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HomeAircraftHelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › Personal injury & 401 gyro
04-02-2004 08:19 PM  14 years agoPost 1
PietervA

rrVeteran

New Zealand

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Hello RR fellows

I originally had this as a reply to the 401 woes, but thought it deserved a post of it's own. Yesterday morning, having a day off work and clear skies (not a common combo here in South Island NZ), I took out the R30 & R50.

The R50V2 has the 401, which usually "locks" the tail in HH, at "75%" sensitivity/gain on my JR8310. This morning she drifted to one side, repeatedly, despite the normal, full initiation procedure.

Then DISASTER: the heli's about 5m off the deck, 10m away from me, headspeed about 1500, and she starts to piro. I tried to lift her away from me, without success, then dropped into a defensive kneeling position, and felt as if I'd been attacked by a chainsaw. Just managed to drive home from the field. In summary, I spent 3 1/2 hours in the Emergency Room, with the usual check X-rays (to exclude embedded CF) etc., and then multiple sutures to 3 very deep lacerations in my back. The NHPs had broken cleanly about 6 inches from their ends

At home, the 401 checks out OK, the 9253 feels normal without slop or buzz. I've ordered a new 9253, but the 401 is obviously the first port-'o-call.

The over-riding emotion: Thank God. That it missed my head and face, that I had no children with me, that there were no others at the flying field. And, yes, frustration, and the confirmation that these toys are potentially very dangerous.

We have no Futaba workshops here, so I'm left with the option of replacing the 401, for safety's sake.

Regards
Pieter

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04-02-2004 08:25 PM  14 years agoPost 2
Augusto

rrElite Veteran

US

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Sorry to hear what happened to you. I'm glad you're ok now.

I will reiterate something I have posted before:

PLEASE NEVER FLY ALONE ALWAYS HAVE SOMEONE WITH YOU.

You were lucky that you were able to drive to the hospital but if you couldn't you could have been in trouble.


Augusto.

Avant Aurora Ultimate

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04-02-2004 08:27 PM  14 years agoPost 3
kherriage

rrNovice

Durant, Oklahoma - USA

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Glad you're here to tell the story.
Find a Futaba repair center and send it in. I did mine after a couple of crashes caused by the same thing you experienced and they replaced it with a new one. I had already order me another one so I then had a spare, so I got another heli for it:

Keith Raven 50, TT50 AKA 'Ole Grumpy' Raven 50, OS50 AKA 'Jr'

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04-02-2004 09:00 PM  14 years agoPost 4
Inspector Fuzz

rrKey Veteran

NLA

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Crash on purpose..
I have, on two occasions, in my life, purposefully crashed a model to avoid human/property damage.. One was a plane and the other a heli.. Same thing, I lost the tail and tried to recover (couldn't auto at the time, I was just starting out) so I dumped the collective and let it plow into the ground.. It still came pretty close to hitting me..
JEFF

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04-02-2004 09:03 PM  14 years agoPost 5
staraero1

rrKey Veteran

Atlantic City, New Jersey

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Very sorry to hear about this. The 401 has this hard over problem in at least some of them, which crops up without warning. That is what makes this issue so dangurous. The affected 401 will work perfectly for quite some time, then go hard over without warning.

Throw it away, or get Futaba to give you a new one. You contact any Futaba distributor you can find. I am certain they will respond to your desire for new replacement equipment instantly. They have been replacing 401's for people, no questions asked recently. You can bet there is a reason they willing replace some of them, without an argument.

Everyone please be careful with these older 401 gyro systems. For some reason there are units in at least the older batch that will go hard over, and start spinning the helicopter for no reason, and without warning.

This 401 hard over issue is serious. Next guy may not be so lucky.

Staraero1

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04-02-2004 09:18 PM  14 years agoPost 6
Ddog8227

rrNovice

Syracuse, NY...United States

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I fly sometimes by myself just because i am new and i dont want to injure someone. I also make sure my heli never comes closer then 50-100 ft i just feel any closer then that is asking for trouble. So i always carry my cell phone on me. Most people have one these days and if you dont then catch up with the times. Of course if i was decapitated then the cell phone would not help me in any way, but at least i wouldnt have my girlfriend standing next to me to have to witness it or anything.

