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JCM5

Robinson Factory Safety Course

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I'm headed down to Torrance tomorrow for the factory course Oct 7th-10th.

 

If anyone who's been wants to offer any "Wish I'd known that going into it" advice I'm all ears!

 

Excited and looking forward to the experience.

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Expect to have an intense flying experience with one of the instructors!! Low G recovery, zero speed autos, and touch down autos to grass. It is a blast!

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A non-smoking room at the Ramada will not keep out the smoke from the people downstairs!, but they do have free wifi though.

 

If you have any questions (especially things you've always wanted to ask a mechanic) write them down before you go! Plus while you're there get any doubts or confusions you have with SFAR 73 out of the way!

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Nov. 4th-7th for me and my partner in crime. R44 for me and the 66 for him (I'm jealous btw) B)

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Expect to have an intense flying experience with one of the instructors!! Low G recovery, zero speed autos, and touch down autos to grass. It is a blast!

 

Debatable. When I went last month, my instructor showed me a lot, but didn't let me do much. I, myself, got to shoot a straight in and an 180 and that was pretty much it. The rest was him showing me the different things we could do. Sure, we did zero speeds, but like I said, I didn't get to do any of it.

 

Full downs? Didn't do any of those either. That was the one thing that I really wanted to do and I didn't get to do it. He cited weight as the main factor (I'm 185 and he... well he was a larger guy...)The closest I got to doing a full down was a hover auto with some forward movement (MAYBE 10 kts fwd movement).

 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed seeing what the ship was capable of (R22), but like most pilots, seeing isn't enough. I need to make the inputs in order to learn.

 

I think it boils down to what instructor pilot you get and your experience level. And yes, I did ask if we could do a full down, on what I knew was going to be the last auto of the flight and was told no.

 

I learned a lot in the classroom, but walked away from the flight with a bitter taste in my mouth. Like I said though, I think it depends on the instructor you get. Other people got to do full downs and other people with more experience with the same IP were in my shoes: no full downs.

 

So with that I leave you with this advice: Tell whoever it is you need to some of the things you want to do during the flight and ask that they pair you with an instructor who is willing to do those things with you.

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Debatable. When I went last month, my instructor showed me a lot, but didn't let me do much. I, myself, got to shoot a straight in and an 180 and that was pretty much it. The rest was him showing me the different things we could do. Sure, we did zero speeds, but like I said, I didn't get to do any of it.

 

Full downs? Didn't do any of those either. That was the one thing that I really wanted to do and I didn't get to do it. He cited weight as the main factor (I'm 185 and he... well he was a larger guy...)The closest I got to doing a full down was a hover auto with some forward movement (MAYBE 10 kts fwd movement).

 

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed seeing what the ship was capable of (R22), but like most pilots, seeing isn't enough. I need to make the inputs in order to learn.

 

I think it boils down to what instructor pilot you get and your experience level. And yes, I did ask if we could do a full down, on what I knew was going to be the last auto of the flight and was told no.

 

I learned a lot in the classroom, but walked away from the flight with a bitter taste in my mouth. Like I said though, I think it depends on the instructor you get. Other people got to do full downs and other people with more experience with the same IP were in my shoes: no full downs.

 

So with that I leave you with this advice: Tell whoever it is you need to some of the things you want to do during the flight and ask that they pair you with an instructor who is willing to do those things with you.

 

Damn, that really sucks dude! I've been there 4 times over the last 8 years (basically renewing my BFR) flown with 4 different instructors, and the only time I wasn't the one flying was from the ramp to the grass (for some reason they have to do that)! If I had your experience I'd probably want my money back?! :(

 

By the way, if you really want to do some full-downs, take a weekend off and go up to Jerry Trimble Helicopters. His touchdown auto course was a lot of fun!

Edited by pilot#476398
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Damn, that really sucks dude! I've been there 4 times over the last 8 years (basically renewing my BFR) flown with 4 different instructors, and the only time I wasn't the one flying was from the ramp to the grass (for some reason they have to do that)! If I had your experience I'd probably want my money back?! :(

 

By the way, if you really want to do some full-downs, take a weekend off and go up to Jerry Trimble Helicopters. His touchdown auto course was a lot of fun!

 

It is what it is. Nothing I can do about it now. I learned from the experience and won't go back half cocked again.

 

I've heard the Trimble name on this forum before. If I find myself up there or in dire need to full down training, that's where I'll go, for sure.

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Day three all wrapped up. All that remains tomorrow morning is our course review and exam and we're done by 11am.

 

 

The course has been awesome. Having done all my training in Robinson helicopters (about 160total time, 50hrs in the 44) I figured much of the classroom stuff would be review of what I already knew. Boy did I not know a lot! Touring the factory, seeing the ships torn down and pulled inside out, etc etc. is all so valuable. You really get to see things from a new dimension.

 

I train at a great flight school with really good instructors, but there are things you get out of the factory course that you just don't get in normal PPL and CPL training. My flight was earlier today in the R44 - was lucky to get placed in a factory owned Clipper II so we got to do a couple full downs. It really wasn't anymore demanding or intense than flying with my normal CFI, but was shown a couple different techniques that I hadn't done yet which was nice. The whole "they're just gonna scare the sh*t out of you" thing wasn't part of my day, and with that said I don't feel at all like I was short changed. They are required to do the pickup/taxi/takeoff as well as landing at the factory for safety reasons, but that's no big deal. The rest of the time I was on the controls unless he was on with me showing me something new. We flew to a nearby airfield to do patterns and autos with some settling with power, governor off, and low rotor RPM stuff on the way there. Did some hover autos with our feet on the floor (that was new for me and very cool). Also really enjoyed the takeoff from a hover with my left hand on my leg (basically take off without any additional collective). This is a great technique to help you make a very smooth transition to forward flight without needing additional power. Again, not crazy, but something new to me. Outside of all that, they take care of NAV and radios too which is nice - LA area is much different than where I fly in Seattle. Needless to say, I prefer flying at home! My CFI was awesome and a great resource. Very cool experience.

