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Thread: 5 men missing in Blackhawk helicopter.

  1. #1
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    5 men missing in Blackhawk helicopter.

    I post this only to ask the more knowledgeable patrons her about the safety of the Blackhawks.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/articl...f-11822907.php

    We had one go down on the Breton bay Country Club a while ago, Another disaster in a training exercise.
    have these helicopters reached an age where they are unsafe, Is it improper maintenance.?
    Did the tail rotor come off this one too?

  2. #2
    Registered User PeoplesElbow's Avatar
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    They are good solid helicopters. By nature helicopters are a maintenance beast, grease all over the place, millions of moving parts etc.

    With a plane if there is a power disruption it can glide and maybe restart the engine(s) once a helicopter loses any power it's going down.
    If what I say offends you then you really don't want to hear what I keep to myself.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeoplesElbow View Post
    They are good solid helicopters. By nature helicopters are a maintenance beast, grease all over the place, millions of moving parts etc.

    With a plane if there is a power disruption it can glide and maybe restart the engine(s) once a helicopter loses any power it's going down.
    I would almost bet that the tail rotor came off the same as the one in Breton Bay.

  4. #4
    Registered User PeoplesElbow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hijinx View Post
    I would almost bet that the tail rotor came off the same as the one in Breton Bay.
    Can't say for certain but transmission failure is a much more common cause of hard landings and crashes than something "coming off".

    Pilot error is probably the most common cause of helicopter incidents.
    If what I say offends you then you really don't want to hear what I keep to myself.

  5. #5
    They make up the bulk of army aviation, it just seems that they crash often due to the sheer number of them in the air.

  6. #6
    If I may ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hijinx View Post
    I post this only to ask the more knowledgeable patrons her about the safety of the Blackhawks.
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/articl...f-11822907.php
    We had one go down on the Breton bay Country Club a while ago, Another disaster in a training exercise.
    have these helicopters reached an age where they are unsafe, Is it improper maintenance.?
    Did the tail rotor come off this one too?
    There was a problem with the horizontal tail stabilizer, (that's the part that looks like a small horizontal wing at the tail rotor section). Around around 1989-1991 , at certain speeds, the horizontal stabilizer would move to a downward position causing the plane to nosedive. It is controlled by wire, ie fly-by-wire. It is supposed to automatically adjust downward for slower speeds and when landing. If you ever see on on the tarmac, it is always in a downward position. Anyway, it was determined that certain radio frequency interferences was causing signal disruption to the horizontal stabilizer and moving downward during fast forward flight. This problem was isolated and rectified. Since then, pretty much all the bugs have been worked out it. There aren't really a million moving parts. There are constantly millions of movements occurring simultaneously though. As in forward flight, while the forward blade might have an air attack angle of say 5 degrees, as it is rotated to the rear it has worked its way to 15 degrees of angle, (more or less depending on forward flight speed), and as it moves again to the forward position it is worked back to 5 degrees. This is happening to all four blades at a rotational speed of 258 RPM with the tip of the blades going 725 ft per second. Then there is the swashplate, (a big bearing) and scissors and sleeve assembly that connects the pitch change tubes to the rotors spinning and angling as necessary for flight as determined by the cyclic, (directional flight), and collective input, (vertical flight, up-down) by the pilot. The same with the tail rotor, but with lesser usage and in forward flight it is not used to such a degree because of the vertical stabilizer will keep it flying straight. Most often, helicopter accidents can be, and are, attributed to pilot error. Blackhawks, and its variants, are a hardy and proven airframe. Flying at night above open water can be a recipe for disaster as there are no visual ques, the pilot must rely solely on instruments. If the pilot was flying, or hovering, too low with rough seas and waves, it might not have been noticed, if at all, until it was too late, depending what kind of training mission they were conducting.
    Tail rotors just don't come off. The Blackhawk's tail rotor drive shafts, and blades, are extremely robust and hardy. In the case of Benton Bay, if it was tail rotor failure, most likely it was caused by a blade strike sometime during flight hitting a tree. Tail rotors failures in and of themselves are extremely rare.
    If the military wanted you to have a spouse, or family, they would have issued you one.

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