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HelicopterAerial Photography and Video › Forced Auto During a Shoot
08-09-2007 04:15 AM  10 years agoPost 1
c130pilot

rrApprentice

Windsor, CO

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This was a drag...

Doing some aerial photo work with "Old Reliable", the Raptor 50 today, and for the first time ever, I had an OS 50 Hyper just quit. I was about 75' up in a dead hover. I was able to get the heli back to a safe landing place in the field we were flying from, but from a still hover at 75' with all that camera gear under it, it was an interesting auto! Long story short it that although it hit with forward motion and rolled over, it looks like all that was damaged was a slight ding in the tail boom, a bent tail brace, a small knick in the blades (look ok, but I'll need to replace them to be safe, one crossmember of the HCS mount and a canopy clip. Camera and all other gear was ok.

Just another reason to make sure when we fly doing this type of work we have good "out" in case something like this happens, as rare as it is.

Tim
.

Help! I'm umop apisdn

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08-09-2007 04:42 AM  10 years agoPost 2
46Taylorcraft

rrKey Veteran

AZ

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any idea why the Hyper quit? What does the glow plug look like?

Nitro's just don't quit that often and when they are tuned properly they are as reliable as electric.

Nice save. dead still hovering autos from less than 100' are a challenge with any chopper when loaded down with gear. Glad to hear you made out ok.

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08-09-2007 05:14 AM  10 years agoPost 3
nocontrol1

rrApprentice

Melbourne, FL, USA

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Hey Tim- Sorry to hear about the flameout. I had a similar experiance with a rappy 60/ OS70. The only cause I could find was the plug had a little discoloring / pitting on the coil. I now make it a practice to change plugs every couple of gallons. The plugs get saved for a bug smasher plank I fly for fun. I'm not sure how, but I managed to auto blind behind a hedge with no damage except a stripped tail bevel gear.(must have ground struck the tail blade)I've noticed that different plugs display different symptoms as the plug nears the end of its life. My experiance has been that OS #8's will give a bad transition to midrange at spool-up. A new plug cures all symptoms. The Enya #3 starts becoming a little leaner over a couple of flights. Again, a new plug returns the engine to normal. With the OS8 I no longer wait for symptoms to change. Have you found similar symptoms of aging plugs?

Rob

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08-09-2007 06:19 AM  10 years agoPost 4
c130pilot

rrApprentice

Windsor, CO

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Yeah, that plug had been in there for probably about 2-3 gallons. I took it out right afterwards and stuck the glo-starter on it and it "glew" ok. As far as its condition... looked a little worn, I guess. There's always something to learn, and I think in this case it's changing plugs every gallon or so (at least on the camera ship).

I guess I'm still not 100% certain it was the plug, especially since it was still glowing, but I have heard several people write and say they've had the same thing happen with an old plug that still passes the glow test. Still have to do a little more poking around to check for any other possible problems.

Thanks for the props on the auto... but I have to say I think if I practiced those more - especially fully loaded, it might have been better. But, I can't complain as it looks like I'll get out of this one under $100.

Tim
.

Help! I'm umop apisdn

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08-09-2007 01:44 PM  10 years agoPost 5
R Hudson

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Denver, CO

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That's coming-out smelling like a rose compared to some.

Congrats on the save

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08-09-2007 03:44 PM  10 years agoPost 6
eyeinsky

rrVeteran

Fall River, Nova​Scotia, Canada

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Good job!

I don't think I could have done the same. I have test and inspection the glow plug on regular basis. I have the OS#8 and have changed them when I see sign of erosion near filament weld to the body. It seems to get discolored first then later oxidization of the filament begins. Not too often about a gallon or so. Is this similar to what you guys have noticed? What size blade were you run on the 50 when you lost power?

Some day I guess it will happen

Hard job competing with gravity.

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08-09-2007 06:04 PM  10 years agoPost 7
AceBird

rrElite Veteran

Utica, NY USA

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Nitro's just don't quit that often and when they are tuned properly they are as reliable as electric.
You must be kidding! A glow plug is like a light bulb filament constantly degrading with use. They can fail on the first flight, the 10th flight or who knows when. Glow fuel itself is inconsistent from the day you buy it. Moisture is absorbed from the air every time you remove the cap.

I don’t think you can beat gasoline for reliability. I think it has even got electrics beat because of the battery issues.

