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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that they used helicopters alot, but was blown away by the shot of all the copters grounded in one field on the stage they didn't run in Africa (Saturday night show). Must have been 30 or more?
 

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Is Safari a little different?

All the cars must have helicopters to ensure safety. I think there are many helicopters at other events but not as many -- maybe only one per team at an average event --

anybody know for sure?
 

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I believe each event sets its own limits on the use of helicopters, and this has been tightened in recent years in an overall effort to reduce the manufacturers costs.I know that when I went to the RAC in 1992 team helicopters were banned and in New Zealand we had a flight exclusion zone over all stages with only safety, observers and the host TV provider permitted to actually follow the event, however spectators and media, Martin Holmes in particular, were permitted to fly to prearranged spectator points.

I can see the need for helicopters in Kenya but most events now are more compact and communications are more efficient. Before Service Parks, teams would follow cars and amongst other duties, would provide mechanical assistance if necessary, however this is no longer legal so the choppers aren't as important.

In 1992 at the RAC, Prodrive had a plane in the air with a transmitter just to provide communication amongst the team. Now, with satellite phones, even this added expense isn't necessary. At my last Rally NZ event in 1996 the local telephone company had a truck mounted, mobile Cell phone Transmitter that followed the event and was positioned in areas with no coverage.

Changes have at least provided organisers with relief as many were faced with the added burden of having to safely control the skies in addition to safety on the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
RE: WRC and helicopters, and short cutting the course

You know, I think you may be right. The roads are not closed and helicopters are used to warn the drivers of "impending obstacles". Another question. Have they always "short cut" the course to avoid rough portions of the road? This would see, to me to be illegal.
 

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RE: WRC and helicopters, and short cutting the course

As Don says, the helicopters are essential in the Safari because the roads are not closed. Advanced warning of an oncoming bus is a good thing. I don't think that any other event in the WRC uses the chase helicopters (which are actually lead helicopters).

As for shortcutting, that has always been part of the Safari because of the road conditions. It doesn't mean that you can shorcut intersections. In fact, I was pretty sure that one of the in-car segments had the codriver reminding the driver to take the long way at an intersection.

Adrian
 

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Don't know if you saw this or not, but last night on Speed they had Rally Xtra on and apparently the helicopters served another purpose.

When Markko Martin's co-driver Michael Park took the wrong routebook for the stage, the navigator in the helicopter made up/called pacenotes for the road ahead. Seemed to work fairly well, and Markko finshed the stage with a fairly good time IIRC.

Later,
Greg
 

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: WRC and helicopters and forgotten pace notes

It appeared (at least what they showed on TV) that Marko Martin did'nt seem to pissed off about it, actually it looked like he thought it was pretty funny, nice to see a top WRC driver not swearing his head off when things get a little tense. Class act that Estonian.
 

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>
>When Markko Martin's co-driver Michael Park took the wrong
>routebook for the stage, the navigator in the helicopter
>made up/called pacenotes for the road ahead.

As I understood, this is illegal. The observers are only allowed to warn of hazards in the road ahead, such as animals, traffic, washouts, etc.. Providing route information is a no-no. I highly doubt the observer was giving "pace note" quality instructions. Safari is open enuf that a good driver can probably keep up using tulips or similar.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 
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