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Old 06-04-2010, 07:44 PM   #1
Strata
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Default Flying lesson in a Robinson R22

I recently took my first flying lesson in a helicopter, a Robinson R22, in Arizona. An awesome experience! I had perma-grin for one hour as the certified flight instructor (CFI) coached me through turns at 500 feet above ground level (AGL) and some straight-and-level flight. Trying to hover (we were about 4 feet AGL for this portion of the lesson) was hard, as expected. Hover taxiing by the CFI: floating above the ground was a neat feeling.

I learned that I had been mispronouncing “cyclic” as “sigh-click” rather than “sick-lick.” I also learned that “easy does it” is the name of the game when handling the cyclic in this particular heli as a noob who shoves the cyclic abruptly forward, and perhaps (?) simultaneously drops the collective/I am not sure about this part, may cause negative G mast bumping leading to the main rotor striking the R22's fuselage.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:22 PM   #2
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That is sweet! I am green with envy . Good luck!
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:57 PM   #3
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That is sooooooo Awesome...

How much does something like that training cost?
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:34 PM   #4
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In Seattle, http://www.helicoptersnw.com/ will set you back $100 for the intro flight, which is about 30 minutes in the air. It is alleged that "You take the controls" for some of this, but I bet they don't let you do tic-tocs or any inverted stuff, even if you're great in the sim.



As I poke further, http://www.helicoptersnw.com/private.html seems to say that it will cost around $11,000 to get your PPL(H) or whatever the equivalent is here in the US.
Going rate is $235/hour in a Robbie with an instructor.

I have no connection with these folk, and at $235/hour I'm unlikely to get one
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:16 AM   #5
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I've been flying helis for about 6 years now and have *never* heard any other heli pilots say "sick-lick"

Mast bumping is a bad thing and is something to be aware of in two-bladed rotor systems. Highly simplified explanation: In a low-G situtation, any "damping" due to the penduluum action of the heli is lost and the rotor system is free to tilt past normal operating range. The bump stops on the blade grips can literally bang into the mast, in some cases, shearing it offt. That would make for a very bad day....
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Old 06-05-2010, 02:04 AM   #6
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Im thinking of going for a PPL but Im always looking for a place that doesnt use Robinson Helicopters, one of the most dangerous aircraft around from what ive heard. Sadly the Robinsons seem be the cheapest and therefore most used helis

Study done in the UK over 12 years

This involved 379 helicopters.
Robinson Helicopter Corporation were the manufacturer with the highest number of accidents occuring to their helicopters, being involved in 147.

The R22 was the helicopter type involved in most helicopter accidents during the period, being involved in 101.

The R22 was the helicopter type involved in the highest number of fatal helicopter accidents, being involved in 8.
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Old 06-05-2010, 02:11 AM   #7
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Could those high numbers be because they are used for trainers .More non experienced pilots crashing more often..just a thought..
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiddz View Post
I've been flying helis for about 6 years now and have *never* heard any other heli pilots say "sick-lick"

Mast bumping is a bad thing and is something to be aware of in two-bladed rotor systems. Highly simplified explanation: In a low-G situtation, any "damping" due to the penduluum action of the heli is lost and the rotor system is free to tilt past normal operating range. The bump stops on the blade grips can literally bang into the mast, in some cases, shearing it offt. That would make for a very bad day....
In the UK we all say 'sigh-click'. Well all the people I've heard say that anyway.

IIRC for any two blade teetering rotor system (that includes all the UH-1s..) if you unload the disk (so you and the heli feel weightless) the cyclic loses 'grip' on the air. This usually causes the tail fan (which is generally not in the plane of the CG) to flip the heli over.

So when flipped you have to gain speed and pull out with +ve G - like coming out of a stall turn. Usually however the pilot panics and uses the cyclic - causing the blades to flap hopelessly and take out the cabin, boom or the mast bump stops - leading to blade separation and crashing.

This is what I've read anyway, so save those low G moves for an articulated head helicopter (like a Huges 500, Puma etc) or a rigid head (model helicopter)
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Globs View Post
In the UK we all say 'sigh-click'. Well all the people I've heard say that anyway.

yes, in the same way that cycle is pronounced sigh-call cyclic is pronounced sigh-click.

