Why are left pedal turns often considered safer?

More power is required for left pedal turns.  If a left turn can be completed, there is enough power available to safely control the helicopter in the current flight conditions.

When wind is from the right, it is similar to having more induced flow, which decreases the angle of attack on the tail rotor.  With the decrease in the tail rotor blades angle of attack, more left pedal is needed to provide adequate anti-torque thrust, which uses more power.  As such, there may not be enough anti-torque thrust available to turn the aircraft to the left.  If this is the case, the flight should be aborted.  If a right pedal turn is conducted under the same conditions, the turn will likely not be able to be stopped.  A right pedal turn uses the torque from the main rotor so is can often be considered a turn with less application of anti-torque thrust.  As such, the right turn could easily become uncontrollable.  The problem would become worse as the right turn reached the conditions where LTE is more likely (tail wind or left crosswind).

Reference(s):

FAA-H-8083-21A – Helicopter Flying Handbook pg. 9-4
Principles of Helicopter Flight, 2nd Edition, pg. 68

Other Helicopter Flight Conditions

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