NavyBlue007 Posted September 24, 2004 Report Share Posted September 24, 2004 I'm a student pilot working on my private, planning on going all the way up to CFI (w/instrument.) This past June I was doing my second supervised solo flight when I encountered ground resonance that ended up destroying the helicopter. I was flying a 300CBi, and I was practicing pick ups, set downs, and pattern work. Fifteen minutes before I was supposed to head to the ramp I decided to practice a few more pick ups and set downs on the inactive runway. I landed twice in the same spot, picked up and everything was fine. I went to set down the third time and felt the skids touch gently, thinking I had made a perfect landing. Two seconds after my eyes moved to the center console to check my gauges, I felt a small vibration that began to grow more violent with each moment that passed. Before I realized what had happened the controls had vibrated out of my hands and all I could do was hang on for dear life. The helicopter rocked back and forth on the skids while turning to the left. The main rotor dipped low enough to chop the tailboom off and send it about 30 feet down the runway. I saw the main rotor blade then dip very close to the cockpit and pretty much thought "this is it" and hunched down in my seat and waited to be chopped liver. As the helicopter's main rotor blade made the last pass, it struck the runway and stopped, 180 degrees from the initial direction I was facing when I landed. When the rotor blades stopped I did what anyone in my situation would do, and that's an arm and leg check. Seeing that I had every part of my body and that I was not bleeding, I shut down the still running engine, shut the fuel valve, turned off the mags, and then unstrapped and booked my butt to as far away from the wreckage as I could run. I had bruises between my knees from where the cyclic beat them, and a bruise from where the shoulder harness had kept me strapped in, but otherwise I was uninjured. I can't remember if it was the attitude or altitude indicator that had shaken loose of the cockpit and was thrown onto the runway, I was just glad it didn't hit me on the way out. To this day I don't know what exactly caused the ground resonance to set in. It's something we talk about in ground school, but not something that everyone gets practical experience with, especially a student pilot with .7 hrs solo time. Luckily the staff at the school I go to was very helpful and optimistic. They had me up in the air three days later for a "joy ride" so I wouldn't become too scared to fly again. I think I only took a week off before I was back in the saddle, and I've started my solo work again recently and hope to have my PPL within the next two months. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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