I've flown the Robinson R22 and R44, the 44 seems significantly more stable and less likely to balloon up and back when hitting wind, which I found the most alarming movement in these things. The instructor was an airline pilot but ex heli crop duster and insisted in showng off some low altitude stall turns (and I'm talking like 10 feet here) that slightly made me quesiton his sanity.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevlarCoated View Post
Im thinking of going for a PPL but Im always looking for a place that doesnt use Robinson Helicopters, one of the most dangerous aircraft around from what ive heard. Sadly the Robinsons seem be the cheapest and therefore most used helis

Study done in the UK over 12 years

This involved 379 helicopters.
Robinson Helicopter Corporation were the manufacturer with the highest number of accidents occuring to their helicopters, being involved in 147.

The R22 was the helicopter type involved in most helicopter accidents during the period, being involved in 101.

The R22 was the helicopter type involved in the highest number of fatal helicopter accidents, being involved in 8.
I think that you're overlooking one key point in your interpretation of these stats: this heli is the most popular heli. Therefore, based on probability alone, it is more likely to be involved in incidents than less popular helis. And, as someone stated above, the fact that it is a trainer discredits the relevance of these stats further.

The difference between learning to fly in an JetRanger vs. an R22 is something in the order of tens of thousands of dollars!

Kyle
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:20 AM   #11
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Default Pronunciation of "Cyclic"

The one thing I've learned about the pronunciation is no matter how you say it you are right..at least that what the dictionary says:

cyclic definition
cy·clic (siklik, sīklik)
adjective
  1. of, or having the nature of, a cycle; moving or occurring in cycles
  2. Chem. of or relating to a major group of organic compounds, structured in closed chains, including aromatic, alicyclic, and heterocyclic compounds
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:29 AM   #12
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Potato/pototto/tomato/tomotto----Semantics-HEHEHEHE
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strata View Post
I recently took my first flying lesson in a helicopter, a Robinson R22, in Arizona. An awesome experience! I had perma-grin for one hour as the certified flight instructor (CFI) coached me through turns at 500 feet above ground level (AGL) and some straight-and-level flight. Trying to hover (we were about 4 feet AGL for this portion of the lesson) was hard, as expected. Hover taxiing by the CFI: floating above the ground was a neat feeling.

I learned that I had been mispronouncing “cyclic” as “sigh-click” rather than “sick-lick.” I also learned that “easy does it” is the name of the game when handling the cyclic in this particular heli as a noob who shoves the cyclic abruptly forward, and perhaps (?) simultaneously drops the collective/I am not sure about this part, may cause negative G mast bumping leading to the main rotor striking the R22's fuselage.
Welcome to the world of flight. I learned to fly in hanggliders back in the early 70's, then I got my private license in fixed wings in 1976. Back then you could rent a Cessna 150 for $8 per hour. Yes the good old days did exist. I fly jets for a living, so now the only time I fly is when I get paid for it.

Hang onto your wallet my friend. If you thing rc helis are expensive, the big stuff will break your bank and put you in the poor farm. But at least you can work the poor farm with a big smile on your face
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:12 PM   #14
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I took my flight training in a Hughes 300. I think flying the real thing is easier than the rc version. Left is always left and so forth. You can feel all of the forces when flying the real thing. I also owned a 300 for a while. I've got stick time in bell 206s and MD 500s. Great fun. The rc is a good way to stay in touch with flying.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:41 PM   #15
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As far as Helicopters Northwest goes yes the 30min or .5 intro flight is a great way for people to experience flight in a full scale helicopter. But the 30mins starts at start up and ends at shut down so you are really only in the air for about 20mins. The instructor will allow you to fly as much or as little as you prefer. The controls are given to you one at a time and you get to work on basic skills such as straight and level and hovering.

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Old 06-05-2010, 07:51 PM   #16
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I just finished my PPL on R22's, and I don't believe that R22's are any more dangerous than other helicopters, but they're not forgiving. I'm surprised there aren't more crashes to be honest. Flying helicopters is hard, and not crashing is the hardest part. Think of how many times RC pilots crash lol. Now try teaching people who sometimes can't even drive their cars safely to fly helis, and eventually you're going to have problems. What your statistics failed to mention was how many of the crashes were pilot error vs. malfunction. Mechanical failures happen, but not nearly as often as pilot mistakes.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strata View Post
I recently took my first flying lesson in a helicopter, a Robinson R22, in Arizona. An awesome experience! I had perma-grin for one hour as the certified flight instructor (CFI) coached me through turns at 500 feet above ground level (AGL) and some straight-and-level flight. Trying to hover (we were about 4 feet AGL for this portion of the lesson) was hard, as expected. Hover taxiing by the CFI: floating above the ground was a neat feeling.

