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Colorado Heliops Accident

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http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_18021861

 

Thankfully it sounds like no one was injured! Hope everyone is up and flying again soon!

 

I spoke to DP a few hours ago just after this happened. He told me all 3 on board were fine, and the pilot did a great job of putting it down without injury to the passengers or the many bystanders watching the race.

 

Glad to hear all are ok.

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Glad to hear everyone is okay!

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I spoke to DP a few hours ago just after this happened. He told me all 3 on board were fine, and the pilot did a great job of putting it down without injury to the passengers or the many bystanders watching the race.

 

Glad to hear all are ok.

 

Glad to hear that all aboard are okay. It is my understanding that there were four people on board at the time. Several questions are begging to be asked in my view....High DA, High Gross Weight, witnesses reported HOGE at 30-40 feet near the finish line above sloping terrain. Again, I am very glad that everyone is okay. Seems like somebody ought to have known better that is all.

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Well it's never good to hear about an accident, but it is great to hear that everyone was OK. Sounds to me like this could have been much worse. A helicopter can always be replaced.

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Hey all,

 

thanks for all the calls, txts and emails.. We are not sure at this time what happened, our pilot reported a possible loss of power and he put it down in the best place there was. We are very glad that no one was hurt, not a scratch, there were three people in the helo. I am just getting to a computer and will tell you more when i find out of course. The 44 is on a trailer on the way to the shop, i was surprised how good it looked!!

 

 

aloha,

 

dp

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That's a hell of a way to put an aircraft into the ground! Kudos to the pilot!

 

By the look of the video he was on the ground before he knew it. That bush is the only thing that stopped him from rolling down the hill I think. Lucky boy...

 

Video

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Sad to see the same helicopter I flew on an intro flight only a month ago sitting on the side of a mountain like that. Sorry to hear about the heli DP, glad to hear everyone made it out unharmed.

 

Hope you are all healed up from the ski slopes.

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more video angles. http://www.kwgn.com/news/kdvr-helicopter-goes-down-near-skateboarding-event-in-golden-20110508,0,29570.story

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhwgONsPBcM

 

Nice work getting it down without injury and great split second call putting it on the hill and not the spectators below. Glad to hear everyone is OK. Scary stuff..

 

--JMc

Edited by 280fxColorado

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Glad to hear that all aboard are okay. It is my understanding that there were four people on board at the time. Several questions are begging to be asked in my view....High DA, High Gross Weight, witnesses reported HOGE at 30-40 feet near the finish line above sloping terrain. Again, I am very glad that everyone is okay. Seems like somebody ought to have known better that is all.

 

Hate to say it, but I disagree. That is why we fly helicopters. In this situation 60 knots of airspeed would have only made things worse. Work for A VR company and you will spend 75% of a 25,000 career within the HV curve. Thats why we do preflights and power checks. Sure, there is an element of risk to it, just like crossing the street.

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PIC will probably get violated for exceeding the slope limitations...

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Hate to say it, but I disagree. That is why we fly helicopters. In this situation 60 knots of airspeed would have only made things worse. Work for A VR company and you will spend 75% of a 25,000 career within the HV curve. Thats why we do preflights and power checks. Sure, there is an element of risk to it, just like crossing the street.

 

I am more than a little confused by your response to my post. You said, and I'll quote, "That is why we fly helicopters." Can you help me understand what you mean by this statement? We are talking about a crash, that, if analyzed through the numerous video evidence of the event, appears to have been caused by pilot error; barring any unknown mechanical problems. I would be very surprised if they found a mechanical issue with the helicopter in this case, quite frankly.

 

Your statement, "In this situation 60 knots of airspeed would only have made things worse." If he would have had 60 knots of forward airspeed, we would not be having this conversation. He would have been in forward flight, well above ETL, and would not gotten into what appears to be a "Low Rotor RPM" condition which may have been induced by what appears on the video to be a left pedal turn while in an OGE Hover. I have heard reports of 20 knot winds that day as well.

 

Your analogy comparing this accident to what happens in VR work falls way short. It is apples and oranges. The pilot was not doing VR work so I am not sure where you think the comparison is here. You answered the real question in the end though by stating, "That is why we do pre-flights and power checks" Did the pilot do a power check before attempting the OGE Hover in the area where he ultimately crashed? I don't know. I was taught to try a OGE Hover at the altitude or slightly higher just to see if the aircraft can perform the maneuver before you get close to people and objects near the work site or LZ. Of course, consulting the performance charts in the RFM should also be done in the pre-flight planning stage especially if you know the altitude, temperature, and load that will be in the helicopter during the mission. You can bet the FAA/NTSB is going to be looking at all those things during it's investigation.

