Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

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Ender
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Ender »

From my experience and an admins his month ban isn't only due to this incident. Now this is only a months ban which isn't long at all, from my experience which I have PLENTY of, a month ban is good time to realize that you really don't want to fuck up and think about your actions.
Last edited by Wombat on Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed complaint which is best discussed in private with admin
It is the challenge that makes one better, to push one's limit and actively look for things to do better- Ender
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Wombat »

I think this thread has had enough constructive criticism on the incident itself now and it isn't the place to discuss openly about a player's history or behaviour. If someone has a complaint about another player's behaviour, then it should be brought directly to an admin privately.

Instead, this thread has moved on to discuss how best to encourage pilot practice and training among the community to help avoid incidents like this in the future.
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Eagle-Eye »

2 cents.

A fun little challenge in the Editor to learn the agility of a helicopter and when to reduce speed, is to fly this track on Altis' central airport as fast and as low as possible without crashing. Start from the apron just out of view top right. In the image I placed HEMTT's to have a visual reference indicating turning points and direction, but you can also do it without.
https://i.imgur.com/3VFKkQJ.jpg

Bit more advanced is to fly the kart-track in a Hummingbird or Ghosthawk without flying off the pavement or hitting an object. Mostly useful to learn dimensions of aircraft, especially main rotor, and how inertia and tail rotor can affect turns, as well as how to make precise control inputs:
https://i.imgur.com/ehwQpKP.jpg

After that, you can take it up a notch by flying NOE through city streets, forests, ...
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Kyoptic »

Jim wrote: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:45 pm You don't fire someone at work for fucking up - they may have cost you a few quid but look at it as money invested in them.

Luke (and all of us) have learnt a lot from this and to banish him is effectively throwing away all this valuable training.

Make him fly the next three game nights and he'll either amaze us with improved professionalism or decide that more hours are needed practicing.

On a personal level - I can fly fairly well in editor but am way to scared to translate this to server game night for fear for fucking up and being 'that guy'. What would a mid week training mission need?
The "Support X" missions that BIS has are damn good ones for practicing repeated chopper logistics (both infantry and supplies) as well as light CAS.

Anything even vaguely on par with those but for different maps and for RHS assets would be a dream.
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Ender
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Ender »

Why I think players are blacklisted for the wrong reason:

As I have noticed lately there is many reasons admins can put a player on the blacklist sheet, one of the reasons i've noticed is mistakes like crashing when flying or anything else that is related to an accident because the player tried out something a little too difficult then their current skill.

From my personal experience when people were slotting up on one of the missions on server two (20180214) it took a little while for the pilots to get occupied, so I decided to try it out since I knew my flying skills are decent. During the mission there were many difficult landings and I felt as if I needed more pratice before hands. I managed to do two tight landings in the jungle but unfortunately on the third one I did my very best but managed to touch down the helicopter a little too hard which ended up in a crash.

I knew that I needed to practice and know that I could land safely everytime before I would go pilot on that map again, but straight after the mission was completed (which didn't have any huge negative impact due to my crash) I got the following message from Rory that was very straight forward with a "You have been blacklisted for month and will not fly in another month". I didn't see the other message were he said he'd sent a clarification of why.

I do understand that the blacklist is made so people will have the time to get better, maby think about what they did wrong and avoid more crashes in the future (in this case), but from the message I got there was nothing to explain it, or atleast I didn't see it, either way I will show a few arguments or to why this is not a good way to deal with these problems aswell as the right way to deal with it.

1) The message is aggressive
The biggest problem and the best solution is the message that the admins send out. Instead of a "you know what you did wrong but you are blacklisted for a month and are banned from flying till then", a admin should say something like this "Unfortunate that you crashed, it's very tough terrain to land and fly in, I think you shouldn't be pilot for a month so you can have time to practice and go at it again once you get used to it".

That message starts with something positive that gives the vibe that the admin is not angry but instead understands the player and then gives a clear reason to why one shouldn't be pilot, so they can practice and then end the word with something to encourage the player to try it again once they practiced what they couldn't handle. This is CRUCIAL since without a reason, the player will most likely do the same mistake after a month and that ban wont have any purpose.

