Mi-24 helicopter Afghan takeoff: Legacy of Soviet pilots

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The pilot of Mi-24 attack helicopter attracted a lot of attention in Western social media for his so-called “Afghan” take-off technique. This technique was invented and first used by Soviet pilots.

To perform the Afghan takeoff, the pilot of a helicopter needs to fly the machine directing its nose down and its tail up. These days, this take off technique is often used by pilots in a number of countries, including NATO countries that use Mi-24s in their air forces, for example, Poland.


The "Afghan" takeoff technique is used where the helicopter is supposed to raise a heavy cargo up into the air. The technique can often be used under conditions of high mountains and high temperatures.

The pilot, using the capabilities of the Mi-24, begins accelerating the helicopter with its nose pressed to the ground and its tail lifting up at an angle of at least 45 degrees. The pilot thus causes the helicopter to take off effectively before levelling out the position of the machine in the air during the first few seconds of the flight.


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