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Make helicopter Crashes more realistic / not always exploding
Reviewed, WishlistPublic


I don't know if it is possible but something that would have a great atmosphere addition to this Simulation game (as I have played since Cold War Crisis) is that when a Helicopter crashes into the ground after losing the tail rotor (or any other severe damage) to a missile it shouldn't just explode, it should hit the ground or surface and get dented / flip a little dependent on point of impact / shatter glass and pull off doors, like it would really happen. Plus also if it is possible there should be a chance of units surviving the crash, thereby simulating a real helicopter crash. The Helicopter should end up looking somewhat like the Blackfoot wreck looks.

PS: They should still explode upon impact of multiple missiles and or HE weapons like tank shells for example. {F21414} {F21415}


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RabidSquirell edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
RabidSquirell set Category to Feature Request.
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RabidSquirell set Legacy ID to 2059476732.May 7 2016, 4:01 PM
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This already happens, depending on the velocity of the crash.

Yeah I get what you are saying, but realistically you wouldn't get this ^ (First photo uploaded above), you would get this ^ (Second photo uploaded above)

Bohemia added a subscriber: Bohemia.May 7 2016, 4:01 PM

Depends on the air frame and what caused the damage really.

A wire cable in the tail rotor (likely also cut the tail off) (would explode in A3)

Smashing down (would explode in A3)

Mowing the lawn (note the only breakage in this case is the main rotor mast but also note how the mast is constructed) (would explode in A3) this bird loses the very end of the tail (you can see it spinning into the air a bit towards the end) Bye bye main rotor

Aircraft hit by missiles are also more likely to have incur an engine failure or breaking of a weak point as opposed to turning into a big ball of flame, if its military anyway.

AD2001 added a subscriber: AD2001.May 7 2016, 4:01 PM


Yeah I do see, hopefully they can change this in the next ArmA or possibly in the future in ArmA 3, but I see it's gonna take a lot of work and they probably wont have time for it. But it should definitely be on their to do list for the future.

Awesome well now I have an answer.

What you guys really want is dynamic destruction. I believe there is no "patchwork" style for a damage model you would expect.

While that would certainly be nice, I'd just like for my helicopter to stop exploding when it hits the ground too hard or when it rolls over.

Having the rotor blades chop themselves off would be kinda neat even if it was the entire assembly like TKOH (screw it I'm open for anything that doesnt make them a solid mesh that stops you in your tracks)

I fully agree with NodUnit.
Making only the blades breakable and the helicopter not exploding as easily as in an michael bay movie when it tips over should not be as complicated to program as an entirely complex damage model.

I'm sure alot of people would be happy even with that.

You can try out my script, which tries to help that issue.
It is not perfect and the heli will explode eventually, but it is a better way then what we have now.

A comparison between DCS and Arma 3 by Dslyecxi regarding this issue:

Dslyecxi's video says it all...
Crash landing almost always results in blowing up like fireworks, and this is not related just to the helicopters but everything else in game.
If you crash your car in a tree it's reasonable it's damaged beyond repairs and you suffer major wounds or death but the vehicle shouldn't blow up like it had the trunk loaded with explosives.

Dslyecxi's is very old, posted around the very beginning of the rotorlib implementation and whatnot. Since then there have been several patches to make aircraft gear more resilient.

For example-
Shortly after rotorlib

A patch later

Peter added a subscriber: Peter.May 7 2016, 4:01 PM
Peter added a comment.Sep 24 2014, 8:31 PM

I agree with that. Before on early alpha you crash and sometimes you can survive the crash but I think was more a bug than a feature :-(

^ I remember that! I was so happy as I found out that it was possible and I actually thought it was a feature. I was disappointed as they removed it...

Well now, all I would want is not to explode if you tip over, which is really annoying.

Planes need this too. All aircraft need more realistic damage models, and to not always explode with every crash.

It should SOMETIMES be possible for your aircraft to take damage from a missile or AAA without the pilot always getting injured (or killed).

The main thing we need to see is for the helicopter to not explode upon rolling over. this would greatly improve the survivability and realism of crashes.

Peter added a comment.Sep 28 2014, 7:20 PM

Totally agree with the_Demongod

This issue is still not fixed. I consider it a game-breaking bug for the helicopters to spontaneously explode upon rolling over. So far we're seeing great things in terms of better crash survivability, realistically so. But the random explosions when you roll the helicopter (quite common) are extremely annoying and frankly I think this should be top priority in terms of work to be done on the Helicopter DLC.