2) Blacklist shouldn't even be mentioned with a mistake

Blacklist gives of the vibe that it is something very serious. It only adds to that when also mentioning that you've been banned for flying for a month. Now the reason why this is bad to mention even with the example I showed above is because once the time is up and the person has practiced, he might still not feel as if he want to go at it again due to the fear of the unknown. That somehow even though he knows he's a very good pilot he might make a small mistake again and crash or get shot down, and because the player know he has already been blacklisted if he crash again (even if it's unlikely) he is afraid to get banned. So instead the player knows his skilled enough to handle it but wont go at it since if he does mess up he might get banned or blacklisted for a much longer duration.

3) Blacklist should only be mentioned if the player doesn't take hints
If a player means to crash then that's obvious what that leads to, but if the person goes pilot and crashes reapetedly then it means that the player is not aware that he should go into the Editor and practice. Blacklist should therefor only be mentioned if the player is nicely told "example above" to practice but still goes as pilot asnd crash (2-5 times depending on the how he crashed).

Summary:

If someone messes up due to they trying something that turned out to be slightly above their current skill, they should be nicely told the way I showed at point 1 and not mention that they have been blacklisted or banned from flying. If it is mentioned then it will only cause more fear (point 2) which will scare away potential pilots that could make slotting up much faster aswell as creating a friendlier/more varied community with a better atmosphere.

A person should therefor only be told that they are blacklisted and the reason why if they ignore any hints and keep going at it with the same fails reapetedly. If you think about it logically this way will do the same effect as blacklisting, maby with a slightly bigger risk of 1 or 2 extra crashes, but have much greater effect of the person being encouraged to go at it again once they practiced and it will also create a better atmosphere.

Crashing leads to 1-30 minutes of frustration, but them learning and go at it again will lead to something positive that isn't temporary. Keep in mind that I did explain this idea with the example of pilot crashes, but the idea can be applied to anything that has to do with mistakes that leads to blacklisted.

Do you see Luke or me flying anymore?

Thanks for reading, kind regards// Ender
It is the challenge that makes one better, to push one's limit and actively look for things to do better- Ender
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Eagle-Eye »

Ender wrote: Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:27 amDo you see me flying anymore?
Well, no. You’ve only been blacklisted for 12 days. :roll:


In all seriousness, though, I agree with your post.
I’m guessing the event you refer to was on PKL, where you went down with Bravo? If so,
1) I was the other pilot, and I remember that being a very tight spot to land in, under less than ideal lighting conditions. (twilight / dusk, maybe even under contact?)

2) IMO, the UH-1Y is a terrible bird to fly in 1PV. Very limited visibility except for what’s straight in front of you, and even that is blocked by an unrealistic amount of reflection and sun glare on the windshield, even when the sun isn’t even out. Unless you’re landing in the middle of an open field, you really need a copilot and / or backseater(s) calling out what’s around you.

I’d say those two points should definitely be taken into consideration as well before a decision is made. If there was another pilot, ask for his take on the mission as well (more in-depth than the quick AARs allow us) as there may have been other reasons than pilot skill, that may not always be clear to ground troops, that led to the mishap.


Slightly off-topic, yet also relevant to flying: IMO, PKL in general is hell for a pilot.
- The map doesn’t show foliage correctly at all, so it’s pretty much useless to find and plan LZ’s, safe ingress / egress routes, obstacle clearance, ... Unless it’s showing a wide open field (and even then) someone needs to actually be in or over the area before a pilot can decide if he can land there.
- Because the map is so useless, pilots need more time than usual to scan and get their bearings. Unfortunately, the map is full screen, which is not a good idea when flying forward, but if a pilot dares to slow down or God forbid, hang still for 15 seconds in a safe area, he gets an anxious CO asking him if he’s still alive. (Mentality change needed to not automatically assume pilots are bad?)
- Because of the trees, without a constant upstream, pilots have no idea where ground units are. Map group indicators and locations markers don’t help, because of previous reasons. (Overall, I think there’s too much reliance on map markers, but that’s another topic completely)
- Because pilots have no ground visibility, they can’t do much recon and their task is usually limited to “drop troops - circle around for 30+ minutes - pick up troops.”
- Those same trees drag down FPS a lot. My computer isn’t bad, but only on PKL, I need to lower my visibility settings from 7000m to 2000m (which is very low considering helo’s often cover that distance in much less than a minute) to get 15 - 20 FPS, with drops to sub-10 or short freezes when I’m looking around (which I should be doing a lot as I come in, but I don’t because I’d risk crashing solely because of FPS drops).
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Rory »

