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I scared the cr#p out of myself when


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6 hours ago, 412driver said:

 

"About 30nmi out and my aux tank still read full (…so faulty aux guage), then 60nmi out vibrations got worse. I turned around and headed back. Was the worst 40mins in air. Was watching warning lights but all were fine. Landed and called the engineer. Main rotor pitch link had seized (which I didn’t pick up in preflight) and then a mag had failed in flight which made vibrations worse, I suspect at the 60 miles out point."

If you take away one thing from this, if you can learn one thing from this,  "get-home-itis" can kill you.  Never...EVER...think that you have to get back. That it will be "inconvenient" for the company to come out to you to fix things. Helicopters will tell you if things are going to $#@t and you will want to learn to listen. I have had help flown in deep in the bush and that is just the way this business goes. If you have a nice place to land in sight, preferably where an engineer can drive up to the machine? Do it. I remember once landing in a farmers field and knocking on the door to ask if I could use the phone. (Dating myself, pre cell phone era). The farmer's wife made me a hot cup of coffee and I was deep in to an awesome breakfast by the time my engineer rolled up. Stop thinking the second MAG is to get you home, it is to get you to a nice, non-panic landing area, where help can get to you. Think of it this way: You land with one mag, company is inconvenienced in having to come out to fix it. You carry on and last mag fails? Maybe you autorotate nicely into a big open flat turf lawn field... right... allow me to introduce you to Mr Murphy.... Not saying what you did was wrong. You got back. All good. The most important thing I hope: Lesson Learned!! Maybe next time we can discuss the need for a thorough preflight but I'm guessing you picked up that on your own now.😉   Fly safe and good luck in your career. Cheers! 412

Thanks 412, appreciate the input. With the mag I didn’t know it had failed until after engineer had replaced the pitch link back on the ground but the vibrations should have been the warning to land regardless…your point is well made though and taken to heart! 
I flew with another 11k+ pilot last week who suggested looking for the biggest farmhouse and land there in those situations…and that he’d done so many times. It helps to hear these stories. I think the challenge is learning the machine’s sounds and vibrations when you don’t have much experience. As they say, experience is what you get after you need it. 

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I was coming back to work after a week off...flying a 407...we cruise around look at trees all day long pulling around 50%. As it came time to get fuel I pulled in 80% and could hear this loud and low noise coming from the engine. Got back and got the other pilot to run it up as I walked along the side of the engine bay with my hand on the aiframe. Well when I got back near the rear fire shield this vib was so bad it hurt my fingers...a few days later the engine chip light came on...2 and 1/2 bearing failed big time...light came on when the ship was on the ground thankfully!

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On 8/2/2022 at 11:35 AM, Pool pilot said:

I also start the clock with every fuel up.

The beauty of turbines is (unlike piston versions) they burn fuel pretty consistently. So an example I like is if I have 1600lbs of fuel in my 212 that burns 700lbs an hour... I hit the clock and in 2 hours MAX, I better be on short final for fuel...maybe even a few minutes sooner 😉

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On 8/2/2022 at 8:04 AM, Pool pilot said:

When I teach lower timers about fuel I give them the 2 factor I use.

Jetranger 20 gallons 

Longranger 200 lbs

407  200lbs

204 200lbs

205 200 lbs

And if you have to fly a astar..... 20%

Never have or will fly a Robinson.

Min's to live by. And if you ever see a 'low fuel" in a Bell produce. LAND, you are running on fumes and things WILL get very quiet in short order. Should you choose to believe the gauge.

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13 hours ago, Diaper_Pin said:

Min's to live by. And if you ever see a 'low fuel" in a Bell produce. LAND, you are running on fumes and things WILL get very quiet in short order. Should you choose to believe the gauge.

Well it may not be all that quite if you count the screaming passengers.....lol

No fuel equals no insurance so protect yourself. 

You may get teased for landing with low fuel but getting fuel to you is cheaper than the accident if you are not current with your auto rotation skills.

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17 hours ago, Pool pilot said:

Well it may not be all that quite if you count the screaming passengers.....lol

No fuel equals no insurance so protect yourself. 

You may get teased for landing with low fuel but getting fuel to you is cheaper than the accident if you are not current with your auto rotation skills.

That’s also an opportunity to learn about the people around you. When I had a fuel issue, the people I worked with told me I made the right call. Never once did I get picked on for that call.(I got picked on for pretty much everything else)

if you haven’t had a fuel issue, you haven’t really flown. Make the right call. If anyone give you a hard time, DM me. I’ll buy you a beer for your good choice. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/1/2022 at 4:33 PM, carholme said:

Be careful when you  call other persons bad days, stupid. If  you are a person in this industry, which I doubt and if/when your bad day comes, you may not get to look stupid, you may become one of the statistics.

I have known and worked with DGP longer than you are probably alive and I guarantee you he is not stupid. As an engineer, pilot and person, he is an all round professional, something which I doubt you will ever achieve.

 

As for the other people who have lined up to show how stupid they are, the very fact that they are willing to tell of their mistakes, puts them in a class well above fools like yourself.

 

Gerry

Thanks for those kind words Gerry...I would also say that Gerry is one of the finest Bell medium Engineers in Canada..if not world wide...you could learn a lot from him!!!

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Thank you Doug. Seems like everybody is so quick to shoot their mouth off about other people without knowing them or anything about them.

If I had any success during my time, it was because of people like Pat Sauriol, Russ Shand, Joe Zorenc, Ed Pruss, Terry Churcott and so many others.

 

Gerry

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  • 1 year later...

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