^ indeed. ^

Why is this not set to "assigned"? This has been an issue since the Alpha...

Cenwulf added a subscriber: Cenwulf.May 7 2016, 4:01 PM

Additionally to better low impact crash simulation, high impact crash simulation should also be improved. Nothing breaks the immersion more than watching a jet hit the ground and seeing the wreck bounce 10 meters back up into the air. I think at a certain impact force (if it's possible to calculate) the wreck model should simply not be spawned and instead in its place a large fire effect should be left. This would go some way to better simulate complete disintegration of the aircraft upon impact without the need to spawn complex parrticle effects or to model smaller wreck fragments.

_oMMe_ added a subscriber: _oMMe_.May 7 2016, 4:01 PM

Just Please don´t make Choppers explode when rolling slowly upside down.

We need this:

NOT this:

And it would be great to add that "brutal impact=complete destruction" what Cenwulf is talking about to the helos and jets.

May you do this at some point? Please?

SilverDude, fully agree. Your screenshots show exactly what I want to see in game.

This "tipping over-thing" is still a major (and seemingly easy fixable) problem, why wasn't this fixed in the Helicopter DLC?

A nice thing would be if the choppers would tolerate more impact damage upon a crash, just killing the crew instead of always exploding to space and beyond.

Please this is the MOST and ONLY really annoying thing in the entire game for me and maybe some others, even the action menu doesn't bother me as much as this problem...

rogerx added a subscriber: rogerx.May 7 2016, 4:01 PM

SilverDude: I agree, the tipping over of helicopters and always exploding once tipped over is a definite bug!

Because of this, you can almost never auto rotate and land successfully! Likely the only method of auto-rotating and landing without exploding is landing upon water.

I'm opening a separate bug for this issue, as this is just a feature request. Maybe we can get a hack in before the next release.

UPDATED: Wrote-up a new bug report, and marked the darn thing as a bug instead of feature request. Also noted auto-rotation is almost impossible to execute without exploding due to the current damage model. See Bug #26690, "Helicopters Always Explode when Tipping Over!"

Hopefully the developers can quickly hack or adjust something just prior to the next release. Should be a quick tweak of settings or something to make auto-rotation and a safe landing over land possible with the helicopters once again.

IDC mostly
but my idea was to improve the tip over only

I noticed last night while simulated flying of the vortex aircraft, merrily touching the water with the wheels caused the aircraft to explode. Likely should be a new bug, as this seems dependent only on vortex aircraft.

anyway, my suggestion was to replace explosion and wreck with something like this for tip over

I agree. And I think the situation is two fold here. 1) Helicopters always explode on tip-over, when they should not with most being survivable and, 2) aircraft should have different non-explosive damage models.

Think the reason why everything "just explodes", the action is just an easy generic template to be adjusted later. So likely Bohemia found integrating more extensive damage models time consuming versus being required. The developers just needed a level of damage to show completely damage instead, and having everything just explode and replace with a completely damaged model to be easy. (I recall life size simulators just displaying some very basic effects to maybe nothing, for displaying failure.)

On the flip if we can repair helicopters with broken rotors within the 3D world, then why are helicopters exploding (and killing all passengers) on simple tip-over accidents when they can be repaired? (Maybe due to difficulty to improbable with tipping right side up.) Not only this, but simple tip-overs rarely explode correct? And instead merrily shred the rotors. (Albeit, I'd hate to be as near as 25 feet or within the passenger compartments while the rotors are being shredded off.)

Also on simple tip-overs, it would seem quite boring just to replace the model with completely damaged representative model, without exploding effects. (Again, back to the real life simulators syndrome.)

Players should be able to just walk away from such incidents, unless they had a rotor get stuck-up their butt. [vid]


also, pls note the sound on 7:15 (apparently engine gear)
it's already in the game, but appears to be louder

Oburi added a subscriber: Oburi.Aug 6 2016, 3:48 AM

Could a developer please annouce or describe why exactly this is so difficult to comply?

I´m not a programmer, but it looks easier than anything else that was added to the game, just fix the hitpoints on the helicopter that trigger an instant explosion.
Yes, it should explode on a heavy inpact but not instantly caused by some "trigger" or glitchy hitpoint touching the terrain.

It would help understand why this annoying bug/"""feature""" is still implemented into a nearly perfect game.