I learned that I had been mispronouncing “cyclic” as “sigh-click” rather than “sick-lick.” I also learned that “easy does it” is the name of the game when handling the cyclic in this particular heli as a noob who shoves the cyclic abruptly forward, and perhaps (?) simultaneously drops the collective/I am not sure about this part, may cause negative G mast bumping leading to the main rotor striking the R22's fuselage.
congrats, im trying to figure out when I can afford to do a trial introductory flight (lesson) in a heli. have been thinking about it for ages. If I enjoy it as much as I think I will, this will most likely be my "life after IT" job
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevlarCoated View Post
Im thinking of going for a PPL but Im always looking for a place that doesnt use Robinson Helicopters, one of the most dangerous aircraft around from what ive heard. Sadly the Robinsons seem be the cheapest and therefore most used helis

Study done in the UK over 12 years

This involved 379 helicopters.
Robinson Helicopter Corporation were the manufacturer with the highest number of accidents occuring to their helicopters, being involved in 147.

The R22 was the helicopter type involved in most helicopter accidents during the period, being involved in 101.

The R22 was the helicopter type involved in the highest number of fatal helicopter accidents, being involved in 8.
Yes the accident numbers are high, but the R-22 has become the most popular heli trainer used/available....The accident numbers on the Cessna 150/152 model 2 seater plank are high for the same reasons - availability in flight schools in numbers.....While i personally do not like the R-22 or R-44 machines for various reasons as a mechanic, it is an FAA certified aircraft and has repeatedly shown it's basic airworthiness and is an accepted trainer format machine......and it is the cheapest heli to opperate...PERIOD.....The Schweitzer/hughes 300 or Enstrom F models are a much more typically controlled (no airplane yoke like r-22, but cyclic stick and collective lever) aircraft but are no longer as common in flight training as R-22. These are all piston powered helies....Turbine powered ones cost double or tripple to acquire and 2x to 3x per hour to opperate.....figure a Bell 206 JetRanger with pilot @ $650+ per hour. The Robbies have a high accident rate for various reasons, but mostly due to it's flight training duties, where is does a good job for the price.....I'd prefer the Schweitzer 300 though as it is made to "crash" so to say, the seating area is held on with shear-pins that release the pilot compartment on a really hard landing/soft crash.....The R-22 has become the trainer standard as it is a cost issue for the flight schools....
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevlarCoated View Post
Im thinking of going for a PPL but Im always looking for a place that doesnt use Robinson Helicopters, one of the most dangerous aircraft around from what ive heard. Sadly the Robinsons seem be the cheapest and therefore most used helis

Study done in the UK over 12 years

This involved 379 helicopters.
Robinson Helicopter Corporation were the manufacturer with the highest number of accidents occuring to their helicopters, being involved in 147.

The R22 was the helicopter type involved in most helicopter accidents during the period, being involved in 101.

The R22 was the helicopter type involved in the highest number of fatal helicopter accidents, being involved in 8.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldie View Post
I think that you're overlooking one key point in your interpretation of these stats: this heli is the most popular heli. Therefore, based on probability alone, it is more likely to be involved in incidents than less popular helis. And, as someone stated above, the fact that it is a trainer discredits the relevance of these stats further.

The difference between learning to fly in an JetRanger vs. an R22 is something in the order of tens of thousands of dollars!

Kyle
Exactly. Robinson continues to outsell any other helicopter manufacturer by very large margins year after year. The incident/accident numbers are high because there are so many of them out there. *I* don't find them difficult to fly at all. Sure, I'd rather strap into an R44 than an R22, but if the choice was a '22 or sit on the ground, I'm going flying.

I've got a bunch of time in both the '22 and the '44 and even the Schweizer 300..(and a little 206 and 500E time as well) and each one has its quirks but when it comes right down to it, I'd rather be up in the air than down here on the ground.
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Old 06-07-2010, 03:57 AM   #20
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A real lesson is fun hey!? :-) - I did one in the UK in an R22. At the end my teacher asked if I wanted to do a "simulated engine failure landing", or a "normal one". I chose an auto!

He disengaged the clutch, then we dropped like a stone, swooping and doing very tight banked turns, then landed, skidding along the grass. Awesome! :-)

Too pricey for me to continue though :-(
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