 

 

 

All that said, if you fly Robbies even a few times a year, this course is worth your time. In reality, it could save your life. It's made me more aware of some potential risks in the Robbies, but also more confident in flying them. As expected, pilot and/or operator error have been the cause of nearly every incident they've ever had. As unsettling as some of the accident footage can be, you are given the opportunity to learn from others mistakes and reduce your chance of doing the same thing.

 

I could go on but I'll keep it short(ish) for now. Going home with a lot more knowledge in the brain!

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I sounds like you gained a great experience from it. I left the class with a whole new respect towards flying robinson helicopters. I also learned to appreciate the hard work my flight schools mechanic team does everyday presenting such well maintained ships everyday. The class really opens one eyes to see there are some good things to learn, and there are some dumb things to not try for yourselves.

 

Mostly, I took away the seriousness of the roll of a pilot from rotors turning to them stopping.

 

Glad you have had a successful experience!

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Did some hover autos with our feet on the floor (that was new for me and very cool).

 

I can't recall ever practicing this...what's the reason behind it? Do you just land 90 degrees off from where you started?

 

I'm sure you probably went northeast up to an uncontrolled field about 5 minutes away...Compton.

 

Glad you guys got so much out of it......I still go every 5 years or so cause I'm getting old and forget sh*t!

 

Fly safe!

Goldy

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I can't recall ever practicing this...what's the reason behind it? Do you just land 90 degrees off from where you started?

 

 

Loss of TR thrust maybe? TR naturally wants to return to ~0 pitch, creating 0 thrust. I did do that in forward flight at the course. Going 70 kts, put feet on floor (pedals went neutral, but we didn't yaw), instructor asked "As we start to slow down, when do you think we will start to yaw?" My answer was 60 kts. I guessed correctly. Just as we started to fall below 60 kts, we started to yaw right. As we slowed below 50 kts it started to get really pronounced and my survival instincts started to kick in and my feet came off the floor. I stopped myself and rode it out, but it definitely drove home the point of doing an auto and maintaining airspeed when TR thrust is lost.

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I’m glad my pal JCM5 had a great time……

 

What should be understood is; any school can be as good as a factory school. To wit, while I’ve been lucky enough to attend numerous factory schools in my day, by far, the most impressive was a small privately owned flight school out of Rialto CA called, Western Helicopters. At the time, I was sent there for 500 EP training as they are a recognized “factory” substitute for the insurance providers. With that said, the level of training is only limited by the imagination of the flight school operator (owners). And, it’s a shame today’s ab-initio training outfits have become so “risk averse” they can’t even compare to a factory school operating the same machines with qualified CFI’s………

 

Either way, JCM5 nice job and keep up the good work……

Edited by Spike

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Ive made probably 20 trips to Western for their FTDA course. Excellent. When I was working on my private I wish I had known about them. They dont really advertise themselves as a flight school to the extent that they should.

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Ive made probably 20 trips to Western for their FTDA course. Excellent. When I was working on my private I wish I had known about them. They dont really advertise themselves as a flight school to the extent that they should.

Spike, FP, if you guys are down near So Cal on Nov 4th, I've got Pete from Western and Chuck Aaron coming in to do a presentation at our annual PHPA meeting. Should be great having 2 icon pilots in the room!

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Anyone fly with Jared down there? He did this collective pump thing. I guess it stabilizes the rotor RPM in the auto (it's changing pitch so fast it does not have time to accelerate or decelerate, and so finds a neutral RPM). He said it took him a couple thousand hours to figure that out. Very strange... But it seemed to work. Doing a full autorotation with collective hand in my lap was also interesting.

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Sounds like one of those trivia things that can dazzle paying customers but have no place in the real world. Is this something that was actually taught or just a " Hey check out what I learned after a couple thousand hours doing the same thing over and over. ".

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Sounds like one of those trivia things that can dazzle paying customers but have no place in the real world. Is this something that was actually taught or just a " Hey check out what I learned after a couple thousand hours doing the same thing over and over. ".

 

I can't really say he "taught" me anything. It would take a lot of hands on practice to get proficient doing some of the things he did. I think he said he works full time at Group 3. I'm sure the guy is a fantastic instructor, but that was not a lesson. It was a demonstration. I'd be lying if I said I took any new valuable skill or technique away from it.

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I can't recall ever practicing this...what's the reason behind it? Do you just land 90 degrees off from where you started?

 

I'm sure you probably went northeast up to an uncontrolled field about 5 minutes away...Compton.

 

Glad you guys got so much out of it......I still go every 5 years or so cause I'm getting old and forget sh*t!

 

Fly safe!

Goldy

 

Yes, simulated LTE, although Tim Tucker swears it's "nearly impossible" to get LTE in a Robinson helicopter.

 

As soon as you take your feet off in the hover the helicopter begins to yaw to the right, once you roll off the throttle you obviously remove the torque and then it's just a normal hover auto.

 

We actually flew from the factory up to Hawthorn airfield and did a few patterns there. They send people to different areas.

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