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real life autos (engine failures)


ShitHot
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Well from what ive been told, whenever one has an engine failure it seems to happen during the most inconvenient and unpredictable time possible. If any of you have had real life engine outs, what was it like and if you dont mind telling about it, were you able to get the ship on the ground and walk away. Im just curious cause during flight training they make autos far to predictable to make a dangerous emergence a safe procedure, and that many people may not be ready for a real auto.

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your practice in the flight training environment will kick in. i have had 1, no damage to a/c or persons onboard. didnt even have time to think about it till after it was over. then you sit back and go "holy sh*t" then call your CFI and say thanks.

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Clay, could you go into more detail? When did this happen? Cruise, takeoff ect? What caused the failure?

 

SH,

 

It is true many failures happen at rather unlucky time. It's important to try and always give yourself some place to land. Scan as you are flying. Even then things can happen. The important thing is to stack as many cards in your favor as you can and let your training and experiance kick in.

 

This is a great topic, I too would like to hear some more stories. Although, I would like to hear more from pilots of multi engined helicopters that have had a single engine failure.

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Clay, could you go into more detail? When did this happen? Cruise, takeoff ect? What caused the failure?

 

SH,

 

It is true many failures happen at rather unlucky time. It's important to try and always give yourself some place to land. Scan as you are flying. Even then things can happen. The important thing is to stack as many cards in your favor as you can and let your training and experiance kick in.

 

This is a great topic, I too would like to hear some more stories. Although, I would like to hear more from pilots of multi engined helicopters that have had a single engine failure.

 

I fly very safe, i just worry that ill be in dead mans curve flying 30 knots at 80 feet when the engine quits. Im confident i could save myself in a highaltitude auto, i just want to hear what its really like when it does happen.

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I used to fly a lot offshore UK North Sea as a passenger, sometimes in some terrible winter weather. We'd use Dauphins a lot (my favourite ship), once we had a flame out in one engine, we could smell the burning. Weather was truly shocking, only had three pax (including myself) and one Pilot. As soon as he heard the alarm and visual indicators he was busy in the cockpit, had the situation under control in what seemed like seconds.

 

We flew on to a different platform and made a safe emergency landing. As passengers, we could certainly feel a reduction in power, however, the re-directed flight was very smooth with no apparent ill effect to ac handling.

 

That was in 2000, sadly, the ship went down in the Irish Sea in 2006, killing all on-board;

http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.sear...inct_entry=true

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Most twins will fly well enough OEI. The BO-105 is one of the few that may not, especially at max gross weight. Every one I've flown will continue to fly, although not necessarily at max cruise airspeed. You just fly to your intended landing point and land to the ground, perhaps a running landing, depending on the model and your weight at arrival. In order to use one-way fuel offshore, you have to be able to land on a platform single-engine, and I've practiced that many times. You can't do it at max gross, most likely, but by the time you've flown for an hour or more, it's not that difficult. You want a steep, slow approach, with power in well before reaching the landing area. Pretty much the same approach you would do with a single-engine, worried about engine failure. A hot approach with engine failure will result in lots of bent metal, perhaps worse. Engine failure on takeoff is always exciting, regardless of the number of engines. For most models, you want to get the pitch down quickly. In a twin, though, you just reduce it enough to keep from exceeding limits on the good engine. In a modern twin, with electronic instruments and full FADEC, you do the opposite - pull all the pitch you have, drooping the rotor to the bottom limits, and let the FADEC worry about engine limits while you worry about airspeed and rotor RPM. You shouldn't lose much altitude if you do it right.

 

In a single, all you can do is get the pitch to the bottom, get the nose down, and try to get into autorotation. Rotor RPM is your main worry, because if you lose that, you lose everything.

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Well from what ive been told, whenever one has an engine failure it seems to happen during the most inconvenient and unpredictable time possible. If any of you have had real life engine outs, what was it like and if you dont mind telling about it, were you able to get the ship on the ground and walk away. Im just curious cause during flight training they make autos far to predictable to make a dangerous emergence a safe procedure, and that many people may not be ready for a real auto.

 

40 years, 2 engine failures: 1 on the ground, as I throttled back to ground idle; 1 in-flight with autorelight system... bang!, 90 deg. yaw, then bang, power recovery and yaw back to trim...

If you count power train failures- 1 actual, and it came down a LOT faster than training. Fly as you were trained and keep your head out for forced landing areas, the training will kick in.

 

Harry Reasoner, "If something bad hasn't already happened, it's about to."

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I was flying a enstrom 280c in Grand Junction for a news story, as we flew down the colorado river, it happened about 400 ft agl and 50kts, luckily i was just next to a golf course and i ended up 180 auto'ing into a golf course parking lot. there was a small fence that i had to flare over, but other than that, it was REALLY fast and I didnt have time to analyze alot. it was enough time to go flat pitch, make the turn, then actually nose over and pull pitch to get to the spot! luckily i was in an enstrom, which are GRRRREEAAATTT to auto, they float forever, and if you really milk it, you can float one a pretty good distance. I think that if it would have been in the 300c it would not have probably ended so easily, or would not have made the parking lot IMG_2724.jpg

took it home on the trailer

untitled.jpg

this was RIGHT after the failure, you can see the fence behind it, and the slide marks on the asphalt.