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04-02-2004 09:35 PM  14 years agoPost 7
sabooo

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Allentown, PA area

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Glad you are ok! I really hate to hear of people getting injured due to equipment malfunction

I fly with a Louisville slugger by my side, and if the heli starts thinking on its own, POW! j/k of course.

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04-02-2004 09:49 PM  14 years agoPost 8
Optech

rrKey Veteran

San Diego, CA.

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You know..... Its sorta like the age old seat belt arguement.

There have been incidences where wearing it contributed to the problem. But in the vast majority of cases, wearing one saved a life.

Your cell phone would be worthless if you couldn't get to it or use it.

We had an accident a couple of years ago where a guy was starting his airplane. A YS .91 four stroke with a huge prop. You know the type. You ask to help hold the plane but they shoo you away. Well, this time he forgot the throttle was full open and when it started it lurched forward into his left armpit and severed the nerves and artery. He damn near bled out on the spot. He is only alive because there were others at the field that day. They were able to get enough hands in there to put pressure on the artery and stem the bleeding until help could get there.

Now ask yourself, if you had been alone what would you have done. You have one useless arm, your damn near unconcious and probably delusional, and your other hand is holding your blood in and is the only thing keeping you alive. Now how are you going to get your cell phone out, dial the number, be responsive to the operators questions and stay out of shock by the time help arrives????

Take someone flying with you. Having them witness an accident is something we would all like to avoid but the consequences could be far more disasterous.

Mike

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04-02-2004 10:28 PM  14 years agoPost 9
blakka_1

rrElite Veteran

London/Enfield

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dam sorry to hear that. main thing is that your ok. thanx for reporting the story. i have a 401 and im going flying 2moro morning.i usually fly quiet close to myself, now i will keep a good distance between myself and heli. thanx.

heal up quick dude.

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04-02-2004 11:10 PM  14 years agoPost 10
ZZ3Astro

rrVeteran

Panama City, Fl

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I had a problem with my old 401/9253 where it would occasionally let go to the tune of about 180 degrees if loaded hard during backwards inverted (probably upright as well but most of my backwards is inverted). This is what happened when I ended up hitting myself with my 50v2.

I loaned this gyro/servo to a friend of mine I didn't like very much (kidding ) for his R30 and it flew fine... but he didn't load it nearly as much. Yes he knew about my prior incident with that particular equipment. My general conclusion is the servo was getting tired and it has since been donated to the cause of my TJ Pro, where is seems to function perfect as a throttle servo.

I don't know if it is the hard over problem described or just a worn servo (had about 10 months of use, 6 on the 50 and 4 on a 30) but I have seen, and FELT the results of gyro problems and they're not fun!

pic of the raptor after hitting me

pic of me and broken antenna

steve

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04-02-2004 11:26 PM  14 years agoPost 11
Fullagas

rrKey Veteran

Michigan

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.
Good that you're OK. I hope you never fly alone again. No rationale can justify flying alone.

I must admit that I've had a safety device next to me when setting up a new heli in the back yard, or for some reason I didn't trust it.

It's a blanket. When setting up/hovering, I planned on tossing the blanket on the darned thing if it started acting weird. To hell with the clutch or blades, I figured it would at least keep it from flying into me or flying off to who-knows-where.

Almost used it when setting up my gasser. Making a few short hovers, after the last landing the battery rubber bands popped off, battery disconnected itself. Heli was light on the skids, ready for a gust to lift it. Being the reasonable sort, I did the dumbest thing. Got down on my belly, TX antenna extended, wriggled it past the whirling blade tips and hit the kill switch with the tip of the antenna.

Spared the blanket though!


.

Flying helis since gyros had springs.

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04-02-2004 11:49 PM  14 years agoPost 12
Torkroll

rrApprentice

Bakersfield Ca

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Too close - no reaction time.
Makes you wonder if there is really any reason we EVER need to be closer that 40 feet to our heli.


There is no reason that is really worth it.

