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Forced Auto


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Hi All



I have lurked here for a while and have never posted here before. I finally have something worth posting and thought I would share my experience with you all. My morning started out normal as usual and I decided to hop in my highly modified Mini 500 and go up town to get some lunch come back go to work. My friend Bartly has his Helicycle here in my shop as well and he decided to go with me. Since he has the turbine and mine is piston we always put him in front of me on the pad for his start up. So he don't burn the place down.

Bartley was out in front of me and we were talking to each other when the day would change drastically. I have practiced autos of all kinds but never one all the way to the ground. Let just say I had to man up and put all the training I have to the real test. When it started I went right into the auto because I had no ideal what would make that noise. Well when I rolled the throttle off I knew nothing had changed and now the noise is getting even worse so I commented to the auto and after inspection I was glad I didn't second guess it at all. Once on the ground both helicopter and I in one piece I couldn't believe what had just taken place. After inspection I found the tail rotor drive coupling had broke in half and it was just another minute and tail rotor would have been gone and I'm sure the outcome would have been much different. The real fun was retrieving it out of the middle of that field and getting back for repair so I can get back in the air and have fun doing what we do. I know what everyone is going to ask so I'll just give you the answer now. I never got scared until after I looked at the helicopter and saw what was wrong and what just had happened then I got a little scared.





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I could not tell from the video. Did you flare at the bottom to slow down your forward speed? Or did you do a run-on?


I started my flair at that small tree line. I should have started the flair a little sooner and been a little more agressive with it. But I made it and we are both in one piece and thats all that matters. After that happened I realized I had it on video and after watching it a few times I could think of several things I could have done different. It was the very first auto I have done in that helicopter so I'm happy with the outcome.



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I should have started the flair a little sooner and been a little more agressive with it.


Maybe not higher, but definitely more aggressive. Then again, I have zero time in a Mini 500!. With a run on in an open field there is a high chance of a skid digging in and over you go. Glad this turned out so well, not even a scratch from what I saw. You did a good job of keeping the skids level and light.



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This post and video busts the myth that you can't autorotate a mini 500. I was always told that was the biggest drawback to this airframe.

I remember some posts saying that, and someone here on VR said that was only because they had not properly adjusted MR pitch, and that the Mini 500's auto just fine. You're right about one thing, seeing it is believing!

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