The Problem is not the "change the hitpoint" but Arma has many hitpoints that can even diffirintiate the damage done to them. Cars for example do not explode always sometimes they just leave a wreck or smoke if they are shot by non incendiary ammunition. But a car is a car and remains mostly in 1 part when destroyed. when a heli crasehs it falls apart. Doing that in a static manner will mean it looks damn ugly since the parts could float high up in the air or stuff like that.
Doing it Physx enabled , means the parts that will break apart would have their own trajectories and stuff(since you have to change that for mid air destruction too). That would mean creating a method to do that and more performance impact to calculate the parts.

To the topic with the roll over. Im not sure if arma can distinguish the collision with ground and with a vehicle means crashing a heli in to another would bring a explosion but wouldn t in arma.

I hope that gives you a small view on what impact small changes can have on the bigger system.

Thanks and it amazes me what could be possible, especially with many parts ripping off in Arma. But, since it´s nearly impossible to run a such dynamic system without having lag spikes down to -2000 fps in hell.....
We can maybe talk about that in 20 years.

The only thing to be fixed and annoying is really the flipping part.

Thats nearly everything they could have done to complete a part of the game for solo players and mostly for the squads playing huge battles without any respawn option. Imagine like 12 people of 30 just sitting in an EVAC chopper that cought its wheel in a rock and tipped with a speed not even able to shatter the windows or give anyone a bruse.

Thanks to the physics...BOOM. 12 men just dead and unable to help the rest for the entire battle.

Sure, the helicopter still sucks performance compared to a wreck. To consider it, they could either turn it into a wreck without burnt texture, or make it burn after 30sec due to "leaking fuel" and it would explode in order to keep fps stable for everyone.

The physics improvements are not 20 years away its more like : Its there but its too late to change the whole system. Physx is shit sry all Nvidia users but it is there are some competitors that are way better like Havoc

Your imaginary 10-30 people sitting in an EVAC chopper, tipping over and exploding constantly occurs within the game.

More likely what should occur within the 3D world: 1) Helicopter tips over. 2) Main & stabilization blades break. 3) Nothing else should occur aside from maybe bumps & bruises, and simulating shrapnel injuries from the blade metal fragments.

Minor engine, fuel tank, structural damage could also occur. Granted, the vehicle could explode after a certain period of time, due to fuel leaking. (And of course, all the players still simply hang-out near the damaged helicopter for a few minutes, and will still die easily. Probably would be nice to see some trickle of black smoke so they get the hint to not hang around a helicopter on the ground.)

The likely rational behind the effect of exploding upon the helicopter tipping over, to simulate massive non-fixable damage to the helicopter structure and the possibility of blade fragments causing severe lacerations. (eg. Not a good thing for a helicopter to tip over in the real world!) They're probably assuming all players are smoking too, and fuel leaks creating a massive Wennie Roast. (Out of respect, no pun intended towards recent real world events. Sigh...)

SilverDude added a comment.EditedJul 28 2017, 4:39 AM

So, to catch and bundle everything up that has been commented here as a feature:
(more likely a fix but Bohemia didn't seem to have enough time by 4 years of development..)

So, step by step:

  • possiblility of a mid-severe crash without survivors but no immediate explosion similar to "Operation Flashpoint - Dragon Rising" just with fire and fuel leaking later occuring an explosion or only a burning wreckage
  • helicopters can flip to the side, only losing their rotors if they collide anywhere, just like now BUT of course the impact calculates the damage of the HULL and health of the crew = explosion only by heavy impact
  • If a helicopter flips, it shall take at least 30 seconds until it explodes even if that should not happen..but performance says yes or it catches fires (without explosion) and turns into a wreck as if it would just burn out

Just look at some real life helicopter crash videos and imagine the Hull was only one, damage-value based object like in arma, how it then could be ingame for an example. Or play OFP Dragon Rising.
First thing i bet you guys would agree with is just getting the flip'n'explode part fixed. That alone would make a great difference in gameplay.

Sounds about right to me.

Also alongside the 30 second delay until exploding, probably a good idea to show some colored goo oozing from the crashed helicopter else the slow wannabe army guys are not going to readily catch-on to back away, even with a Sergeant standing behind them with a large clue bat. Maybe even a tick-tock time bomb clock sound while the wrecked helicopter is oozing colored goo, might get them to think a little and back away. Or, a sexy audible female prerecorded voice played over the helicopters audio system, telling them to back away before she has her way... then again, I'll probably ignore that one and stand by the wreckage. Or, maybe mounting some no-smoking signs on the helicopter, and having them turn-on once the helicopter is leaking fuel.... shrugs...

jabby8 added a subscriber: jabby8.Nov 7 2018, 2:19 PM