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About jtravis1

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  1. Correct, I was not wearing my helmet. It is my belief that the helmet could have made my situation worse. Much like the 1 in a 1,000,000 case were not wearing a seat belt actually saved some one, I think not wearing my helmet prevented a far worse injury. I think the added mass of the helmet might have caused an injury similar to Dale Earnhardt. It was the declaration at the bottom which caused my broken neck. Had I been wearing a helmet,...it might have been far worse...??? I think I was just lucky that day.
  2. Thanks to everyone for the kind words. This has been very difficult to recover from, but I just take it day by day. I feel very fortunate to have survived something that few people do such as a wire strike like this. Looking at the wreckage, is truly sobering. Had I not been leaning over adjusting the gps, I would not have survived. When the ship hit the wires, the wire came in just above the wire cutter and hit the pitch link of the advancing blade. This made an extreme input into the blade and it basically came straight down through the cabin. The fact that I was leaning as I was allowed the blade to miss me.....flying just over my shoulder. Here is a picture of the helicopter in storage where the NTSB brought it for the investigation. It illustrates clearly the path the blade took down through the cabin. It basically came right down to the top of the dash..... After this...the blade departed. The imbalance ripped the entire transmission and blades right out of the ship. Then the ship, blade-less.....fell straight down almost 100'. We came to rest on the belly, the engine still running. I tried to roll the throttle down, but I could not. My body had crushed and broken all the controls in the fall. I then shut the ship down by pulling the fuel cut-off. I unbuckled and climbed of the ship. I was worried the ship would catch fire and I removed my friend from the ship dragging him as far from the wreckage as I could before phoning for help. That is about all I remember.....my memory fades from there and my next memories begin somewhere in the second hospital they transferred me to. I suffered a broken neck and a frontal brain bruise which is what caused my memory loss. My injuries were the result of falling straight down and impacting the ground bent over as I was. Much like a whiplash injury. My brain bruise was the result of the deceleration after the fall bent over. Falling bent over, is what I believe prevented me from getting a lower spine compression fracture as is so common in these types of helicopter crashes. I remember when I first got the ship, I did not like the fact that it had self-sealing tanks because you lost about 12 gal of capacity. The fact that it had these type bladders and all the check valves / baffles at the filler neck...etc...is the reason I am convinced there was no post crash fire. We had a full tank of fuel and fell that distance directly on to 350+ lbs of Jet-A.....yet the tanks did not give up their contents even in this extreme fall. If they had....with the engine running as it was, I believe it would have gone up immediately. I have kept quiet for so long about the events of that day. I hope that by sharing my experiences that something good can come out of all of this. Although I still hold my certificates, I do not see any flying in my near future. I have not been up since the accident. My passion for flying was undeniable, but sadly I have no desire to fly just yet. I am not sure if it ever will return or if I will ever be able to afford to either. This accident was devastating financially as well. On a brighter side, I feel fortunate to wake up each day and have a chance to see things from an entirely new perspective. It has given me an new appreciation for many of the things we all take for granted some times. If anything, it is one of the wonderful things about this whole event. It has left me a changed man.....hopefully for the better. Thank you again for all the kindness and support.
  3. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Below is a link to the factual accident report which was posted to the NTSB website last night. It is approaching a year and a half since the accident and there have been many ups and downs. I have not said too much publicly about the accident as I wanted to wait for the accident report to be released. After reading it, you may understand why I did not feel comfortable speaking in public about the findings of the accident investigation. Attached is what they call the “Factual Report”. This now will go on to committee and they will issue the “Probable Cause” report based upon these findings. I feel that this is an accurate portrayal of the events of the day. I want to thank all those who have given me and my family support through these times. Thanks again to everyone Justin Report Link Alt link
  4. Headset and one flightsuit are sold. I am sorry to say that I discovered an issue with the helmet. I took it out of the bag to see if my airplane adaptor was on it and I saw a problem. My friends moved many of the things out of the hanger for me. I am guessing someone must have set something heavy on the helmet bag. This caused it to be pressed in on the ears and resulted in a 2" crack being formed by the ear. The crack in the outermost shell which is paper thin. In fact the layer that is cracked is not much thicker then the paint that covers the helmet. (never seen how they are made). It does not appear as if the crack goes all the way through. I can not feel it from the backside. These helmets are completely modular so I am sure all the parts could be swapped with another shell. I think I picked the bare shell up for $250 before sending it to oregon aero for upfitting. Not knowing a lot about these helmets, I am not sure if the crack is only superficial or if it could be repaired. I would ask someone who knows. For this reason, I am taking offers on the helmet (obviously not at 675). But, for example, the mic itself was $100 not counting all the coms, wiring or oregon aero upgrades which can easily be swapped to another helmet. So...make an offer if you care to. Sorry for any inconvenience.
