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Brazil R44 crash video


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Usually I don't cross post stuff, but this is a good video resulting in an unfortunate R44 crash. Looked like all survived but its not in English.


I try not to "guess" much at crash causes but to me, this looks like classic pilot error just as he loses enough airspeed to get out of ETL while still 100 feet in the air.



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this looks like classic pilot error just as he loses enough airspeed to get out of ETL while still 100 feet in the air.


??? Goldy can you elaborate? We have all been out of ETL at various altitudes and it doesn't necessarily end in spinning, descending and crashing.

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Again, just a first impression here, as it also could be something obviously related to losing the tail rotor.....but just as he bled off airspeed, went out of ETL, started adding power, just guessing that he ran out of power, maybe had the wind shift off his tail. None of those are usually an issue, unless you have little power reserve. Like a hot day, high DA and/or heavy.


Just seemed like when he lowered his power and started descending, he regained control momentarily before he struck the tent.


We could go on, but another video showed the palm trees blowing and the wind seemed to be moving around a bit.


It looked like he was coming in to land somewhere nearby, sure were a lot of people around if that was the case.

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A R44 will not run out of left pedal during normal maneuvers when operated within its limitations. In R44s, "LTE" is usually "Lack of timely left pedal INPUT", not actual lack of tail rotor power or effectiveness. You can hover a R44 at or near max gross weight downwind OGE and still have a pretty comfortable pedal margin, even on a very hot day. But you do need to use that pedal before things start to spin. Once it has started to go, you won't be able to stop a fast right spin in an OGE hover solely with left pedal.


From the video, it looks like just another typical R44 accident, were someone got himself into a bad spot and didn't have a way out. Almost all of these kind of accidents are a combination of some or all of the following factors, in interchangeable order:


- heavy-ish machine out of ground effect

- (unexpected) loss of ETL

- pilot too slow to raise collective before helicopter starts to descent vertically

- pilot too slow to add enough left pedal

- sudden increase of collective and death-grip on throttle leads to loss of RPM

- loss of RPM leading to loss of lift and TR thrust

- failure to make the required corrections (lower collective, forward cyclic) before it is too late: "If in trouble, reach for the bubble"



Rio de Janeiro is near sea level. Under these conditions, even on a very hot day, an R44 in a hover will run out of engine power long before it runs out of pedal.

Edited by lelebebbel
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