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R44 down in Wisconsin


Goldy
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One of the most bizarre crashes I have ever heard of. The R44 enters the roof of a home almost on its side, travels down the staircase area and blows a hole near the front door as it exits the house. Both on board were killed (RIP) but all inside the house were ok.

 

Weather appears to be a factor, as does a loss of control of the ships attitude.

 

I hate reporting these, hopefully each event will give the rest of us some food for thought if and when we find ourselves in a similar situation.

 

Goldy

 

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2008/09...ha-kills-2.html

Edited by Goldy
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One of the most bizarre crashes I have ever heard of. The R44 enters the roof of a home almost on its side, travels down the staircase area and blows a hole near the front door as it exits the house. Both on board were killed (RIP) but all inside the house were ok.

 

Weather appears to be a factor, as does a loss of control of the ships attitude.

 

I hate reporting these, hopefully each event will give the rest of us some food for thought if and when we find ourselves in a similar situation.

 

Goldy

 

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2008/09...ha-kills-2.html

 

 

Thanks for the link and the heads up Goldy.

 

RIP.

 

Kelly

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Here is another story that quotes a witness stating that the engine have has had a problem.

 

"The engine just didn't sound right," Stielow told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "It was sputtering. It was at full power, but it was sputtering real bad. Then you just heard a loud boom."

 

 

http://www.startribune.com/nation/28983234...:aU7EaDiaMDCiUT

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I hate reading these. But it really sucks when the reporter does not do basic research in a rush to get the story out. " The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter was a Robinson-44."

 

It took minutes for the fire department to put the blaze out. Bernhardt said about 200 gallons of fuel spilled into the street and in the yard where the helicopter came to rest.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/09/21/helicopter.crash/index.html

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I hate reading these. But it really sucks when the reporter does not do basic research in a rush to get the story out. " The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter was a Robinson-44."

 

It took minutes for the fire department to put the blaze out. Bernhardt said about 200 gallons of fuel spilled into the street and in the yard where the helicopter came to rest.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/09/21/helicopter.crash/index.html

 

Yeah, I found that part humorous, at least.

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This early after an accident, there are a lot of things thrown out. How does the bystander know what a R44 helicopter engine is supposed to sound like ?? The aerial view was pretty amazing, the roof looked like it had been cut out in the shape of a 44 on its side....very strange.

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"The engine just didn't sound right," Stielow told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "It was sputtering. It was at full power, but it was sputtering real bad. Then you just heard a loud boom."

Not to over shadow the loss of a fellow pilot/passengers, RIP, but;

 

You can always find at least one witness that says it just didn't sound right. It never fails that they will find the least "in-the-know" person possible to interview.

 

Reporter: "And how about you sir, what did you see and hear?"

Person: "It was coming down fast, like a brick. The swerlie things on top wern't spin'n, and it sounded like the motor wasn't work'n right, I should know, I'm a basketweaver down on Benton street and I know what a helicopter engine sounds like."

 

Sorry, had to vent for a little.

 

EDIT: Goldy, you beat me to it!! Dang typing at the same time...

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It certainly doesn't sound much like the turbine birds he's used to hearing.

 

In his defense, though, we do fly over that neighborhood quite a bit so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that he knows what it SHOULD sound like.

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It certainly doesn't sound much like the turbine birds he's used to hearing.

 

In his defense, though, we do fly over that neighborhood quite a bit so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think that he knows what it SHOULD sound like.

 

 

Hedge- you are close to this event...what are you hearing? Was the weather socked in that morning??

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Hedge- you are close to this event...what are you hearing? Was the weather socked in that morning??

 

The pilot involved was a close friend of my instructor. They'd known each other for a number of years and had flown together many times - in fact, they were planning to fly that ship to ND later this week to visit a business interest there and check out a 407 which may or may not have ended up being a replacement for the Raven.

 

We sat around quite a bit this afternoon speculating. The fog layer was about 150' thick and, since they were headed north to the airfield and yet ended up diving south into the north face of the roof at what appears to be a nearly 90 degree left bank (ever see such a perfect Raven-shaped hole?), best guess is spatial disorientation and subsequent loss of control - assuming the fog was the primary causal factor.

 

The engine is confirmed via fan scoring to have been running at impact, though at this point nobody knows if it was making full power. The witness statements about odd sounds could very well be attributed to poor power output, or it could just be a layman's interpretation of blad slap given the turn and bank angle.

 

This is where I stop speculating publicly because nobody likes a loudmouth and there are plenty of other possible facets to this that aren't my place to talk about. The newsies were in the afternoon and filmed a short interview with Chris, perhaps you'll see the back of my head at the desk scheduling my night cross country :D

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I am willing to bet that weather played a big roll. First, my prayers to all the familes and friends of the victims.

 

That said. I gotta be honest and, well, blunt. I am tired of pilots making the weather decisions that they are. Just because you have an instrument rating, can legaly fly clear of clouds in Class G at pretty much any altitude doesn't mean we should be out there. Even pilots in an IFR aircraft with an instrument rating are running into things. Be weather wise guys and gals. I have lost friends due to IIMC and I will never understand their thought process that led to a night IMC encounter.

 

What in the world is so important that has you out there flying around in the fog? If you want to fly in the soup, get in and IFR certified aircraft and file IFR. Otherwise stay home!

