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Safety of homebuild Helicopters



 
 
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  #21  
Old December 18th 06, 08:48 PM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
JohnO
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 120
Default Safety of homebuild Helicopters


boB wrote:
Stuart & Kathryn Fields wrote:
JohnO: I think it was an exposure kind of thing. When he took a look at
engine reliabilty in turbines compared to his experience with experimental
piston engines and coupled that with being able to pick your weather days
flying experimentals vs take-it-as it comes as well as night flights over
really nasty terrain and having a strong need to get there because of life
saving situations; the flying would, I think, get a lot more hazardous than
just flying an experimental helo. Hell, I really didn't like the night
cross country I had to do for my helo add-on and that was good weather over
the LA basin. Great horizon reference available. I can't imagine flying at
night, into unknown weather, over whatever with trees, power lines etc. I
would hear every bearing in the engine and transmission just hollering.



I can imagine the urgency of a medivac that's bad enough to require a
helicopter and with all the things you stated above would strain even
the best pilot. One mistake, well, there's no room for 1 mistake.
Unless he was flying with NVG's I would say he's as brave as they come.

--

boB
copter.six


When you talk medivac does that mean air amblance, rescue or both? Down
here air ambulance generally means no winching stretchers etc so it's
relatively tame. The rescue guys do the crazy stuff such as winching
stretchers off ships and cliffs and to me that's the scary stuff - when
the weather is bad. On the other hand when the weather is good they
have the advantage of auto hovering on auto pilot which would make life
somewhat more comfortable than the average R22 pilot!

Ads
  #22  
Old December 19th 06, 12:19 AM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
boB[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 22
Default Medivac Safety of homebuild Helicopters

JohnO wrote:


I can imagine the urgency of a medivac that's bad enough to require a
helicopter and with all the things you stated above would strain even
the best pilot. One mistake, well, there's no room for 1 mistake.
Unless he was flying with NVG's I would say he's as brave as they come.



When you talk medivac does that mean air amblance, rescue or both? Down
here air ambulance generally means no winching stretchers etc so it's
relatively tame. The rescue guys do the crazy stuff such as winching
stretchers off ships and cliffs and to me that's the scary stuff - when
the weather is bad. On the other hand when the weather is good they
have the advantage of auto hovering on auto pilot which would make life
somewhat more comfortable than the average R22 pilot!



I'm thinking Air Ambulance. I think Air Rescue requires a special kind
of person and I would hope I wouldn't be too scared to fly those
missions. I have been scared a few times. I flew "Stable Patient
Transfer" for 2 years in a UH-1 from Portsmouth Naval Hospital to Walter
Reed. That is pretty tame flying compared to the Emergency Air Ambulance
where they have to respond many times at night in weather minimums
considered VFR for helicopters. And for helicopters the cloud clearance
requirement is different in Class G airspace - Clear of clouds. The
visibility of 3 miles was for fixed wing only under the Army AR95-1.
Helicopters can fly with less than 3 but I can't find it in the FAR's yet.

But even with 3 miles visibility at night it is a scary situation since
you are continuously looking for those invisible power lines and finding
your way to the accident site and 3 miles vis isn't as good as it
sounds. Flying OH58D's out of Stuttgart International south to our
training area we were not allowed to use the NVG's until out of the
Stuttgart controlled airspace so many nights we had very low visibility
which with NVG's was plenty but without NVG's was quite a trip. NVG's
can see through a lot of haze and fog. It wasn't unusual in Germany to
flip the goggles up inbound to land and find ourselves IMC.

With GPS now I'm sure it's a lot safer but still a heart pounder.

Class G airspace is typically ( I believe ) where a good number of
medivacs are called into, day and night, since it's usually far from
medical facilities and an Ambulance would take too long.






----------------------------------------
From FAR's
(b) Class G Airspace. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of
this section, the following operations may be conducted in Class G
airspace below 1,200 feet above the surface:

(1) Helicopter. A helicopter may be operated clear of clouds if operated
at a speed that allows the pilot adequate opportunity to see any air
traffic or obstruction in time to avoid a collision.

--------------------------------------


Sec. 91.155 - Basic VFR weather minimums.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section and 91.157, no
person may operate an aircraft under VFR when the flight visibility is
less, or at a distance from clouds that is less, than that prescribed
for the corresponding altitude and class of airspace in the following
table:


Class G:
1,200 feet or less above the surface (regardless of MSL altitude).

Day, except as provided in 1 statute mile........ Clear of clouds.
91.155(b).

Night, except as provided in

3 statute miles.......

91.155(b).

500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.


================================================== ====

More than 1,200 feet above the
surface but less than 10,000
feet MSL

Day........................... 1 statute mile........ 500 feet below.
1,000 feet
above.
2,000 feet
horizontal.

Night......................... 3 statute miles....... 500 feet below.
1,000 feet
above.
2,000 feet
horizontal.

More than 1,200 feet above the 5 statute miles....... 1,000 feet
surface and at or above below.
10,000 feet MSL. 1,000 feet
above.
1 statute mile
horizontal.


