R44 Down at Wanaka

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R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby Charl » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:59 pm

It may be that there are a lot of Robinsons about, but one does get the feeling they are in the news more than they perhaps should be?

"Matthew Wallis, the son of aviation pioneer and Warbirds Over Wanaka air show founder Sir Tim Wallis and his wife Lady Prue, went down after leaving Wanaka Airport on a short solo flight to Mt Aspiring National Park on Saturday afternoon."

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/105664 ... pter-crash
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby emfrat » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:14 pm

That is a terrible thing to happen - my condolences to all involved.
I have read elsewhere, that a Robinson pilot needs to respond very quickly to a situation needing auto-rotation. otherwise it is not achievable. Pretty sure that was in an Australian ATSB report.
:(
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby chopper_nut » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:49 am

Don’t know Matt myself but I do have a tenuous connection to the family. Very sad.

Unfortunately the media circus is after a beat up on Robinson and that’s what they’re getting. There are lawyers in the US who specialise in suing Robinson... nothing else. It’s true that Robbies require a lot more finesse than other machines and don’t like the rough stuff as much but statistically, the R44 is the safest machine in the world (flight hours flown) I have around 1000 hours in Robbies and have had two mag failures... that’s it. I have two thousand hours in the 500 and I’ve had so much stuff go wrong that I’ve lost count. Nothing that’s made me have to put it down or anything but lot’s of annoying stuff that’s kept the helicopter on the ground.. Robbies aren’t that unsafe if you fly them within the limitations. Did anybody hear about the two reslly bad 600 crashes recently??? Nobody is saying that they’re unsafe.
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby cowpatz » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:13 am

Too early to tell the probable cause but it puts the spotlight back on Robinson. That is the second high profile heli operator family to lose a son. I am sure Louisa Patterson will be following this investigation closely.
In some respects the R22 (and lesser extent the R44) get a bum rap as the former is predominately a trainer aircraft or privately owned and therefore more likely to be mishandled and the latter is a commercial entry level machine prior to operating turbines. It could be argued that this being the case the aircraft should be built to better withstand this sort of mishandling. I'm not sure about the Robbie tri hinge teetering head design and I know it has come in for much criticism.
I met Frank Robinson a few times. He used to regularly have breakfast at our crew hotel in Torrance. Back then he was amazed at what we were doing with his machine although I think in the latter years he may have been more concerned than amazed.

That said they can be very useful......

Watch on youtube.com
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby chopper_nut » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:41 am

Thing is that the mast bumping thing is nonsense. It’s not a robinson design flaw, any two bladed helicopter is susceptable to it. Bell UH1s were mast bumping back in the 60s and the rotor head design hasn’t really changed. The thing that you have to remember when flying a Robbie is that it’s light. 1370lbs MAUW for the R22. There isn’t a lot of weight in the fuselage to keep it centered under the disc. It baffles me that people keep bringing this up though as it is a pilot technique thing not a problem with the helicopter design. I’ve flown in some ratty arse weather in Robbies and if you fly properly and not like an idiot then it’s fine. Not saying that Steve and Matt flew like idiots (I have a personal theory on Steve’s accident that I won’t share on here) but using improper technique in rough weather and then blaming the helicopter when you exceed the limitations isn’t very productive.
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby Charl » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:46 am

So what do the "Mast-bumping" incidents involve?
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/ ... -watchlist

Are pilots flying outside recommended limits?
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby chopper_nut » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:00 am

Mast bumping is generally where the disc ‘unloads’ but the tail rotor is still generating thrust. The trail rotor pulls the fuselage around and the parasite drag rolls the fuselage so the rotor head contacts the mast. Now in reality, what usually happens is that the blades flap so much that they’ll contact the fuselage before the rotor head contacts the mast and that’s what starts the break up.

Turbulence doesn’t cause mast bumping, improper pilot reaction to the disc unloading is what causes it. In the wind, you can’t go flying around at VNE, you have to dial it back. The more power in use, the more tail roto thrust and the quicker it’ll want to yaw on you if you hit a big bump.
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby cowpatz » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:13 pm

Too many moving parts for moi.
In a different life i was instructing in IFR theory. John Funnell was one of my students and he commuted from Taupo in one of the first R22's in the country. One lunchtime he offered me a ride in it. I took one look at the cyclic control column, with its masport lawnmower grips, together with a pip pin holding it together and I thought...nah. In latter years it was bad enough flying gas powered model RC helicopters...and about as expensive on a per minute basis.
:)
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby Charl » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:38 pm

... and now this

On a scale of 1 to 10... far off scale.
Just unbelievable.
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby emfrat » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:45 pm

What a terrible thing to happen :(
My condolences to all the families.
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby cowpatz » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:21 pm

Tragic. A certain amount of irony as well in that DOC won’t let their employees fly in Robbie’s anymore.
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby chopper_nut » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:02 am

Absolutely gutted. It must've been something pretty bad to bring it down like that. I'll be watching this one closely.
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby jpreou » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:21 pm

The usual arguments about the Robbies above ... but the NZ Herald has this down as a H500, if we're talking about the same incident...
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby Charl » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:37 pm

Yes hence the irony mentioned in CP's post above.
I am moved to quote from the Rubaiyat, which is perhaps a little heavy for a flightsim forum but, well...

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby chopper_nut » Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:49 pm

jpreou wrote:The usual arguments about the Robbies above ... but the NZ Herald has this down as a H500, if we're talking about the same incident...


The thread was actually started for Matt’s accident three months ago. Nick’s accident had just been tagged on
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Re: R44 Down at Wanaka

Postby jpreou » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:16 am

Ahh, well that makes a little more sense. A real tragedy for this family. Sad.
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