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Old 06-09-2009, 08:13 PM   #1
rdlohr
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Default RWMAA Top 10 safety rules for building and flying helis

Many have asked for some guidelines for safety for helis so the RWMAA drafted a set of
rules to help protect the heli community.

Hope these rules save you from a few stitches or worse.

http://rwmaa.org/index.php?option=co...heli&Itemid=77


The Thing About Spinning Blades …
  • Lawn mowers are dangerous.
  • Brush Hogs are dangerous.
  • Rotary Wing Model Aircraft are dangerous.
- All can be used safely if you understand the risks and treat them with the respect they deserve.

Heavier Blades Hit Harder
  • A lawnmower can cut grass and weeds.
  • A brush hog can cut weeds and small trees.
  • The more mass a blade has, the more damage it can do.
  • Large helicopters with heavier blades can potentially do more damage than smaller helicopters.
- But … even a small 250 size helicopter can kill or do permanent harm to pilots and bystanders

The Buck Stops with the Pilot …
  • You can blame the manufacturer.
  • You can blame the dog owner.
  • You can blame the dumb kid.
  • You can blame the TV reporter.
-If your helicopter hurts anyone or anything, it is most likely your fault.
-And … you are the one that will most likely get hurt.

Know the Risks
  • Use common sense and follow these basic safety rules as outlined on the following pages:
- Top 10 Safety Rules for Building
- Top 10 Safety Rules for Flying


Top 10 Safety Rules for Building
  1. Always isolate (e.g. with heatshrink or tape) each LiPo wire while soldering on the other one to avoid a short circuit.
  2. Verify your transmitter is on, the right model is selected, and throttle-hold is on prior to powering up the aircraft. Make sure the throttle is a position that gives zero or slightly negative pitch to your blades.
  3. Program your ESC to “Soft Start” to give yourself time to react should the throttle be accidentally turned on.
  4. Leave your motor wires detached while setting up the cyclic servos, gyro and tail servo. Remove main blades when first powering up your motor.
    • Verify correct movement of all controls.
    • Get help from an experienced pilot if you are not sure how.
  5. Avoid tying your aircraft down for powered testing.
  6. Use braid, rubber, or something similar to protect wiring from shorting against the frame.
  7. Never connect your LiPo to the frame without using a current limiting resistor or equivalent.
  8. Use high quality parts and best practice component placement to assure interference free operation.
    • Use transmitters/receivers designed to minimize interference.
    • Isolate high current noisy components (Main Battery, ESC, and motor) from low current parts (Antenna, Battery, gyro, gyro controller, and receiver).
  9. Always use threadlock on all metal to metal screws and CA on metal to plastic screws.
  10. Never hold your aircraft with your hands while spun up (e.g. while tracking).

Top 10 Safety Rules for Flying
  1. Verify your transmitter is on, the right model is selected, and throttle-hold is on prior to powering up the aircraft.
  2. Always range check your transmitter and receiver after new builds and crashes.
  3. Always perform a preflight inspection of the entire helicopter and perform regular maintenance.
  4. Always keep at least 20 feet from any spun up aircraft (30 feet or more for a larger helicopters).
    • This precludes flying indoors unless in a huge area.
    • This precludes crawling under your aircraft to remove power.
    • This precludes launching or touching a flying aircraft.
  5. Always fly within your knowledge level by learning new moves on a simulator.
  6. Never fly alone and always have a spotter.
  7. Always know where all bystanders and animals are and never fly within 65 feet of anywhere you think they could end up (land if necessary).
  8. Never fly over roads, near power lines, over your head, behind you or over water unless you have floats.
  9. Know how to kill your engine (Throttle Hold on electric, choke on a Gasser, pulled fuel line on a Nitro).
  10. Always have access to a first aid kit, a phone, and a CO2 fire extinguisher for Turbines.

Summary
  • RC Aircraft are potentially dangerous and must be treated with proper respect
  • The risks can be minimized by using common sense and following basic safety rules
- However, this rule set not exhaustive and is not intended to be. Use your best judgment always.

Good luck and fly safely!
RWMAA





Rick
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Last edited by rdlohr; 09-14-2014 at 09:49 AM..
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:57 PM   #2
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Very well said and nicely put together !

............ and I have the scars to prove it !
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasHeliCop View Post
Very well said and nicely put together !