Can finally read the forums now that they're unfucked so Ill try clarify some things. You can ask me anything you want if I don't answer something you want to know.


I think you have a valid criticism in the first point Ender. I regret that I didn't think over my first message a bit more, but I did elaborate on later messages. Ill try not to be as negative next time (Although that's hard for a scotsman).

On the topic of the actual blacklist decision.
The blacklist is not (at least for me) to just hand out to any pilot (or important role) who happens to make an important mistake. In your case, In a previous gamenight or two you had taken a pilot role and destroyed the chopper when attempting to land at a clear airstrip. It was a pretty clear mistake but I gave you some leeway as I hadn't seen any other mistakes to my knowledge in other gamenights. I like to think I give people chances, this blacklist was definitely not just because of the mistake you are complaining about, sorry if that wasn't clear.
For context, I have witnessed other very experienced pilots just crash on open fields like idiots (I didn't forget Dmitry) and proceed to disconnect out of shame. I haven't blacklisted them as I have not seen the mistake repeated. This rule applies to all pilots and important roles. I wont instantly stop them on their first mistake but action will be taken on multiple offences. That's how I interpret blacklisting.

On the third point about warnings. When you crash and you cant attribute the crash to enemy fire or a suicidal order then that should be a warning to the player that they might need to improve. I will warn people if need be but I really hoped I wouldn't need to. I'd feel giving the pilot a talking to every time they fuck something up could get annoying and condescending really quick.

The difficulty of the commanders orders and the general terrain is a difficult one. My opinion, I don't feel it can be used as a valid excuse. Terrain can be seen when slotting into the brief. If you don't know if you are comfortable on the terrain being played then I wouldn't recommend going a pilot or especially a transport pilot.
If your commander gives you an LZ that is impossible then that's obviously not on you but zeus does expect a level of competency. Id recommend any new eager pilot doesn't instantly lock into that role. Going infantry or maybe FAC (if they are confident with a commanding role) so they can get an idea of what is expected of pilots here is a good idea. If worse comes to worse and you have been given an LZ that you feel you cant land in then let them know. Moving LZ's is a lot less worse than crashing and killing everyone aboard. This is not an excuse for being inept though.

There is definitely some criticism to be had on the blacklisting and expectations of pilots in zeus. Commanders can expect ridiculous levels of skill sometimes, I would like to take this time to remind everyone that we are meant to be "casual". This definitely has a knock on effect as well which limits our pool of pilots to a stupidly small number of the same people. Blacklisting can also vary greatly between admins. With no clear guidelines on the subject that's definitely something that I will try get us admins to look at and clarify.
I do sympathise with you guys, being a pilot in Zeus at the moment seems stupidly difficult but for now it seems to be working if not very inefficiently.

These are just my shitty opinions, would welcome any different (or the same) views on the subject
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by ashley »

Rory wrote: Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:20 am Blacklisting can also vary greatly between admins. With no clear guidelines on the subject that's definitely something that I will try get us admins to look at and clarify.
Turn up to meetings or read minutes, this has already been discussed and clarified.
Snowman wrote: Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:57 pm

Stealthy: Discussion over implementation of bans from roles.
Ashley: Re Wombats post on the similar incident that happened recently. This should be the template for this feedback. Very constructive and positive.No admin should be implementing these instantly across the server.
General agreement. All bans from roles SHOULD be documented as well. No excuse for not following up and adding to list.
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Rory »

If I blacklist someone for 1 gamenight and another admin blacklists someone for an identical mistake for a longer period of time then neither of us are necessarily wrong but it might look unfair from an outside perspective. That is what I was trying to say.

