Past patients log



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I thought it might be of interest to some of you to start to keep a log of the rapidly growing number patients that are passing through my heli-hospital scheme.

I will be trying to detail the damage found as well as other information, so that perhaps a pattern will emerge of the classic damage caused by "heavy" returns to earth.

NB - I have now stopped adding items to this list due to the large number 
of heli hospital patients that have been coming through in the recent months...

Type Power Cause Pilots skill level
Esky Belt CP V1 Electric Heavy landing Learning to hover
This had pretty well all of the usual problems, bent mainshaft, feathering shaft, blades damaged, tail shaft bent, boom damaged,  Flybar bent, Link on loop connector on head broken.

Esky Belt CP V1 Electric Heavy landing Learning to hover
This had a lot of the usual milder problems, feathering shaft, blades damaged, boom damaged.

Esky Belt CP V2 Electric Crash in long grass Learning to hover
Not too much damage due to the long grass, only flybar and feathering shaft bent.  However, basic mechanical setup was utterly wrong, which probably caused the crash.
Century GL450 Electric Uncontrollable in flight


Only the feathering shaft was bent in this landing, but the pilot was used to nitro helicopters, and this was the first electric she had flown, and she found it to be very nose heavy and too soft to be able to fly, especially indoors, which was her plan.

I was asked to investigate it's setup and correct it so that it would fly as she expected.  The major cause of the flight characteristics described was the GL450 head design itself.  This has a rather weird setup which allows a GREAT DEAL of TEETER on the head.  The pilot finally provided me with an Align 450 Clone head she had as a spare, and after fitting that, the aircraft was totally transformed.

Hirobo Schweizer 300 Nitro Full build from HIROBO kit Expert
This was a commission to build the Schweizer 300 from scratch through to test flying it.  There is a build report of this interesting build on this site - CLICK HERE
Esky Belt CP V2 Electric Crash while on training skids Learning to hover
Damage was caused by the stock plastic central hub of the training gear breaking, causing the rods to jump up into the path of the main rotors. The flybar and feathering shaft were bent.  Both blades wrecked, boom bent and tail shaft bent. In this case the basic mechanical setup was pretty good, apart from the setup of the EK2 0407B HH gyro which was way out.
Esky Honey BEE King 2  Electric Crash while on training skids Learning to hover
Damage was caused by a sudden dive to the ground from about 3 feet. The boom is bent, both hiller mixer arms broke off at the connecting balls & the mainshaft is slightly bent.

While investigating the causes of the crash, I noticed that those rather stupid bent wire 'S' connection on all the cyclic servo horns really do allow & even promote far too much free play at those most critical of points. Proper ball connectors really should be used on all connections to the swash plate, even on helicopters of this size.

Esky Belt CP V2 Electric Mild Crash while training  Learning to hover
This heli didn't hit the ground very hard apparently, but one of the aileron servos stripped it's teeth, the tail driven gear HAD NO GEAR ON TOP AT ALL, flybar bent, feathering shaft bent, and the general setup prior to strip down was "poor". One rotor blade was a lot too tight, the drive belt was far too loose, the lengths of connecting rods to the swash were uneven and the swash was not even close to level.
Esky Co-Commanche Electric Just would not fly Learning to hover
This was virtually brand new, but flatly refused to come off the ground. I stripped and lubricated it, fitted the extreme longer inner shaft with locking top cap, "Bent" the flybar to add efficiency in banking, and reset the swash plate. Also added a full set of "indestructible" rotor blades.  Flies quite nicely now...
Esky Belt CP V2 Electric Would not fly Able to hover + circuits
This was another virtually brand new Belt CP V2 helicopter that had been involved in one light crash only, and the owner had replaced the feathering shaft, which was the only apparent damage.  The whole helicopter felt far too tight, with no proper movement of the main shaft or the blade grips.

Initial checks showed a bunch of pretty normal issues - rear belt tension wheel not able to rotate, belt too tight, swash plate not level, COG wrong etc, but even after removing the motor completely, and totally loosening the belt, the mainshaft was still very tight to rotate.

Further investigation showed that the one way bearing was half seized, so we replaced it with a new Interceptor 400 main gear and bearing.  Reset the motor and adjusted the tail belt which promptly tightened every thing back up again, so I removed the tail gearbox and belt to find that it was of course twisted twice.  Corrected that and we had nice free rotation again.

I then checked the feathering shaft, as the blade grips were far to hard to turn.  I found various spurious washers in the assembly that I removed, and then reassembled it correctly and set the tension on the 2 5.5mm nyloc nuts to get the grips moving just nicely, and a good pressure on the O rings.

I then went through the entire mechanical setup, gyro setup etc, and we took her out for a test flight. All was pretty good, but the tail still wanted a tiny bit more adjustment.  

The final task was to strip the TX down and reset the throttle trimmer correctly so that it was possible to get full throttle, and to start to spool up before 50% stick.  The heli then flew very well again.

A pretty typical Belt CP really, and one that everyone out there should take note of , as it is a classic example of  what is wrong with Belt CP's - right out of the box........

Esky Belt CP V2 Electric Just would not lift off the ground Capable at hovering
This was virtually brand new, but had just had a nasty crash that only caused the rotor blades to be totally "trashed", but after replacing those, the owner found that it would not lift off at all, and made some rather strange "slipping" noises.

The crash was caused by a total loss of radio communication (stock Esky Radio) and the heli landed upright, but then turned on one side and "beat itself to death" on the ground until the Lipo was disconnected

Further examination showed that the Helimax 400 main gear, which had only been fitted quite recently, was completely intact as far as the teeth were concerned, which was quite a surprise, and in fact the slipping was being caused by the entire one way bearing housing rotating inside the nylon wheel.

Obviously, the gear teeth had taken the power just fine, so well in fact that it had forced the one way bearing to spin inside the main gear, which caused the nylon to melt around it and "squirt" out of the top end as molten nylon.

The cure was simply to replace the main gear.

This does illustrate very well just how strong these Helimax 400 gears really are.


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