Ace
What could be more fun?

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08-09-2007 06:21 PM  10 years agoPost 8
iskoos

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Orlando, FL

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I will have to second AceBird. If there is only one type of power plant I know that quits more than anything, that is the nitros.
I personally have never seen any gas engine quit during flight (if it is not lack of fuel of course.)

After doing some research here and there, I came to the conclusion that nitros are definitely not meant for professional AP work.

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08-09-2007 07:20 PM  10 years agoPost 9
c130pilot

rrApprentice

Windsor, CO

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Well, hey now. I know there are some differing opinions out there, and that's ok... but "nitros are definately not for professional AP work" I have to disagree with. I am well aware of all the drawbacks and problems as I have been doing professional AP with a nitro machine for nearly 2 years now. Despite all the drawbacks (mess, weight lifting vs gas, noise vs electric etc etc etc etc), nitro has a couple of good things going for it. The main thing... take this incident. I've gotten out of this under $100. The blades alone would have cost me more on my Bergen let alone any of the other parts. Plus, I'm far more willing to put a Raptor over water than I am an expensive gasser, or even electric. Nitros MAY (or may not) be more prone to engines quitting, but ALL helis are equally susceptible to mechanical failure, radio interference etc.

By the way.. was running the TT 600mm carbons on it. They still look great, to be honest, just a little knick in the leading edge of one if you look closely, but enough to not want to fly them again.

Tim
.

Help! I'm umop apisdn

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08-09-2007 08:18 PM  10 years agoPost 10
eyeinsky

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Fall River, Nova​Scotia, Canada

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Ok I will give you light bulb comment, but that is for starting only, the rest of the time it self sustaining. Correct? For it to fail in flight it would have to disintegrate to the point where it will not maintain the heat require to fire the engine. Even your gas engine has an ignition system requires some maintenance. The gassers are more reliable and probably the best power pant system.
I will get a gas machine down the road but you have to start with some thing. I do agree you can't beet the price of the Rappy.

Hard job competing with gravity.

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08-09-2007 08:27 PM  10 years agoPost 11
c130pilot

rrApprentice

Windsor, CO

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We got started with the Raptor, and then ended up with both a Bergen and a Vario/Airst*r gasser. Long story short - for now we're sticking with the Raptor, although in the future I'd love to go electric... and am debating keeping the Vario setup. Anyway, everyone has their reasons, and the last thing we probably need here is yet another debate on what's better, gas, nitro or electric! They all have their perks for different reasons, and I'm sure while nitro isn't the best possible setup for AP, it's worked well for us. Considering we've flown what are now up in the hundreds of flights with that Raptor and camera gear with this being the first incident, I'm pretty happy with it. Would love to get rid of the mess, though!

Tim
.

Help! I'm umop apisdn

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08-09-2007 09:16 PM  10 years agoPost 12
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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the rest of the time it self sustaining. Correct?
No, absolutely not! A glow plug is just like a filament in a light bulb. It is disintegrating all the while it is in use. At some point it will fail, guaranteed. Unfortunately you cannot determine when. The average life might be 3 gallons but it can very easily fail after two tanks. So you shoot craps every time you go up. A spark plug is more like what you said. True it could fail after the engine starts but it is very, very unlikely it will fail without some other sign before the engine quits.

It is a sound business plan to pay a little more for your equipment to get reliability. Even though I own two Predators, if I owned a business that depended on the reliability of the aircraft I think I would go with a Bergen simply because of the track record. You don’t worry about flying over water if you can trust your equipment. Do you see where I am going?

Ace
What could be more fun?

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08-09-2007 09:30 PM  10 years agoPost 13
kookboy

rrKey Veteran

Vancouver, BC

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You don’t worry about flying over water if you can trust your equipment. Do you see where I am going?
Yes. I believe it's common sense.

... But honey it was only $$$

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08-09-2007 09:43 PM  10 years agoPost 14
46Taylorcraft

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AZ

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If there is only one type of power plant I know that quits more than anything, that is the nitros.
from my experience with nitro helis (over 10 years so far) I've never had a nitro quit on me while in flight. I've had them sputter out during spoolup from idle to mid transition and I ran them out of fuel a couple times but never just flat out quit for no apparent reason.

I've had gassers quit on me a few times.

I guess it depends on who you ask, but I'll take a nitro over gas any day. Take a look at Copterfilms, Flying Cam, and other big players and see what they run.

