the flight model, etc.

ceeeb added a comment.May 10 2013, 6:40 AM

Larry, I did successfully make safe "autorotation" landings (engine destroyed at altitude 200m, speed ~100km/h, in both BLUFOR and OPFOR helicopters) in the current dev build of Arma 3 before posting that is is possible.

Since issue 0009007 has been closed very quickly as duplicate, I will simply post here: this issue is NOT present in the current stable build, but IS present in the latest devbuild (0.61.105957).

This issue is now also present in the latest stable version, 0.60.
Helicopters cannot autorotate anymore.

ceeeb added a comment.Jun 6 2013, 8:26 AM

I'm still not having any trouble landing safely, assuming altitude is not too high, and with some forward speed.


  1. Load mission "autorotation_test.Stratis" in mission editor.
  2. Preview mission. Player starts with 200km/h and a dead engine.
  3. Push and hold collective down (key Z).
  4. Keep nose above horizon to attempt to lose vertical speed.
  5. When aircraft is about 20m from ground, push and hold collective up (key Q).
  6. Cross your fingers.

Landing from higher altitude seems to be a lot less successful.

Yep, crossing fingers is not how autorotations are done :P

The problem is that higher altitudes mean the rotor will have more time to slow down, while it should keep rotating due to the air flowing through the rotor.

As I said before, it worked really well in 0.58, but is broken in 0.60.

Bumping this as it still hasn't been reviewed/acknowledged/assigned.
It would be an issue if proper autorotations weren't back for the beta, with the new helicopters that will be available.

oukej added a comment.Jun 26 2013, 2:02 PM

Thank you for your feedback.

The helicopters are still somewhat WIP.
Will try to keep you informed about any changes.

Should be now fixed in DEV build.

The autorotation can't match Take On simulation ;), but it's there in a state at least as it was in Arma 2 OA. But I'd dare to say better!

What you think?

This ticket should also be set to resolved/closed since it coincides with the Beta Physics ticket.

Thanks for the reminder! No more feedback, seems like everyone likes it ;)
Resolved it is then.

Mass closing resolved tickets from last month.