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Full down auto from HV curve


StanFoster
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I just started flying my Helicyle September 1st. Almost every flight have had power recovery autos practiced. It got to the point where I was practicing autos on a "whim", meaning I would just on a whim , reduce power and see how it would have tured out. Last Veterans day ....November 11th, I was flying around and decided to go up to the airport. I landed and noticed a friend of mine watching. I decided to show him a very aggressive rate of climb...so I took off and pulled the collective like I had never before. I am kicking myself as I let euphoria take over common sense. The helicopter was climbing like a homesick angel, when I noticed my rotor rpm's were declining. There isnt a torque meter...or a manifold pressure gauge since its a turbine...and its not necessary to pull a lot of collective...which I did anyway as I was caught up in my dumbass moment. I saw the rotor rpm's down...and dropped collective. Unfortunately, this caused the turbine's rpm to surge....and it overshot the overspeed limit, shutting the turbine down......flameout! I immediately dropped all the collective and here I was at low airspeed, no more than 100 feet up....and dropping like a rock. I lowered the nose trying to milk out as much energy as I could. The ground was rushing up...and my only possibility of saving this ship was to do a runon landing at around 40 mph. I landed straight with my flight path which started in the grass on the west side of the runway...then sliding on a diagonal across the asphalt runway...into the grass on the other side before stopping. I held full collective on the whole ground run on to minimize my decceleration so as to help keep from flipping on my nose. It came to a stop...and I lowered the collective...got out and checked it over. I started the turbine up and all was fine. It was getting dark so I left it in a hanger...checked it over the next morning and flew it back to my shop. I just happened to have had my skid mounted video on...and it was very clear.

 

If you watch it...the video starts at my shop where I keep the helicopter...then you can see me flying around a farm tractor. I land at the local airport...and at 5:28 I lift off and start doing something I had never done...over torqued the collective. At 5:42 in the video, you can see a left yaw when my turbine flamed out...and the rest is history. Time came to a crawl. I let euphoria get me into this situation....and I was given the chance to redeem myself by doing what was necessary to hit the tiny keyhole that would save my helicopter. I have been told that this is probably one of a few if not the only actual video of a real flameout in the HV curve and able to fly it away afterwards.

 

I am just a fledgling helicopter pilot.....and I learned more in that 10 seconds than any instructor could bark in my ear in a year.

 

I had the dreaded 3 C's on this flight. Crowd...one is enough.....Camera.....yep ..it was on....confidence....you bet....

 

 

Stan

Edited by StanFoster
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Thank you for sharing, that's amazing footage.

 

The rate of descent makes it look horrifying. Did your training just take over like a robot?

 

Does anyone have other engine failure movies?

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Pretty impressive video and you did well getting her down. Bet you did learn a lot in that few seconds. I wish I had a video of my engine failure!

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i have a question since ive just learned (i think) what autorotation is....

 

autorotation= the rotors spinning using air coming from underneath while the aircraft loses altitude???

 

if this is correct, does the pitch angle of the helicopter have to be at a certain angle for this technique to be most efficient?

 

forgive me if i sound like an idiot

 

and mighty fine job doing what you did, that loss of altitude didnt look like fun

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When I looked into Helicycles, the Mosquito I think, I saw a Youtube of someone doing hover autos from what seemed like, a kill yourself height! :o However, he was touching down as smooth as glass. :huh:

 

I've often wondered if those Helicycles have a ton of inertia, or was the video just fake? :lol:

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No TOT No TQ Would suggest some form of instrumentation & quick.

What is the run down on that turbine time\temp I know it is a Solar T62 unit but thermal shock can kill the thing, good reactions and nice landing.

 

Enjoyed your build on other site hope you were able to salvage seat :ph34r:

Dont know if you have seen this

http://ucturbocats.com/Solar.aspx#

 

http://www.propeng.com.au/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=26&products_id=178&osCsid=7dd8eaed7c6deef8f74827dd2058f156

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Spectacular aircraft design: You'll know you exceeded a limit when the engine fails.... Exceeded the NR?? Who needs a tach, you'll know when the blades leave the aircraft. Please get some engine instrumentation for that thing before it happens again, pretty sure you cashed out most of your luck in that video. While over-torquing is never a good thing, I would personally be more concerned that I exceeded the ToT or the N1, both of those can do some serious damage to the engine and you may not know about it unless you get it torn apart and inspected or have another failure. I'm glad to see you walked away from it.

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Holy crap! I think you said it all. I was surprised that when you went from grass to asphalt and onto the grass again that nothing caught or swung you around..or over.

 

Glad it turned out ok.

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Not going to criticize what led up to this-I think that you pretty well covered it. This should be read/shown to all of our student pilots. Thanks for sharing and "fessin' up" a true real world scenario. Your description followed by video should be an eye opener for students that may be in that 'bullet proof' mind set. Thanks again and be safe.