--

boB
copter.six
  #23  
Old December 22nd 06, 08:14 PM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
RPE
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9
Default Safety of homebuild Helicopters

Currious, 100 to 150 flying?.. What happened to the other 350?


"John_F" wrote in message
...
There were about 500 mini 500's sold and about 100 to 150 flying.
There are at least 11 deaths as of three years ago that I know of
flying the mini 500. You calculate the odds.

Mr Fetters claims the design is fine however when a 60,000 hour
professional helicopter pilot dies in one I took notice. I have lost
three friends to this machine.
John

On 8 Dec 2006 20:09:29 -0800, "wavy" wrote:

JohnO wrote:
Hi,

Can someone point me to any official accident statistics that would
demonstrate the relative accident rates of various classes of
certified
and experimental helos? Specifically I would want to exclude any
accidents that were pilot error or failure of maintenance. and only
consider accidents where there was a design fault

I'm interested to know how safe the design is on the various kit
helos,
in particular for Rotorway in the KISS turbine version.

It concerns me that a lot of the luminaries of the kit helicopter
world
such as Schramm and Bedo have died in accidents, but I'm not sure if
the reasons were faults in the aircraft or pilot error.

Cheers,
JohnO


Just look up Mini 500 in the NTSB database.

I think that might dissuade you from at least one possibitlity....
=WaVy





  #24  
Old December 22nd 06, 08:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
601XL Builder
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 97
Default Safety of homebuild Helicopters

Lot's of kit aircraft get sold and never finished. When the kit company
goes out of business mid project the number of unfinished kits are even
higher.

RPE wrote:
Currious, 100 to 150 flying?.. What happened to the other 350?


"John_F" wrote in message
...
There were about 500 mini 500's sold and about 100 to 150 flying.
There are at least 11 deaths as of three years ago that I know of
flying the mini 500. You calculate the odds.

  #25  
Old December 23rd 06, 05:00 PM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
Linc
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 37
Default Medivac Safety of homebuild Helicopters

clear of clouds, 1 mile at night in Class G, unless the aircraft is
higher than 1200 feet AGL.

Especially with the new NVGs, I would personally choose to fly with the
NVGs down, even if I was told that I couldn't. As a tool at night, even
if you are just confirming what you see with the Mark 1 Mod 0 eyeball,
flying without NVGs, especially if you have them with you, is like
flying the helicopter with one hand tied behind your back. And the
aircraft is a lot better with the GPS than with the AHRS.

Linc

boB wrote:

snip

considered VFR for helicopters. And for helicopters the cloud clearance
requirement is different in Class G airspace - Clear of clouds. The
visibility of 3 miles was for fixed wing only under the Army AR95-1.
Helicopters can fly with less than 3 but I can't find it in the FAR's yet.

But even with 3 miles visibility at night it is a scary situation since
you are continuously looking for those invisible power lines and finding
your way to the accident site and 3 miles vis isn't as good as it
sounds. Flying OH58D's out of Stuttgart International south to our
training area we were not allowed to use the NVG's until out of the
Stuttgart controlled airspace so many nights we had very low visibility
which with NVG's was plenty but without NVG's was quite a trip. NVG's
can see through a lot of haze and fog. It wasn't unusual in Germany to
flip the goggles up inbound to land and find ourselves IMC.

With GPS now I'm sure it's a lot safer but still a heart pounder.


snip

boB
copter.six


  #26  
Old December 24th 06, 12:07 AM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
boB[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Medivac Safety of homebuild Helicopters


"Linc" wrote in message
ps.com...
clear of clouds, 1 mile at night in Class G, unless the aircraft is
higher than 1200 feet AGL.

Especially with the new NVGs, I would personally choose to fly with the
NVGs down, even if I was told that I couldn't. As a tool at night, even
if you are just confirming what you see with the Mark 1 Mod 0 eyeball,
flying without NVGs, especially if you have them with you, is like
flying the helicopter with one hand tied behind your back. And the
aircraft is a lot better with the GPS than with the AHRS.

Linc



I usually don't mention my side-stepping rules but those times, inbound to
land, when I flipped up the NVG's and found myself IMC, the Goggles came
back down instantly.

boB


  #27  
Old December 24th 06, 06:41 PM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
Linc
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 37
Default Medivac Safety of homebuild Helicopters

boB,

I would never bust on you for it, and anyone who would, "they should
hold their manhood cheap." I find it a prudent course of action and
like I said, if you have the tools to use, you handicap yourself by not
using them. My goal is to always live to fly another day.

Speaking of those rules, were they host-nation, USAREUR, or homegrown
within the unit?

Linc

boB wrote:
"Linc" wrote in message
ps.com...
clear of clouds, 1 mile at night in Class G, unless the aircraft is
higher than 1200 feet AGL.

Especially with the new NVGs, I would personally choose to fly with the
NVGs down, even if I was told that I couldn't. As a tool at night, even
if you are just confirming what you see with the Mark 1 Mod 0 eyeball,
flying without NVGs, especially if you have them with you, is like
flying the helicopter with one hand tied behind your back. And the
aircraft is a lot better with the GPS than with the AHRS.

