The belief that an engine failure will cause a helicopter to fall uncontrollably like a brick is a common misconception and whereas the failure of the power unit in a single engine helicopter will cause it to descend fairly quickly, the resulting airflow passing through the rotor blades not only slows down the descent but also keeps the blades turning so that the inertia retained by the blades can be used to brake the descent and enable a controlled landing. The advantage of a helicopter over an aeroplane in the same situation is that the helicopter does not require a large area on which to land – so it is in fact safer!

If the helicopter has two engines, the take off and landing profiles are designed to ensure that in the unlikely event of an engine failure the helicopter can l and back safely or, once at flying speed, can climb away and fly to an alternative landing area.