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Thanks for all the comments. I beat myself about this, and learned a lot. I have an excellent helicopter that I almost destroyed by asking it to do more than it was designed for. I had a chance to save it though, and I did. I am a fledgling helicopter pilot but having this happen on Veterans day made me feel like maybe I am more of a helicopter pilot now, at least a veteran of having a real auto at a most serious time. I have over 800 hours in gyroplanes and have had 18 forced landings in them without a scratch. Helicopters are a different animal, and I will be a better pilot by keeping myself at flight speeds and altitudes where another auto will be a lot easier to handle. Stan

Not going to criticize what led up to this-I think that you pretty well covered it. This should be read/shown to all of our student pilots. Thanks for sharing and "fessin' up" a true real world scenario. Your description followed by video should be an eye opener for students that may be in that 'bullet proof' mind set. Thanks again and be safe.

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Shaun- My training in an R22 did take over. Nathan Schrock was my instructor and he really had patience with me. I had the most troubles with autos, and never was comfortable doing a practice one during my training. It wasn't until I got the feel of my Helicycle did my autos become more relaxed. The Helicycle rotor has 12 ounce tip weights, and has a lot of momentum turning 620 rpm. Stan

Thank you for sharing, that's amazing footage.

 

The rate of descent makes it look horrifying. Did your training just take over like a robot?

 

Does anyone have other engine failure movies?

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I had the most troubles with autos

 

Doing auto's in a 22 has always be very hit or miss with me, so I'm right there with you.

 

Could you elaborate about what an engine failure in a gyro is like? I've always loved those things and wanted to fly them, my dream job would be flying gyros but I don't think that work exists.

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Shaun- Engine outs in a gyro are practiced as real engine outs by shutting off the engine. You already are in autorotation, you have no collective to mess with, you can't overspeed the rotors. You just come in around 60 mph, flare and land usually around 10 mph at the most. You can do a vertical descent at 0 mph down to 200 feet with a dead engine, then simply dive to get your airspeed to at least 50 mph, flare and land like a crow. If you do a hard 180 turn before your landing and wind the rotors up, you can almost land at 0 mph. Nothing is simpler to land deadstick than a gyroplane in my opinion. I have shut my engine off on purpose many times, and had 18 real engine failures, and each forced landing was just a nuisance. Stan

Doing auto's in a 22 has always be very hit or miss with me, so I'm right there with you.

 

Could you elaborate about what an engine failure in a gyro is like? I've always loved those things and wanted to fly them, my dream job would be flying gyros but I don't think that work exists.

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Tim- Nathan is one fine instructor and just a very nice guy. Another thing that was going through my mind as I was skidding through the grass, crossing over the runway and finally stopping in the grass on the other side was "to keep flying the helicopter". When I stopped I can remember thanking God and also thought of Nathans training was with me. Anyone around the Chicago area needing an excellent helicopter instructor, Nathan Schrock is a good choice. Heli-pilot- Its doesn't bother me to publically admit a mistake I made if I learned from it and it may help another fledgling pilot or even a highly experienced pilot control their euphoria that flying helicopters might bring to us. I could have easily trashed 2.5 years of building my helicopter, but didn't. I feel if I can come in here and tell my successes, then with that comes the moral duty to tell my failures as well. I feel I have gained years of maturity in my future helicopter flying. Flying my Helicycle has been the most awesome experience I have ever had with a machine. Here I have my personal magic carpet ride that takes me anywhere I want to go practically, and with such smoothness. I needed a wake up call, and I will never forget this. Stan

Stan, Nathan was my instructor thru private as well, glad to see you had such a competent instructor. Thank you for sharing this sobering experience.

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Stan and Tim-- thanks so much for the kind words. I'm reminded of the saying, " while you might be a great leader, without someone following you're just going for a walk." My job is to provide information, it takes dedication on three part of the student to turn that into knowledge. I'm thankful that Stan was able to absorb the information given in those (seemingly hundreds) of training autos and when you encountered the emergency you didn't panic and "just flew the helicopter." I'm also glad that you see this as a lesson to be learned and not a situation to be repeated because it turned out ok. Good luck in your future flying and don't stop learning!

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Lelebebbel- I couldn't agree with you more. When my turbine actually did flameout, I already had lowered the collective some trying to get my rotor rpm's back. That's why there isn't a lot of left yaw when the turbine quit at the 5:42 point in the video.

It was a wild ride down and fortunately I was able to almost stop all my vertical descent rate, I planted the skids, but even though they didn't kiss the ground, they also didn't smack it either. Stan

nice landing indeed.

You were quite lucky that the engine failed with the collective already on its way down. That could have hurt if it had happened with full pitch on the blades, with or without tip weights...

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