This opens up the questions of rules and that's a flood gate I really don't want to open as what we have right now does kinda work.
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Eagle-Eye »

Will use this topic to say I'm interested in more feedback on the flying / engaging of Reaper 2 this game night. If you have footage, feel free to share that as well. Not looking to make it a big discussion, just aiming to learn from my mistakes. :)

Also, no need to hold back any harsh comments. I'm 28. I can stand my ground. ;)
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Dmitry Yuri »

Eagle-Eye wrote: Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:50 pm Will use this topic to say I'm interested in more feedback on the flying / engaging of Reaper 2 this game night.

I think the majority of my criticism should probably have been directed at your gunner. But i'll outline some of the issues that I had with your helicopter here anyway because you as the pilot should have had final say over any action the aircraft was going to take.

Dangerous positioning
As the pilot of the helicopter you own the aircraft. Your priorities should be
1) the Aircraft.
2) the Crew / Cargo.
3) the objective / your orders. (includes movement requests from your gunner)

Flying directly over hostile contact is a dumb idea. This violates priority 1, the viper is able to accurately engage contacts from more than 2km away. You are not well armoured and while small arms are relatively ineffective unless you are flying low, the AO was full of armoured contacts that had much heavier weaponry including Anti-Air autocannon (this is why I said I was surprised that you didn't get shot down). It has been suggested that your gunner didn't give you enough information to avoid this contact but in future if this is the case then you need to direct the gunner to give you accurate information about the area you are flying into. But even if this was the case then you should have looked at the map at where friendly forces were holding or moving into and position yourself in such a way to provide support without putting yourself in danger. And if you can hear shots pinging off your cockpit then you are too close. The pilot owns the aircraft not the gunner.

Incorrect Munitions
There were a few times my gunner was watching your helicopter engage armoured contacts with thermobaric munitions. This was your gunners fault as they either made an honest mistake (on multiple occasions) or didn't read the briefing tab called "Notes for air assets".
There are 2 variants of ACE hellfires.
AGM-114K - These are used for all armoured threats. They have a Tandem HEAT warhead.
AGM-114N - These are used for emplacements and urban/soft targets. They have a thermobaric warhead.
There were also several occasions that your hellfires missed their targets. Its relatively difficult to miss with a laser guided munition but I think that was probably because you were so close and flying towards the targets you were engaging. The Viper should not fly up and down the AO like a plane on a gun run, it can hover and maneuver at a distance and engage targets from there.

Rearming
Your aircraft was off-station to rearm on 4 occasions. This was somewhat surprising but it probably points to your gunner using the wrong munitions and firing more to make up for missed or undamaged targets. But there was one situation in particular when you just come back from rearming and announce on comms that you are back on station, then the other 2 air callsigns go to rearm thinking that you will still be around to cover the ground forces. Then you go to rearm AS WELL! Within 5 minutes of coming back from the first rearm. Now if you hadn't actually rearmed in the first place then don't say you are back on station, or at least clarify your intent. And when you are the only air callsign in the air do your best to stay around until another callsign can get back up. While I don't understand the multi-rearm, ultimately JTAC/FAC should have controlled the air assets better and rotated the assets through rearming rather than letting all 3 go off-station at the same time.

On your last rearm you temporarily took off without your gunner. As I understand the situation you believed there was a hostile Air target and JTAC/FAC wanted you airborne so you took off. Now this was partially down to a miscommunication as the 2 air contacts had already been destroyed, and JTAC actually wanted to assign you ground targets. But your aircraft is of very questionable usefulness without your gunner. You should not have taken off without him, even if you were just attempting to engage air targets.


Friendly Fire
There was also the friendly fire incident that your callsign committed. The sensor package your aircraft has is more than capable of positively identifying friendly or hostile targets, and friendly forces were also marked on the map. The message your gunner relayed on the air net after the incident was
"JTAC be advised.... we received the hold fire and we {unintelligible} accidentally on the hold fire there"
*JTAC asks for repeat*
"We didn't break off early enough on the hold fire"
Personally I don't think this is a valid defence. Ultimately this was the gunners fault but I think you as the pilot could have helped avoid this loss.