Linc



I usually don't mention my side-stepping rules but those times, inbound to
land, when I flipped up the NVG's and found myself IMC, the Goggles came
back down instantly.

boB


  #28  
Old December 25th 06, 06:19 AM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
boB[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 22
Default Flying in Germany ---------- Medivac

Linc wrote:
boB,

I would never bust on you for it, and anyone who would, "they should
hold their manhood cheap." I find it a prudent course of action and
like I said, if you have the tools to use, you handicap yourself by not
using them. My goal is to always live to fly another day.

Speaking of those rules, were they host-nation, USAREUR, or homegrown
within the unit?

Linc



Hi Linc. My unit flew out of Stuttgart International. My company was a
tactical unit flying OH58D's within a General Support Battalion. If it
would have been an Army Airfield the rules can be changed to suit the
training but the German Government wasn't keen to allow something they
deemed unsafe so we had to abide by the rules of the host country. It
usually wasn't that bad, .... what am I saying, it was Germany, it
seemed it was always bad...... My unit was a part of 7th Corp which
deployed to Desert Shield/Storm in December 1990.

But then again, flying in Germany was a LOT less restrictive than flying
in the US. Helicopter flights within Germany were usually flown below
500 feet and when the threat was elevated were were required to fly
below 100 feet. You could land where-ever you wanted throughout the
countryside as long as you weren't landing beside a farmer on his
tractor. It sounds fun, and it was if you were in an area you knew. But
flying across new terrain was a constant effort to see and avoid wires.
It got stressful at times and you were almost always on the wrong side
of the dead man's curve. But the Bell helicopters came through fine and
could be depended on for getting you out of bad situations. (except for
the AH-1Q's and OH58A's, the underpowered hogs)

--

boB
copter.six


U.S. Army Aviation (retired)
Central Texas
5NM West of Gray Army/Killeen Regional (KGRK)
  #29  
Old December 25th 06, 02:53 PM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
Linc
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 37
Default Flying in Germany ---------- Medivac

boB,

Good stuff! We're underpowered again, thanks to all the armament and
the boxes to run it, but the engine is extremely reliable. I have never
had a serious engine issue (knock on wood) and I attribute it to the
maintenance crews who manage the aircraft I get to fly. A little credit
goes to Rolls Royce as well, who seem to take the whole engine failure
thing very seriously and work hard to keep a reliable product in the
system.

We still live in and beneath the avoid bubble of the height-velocity
curve. Some things never change, I guess.

My last questions are, "How would they know the difference, whether you
were coming in with the goggles or not?" Or were you flying GM-5s?
shudders I flew GM-5s once in AO school. It was a great night to fly
goggles but it was like flying on the very worst night with ANVIS.

Merry Christmas

Linc

boB wrote:
Linc wrote:
boB,

I would never bust on you for it, and anyone who would, "they should
hold their manhood cheap." I find it a prudent course of action and
like I said, if you have the tools to use, you handicap yourself by not
using them. My goal is to always live to fly another day.

Speaking of those rules, were they host-nation, USAREUR, or homegrown
within the unit?

Linc



Hi Linc. My unit flew out of Stuttgart International. My company was a
tactical unit flying OH58D's within a General Support Battalion. If it
would have been an Army Airfield the rules can be changed to suit the
training but the German Government wasn't keen to allow something they
deemed unsafe so we had to abide by the rules of the host country. It
usually wasn't that bad, .... what am I saying, it was Germany, it
seemed it was always bad...... My unit was a part of 7th Corp which
deployed to Desert Shield/Storm in December 1990.

But then again, flying in Germany was a LOT less restrictive than flying
in the US. Helicopter flights within Germany were usually flown below
500 feet and when the threat was elevated were were required to fly
below 100 feet. You could land where-ever you wanted throughout the
countryside as long as you weren't landing beside a farmer on his
tractor. It sounds fun, and it was if you were in an area you knew. But
flying across new terrain was a constant effort to see and avoid wires.
It got stressful at times and you were almost always on the wrong side
of the dead man's curve. But the Bell helicopters came through fine and
could be depended on for getting you out of bad situations. (except for
the AH-1Q's and OH58A's, the underpowered hogs)

--

boB
copter.six


U.S. Army Aviation (retired)
Central Texas
5NM West of Gray Army/Killeen Regional (KGRK)


  #30  
Old December 26th 06, 03:31 AM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
boB[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Flying in Germany ---------- Medivac


"Linc" wrote in message
ps.com...
boB,

Good stuff! We're underpowered again, thanks to all the armament and

My last questions are, "How would they know the difference, whether you
were coming in with the goggles or not?" Or were you flying GM-5s?
shudders I flew GM-5s once in AO school. It was a great night to fly
goggles but it was like flying on the very worst night with ANVIS.

Merry Christmas

Linc


When I flew we had ANVS 6 NVG's. Pretty nice goggles but a 40 degree FOV
and 20-200 vision is bad no matter what. I haven't even seen any newer
versions.

boB


 




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