  5. On a sizing note. Gentex helmets run a little small. I dont consider myself to have a large head......but this is how they run by sizing. XL is from 22 1/2 to 23 1/2 circumference. I am just a little smaller then 22 1/2 (22 1/4) but it fits quite well. I did not want to order a large and have it be too tight. Large being 21 1/2 - 22 1/2. Again....thanks for the well wishes!
  6. Thanks Goldy. I'm doing OK. Just still dealing with all the legal things that probably always happen after such an accident. I really cant speak much about the actual accident now, but I am sure there will be a time in the future where it will be appropriate. For now I am being realistic and dont think I really have a need for a lot of stuff I still have. Not to mention a practically new set of BAC ground handling wheels, extra full set of 500 "c" model door glass, full set of covers, ground APU cart, and some piston stuff too like mag timer, spark plug cleaner tester,oil filter cutter.....etc. I guess when you start buying helicopters you collect all kinds of other stuff too. Again, thanks for all the warm wishes. Justin
  7. Hey all. I am not sure if it is OK to post this here. Due to circumstances surrounding an accident that I was in, I am selling off much of my helicopter things. I appreciate the opportunity to post this on the forum and appologise if it should not be on here. None of these things were involved in the accident or in the helicopter at the time. Bose X headset battery power Like new cond with all paperwork and original boxes. $675 OBO HGU-84P kevlar flight helmet. Used less then 5 hrs. Had made up from all new materials by oregon aero. Wired with civilian elec noise canceling mic. XL size. Hush kit, comfort seals and soft seal ear cups. Comes with two extra new spare visors (1 clear, 1 tint) and a helmet bag. Have over $1000 invested. $675 OBO (will throw in a unused set of NOMEX flight gloves with the deal Two brand new in wrapper 100% aramid NOMEX flight suits size 44 short. I am 5'9 and they fit perfect. Probably good for even taller depending on inseam length. These sell for over $200 each new. Will take half that at $100 a piece. Shipping will be actual charges, UPS. Pictures are attached. Feel free to PM me if interested. Thanks Justin
  8. Wannabe Every experimental I have seen (where I have known the owner) has almost the same operating limitations issued when the AW cert is issued. I know for sure that mine had it.....BUT every FSDO is different. Even though I no longer fly experimental helos (I now own a Hughes 500), I am still very active in the experimental community. I participate quite a bit on a Rotorway owners forum and have many friends that fly them. I will post a request to have guys look at their operating limitations and see if it is in theirs as well. That way we get a good sampling from areas around the country. This topic came up one time before though and most all the guys confirmed that it was in theirs as well.....but I will still check. On another note.....as an instructor.....I would NEVER recommend someone fly without proper training. Helos are not like an airplane.....it WILL take you AT LEAST the minimum amount of time set fourth by the FAA to get a rating, before you are safe in a helicopter.....so might as well go ahead and get the rating. I will go even further....as a CFI and a person with experimental experience, I will go so far as to say people should learn to fly in certified ships. I dont believe that Exp Am built aircraft have the safety margin and controllability that allow a CFI to fully train a student in them. Lastly.....without going into great detail, I am not a big fan of the mosquito. The helicycle on the other hand is a FAR superior single place machine.... Not even in the same league and not much difference in price.
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