The main thing is that you shouldn't be flying up and down the AO. More distance puts the gunner under less pressure to engage things quickly and should give them more time to PID.

You as the pilot should have a rough idea where friendly forces are. In the mission in question all friendly forces were marked on the map with blue force tracking. You should know their positions so that when you select a position for your helicopter to move into you are not going to accidentally hit friendlies by having an unclear backdrop or set yourself up for accidental ricochet. If your gunner is engaging something danger close to friendly forces you should remind him of friendly locations.

It is part of the gunners job to track friendly and hostile positions so they can not only engage targets safely but also alert friendly forces to hostiles that are danger close (too close for you to engage). A rule of thumb for this danger close distance is 300m. Different weapon systems will vary slightly but within this distance you need to be extremely careful, even if it is 'just cannon'.


Conclusion
In the real (and in an ideal ArmA) world the gunner is usually the commander of the aircraft. In this situation while he was very eager, i think he was too inexperienced to command the aircraft.

The FAC provided one of the most hands off FAC/JTAC experiences I have ever seen in ArmA, and that certainly didn't help any of the air assets.

You as the pilot should have taken charge of your aircraft and avoid putting it into situations that would usually (and have on multiple occasions during previous runs of that very mission) lead to death and destruction.



(A cluster bomb does not have a danger close distance of 50m JTAC/FAC should not have called that in at the end).
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Eagle-Eye »

Thanks for writing that down. Duly noted. :)

Not sure yet if I will, but I might come back to a few points that probably require some extra explanation. Unfortunately, I lack the time to do so now.
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Eagle-Eye »

Now that I have more time, some points from my POV.
Dmitry Yuri wrote: Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:27 am I think the majority of my criticism should probably have been directed at your gunner. But i'll outline some of the issues that I had with your helicopter here anyway because you as the pilot should have had final say over any action the aircraft was going to take.

Dangerous positioning
As the pilot of the helicopter you own the aircraft. Your priorities should be
1) the Aircraft.
2) the Crew / Cargo.
3) the objective / your orders. (includes movement requests from your gunner)

Flying directly over hostile contact is a dumb idea. This violates priority 1, the viper is able to accurately engage contacts from more than 2km away. You are not well armoured and while small arms are relatively ineffective unless you are flying low, the AO was full of armoured contacts that had much heavier weaponry including Anti-Air autocannon (this is why I said I was surprised that you didn't get shot down). It has been suggested that your gunner didn't give you enough information to avoid this contact but in future if this is the case then you need to direct the gunner to give you accurate information about the area you are flying into. But even if this was the case then you should have looked at the map at where friendly forces were holding or moving into and position yourself in such a way to provide support without putting yourself in danger. And if you can hear shots pinging off your cockpit then you are too close. The pilot owns the aircraft not the gunner.
The Shilka's quad gun has a max vertical angle of +85° so technically, the safest place to be is directly over him. :D

Joking aside, though, I understand what you're saying. We did get spiked quite frequently, at which point I always went defensive towards or over water, but honestly, at no point did I ever get the impression I was flying in positions that would put the helicopter, its crew or the objective at risk. While flying close to / over the AO, I always kept my speed above 150km/h, often at a height of at least 300m (less so towards the end when most threats were dealt with).
The initial reason why we needed to get so close every time, however, was because my gunner had limited visibility because of wrong (default?) ACE View Distance settings. Unfortunately, it took me way too long to realise that I was spotting targets with my Mk1 Eyeball at longer ranges than he was with his sensors. Once I picked up on it, I had to convince him (one of many in-pit discussions, btw) his settings were off and he needed to change them. For some reason, he couldn't or refused to do that while inside the helicopter, which accounts for one of our landings / "rearms" you mentioned.

