Chinook CH-47/Limits

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1.1 Purpose

This chapter identifies the operating limitations that should be observed by the flight crew during operation of this helicopter.

1.2 Minimum Crew Requirement

The minimum crew required to operate this helicopter is two pilots and a flight engineer. However, in the event the two other avatars cannot be located, a waiver for single-pilot flight is granted.


2.1 Instrument Markings

All instrument markings should be observed while flying this helicopter. Red markings indicate the limits for which operation above or below that limit is likely to cause damage to helicopter systems. Yellow markings indicate that helicopter should only be operated in that range for a limited period of time. Green markings indicate the normal range of operation.

2.2 Rotor Limits

Rotor speed should not exceed 108 percent in normal operation. Rotor speed exursions above 115 percent require a tear-down inspection of the rotor system. Operation between 92 and 96 percent should only be performed while water taxiing. Inoperative Cruise Guide Indicator Flight at or below 98 percent with an inoperative cruise guide indicator is prohibited.


3.1 Center-of-Gravity Limitations

See Fig. 6-1 for center-of-gravity limitations with respect to gross weight.

3.2 Maximum Gross Weigh

The maximum gross weight is 50,000 pounds.

3.3 Cargo Hook Limitations

The cargo hook and hoist weight limits are as follows:

Hook Max Capacity (lbs)
Center 26,000
Forward 17,000
Aft 17,000
Tandem 25,000
Hoist 12,000
Rescue Hoist 600


4.1 Maximum forward speed

The following forward airspeed limitations apply:

  1. With an operative CGI (Cruise Guide Indicator), the maximum allowed forward speed in 170 knots.
  2. With an inoperative CGI, the maximum forward airspeed is 120 knots.
  3. With an external load, the maximum forward airspeed is 120 knots.
  4. Maximum speed with lower section of main cabin door open is 60 knots.
  5. Maximum speed while opening or closing the rescue hatch is 90 knots.
  6. Maximum speed while open or closing the left side escape hatch is 100 knots.
  7. Maximum speed while operating the windshield wipers is 130 knots.
  8. Maximum airspeed with a single AFCS operative is 100 knots.

4.2 Other Speed Limitations

  1. Maximum airspeed in sideward flight is 45 knots.
  2. Maximum airspeed in rearward flight is 45 knots.
  3. Maximum crosswind or tailwind in a hover is 45 knots.


5.1 Aerobatics

Acrobatic maneuvers are prohibited with this helicopter.

5.2 Bank Limitations

With an operative CGI, bank angles are limited to 60 degrees, or by CGI indication. With an inoperative CGI, bank angle is limited to 45 degrees.

5.3 Landing Limitations

  1. The maximum rate of descent at touchdown for gross weights up to 33,000 pounds is 492 feet/min.
  2. The maximum rate of descent at touchdown for gross weights between 33,000 and 40,000 pounds is 450 feet/min.
  3. The maximum rate of descent at touchdown for gross weights above 40,000 pounds is 360 feet/min.
  4. The maximum groundspeed for running landings is 60 knots.
  5. The maximum nose-up attitude for landings is 20 degrees.


6.1 Fuel Tank Capacities

Fuel tank capacities are as follows:

Tank Gallons Pounds
Right Front Aux 119.2 810
Right Main 273.9 1862
Right Aft Aux 116.8 794
Left Front Aux 123.6 840
Left Main 280.5 1907
Left Aft Aux 119.8 814
TOTAL 1040.6 7076

6.2 Fluid Capacities

Fluid capacities are as follows:

Fluid Max Capacity (quarts) Min Capacity (quarts)
#1 Engine Oil 12 6
#2 Engine Oil 12 6
Forward Transmission 26 13
Aft Transmission 41 21
#1 Eng. Transmission 10 5
#2 Eng. Transmission 10 5
Combining Transmission 20 10
#1 Flight Control Hydraulics 9.6 8
#2 Flight Control Hydraulics 9.6 8
Utility Hydraulics 21.6 18