(excuse the mud on the skid, we were doing some off airport stuff

Edited by clay
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I was flying a enstrom 280c in Grand Junction for a news story, as we flew down the colorado river, it happened about 400 ft agl and 50kts, luckily i was just next to a golf course and i ended up 180 auto'ing into a golf course parking lot. there was a small fence that i had to flare over, but other than that, it was REALLY fast and I didnt have time to analyze alot. it was enough time to go flat pitch, make the turn, then actually nose over and pull pitch to get to the spot! luckily i was in an enstrom, which are GRRRREEAAATTT to auto, they float forever, and if you really milk it, you can float one a pretty good distance. I think that if it would have been in the 300c it would not have probably ended so easily, or would not have made the parking lot IMG_2724.jpg

took it home on the trailer

untitled.jpg

this was RIGHT after the failure, you can see the fence behind it, and the slide marks on the asphalt.

(excuse the mud on the skid, we were doing some off airport stuff

 

 

Well done, it must feel pretty good if your machine breaks and you conquer it and land it on the ground not only with yourself ok, but the helicopter too.

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Clay-

I too am interested in why the engine went south on you. I flew that ship (once) when it was at Rotors, so there but for fortune, as they say...

When I flew it, there seemed to be a lot of turbo lag- did you feel that way too, or was it just my inexperience causing the problem. I didn't have that much trouble with the other 280FX I flew, but in 29H I was hunting all over the place trying to hold MP.

Glad that you & the ship came out OK- Good job!

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the helicopter at one point had some new probes put in to give the EGT, in an enstrom you fly it around 1550. 1650 is the max you can run the engine at. anyway.... the probes were in the wrong spot and were giving an inaccurate reading. when i was flying the heli at what i thought was 1550, i was probably at or over 1650. it cooked the engine and i never even knew it was doing it. the helicopter I THINK had some shady maintenance done, and the result is the above pictures. the owner on the other hand would LOVE to attribute it to pilot error.

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the helicopter at one point had some new probes put in to give the EGT, in an enstrom you fly it around 1550. 1650 is the max you can run the engine at. anyway.... the probes were in the wrong spot and were giving an inaccurate reading. when i was flying the heli at what i thought was 1550, i was probably at or over 1650. it cooked the engine and i never even knew it was doing it. the helicopter I THINK had some shady maintenance done, and the result is the above pictures. the owner on the other hand would LOVE to attribute it to pilot error.

 

Thats the helicopter industry for ya, one of my instructors gave 8 hours of rides last week, and the client never payed him.

 

Anyway man, you saved yourself and the vast majority of the helicopter, had i have been in an auto myself id be happy to get out of the helo at all.

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I've had a couple close calls with Mr Reaper in a helicopter, but never a mechanical problem of anything significant.

 

I have however personally spoke to two pilots that handled emergency auto's. The first was in a 300, engine sputtered for 1-2 seconds, he knew something was up, so started lowering collective just as the engine quit. Full auto into a high school yard, lots of room and nothing bent.

 

The second was an explosive loss of the tail rotor gearbox departing the tail on a 44 earlier this year. Pilot did a 180 auto into a canyon. No where to set it down level, so he flared just above the brush and let it settle into a slope....which it did, rolling over into a mess....total loss of the ship. 3 aboard, not a scratch.

 

Goldy

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Maybe I'm the exception, but I've been flying helicopters for just about 40 years, and I still haven't had an engine failure. I've done uncountable numbers of practice autos, including medium twins, but never had to do one for real. Someone else must have received my share.

 

Uh - GP - that would be me! I've riden 16 of these things down. Three total engine failures - combat, and I'd have had a 4th if I hadn't had a re-light kit installed. Would NOT have survived that one.

 

Most engines experience a "partial power loss" - which is pretty close to a failure. Low side govenor failure, a fuel control malfunction, turbo failure or partial engine self destruction. (ask me about THAT one!) Any will darken you day!

 

For those of you talking about twins - get a look at the OEI performance charts for landings. It'll freak you out!!! I flew a 212 on fires for the last decade - and I couldn't get anyone INTERESTED in the OEI landing charts. If I smoked a motor with the crew on board - unless I had a freeway available - I was gonna ball it up trying to land "off airport".

 

FYI - all the older or more experienced pilots I've talked to say that "most" engine failures occur during power change. So when I had to step off shore - I had the power set BEFORE I went "feet wet".

 

Training and muscle memory will get you through - if you've got "favorabl terrain" and altitude.

 

Just my $.02.

 

cr

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Nice job Clay! The enstrom is a wonderful machine!

 

I had an engine quit in an enstrom... The points welded closed just after we had a 100 hour inspection. Mechanic forgot to tighten them after he adjusted them. Non incident. Perfect landing to our spot at the event. Customer didn't even know.

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Gracias for the kudos guys. I guess im one of the unlucky ones to have an engine failure. I've talked to lots of pilots with thousands of hours who have never had an engine quit. i guess it just depends on luck if you get one or not.

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Clay took my up for an intro last week and did an auto, first thing after climbing and turning into the 20 knot wind. I think he will make me a great pilot ;)

 

2nd time in a heli, a 300C. Loved it! I'll do autos with him anytime!

 

Nick

 

Oh man, if you can auto a schweizer to the ground safely odds are you can do the same thing in a boulder. I thought the scweizer autod well until i got in well a, 500, 206 an esntrom and hell even a rotorway or anything for that matter. Those things (schweizers) drop like rocks, all the better for training though. I love schweizer's only piston i have any real amount of hours in, and its a great bird, it handles like a mini 500.

Autos are fun until the check ride ones (and the real ones i would assume.)

Edited by ShitHot
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