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04-03-2004 12:08 AM  14 years agoPost 13
IncredibleITGuy

rrApprentice

Portland, Maine

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lawsuit
I am surprised no one has filed suit against them.

------------IITG------------

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04-03-2004 12:14 AM  14 years agoPost 14
Temjin

rrApprentice

Walnut CA, HsinChu Taiwan

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Lawsuit for what? This hobby is dangerous, it's been stated n times in the manual. Also the the maker can make sure their product works fine before they ship out, but once it's out of their hand. It's not in their control anymore.

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04-03-2004 12:17 AM  14 years agoPost 15
IncredibleITGuy

rrApprentice

Portland, Maine

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Driving a Ford SUV
is dangerous as well. Even more so when firestones fail under load and cause injuries to the drivers of vehicles. Some of these are failing right out of the box I have heard.

I don't mind something being my fault... or the weather.. but when something I have paid for mechanically fails, and is in integral part of a system that could pose harm to myself or others, I would REALLY want that system to be bulletproof. Many other industries have very strict QC in place. I am just suggesting that with all of the failures posted on this board lately maybe Futaba needs to do a little more homework on this one.

It's not a giant leap to say that companies should be responsible for the products they make. Look at all of the ones who stand by their product.

------------IITG------------

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04-03-2004 12:25 AM  14 years agoPost 16
ZZ3Astro

rrVeteran

Panama City, Fl

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Temjin has it right... Perhaps no one really knows just how much of a risk they are taking by being at the field... until they witness an accident or participate themselves.

As much respect as I now have for these things, I still put myself in harms way every weekend at the field. I guess when you consider how dangerous life in general is, you figure as long as you're having a good time a little extra risk is acceptable. However, you will see me ducking under the covered pits when certain pilots happen to be flying at my field.

I'm not afraid of dying from a helicopter hitting me.. I'm afraid of surviving it!!! I've used up all my "go directly home, do not visit hospital" cards in my last incident. Next time I won't be so lucky so I'm planning on delaying the next-time by about 100 years!

steve

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04-03-2004 12:28 AM  14 years agoPost 17
reddragon

rrElite Veteran

Brooklyn, N.Y.

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I am truly sorry about your gyro woes Man. I am truly happy that you made it thorugh it all.

I know that we should always bring someone to the field with us but it is not always possible. We continuously try to be as careful and as safety conscious as possible. Anything could happen to anyone of us at any time of day and your fate is written from the day you were born.

Wayne - Fly it like you stole it! You're in good hands with Runryder!

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04-03-2004 12:44 AM  14 years agoPost 18
shovelhead

rrNovice

the Burg USA

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All the more reason manufacteror's need to build a realiable product.
There are to many of these 401's that are glitching for it not to be something that was overlooked or not thought out good enough or long enough, cause a production line was waiting to put out . Bottom line , money has to be made.
Nothing bad against Futaba, I like their products, but somebody screwed up big time. Or did they???
went with an SL560 after my 401 did that, but check it out here's a post I put on rotary's forum about my new 560 doing the same thing a couple of days ago. think maybe it's the weather?
http://www.rotory.com/ubbthreads/sh...sb=5&o=&fpart=1

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04-03-2004 01:07 AM  14 years agoPost 19
NZ_Neil

rrVeteran

Auckland, New Zealand

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We don't have a Futaba Workshop here in New Zealand, but they are represented here by Briggins (Auckland) If you need details of contact them to have it sent away for testing I am sure they can get you a number PM me privately if you need it.

Stuff happens, I trashed a R50 the other day, still not sure what failed to respond whilst doing a stall turn but she hit the deck full noise even with throtlle hold ???? Of course all the servos respond 100% when you walk up to the carnage.

Lots of us do fly alone from time to time, I guess its about always being careful. There are 100's of dangereous sports out and I think statistically we have had very few incidents. Its all about safety and always trying to minimise risks but as stated above stuff happens. If you want boring and safe we would all be playing with model rc yachts.

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04-03-2004 01:12 AM  14 years agoPost 20
E30TECH

rrVeteran

Jefferson, New Jersey

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How can you tell if your 401 is one of the problem ones? I think I need to look into this since I have to fly alone

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