Even after that, though, had it been up to my gunner, we would've flown even closer a lot more than we did now. Had the impression at times he was so busy head's down that he didn't have a lot of aerial SA (e.g. asking me to turn, while we were already in a 60° bank) but as long as I felt safe and/or functional enough, I didn't move away much from where he wanted me to be.
On your last rearm you temporarily took off without your gunner. As I understand the situation you believed there was a hostile Air target and JTAC/FAC wanted you airborne so you took off. Now this was partially down to a miscommunication as the 2 air contacts had already been destroyed, and JTAC actually wanted to assign you ground targets. But your aircraft is of very questionable usefulness without your gunner. You should not have taken off without him, even if you were just attempting to engage air targets.
That was my own decision, and not a request from FAC, so I take full responsibility on that one.

The way that went down is that as we landed to rearm our depleted A-G armament, I heard calls about the Blackshark and noticed explosions on the hangar right next to us. Looking to my right, I could see the Blackshark and more black smoke trails heading towards us, so I told my gunner to get back in immediately. He "refused" that and began bringing up the ammo instead.
No idea how we survived that, but my initial instinct there was already to get at least the helicopter out of harm's way by taking off without him. As I saw the Blackshark break south (I'm guessing Reaper 1 drew him out), I stayed put, but kept calling for him to get back in ASAP. After yet another minute of back and forth between the two of us, I got on LR comms myself to ask if the air threat was dealt with, someone said it wasn't, so I did indeed take off without my gunner.

Why? At that point, I got the impression that the enemy air was a direct and immediate threat to friendly units, I had a way to take him out (even without my gunner, since the Sidewinders are pilot-controlled) and I was getting nowhere in the discussion with my gunner, so I took off. Was it a smart thing to do? Probably not. Would I do it again under similar conditions? Probably would.

Friendly Fire
[...]
The message your gunner relayed on the air net after the incident was
"JTAC be advised.... we received the hold fire and we {unintelligible} accidentally on the hold fire there"
*JTAC asks for repeat*
"We didn't break off early enough on the hold fire"
Personally I don't think this is a valid defence. Ultimately this was the gunners fault but I think you as the pilot could have helped avoid this loss.

The main thing is that you shouldn't be flying up and down the AO. More distance puts the gunner under less pressure to engage things quickly and should give them more time to PID.
I was the one who told him to hold fire... After our rearm at the airbase, we took off and headed to St. Louis. My gunner spotted contacts below, and I asked him if he was sure it was enemy, as I saw BLUFOR track markers on my GPS. He said he was, so he started engaging. As I looked down, I noticed impacts close to what looked like could be friendlies, so I told him to hold fire, just to be sure. Unfortunately had to repeat that 3 times before the TK message popped up, then a 4th time to actually make him stop. FWIW, I did get the impression he felt genuinely sorry about that TK incident.

You as the pilot should have a rough idea where friendly forces are. In the mission in question all friendly forces were marked on the map with blue force tracking. You should know their positions so that when you select a position for your helicopter to move into you are not going to accidentally hit friendlies by having an unclear backdrop or set yourself up for accidental ricochet. If your gunner is engaging something danger close to friendly forces you should remind him of friendly locations.
I should perhaps note that I have not opened the map (Tao or full screen) a single time during the entire mission, so all my intel on friendly positions came from the radio, the office window or what little I could see in the GPS inset. Somehow, I found it worked remarkably well, despite the lack of comms from FAC.

I've had it happen once too many times that I check the full screen map for just a short while, and go back to the cockpit to find myself in a unrecoverable path towards Terra Firma, so in general, I am reluctant to use the map while flying in ArmA. (read: only if I really need to, or am in a position where I can safely enable auto-hover or hand over controls, or am on the ground). That's also why I don't like how in most cases, only map markers are used when calling in air assets for CAS or pick-up (often urgent as well). :roll:

Conclusion
In the real (and in an ideal ArmA) world the gunner is usually the commander of the aircraft. In this situation while he was very eager, i think he was too inexperienced to command the aircraft.

The FAC provided one of the most hands off FAC/JTAC experiences I have ever seen in ArmA, and that certainly didn't help any of the air assets.

You as the pilot should have taken charge of your aircraft and avoid putting it into situations that would usually (and have on multiple occasions during previous runs of that very mission) lead to death and destruction.
Agreed on all points. Lessons learned. Better next time. :)

Thanks once again for the feedback. :)
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