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Puddle Jumper

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I do NOT condone the type of flying in the video, but it is something we have come to expect at "airshows".

However I think it is improper to point the finger too harshly at people who know what they are doing, and the possible consequences of their actions.


If the pilot is DK....then he knows about risks.....and stresses on Hughes 269s.

He has been flying aerobatic demonstrations for a long time, and knows all too well about the consequences of accidents.


His 18 year old son (DK jr. ,also a pilot), and two passengers were killed in a March 2000 crash of a Hughes 269C in England. The crash was caused by the inflight break-up of the helicopter.


A tail-boom attachment lug was cracked and had been welded before DK bought the helicopter. Repair welds in this area of the lug are not allowed.


The helicopter engineer XXXX XXXX, 48, from Kent, was cleared of three charges of manslaughter but later jailed for eight months for licensing the illegal repair job to the area which failed, causing the crash.

This engineer did not perform the welding but he was responsible to check what repairs were allowed. He contacted the welders to have the repair performed.

There were no log-book entries to record the welded patch repairs that had been carried out on the left and right centre frame rear cluster fittings.


Hughes had known about problems in this lug area, and had come out with different versions of the lug, and specific instructions for crack inspection and repair.


For the full report; (be careful, it took years to write, and takes just as long to read)



Three young people are now dead. Not because of aerobatic flying, or because the pilot only had 200 hours, but because of a negligent engineer. (Thankfully, negligent engineers are an extreme rarity).


This tragic accident, and many others caused by a variety of factors, are what makes insurance rates rise.

We all have a part to play in keeping insurance rates down. So, let's leave the "airshow" flying to DK, as we've all got enough to think about already.

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Thanks for the replys. I must admit when incorrect and incorrect I was. Being inexperienced I took these types of manouvers as the lead to future aircraft preformance problems. My comment about insurance is also clouded as you pointed out as the pilot abviously knows what he is doing based on his years of experience. In addition my apologies go out to anyone I offended bye my comments.


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Guest bag swinnger

I am sure most of us did not know this pilot in the video, or new that he was involved in airshows before we saw it.

just judging by the flexing going on in the skid gear (constantly)as the machine is going around in circles on the ground. I wonder whats going to happen when it fails!

I also wonder how many chief pilots out there and company owners would like to look out the window, and see one of thier machines doing any one of theese manuvers.

I dont know any manufacturers personally, but I would bet that they get nervous when they see footage of this kind of stuff. arguably its different in the right hands, but how many people out there are training for engine outs during backwards flying at 30 feet agl, or a flame out when half inverted. I am sure that it would be interesting trainning.

I would like to think that I am a conservative pilot, as that is the way that I was trained, so I may have fairly conservative views on this topic. but it is interseting to note that there is a pilot that I know of, that figures he has superior flying skills and does these type of manuvers all the time, and interestingly enough he has also crashed more times than any one I know. Just some of my thoughts.

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I dont know any manufacturers personally, but I would bet that they get nervous when they see footage of this kind of stuff.

Well I know a manufacturer personally, having worked for the big one, and I'm getting quite a charge out of reading some of the expert comments about how the 'machine doesn't know it's upside down' and what the aircraft were certified to do and not do.


Having flown and been witness to flights with strain gauges and full instrumentation, I can tell you that some of these seemingly 'harmless' aerobatics don't look quite so harmless when you see the loads on transmission mounts, t/r mounts, and tail boom attachments. It certainly made me look at how I flew.


At Bell, there was a 222 with a 680 rotor (that now flies on the 430) that did aerobatic flight, including loops and rolls. The test pilots that did them were among the best you'll find anywhere, and the ships were heavily instrumented so the telemetry room knew exactly what was going on. This stuff is not to be messed with.


How do these stunts affect the 269? Don't know, don't care, but I would strongly caution the unwashed to attempt these things at home.

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