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08-09-2007 10:51 PM  10 years agoPost 15
c130pilot

rrApprentice

Windsor, CO

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Well, YOU may not worry about flying over water. Trusting your equipment is great. I trust mine, or I wouldn't be doing this job. But, things happen... they are machines. Even that Bergen can get RF interference or any other number of things. Case in point was when the bolt holding the pitch change mechanism on my Bergen failed - sheared in flight and I lost the tail rotor. NOTHING is 100% reliable, and my track record on number of flights without incident on the Raptor is higher than on the Bergen. Even if it were the same or better for the Bergen, the parts cost alone is significantly more. For others that figure may be different. My point is that no matter what I fly - if it's over water it's a little more disconcerting! Not because I expect it to fail, but because when that 1-in-however-many-times bad things happen, you'll lose it all if you're over the drink!

Tim
.

Help! I'm umop apisdn

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08-10-2007 12:38 AM  10 years agoPost 16
eyeinsky

rrVeteran

Fall River, Nova​Scotia, Canada

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Quote "No, absolutely not! A glow plug is just like a filament in a light bulb."

Last I check to be just like a light bulb you would have to be power by electrical source all the time. There for to have failure during operation with properly tuned engine it would take more than just open circuit. You would have to loose the filament to the point were it would not maintain combustion. There for if the circuit is open the engine may not start but it should still run. I am sorry about being super critical. If inspecting the glow plug gives me the piece of mind that I need then so be it. I think you can look at the glow plug and may see some thing that would give you the reason to change it, the same as bad link, bad connector, ext. It is called proactive not reactive maintenance.

Thanks guys

Hard job competing with gravity.

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08-10-2007 02:17 AM  10 years agoPost 17
BigD5617

rrNovice

Maryland, USA

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Raptor 50 Auto

I have had two autos, one the crank shaft broke at the bearings and the other I ran out of the pink stuff in the tank. Both were while shooting, the 3D guys were slack jawed. Practice makes perfect, but perfect practice makes safe flights.

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08-10-2007 02:28 AM  10 years agoPost 18
TCGliderguy

rrVeteran

Albuquerque, New​Mexico

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Dj,

I'm thoroughly confused (no news there.....)

What are you saying with this quote?

>I've had gassers quit on me a few times.

I guess it depends on who you ask, but I'll take a nitro over gas any day. Take a look at Copterfilms, Flying Cam, and other big players and see what they run. <

I don't think I have seen any glow fuel/nitro anywhere near the companies that you mentioned...... What is your point?

-Taylor

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08-10-2007 05:53 AM  10 years agoPost 19
46Taylorcraft

rrKey Veteran

AZ

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many of the big players have run nitro and I'm almost positive they still do. along with Turbine that some of them claim to be using

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08-10-2007 07:07 PM  10 years agoPost 20
iskoos

rrKey Veteran

Orlando, FL

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I am a NITRO LOVER...

...I started this hobby with Nitros and this was many many years ago... I am still flying nitro helis/airplanes. During all these years, I owned one small electric heli(and sold it), two electric park flyers, and one gas heli (that came from a friend who got out of the hobby. So it was not purchased to fly) That IS IT!.. Everything else I own(owned) and I fly is Nitro. I love the smell of it, the sound of it. I love to see the smoke trail in the sky. I don't love)) cleaning the oily mess at the end of the day, but I didn't complain much about it during all these years. I had flame outs so many times, but I enyojed them (of course I wasn't doing AP work) It has it's own excitement. Your engine quits during flight and that is an emergency, you gotta land. When you do land without a damage, you did good; you go home as proud pilot, and even tell your friends how it was. It is all fun; part of the hobby. If someone switches to another power plant just because he is having problems with Nitros(or gassers etc.), I wouldn't call that person a true hobbyist.
...
I am trying to get into AP and since I already own nitro helis, I wanted to see if I could use them. I asked the guys here, and it didn't take me long to figure out that there are too many cons to go with nitro machines if this is going to be a business(if it is a hobby, you are fine!.)
So after all this, I still stand behind what I said earlier "Nitros are not meant for professional AP work(IMO)..." however, we live in a freeland. You are free to use any type of machine for your needs; whether it is a hobby or business...

I said all this because I didn't want to sound like I totally oppose Nitro machines.

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