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A lot of made-up stories on this forum. I've flown for 44 years with one drive train failure and one partial-power and one shut-down before the engine self-destructed. Makes for conversation, though.

 

 

Not made up in the slightest, or embellished at all. In fact, a lot not told. You may be one of the luckiest souls on the planet.

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A gen failure at night leading to the battery going flat was only announced by the gradual dimming of the instrument lights and the low RPM horn starting to bleat weakly. No GEN OUT light or anything, but I have to say that the loadmeter hadn't been in my scan - it was on the negative side when I did look at it. Luckily I had noticed the problem, turned towards the airfield 9 miles away and made a radio call to the tower before the radio failed, and I was on short final when it all went black.

 

Landed on an adjacent taxiway and sat there in the dark until the FOLLOW ME jeep came galloping along looking for me and almost ran into me in the blackness. Had some fun following him in the hover back to our parking area some miles away.

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I flew for 45 years, and never had an engine failure. I was always expecting one, though. They do happen. I guess somebody else got my share, and for that I thank him/her/them. Like Wally, lots of birdstrikes, but never any damage. I've had chunks on the transmission chip detector that had numbers on them, but never had anything fail catastrophically. Just lucky, I guess.

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Not sure I would've set a *helicopter* down on an active taxiway...at night... with no lights. I think I would've moved off the taxiway and into the grass. And I think I would've landed closer to my hangar/parking area. But that's just me. Runways and taxiways are for airplanes.

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I understand that, kona. In an emergency you do whatever you want/need, and sort it out later. I'm just saying that *I* would've shot for the lightest area of the airport and not landed my no-lights helicopter on an active taxiway where I might be run over by some half-awake nitwit in a 747.

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Guest pokey

not landed my no-lights helicopter on an active taxiway where I might be run over by some half-awake nitwit in a 747.

 

Don't be silly, mom always wakes him up just B4 the best part.

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NR, it was an emergency. I'd have gone for pavement, too. Landing off airport at night without any lighting is a pretty bad idea.

Astro, it'd depend on whether the tach was a tach generator or not.

 

Just asking because in the 22 I wouldn't have been able to contine for 9 miles if the lights were already dimming. Plus once the battery goes flat I'd have no tachs, which means I wouldn't be able to tell how much I would have ended up overspeeding trying to ensure the rpm didn't get too low.

 

Don't know what he was flying, but since he mentioned a Gen failure I figured it wasn't a robbie, so just curious?

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Robinsons don't have a rotor tach generator?

Astars do so that that when everything else tanks, I still have NR and static/pitot gauges.

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Correct. Robinsons need juice to power the tachs. The engine tach, in theory, COULD still run since it's getting its reading from one of the magnetos, which is its own generator, of sorts. The rotor tach, however, just gets its reading from a magnetic pickup off a flex coupling flange on the main rotor gearbox input shaft. The emergency section does mention that both will die if all power is lost, so the mag thing for the engine tach is up in the air.

 

Electrical diagrams have them on their own bus bar, which is wired directly to the battery through the clutch switch, and to the main bus bar via a diode so that power won't go from the battery, to the tach bus and then through to everything else attached to the main bus. At least that part of the design was smart...

Edited by ridethisbike
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NR said:

 

 

I understand that, kona. In an emergency you do whatever you want/need, and sort it out later. I'm just saying that *I* would've shot for the lightest area of the airport and not landed my no-lights helicopter on an active taxiway where I might be run over by some half-awake nitwit in a 747.

Well, this airfield was running intersecting runway ops, using a north/south runway, and an east/west runway.

Before the radio on the 206 gave up about 5 miles out, the Tower said to approach to the 16 threshold, though our police base was near the threshold of 25, some way away. I did as directed, but moved onto the taxiway so that the runway was useable, not occupied by an unlit JetBanger.

 

Approaching 25 in the dark would have conflicted me with other landing traffic, particularly as I was expected to be on 16. (Which was into the southerly wind anyway)

 

And anyway, threshold 16 WAS the best lit part of the airport, with approach lights, VASIS, edge and centre lights - our base was in the GA area, which in 1984 was almost unlit.

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