 

Your "inherent risk" argument in this case does not work. Yes, there are risks involved in any flight. Our job as professional pilots is to minimize the risks involved by knowing the limitations of the aircraft we are flying and not exceeding them. Sometimes, after doing the math in the safety of the hangar, or flying enroute to a mission, you actually have to tell someone "No, we can't do that." It is not always the popular answer that a client wants to hear but you as PIC are ultimately responsible, not them. The ingredients for this crash were all put together by the pilot involved and unfortunately he may suffer a suspension of his license because of it. As we all know it is rare that people "walk away" from a helicopter crash and in this case the occupants were very lucky indeed.

 

This video is the best so far in showing the OGE Hover and what appears to be a left pedal turn just before the helicopter begins to sink due to a likely "Low Rotor RPM" condition:

 

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Whether it was pilot error that caused it or not, he/she did a damn good job avoiding the croud.

Edited by gary-mike

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what appears to be a "Low Rotor RPM" condition which may have been induced by what appears on the video to be a left pedal turn while in an OGE Hover. I have heard reports of 20 knot winds that day as well.

 

 

This video is the best so far in showing the OGE Hover and what appears to be a left pedal turn just before the helicopter begins to sink due to a likely "Low Rotor RPM" condition:

 

 

 

Low RPM / Overpitching is usually the cause in these sort of accidents, but I'm not so sure here.

 

I can't tell from the video if the engine noise changed due to loss of RPM, or if RPM loss happened due to a power loss. He is operating OGE without translational lift for quite a while before he goes down - of course it is still possible to stuff it up by pulling too much, but it would appear that the helicopter would at least theoretically have had enough power to maintain a hover OGE at the site.

 

The "left pedal turn" could have been a contributing factor to a Low RPM situation, but it could have also been a uncommanded left yaw due to a loss of engine torque.

 

Loss of RPM due to overpitching would usually also cause right yaw, which I don't see in the videos. Then again the helicopter may have hit the ground before that could happen, or the pilot might have lowered the collective again.

 

The engine is certainly off a few seconds after they are on the ground, but its hard to tell from the video when exactly the fire goes out.

 

Does anyone know what the altitude and temperature at the crash site were?

 

 

Good thing is that with three survivors, it should be possible to figure out exactly what happened. I'll wait for the report.

Edited by lelebebbel

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Fact well known LELEBEBBEL-- takes more power to make a left peddle turn of which all piston pilots should know, maybe a Robbie school dont teach that or maybe it slipped his mind either way no one got hurt! Great recovery.

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Glad everyone is okay. My heart goes out to the pilot, he/she will probably have a lifetime of self recrimination caused by one simple mistake. Take solace in the fact that your actions saved the lives of two passengers. Keep your head up, live and learn, try and move on, these things CAN AND DO happen to the best of us. Professionals can still make mistakes and be professionals afterwords; just ask a weatherman.

 

On a lighter note: the announcer in the youtube video is absolutely hilarious. My favorites:

"is it gonna blow up?!"

"can I get some food over here?!"

"(heavy breathing into the mic)"

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Fact well known LELEBEBBEL-- takes more power to make a left peddle turn of which all piston pilots should know, maybe a Robbie school dont teach that or maybe it slipped his mind either way no one got hurt! Great recovery.

 

 

Read my post again. Of course it takes more power to do a left pedal turn, robinson or not. Which is why i wrote:

 

The "left pedal turn" could have been a contributing factor to a Low RPM situation

 

What we don't know is IF that was actually a left pedal turn. All we see is the aircraft from the outside, yawing left. That also happens when engine torque drops, such as during a partial or total loss of engine power, slipping sprag clutch or belts etc.

 

Like I said, we will find out but right now we're all just guessing.

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Read my post again. Of course it takes more power to do a left pedal turn, robinson or not. Which is why i wrote:

 

 

 

What we don't know is IF that was actually a left pedal turn. All we see is the aircraft from the outside, yawing left. That also happens when engine torque drops, such as during a partial or total loss of engine power, slipping sprag clutch or belts etc.

 

Like I said, we will find out but right now we're all just guessing.

 

 

I was agreeing with you not disputing your post, and as well as a left peddle turn, it also

take more power for a left turn or turn out and at a low speed will depleat power when turning to the left, but time will tell what actually cause it

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