 

I am sick of it.

 

JD

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Agreed.

 

The info's out now, but this bird had a recent history of engine-outs but nothing could be found to explain it. If the witness statements are to be believed, my guess is that he was fine until the engine headed south on him, then ended up in the fog while troubleshooting - thus the 180 and dive into the house.

 

Pure conjecture, but sheesh - he had the airport in sight and was descending. What else is there, carb ice?

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Agreed.

 

The info's out now, but this bird had a recent history of engine-outs but nothing could be found to explain it. If the witness statements are to be believed, my guess is that he was fine until the engine headed south on him, then ended up in the fog while troubleshooting - thus the 180 and dive into the house.

 

Pure conjecture, but sheesh - he had the airport in sight and was descending. What else is there, carb ice?

 

Again, my thoughts to family and those that knew those involved.

 

I agree with JD, weather may or may not have played a role here, either way his comments are on the mark, particularly with the number of EMS weather related crashes lately.

 

If in fact, the pilot stated the airport was in sight, there is a possibility where he could still lose visibility. You can sometimes see "thru" the fog layer from above, but once you descend into it, it gets all grey in a hurry...and we have all known pilots faced with sudden IMC conditions that could not maintain orientation.

 

And yes, if it was a Raven 1, carb ice is a very real possibility when flying thru visible moisture such as fog...full carb heat would have been in order, especially during a descent.

 

No conjecture as to the cause of this one, but I never see any harm speaking of the possible pitfalls we can all be subjected to....especially when those pitfalls can take a life.

 

Goldy

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I suppose carb ice is possible, but it was fairly worm for that. Id say about 60 that night if my memory serves. I flew just 40 miles from there a few hours later and it was crystal clear, but I wasn't up at 5:30 so I cant speak for the visibility at the time.

 

 

Anything below 70 degrees or so is in danger of icing up when flying thru visible moisture, especially if you are descending. The venturi can cool air 40 degrees under the right conditions.

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Anything below 70 degrees or so is in danger of icing up when flying thru visible moisture, especially if you are descending. The venturi can cool air 40 degrees under the right conditions.

 

In one of my A&P books, it states the temp in the carb can drop up to 70 degrees F. That means even 100 F in visible moisture you are at carb icing risk. Its not the venturi that cools the air, its the evaporation process.

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Oh No! I see the argument coming now!

 

Just remember that as the air goes through the venturi it's pressure drops, pulling the gas into the airstream and mixing it. As pressure drops so does temperature (Ideal gas law), which could lead to the water vapor in the air condensing on the walls and valves of the carburetor and freezing. Evaporation does not happen, as the fuel is drawn into the airstream it is atomized into little particles of liquid, much like a spray bottle, where the air can now carry it on to the cylinders.

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Oh No! I see the argument coming now!

 

Just remember that as the air goes through the venturi it's pressure drops, pulling the gas into the airstream and mixing it. As pressure drops so does temperature (Ideal gas law), which could lead to the water vapor in the air condensing on the walls and valves of the carburetor and freezing. Evaporation does not happen, as the fuel is drawn into the airstream it is atomized into little particles of liquid, much like a spray bottle, where the air can now carry it on to the cylinders.

 

http://www.ellison-tbi.com/applications/carburetor_heat.htm

 

just the facts Ma'am, you decide which is real :rolleyes:

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In one of my A&P books, it states the temp in the carb can drop up to 70 degrees F. That means even 100 F in visible moisture you are at carb icing risk. Its not the venturi that cools the air, its the evaporation process.

 

No its the venturi that causes the drop in temperature. Take out the venturi- you will have no changes in pressure and no drop in temp, plain and simple. The REASONS why the venturi cause this are explained in physics, and we can all sit and read the various explanations.

 

I don't doubt under the right conditions that the effect of cooling could be much greater than 40F. Once the outside air temp gets to 75, I start to pay extra special attention to carb temps and carb heat. Flying in LA, it is not that unusual to take off in the valley at 105F, and be applying carb heat 10 minutes later along Malibu at 69F.

 

The venturi effect is INCREASED when you DECREASE throttle, hence you are at a greater risk of icing up during a descent. If only we had the windmill effect, we wouldn't have to do those "in the air" re-starts while falling 1200 FPM.

 

I would ask what is the difference between evaporation and atomizing particles into the air ??

 

EXACTLY !

 

Carry on.

 

Goldy

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I would ask what is the difference between evaporation and atomizing particles into the air ??

Evaporation would require energy to be absorbed by the fuel to turn the fuel from a liquid to a gas, where as atomizing allows the fuel to remain in a liquid form, just in a small droplet. If you spray water (or fuel for that matter) out of a spray bottle it doesn't evaporate, it is dispersed in the air as little droplets of water (or fuel) that can be carried by the wind or whatever else, but it's not in a gas state yet.

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this is a topic that is highly debat-able from all sides. I should have posted that in my original post .

 

lets take the "1/2 venturi" principle & apply THAT to an airfoil? ~! YIKES :o

 

of korse ! P1V1T1=P2V2T2

 

for anyone/everyone else? --- just google "fuel evaporation ice"

 

 

 

this forum is for "learning" NOT debating :)

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