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44 down in S.Africa

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44 Astro down in S.Africa


Sounds like an engine failure to me, it got real quiet just after came over the camera man. It's all in Dutch, so not sure what they're saying. On Pprune, someone said the pilot was saying hydraulic failure, but it's not installed in the Astro, unless he just had it installed? Can you install hydraulics in an Astro? Pretty windy day too! Barely missed the person on the flare too!


Trying not to be the Debbie Downer of news, but no one died in this accident, that I know of. It's a good learning tool to see the video. I'm sure it'll be at the Safety Course in the near future!



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If he had another 200 feet of altitude it would have been a non event.


Sure sounded like an auto to me, great footage...glad all turned out ok.


Yes, you can add hydraulics to an Astro..bout 45K


Thanks Rob...you've been full of great news lately !

Edited by Goldy
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Wow! That was quite a video. Just goes to show how fast things can happen. Looks to me like it would have turned out better from that altitude had he missed the pickup truck at the end of the auto. This thread/video would go great with the other thread "fatals now and then". This is what the real world can be like. Hindsight would say that yes more altitude would have been better as the pilot may have then had some better options.


If it was a hydrualic failure then I am not sure why it turned out the way it did. I lost my hydrualics in an Astar offshore Long Beach and made an emergency landing at the airport. I can't remember, does the R-44 hyrualic system have accumulators? The astar has accumulators for the main rotor but not the tail rotor. The acumulators gives about 7 movments of cyclic control before all pressure is lost. This way it's not a shock going from having smooth controls to a taking all the strength you can give, to move the controls. Granted the R-44 is a lot easier to handle with out hydraulics than an Astar is.


It is good to hear no one was really hurt too bad.

Edited by JDHelicopterPilot
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Yeah I know JD..I'm always saying the guy should have had more altitude or more airspeed !!


Anyway, the 44 does not have any accumulators that I know of. When you switch off the hydraulics the result is instant. Its really not that hard to fly one w/out hydraulics..much easier than the B47 is. I can't speak of Astars..no one has let me fly one yet !


Just a loss of hydraulics should not have caused any incident whatsoever...we even practice full landings without hydraulics....you dont need a run on..just regular set down is fine. SO in my mind this had to be more than just that.


And yes, happened really fast ! Too bad the camera didnt stay on him the whole time...little hard to follow, but this will be a great training video for some time.



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Yeah I know it was quick. I had to look at again.


Yep the 44 is a lot easier than the Astar without hydrualics. The Astar is well known for it's difficult handling with out them. Look at the Channel 4 video from NY. The pilot got it in an OGE hover and couldn't control it when the accumulators ran out. It's tough! A friend of mine did an interview flight in one with ERA and the CP cut the hydrualics on him in an OGE and they went on a wild ride! He had 0 Astar time.


Ok, back on topic! Lesson to all, airspeed and altitude are your best friends! If you have to be in the HV curve minimize the time. In this video it would appear he was outside of it but the LZ wasn't nice and smooth(a curb and a truck). That led to the rollover in the end.

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Not exactly the best Fire training video, but a rather excellent demonstration of the H/V curve. I do agree though it could have probably been saved, maybe a little damage rather then distroyed if that truck wasn't there.

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