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Attention EC 120 users


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Guest oldgrump

I will gladly respond.  The following items are not durable on this aircraft.

 

    windshields, windows- unexpected debonding

    droop rings- unexpected debonding

    dampener rod end bearings- not durable

    rotor brake switches- unreliable

    coupling tube inspection- every 5 hours!

And a few Turbomeca items:

    fuel manifolds and fuel controls- replace often

Customers love to ride in it, pilots love to fly it (even if it is underpowered), but don't count on it. We operate in the Gulf of Mexico.  It is a nice aircraft for flying real estate agents around.

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  • 1 month later...

I was operating an EC120 around Sydney Australia. Great visibility, but all that glass meant lots of heat coming in. The ventilation system is dismal, with a piddly fan that just blows into my eyes and makes them sore. Wearing a normal pilot uniform of blue trousers and black shoes meant that my legs were very hot and my feet were on fire.

 

No ventilation for legs or feet, and the machine is so aerodynamically slick, when you open a window, no air comes in, it just whizzes by. I flew for an hour in 35 deg plus heat, with cyclic in left hand and right hand out the window, trying to scoop in enough air to stop myself and passengers from expiring. The poor sod on the left window, in the sun, was leaning across the other passengers to try to get away from it.

 

And the name is wrong - nowhere near 120 knots, so it should be called an EC110 or 105. But I think that one is taken.

 

Love the boot space, but frustrated by being unable to load stuff under the seats. And what is that warning supposed to mean:"Do not place anything under all the seats." Can we put anything under SOME of the seats? Can we put something under ANY of the seats, as long as we leave the anythings behind? Oh, those French....

 

And being unable to whip the dual controls in and out like in a Bell 206 is a real pain. :angry:

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TYPE:  ACCIDENT

MFG:   EUROCOPTER               MODEL:          EC120B

SERIAL NO:   1044                 REG NO:         PT-YOZ

OPERATOR:  RIANA TAXI AEREO         DATE:      12-10-2002

DAMAGE EST:  SUBSTANTIAL            COUNTRY:        BRAZIL

STATE:       RJ                       CITY:           RIO DE JANEIRO

MISHAPDESCRIPTION:

A/C WAS LANDED AND THE PASSENGERS DISEMBARKED, THE PILOT WAS JUST TAKING OFF WHEN THE A/C WAS HIT BY STRONG WIND GUSTS AND THE M/R CHOPPED OFF THE TAIL. THE A/C LANDED WITH THE FENESTRON DANGLING FROM THE TAIL BOOM.

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  • 1 month later...
Eric, "Do Not Place Anything Under All the Seats" is there because the seats are supposed to be 'crash attenuating', and therefore, nothing is to be placed under them at all. Or all of them... or any of them...#*@* anyway, don't put anything there.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Would have to agree with "Old Grump' however have not had Damper Rod End Brg Problems. We have had several Scissor Link Brg Wear out though within 200-300hrs.

With factory Fitted Air Con installed, it is comfortable in Hot conditions.

Region is South Pacific NZ/Aust/Fiji Approx 15 Aircraft.

Well recieved by customers although some operators say it is under powered. Maybe they should buy an AS350. ???

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  • 3 weeks later...

We've had most of "old grumps" problems with our "less than 500hr old" EC120 as well as :-

Mrgb pressure switch

Thermocouple

Doors vibrating /difficult to close and or adjust

Excelent A/C now intermittant

 

I think think some of these problems (and more in the future) are / will be the result of the bad vibes, especially durring transition. It seems "rubber mounted panel" and vibration dampers "hammers" (more to come I believe) can't overcome/ mask the problem.

 

Someone suggested buying an AS350 as a solution to the "lack of power". Shouldn't a "new generation" helicopter with all seats full perform as well as "an old tech" B2 with similar endurance/baggage etc? :P

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  • 4 weeks later...

We were operating an EC 120 in Germany mainly for VIP-transportation. I love to fly that ship but the VEMD-System is a pain inthe a**. We had to replace it twice now but it keeps giving us false failure and/or exceedance reports. (e.g.: rotor overspeed of 490 RPM, generator overload etc).

 

Frank

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  • 3 weeks later...

hi Helifrank,

 

This problem has/does happen(ed)  to our vemde as well but only on occasions when you fly too close to radio transmitters, your Nf/Nr digital dial goes haywire for a moment to.

Maybe that has been the problem in your case as well.

Safe Flying

Colibri :)

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  • 4 weeks later...
We have had a few of the problems listed above, but what helicopter does'nt?  We fly each of ours about 1,500 hours a year and over all it has been a great ship for us.  I think any equipment you work that hard is bound to have things that wear a bit.  As for the VEMD issues, ours has been very reliable.  Every so often we get a "rotor speed over limit detected" and we just make a log entry and go on.  we obviously did not get the rotor that high or it would have come off.  I don't really see it as that big of a problem.
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Colibri,

 

I fly for Airborne Law Enforcement Services in Orange County CA.  We are a joint police air unit and patrol Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Santa Ana.  We fly 98% of the time at sea level and we are rarely more than 10 miles from the ocean so our temps are relatively cool even in the summertime.  We use it for patrol and surveillance duties and we use a 108 gallon bambi bucket for grass fires.  I would like to see the EC120 get a little more horsepower in the future. As soon as they give us more horsepower I am sure we will find 10 more things to try to hang on it and we will be back where we were!  Isn't that the story of all helicopters though... load them down to the absolute limit no matter how big they are?

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HeliFrank,

 

No, we are about to purchase our third EC120 and complete our transition from 500's to the EC120's.  Long Beach PD which is about 25 miles up the coast just bought a couple of EC130's though.  They seem to be happy with them.  Personally I think they a little big for patrol work.  The Flight Officer sits in a different zip code from the Pilot, but one thing you are not lacking is room!

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