............ and I have the scars to prove it !
I second that....
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:24 PM   #4
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Thanks Kalin. These have pretty much all been written in blood by someone just like you and me.

Rick
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:39 AM   #5
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good thank
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:07 AM   #6
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Default Throttle hold Q

I am a noob and I know it. Noob question:

Where should I set the throttle hold button and the throttle hold toggle switch on my dx6i transmitter?

Aside from zero throttle, what is the safest way to power up the Heli?

Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:09 PM   #7
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I start out with throttle hold on, normal mode, and the throttle clear down.

Once the I am ready to take off:
1) Throttle hold off
2) Then advance throttle.

Rick
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:38 PM   #8
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Default I beg to differ.............

The Buck Stops with the Pilot
  • You can blame the manufacturer.
  • You can blame the dog owner.
  • You can blame the dumb kid.
  • You can blame the TV reporter.
-If your helicopter hurts anyone or anything, it is your fault.
-And you are the one that will most likely get hurt.

Why is it automatically the pilot's fault? This sounds like one of those politically correct, zero tolerance, non thinkng statements so common in today's society. I can think of any number of scenarios where it would not be the pilot's fault. How about a simpler rule? Let's blame whoever should reasonably be held to blame given the circumstances? Which I agree, would typically be the pilot. But just to say its always the pilot's fault is absurd.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:23 PM   #9
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Someone will be held responsible for injury or damage. Like it or not, that responsibility will fall into the pilot's lap.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tworst View Post
The Buck Stops with the Pilot …
  • You can blame the manufacturer.
  • You can blame the dog owner.
  • You can blame the dumb kid.
  • You can blame the TV reporter.
-If your helicopter hurts anyone or anything, it is your fault.
-And … you are the one that will most likely get hurt.

Why is it automatically the pilot's fault? This sounds like one of those politically correct, zero tolerance, non thinkng statements so common in today's society. I can think of any number of scenarios where it would not be the pilot's fault. How about a simpler rule? Let's blame whoever should reasonably be held to blame given the circumstances? Which I agree, would typically be the pilot. But just to say its always the pilot's fault is absurd.
Most times it will boil down to a decision the pilot made such as where he chose to fly, what parts he chose to build with, and who he chose to fly near. I agree that its possible that someone else could be at fault, but for a set of guidelines, I thought it better to stress that the pilot is responsible to encourage him to make safe decisions. I added the words "most likely" since it still meets my intent and makes it more correct. As far as "politically correct, zero tolerance, non thinkng", I did my best to put something in place to help people. So far I have gotten mostly "Thank you"s for that effort.
Rick
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:39 AM   #11
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An R/C Heli does not get itself to somewhere to fly and then fly itself. People don't sue a heli and helis don't get involved in accidents if they can't get to the field themselves or fly themselves.

It has nothing to do with political correctness.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:37 PM   #12
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Default Sorry Rodlohr

I thought this was directly from RWMAA. And I do appreciate the efforts of you and others to post safety guidelines and tips on this forum. Its just a pet peve of mine when things are stated in absolute black and white terms when in reality almost nothing is. If I had know this was your comment, I would have asked you about it first and maybe recommend a change to the wording. I think adding "most likely" still conveys the message that the pilot ordinarily has responsibility and should be aware of it.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:25 PM   #13
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Default Still beg to differ.............

Perhaps political correctness was the wrong term to use here. But I still find a statement like "the pilot is always at fault" as a bit over the top. I know what the intent of the statement is, to impress on pilots their broad (but not infinite)responsibility and I agree with that. But surely there are occasions when its not the pilot's fault. Its not a matter of what I like or not, its a matter of what the circumstances are and applicable laws.
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tworst View Post
I thought this was directly from RWMAA. And I do appreciate the efforts of you and others to post safety guidelines and tips on this forum. Its just a pet peve of mine when things are stated in absolute black and white terms when in reality almost nothing is. If I had know this was your comment, I would have asked you about it first and maybe recommend a change to the wording. I think adding "most likely" still conveys the message that the pilot ordinarily has responsibility and should be aware of it.
No worries. I wrote this when I was with the RWMAA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tworst View Post
Perhaps political correctness was the wrong term to use here. But I still find a statement like "the pilot is always at fault" as a bit over the top. I know what the intent of the statement is, to impress on pilots their broad (but not infinite)responsibility and I agree with that. But surely there are occasions when its not the pilot's fault. Its not a matter of what I like or not, its a matter of what the circumstances are and applicable laws.
Where Will and I are coming from is that we have often seen guys blame every one else while not accepting that they set the stage for the accident. There are exceptions to every rule that are usually not written in an effort to keep things concise and to the point. I'm however fine with how this ended up.

