RN, yeah I guess I'm thinking safeties, not stages, but you get the idea, the thought was have a bunch of extra un-needed gas available just in case, but don't have it in the plan.
PfcAJ, trust me, if it's man made it will fail at the most inopportune time, I don't care how often it's tested or how well it's maintained, it will fail.
I'm an old helicopter pilot, and I almost relax in an emergency, it's not the emergency that bothers me as much as waiting for it's eventuality, I know it's going to happen, but I hate watching and waiting for it.
"The thing is, helicopters are different from airplanes. An airplane by its nature wants to fly, and if not interfered with too strongly by unusual events or by a deliberate incompetent pilot, it will fly. A helicopter does not want to fly. It is maintained in the air by a variety of forces and controls working in opposition to each other, and if there is any disturbance in this delicate balance the helicopter stops flying, immediately and disastrously.
"There is no such thing as gliding helicopter!"
"This is why being a helicopter pilot is so different from being an airplane pilot, and why, in general, airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, buoyant extroverts, and helicopter pilots are brooders, introspective anticipators of trouble. They know if something bad has not happened, it is about to."
- Harry Reasoner
Talk to people who have experienced catastrophic scooter failures-- nearly every one (not all, but darn close) is centered around the scooter not put together correctly after working on it, not burn testing (or not charged), going below it's depth rating or getting line caught in the prop. All but the line issue can be solved at the surface, before the dive.
I think Mr. Reasoner's statement has to be taken in the context in which it was intended. Helicopters still autorotate pretty well (short of a catastrophic transmission failure or losing a rotor) and they'll usually fare far better than a fixed wing aircraft after engine failure, especially when making a forced landing in rough terrain. In fact, at one point the Bell 206 was even ranked as the safest GA aircraft based on accident statistics and it's pretty much always near the top.
Of course that does not change the fact that they are an abomination and only fly because the earth rejects them.
I am a big believer in pre-flights, but you also have to be careful/reasonable with your procedure.
For example the Oceanic prop hub is very common on many scooters and uses a plastic yoke to maintain prop pitch via a pin on the blade shank. As long as you have free and complete movement of the hub and blades, it will de-pitch if the scooter won't turn off. Testing it before each and every dive by actually tapping the hub with the prop moving is pointless and just adds needless wear and tear to what is already the weak point in the entire design. And if it fails, the prop will go into fine pitch and leave you with a useless scooter.
Consequently, I check for free and complete movement of the hub and blades, but I'd don't test the de-pitch feature.
I am not a big believer in burn testing as it tells you very little about trends and is itself pretty hard on the battery. It's also pretty meaningless unless you actually know how many amps our motor pulls under various conditions. I do use a data logger to monitor battery performance during the dive and I also use it during the charge. So far I've gotten ample warning of a battery that is starting to go south as it's performance starts to sag before a cell fails completely.
NACD Cave DPV Cert # 666: Cave DPV Anti-christ
Yep, 3 people just died in Tucson, AZ when the rotors just stopped turning suddenly. This was a medivac crew heading back to base. The pilot was able to maneuver the helicopter away from a house and into the fence surrounding the house instead, but the 3 people on board all died. The only difference was the guy in the house didn't get injured.Originally Posted by a64pilot