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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Quick Flight – A close call!

2008-11-09 Sunday

Unexpectedly, I was able to squeeze my time to go to PHAF for a quick flight. It was at about 12:15.

When I reached PHAF only few of the member still around and they are getting ready to pack up. I took out my Raven, with already half tank filled, I started the engine. At first it won't start, I need to bypass the glow heater extender then only the engine started ok.

I did a quick hover, for a check-flight. Noticed that it was quite windy, the Raven TR3703 was able to handle it, but at the distance of 20 feet in front of me and 10 feet high, she is blowing sands to my direction. Landed make sure everything is still in place, and quickly grab my sunglasses from my car – to take care of the sands.

Took off, start doing figure 8 (this is the most advanced maneuver that I know!).

Suddenly, hey what happened, at about 100 feet at the middle of the flying field, and at about 70 feet high, I was turning to the right, but it seems that it is not turning, moved the stick some more, well the attitude have changed, but (??)

At that split second I have lost the orientation, not able to process and understand what I see and 2 little pilots are discussing in my head:

- what is happening, obviously something is wrong

- it is going down

- at this time I saw the raven was leaning on her side, but which side??

- I must have given too much of aileron stick input

- Are you sure (I asked my self), but I need to do something, because it is going down!

- Ok lets try the opposite aileron stick, full stick left.. oh it is still going down!

- Wait, wait, now it is corrected, I can see the main rotor at the top of the heli, yes it is going up. Yes, Alhamdulillah.

And that is at less than 10 feet or may be 5 feet from the ground! All those happened in less than 3 seconds!

Then I hover for a short while to finish up the fuel in the main tank, landed and shut down the engine.

It was really a close call. Lucky me, Alhamdulillah, able to save it. Thinking back, these are the reason:

  1. Not enough rudder input for the turn, the Heli keep rolling but not turning.
  2. I was not able to understand the orientation of the Heli at that angle and distance – I'll put some color stickers on the canopy.

Good that it turned out ok!!


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