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Old 12-17-2011, 03:12 AM   #15
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I appreciate the safety tips. As a new pilot, I've been refining my checklist to include everything that I can think of for my pre-flights, and a general awareness of safety in general. I've had three crashes so far and all of them were my own fault. No injuries though, and I want it to stay that way for myself and anyone around me.
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmickels View Post
I appreciate the safety tips. As a new pilot, I've been refining my checklist to include everything that I can think of for my pre-flights, and a general awareness of safety in general. I've had three crashes so far and all of them were my own fault. No injuries though, and I want it to stay that way for myself and anyone around me.


Good luck to you. You're gonna love it!
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlohr View Post

Top 10 Safety Rules for Building

Avoid tying your aircraft down for powered testing.

Rick
I haven't tried it, but wonder if ground resonance oscillations actually decay if the helo is loosely tethered, allowing it to rise and stabilize in ground effect hover several inches above the ground.

The tethers may act as inertial dampers (ugh @ way too much Stargate SG-1) and quiet things down. Or they may shake the helo to bits with a whipping action in harmonic oscillations, if the tethers get too taut. Or whatta.

The trick may be in establishing hover without making the tethers get real tight, plus restricting throttle-up to just below onset of second-harmonic resonance, say around 85%?

Hover training with tethers attached to a strain gauge oughta be de rigeur for every aspiring helo-driver in any case - that gauge will never lie @ learning to hover precisely and accurately (Do as I say, not as I do alert!!)

I think I will try it to see what happens, one of these days, and report - unless you folks already know how it would turn out?

For that matter, how about always parking the helo on a cork sheet during spool-up to absorb vibrations?

And thirdly, stiffer DFC shafts may help narrow ground resonance frequency bandwidths and alleviate the problem, what?
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heli-helo View Post
I haven't tried it, but wonder if ground resonance oscillations actually decay if the helo is loosely tethered, allowing it to rise and stabilize in ground effect hover several inches above the ground.

The tethers may act as inertial dampers (ugh @ way too much Stargate SG-1) and quiet things down. Or they may shake the helo to bits with a whipping action in harmonic oscillations, if the tethers get too taut. Or whatta.

The trick may be in establishing hover without making the tethers get real tight, plus restricting throttle-up to just below onset of second-harmonic resonance, say around 85%?

Hover training with tethers attached to a strain gauge oughta be de rigeur for every aspiring helo-driver in any case - that gauge will never lie @ learning to hover precisely and accurately (Do as I say, not as I do alert!!)

I think I will try it to see what happens, one of these days, and report - unless you folks already know how it would turn out?

For that matter, how about always parking the helo on a cork sheet during spool-up to absorb vibrations?

And thirdly, stiffer DFC shafts may help narrow ground resonance frequency bandwidths and alleviate the problem, what?
We generally don't recommend tying a heli down for any reason, even loosly. That's just asking for disaster.
Rick
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:20 PM   #19
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Default Announce your intentions!

As a long time hang glider pilot, I know about the importance of safety procedures. Before launching, pilots will loudly call out: "CLEAR!" right before running off the hill. I have adopted a similar practice for my new-found heli hobby.
  • Before releasing the throttle hold, I say: "CLEAR PROP!". This also ensures that I had set TH before takeoff.
  • After landing, I say: "THROTTLE HOLD!" to make sure I actually do flip the switch before touching the bird.

Just one of the many good habits I'm trying to develop as I gain experience in this new (not-just-potentially dangerous) endeavor.

Thanks for the building and flying safety tips!

p.s. When announcing your flight intentions It helps if you call out in the same tone as Wayne and Garth saying "GAME ON!"
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:01 AM   #20
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Great points with some really good information and content.i love the RC Helicopters I have one of the 3 channel indoor metal frame models and I have to say I absolutely love it and have great fun with it . Anyway thank you for sharing such a really nice information with us ........
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