Landing ARMA 3 Helicopters Without Exploding

The internet has been a lost cause finding help on this one. So I am phoning my Mudspike friends. I am pretty good with helicopters in ARMA3. But ever since Prairie Fire came out, I explode a lot on landing. It’s not the landing itself I am sure. And it is not the due to striking the tail as I have been able to verify that the tail is clear when the helicopter goes BOOM. It has to do with the surface. Dirt roads almost always make me explode. With grass my odds are better. The little brown pads used to always make me blow up until I learned to land “across the grain”, as if the pad is a diamond instead of a square (if that makes sense). I get the feeling that the algorithm which decides “explode or not explode” is known out there. But when I ask on comms people are coy. “Don’t land hard.” “Don’t hit a tree.” “Don’t hit a hooch.” Well yeah those things are true in life too. But Prairie Fire is different. There are rules that exist only in that world. I am tired of killing squads so any help is appreciated.

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Well…you’re not a real helicopter pilot…so how would you…oh…wait…

fade away homer simpson GIF


I don’t have Prairie Fire…but is it the Huey only in that mod that is glass-like? Maybe it is model specific damage?

People on Prairie Fire are…not particularly helpful. They just @!%&#@ when their whole team blows up because you landed smoothly on a level road. There is a secret because as a passenger I’ve watched guys come in to a hard skidding stop with no exploding. When asked how, they say something helpful like, “skill man!”. For those who don’t know, ARMA doesn’t really do collision damage. You are either scratch-free or destroyed entirely.


I hadn’t noticed that, but I only fly Cobra’s in PF. Never really had any issues when I RTB. I may take a huey up and see.

Also let you team know, to if they’re going to be real SOG or Aircav, you are off the bird long before the skids get within 4’ of the ground.

My knees hurt thinking about dropping 4’ with 100lbs of gear, ammo and rifle. I guess the ground might be soft…

A proper PLF goes a long way, also you can kick your rucksack out before you follow it.

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We got a regular GI Joe here! :smiley: What’s a PLF @jenrick? Could you also fill us in on the when, where and how you’ve served so we know where all these acronyms and knowledge is coming from? I’ve already grilled @WarPig on this so you’re next. :slight_smile:

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“Pack Light, [email protected]&*@r!”
“Pray, Leap, Fight!”
“Prepare (for) Limb Fracture!”
“Push Lieutenants First!”


To quote a good buddy of mine “I grew up wanting to be GI Joe, and I’m doing a pretty good job of it.”

PLF - Parachute Landing Fall. Basically, do a controlled collapse when touching down in a parachute. More applicable to non-steerable parachutes like the military uses for static line jumps, but even with a steerable chute in the civilian world it’s a good skill to have if you come in hot.

I was in Army ROTC for 3 years before I met my wife, and had the opportunity to attend Air Assault school. I dropped out of school after meeting her (young love will do that), and I never was on contract. After that I have served closed to 20 years in a large metro police department, I have been involved in the tactical side one way or another for the majority of my career. You meet a lot of very interesting people in this job, and have had the opportunity to do some pretty cool things for work that aren’t consider normal domestic law enforcement duties/missions. Law Enforcement post 9-11 attracted a lot of veterans, and a lot of opportunities are “who you know,” and I have been very fortunate in that department.

And much more cogently for MS, I’ve been a flight simmer since 1985 or so, starting out on an Apple IIE with the original Flight Simulator.

Okay those deserve to be on a t-shirt somewhere.


now I want to try PF… but I dont have ARMA yet… when is next sale? :thinking:

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Good question. I am not sure if ARMA follows the same deep discount cycles that DCS and IL2 do. Prairie Fire probably discounts especially as it ceases to be the new and shiny thing in the lineup. Just know that there isn’t much single-player content.

I have nearly 2k hours in arma 3 but I’ve not tried prairie fire.
I’ve always found if you land with the the rear of the skids (or rear wheels) first you can slam them down a lot harder without taking damage. not sure if that would translate to prairie fire. i used to be able to land the pawnee absolutley anywhere

I might also be that I always have the AFM (or whatever ARMA calls it) enabled. Maybe without it, you can KB and mouse your way into anything so long as you don’t strike an object. Anyway, I’ve stopped carrying passengers in MP and, for myself, accept exploding as a fact of playing.


Welp, I’ve got way too much time logged in ArmA flight. I assume you’re playing Mike Force.

The truth is that ArmA 3 really does collision damage! Just, like with all things vehicles in ArmA, it’s very very abstracted and bizarre. But, basically, assume it’s a binary as you are.

Anyways, general advice from someone who’s usually an ACAV RTO:

  1. Ask yourself if you NEED to land. If you’re only ferrying troops to an AO, no you don’t. Just hover over the ground with about 2’ of clearance, switch to the vehicle channel, and yell “GO GO GO!”

  1. If you hauling supplies, try sling loading first. Low and slow, stop, drop, then go back.

  2. If you’re loading the helo itself, it’s best to have a buddy ride shotgun and act as pseudo-loadmaster. Having that second pair of eyes is a godsend. After all, he can even jump out and guide you down to a full touch down if needed then begin to unload the supplies.

  3. Like with all flying in reality and virtuality, butterfly with sore feet as I’m sure you’ve been told many a time in the real world.

  4. You need to specialize as an engineer and always have a toolkit. This way, you can fix anything you need to fix and trust me: some pubbie whose mother dearly loved him despite always hammering square pegs into round holes will unload your Huey and put the very much collidable supply crate up into your rotor disc. If you got that loadmaster buddy? He/She should consider either an RTO or a Medic role. The medic’s value is self explanatory and the RTO can call in Commando Vault missions to clear you an LZ in the forest.

  5. The AFM can be fun, but honestly, leave it off for Mike Force unless you’re going to be using Cobras and Cayuses.


Holy crap, that actually works?!! They implemented it to actually clear out the trees for an LZ?!

Last night I stumbled into a clearing made by a daisycutter, I believe. I’ll have to test at somepoint just to be sure, but yeah. I think it does. 90% sure, at least.


Pretty sure it works with hiding objects: hideObjectGlobal - Bohemia Interactive Community

Unsung also uses this function as part of the M-113 Engineering vehicle, to clear trees. The daisy cutter there never made it to arma 3 as I could not get the CH-54 Tarhe ported. Glad that Prairie Fire covers this nowadays!

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Can’t get in to ground resonance if you never touch the ground…

Think About It Reaction GIF by Identity

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It’s been a few years since I’ve played ArmA 3 but it’s always been stupid about ‘splodin’ choppers … like, “OH NO YOU STUPID PILOT, EVERYONE IS DEAD!” stupid LOL!