Alert on used RAF 2000 for sale — N122LH

Kolibri

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Imagine this scenario: you're a gyro newbie, and see a used RAF 2000 for sale. You say to yourself, "Wow, seems like a good deal, but I'm not informed about RAF 2000s. I wish knew somebody experienced in them, as well as acquainted with Seller X of N_____ brokered by Mr. Z. Oh, and I'd like that person's opinion for free!"

May your wish be granted. Consider my posts the "Yelp" for RAF 2000s and N122LH in particular.

I hope that any potential buyer of N122LH does an internet search and reads this. As an RAF 2000 owner, and familiar with not only the broker but also the seller, I would urge extreme caution with N122LH. In short, I wish somebody had written something like this for me to read back in 2014. For Darren Mahler to read, before he bought N5002E and three months later needlessly died in a "Dofin Fritts Special". Don't be the next wide-eyed gyro newbie to fall for a Brewton, Alabama sales/training pitch.

You were smart enough to Google either N122LH or Dofin Fritts, and found this thread. Perhaps you'll be smart enough to consider my words. Read on, to gain for free what has cost me over $13,000 and weeks of time. And, I saved my own life in the process.


Area of Concern #1: age of N122LH

N122LH (serial #H2-00-11-451) is a year 2000 kit with only 85 hours. You're probably thinking "Wow, only 85 hours -- it's practically a new gyro!" Well, did you know that after Fritts assembled it, the engine failed and had to be replaced? (I'll talk more about the Subaru EJ22 motor later.)

Furthermore, as a year 2000 kit, it will probably have many older/inferior/discredited parts on it (some of which RAF Canada improved later in 2003-2005), such as:

nosewheel spindle (RAF dumped their failure-prone roll-pinned aluminum hybrid in late 2002)

attachment.php


fiberglass fuel tank (prone to leakage, so RAF went to plastic roto-molded in 2003)

hub-bar, winglets, rotors (a really bad design, full of stress risers and weak components, so RAF offered their improved version in 2004, which still have a cheesy 500 hour service life)

attachment.php


gimbal control arm (a skinny thing that the British FAA forced RAF to improve, and about 90 USA owners have replaced with a version from Wayne Hubbs)

control rod ends (kit parts are zinc-plated low-carbon AISI 1112b, and not aircraft-grade material or cadmium plating, which have historically failed in flight, causing at least two fatalities).

electronic ignition was the cause of some 30 engine-outs, including several roll-overs.

mast bushing (the original from 16 years ago has assuredly turned into goo, and if Fritts has replaced it he probably used the same components as he did in mine: scraps of inner tube wrapped around a chunk of hacked-off water pipe)

attachment.php




Area of Concern #2: the owner of N122LH

N122LH is the second RAF 2000 owned by this Dofin Fritts student pilot, a Canadian "Gestalt Psychotherapist" living in Reno, NV. He is not from the aviation industry, as his business profile makes clear:


He is a Gestalt Psychotherapist and is Certified in Chinese Energetic Medicine, The Yuen Method, The Reconnection, Hypnosis and the Domancic Method of Bioenergy Therapy. He offers healing in body, mind, and spirit in person or phone and via distance healing through a newsletter subscription and serves clients around the world. [He] was called to Las Vegas by Spirit from London, Ontario, Canada more than 10 years ago to help with the Ascension Process. He believes we are in the final stages of a shift in human consciousness from our present third level to the fifth, all within the next few years. World events, as traumatic as they may be, are proof that the process has begun and he looks forward with great anticipation to the next round of changes.

The owner of N122LH is again selling this, his second RAF, through Dofin Fritts, with his ad pointing to Dofin "for technical information". I am now inherently suspicious of "contact the seller for offers and Dofin for technical information" -- which sets up the buyer for a classic "he-said/he-said" confusion and denial of responsibility.

In fact, I found this to be true, since I had purchased this guy's first RAF. (He'd trained in it for only 5 hours, then sold it for allegedly "medical" reasons. Then, several weeks later, after "suitable treatment" he's all better and buys N122LH. Now, gyro #2 is for sale.) When I wrote to the seller in complaint about its misrepresented mechanical condition, maintenance history, and fuel tank capacity/integrity, he replied (after consulting with his attorney):


It is our position that all of the information regarding the gyrocopter that you purchased was provided to you by Dofin Fritts, and further, owing to the fact that I was and still am a student pilot, I could not be responsible for any existing condition that might have been misrepresented to you by him.

(What the "good doctor" doesn't seem to understand is that he is liable for the actions of his agent Fritts, a paid-commission broker.) So, whatever technical information Dofin alleges about N122LH, you should have the seller echo such himself by email. (I'd use email only in communication, and save them all.) If this seller refuses to explicitly and personally warrant what Dofin Fritts alleges, then there's your clue to how matters will go if you are later dissatisfied.

I have no background or training in aeronautics or mechanics other than what I learned through training manuals.

Anybody buying a used gyro, especially an RAF 2000, would be wise to consider only a machine which was very thoroughly known by its seller (preferably the original builder). The owner of N122LH is not a rated gyro pilot, did not build it, and has little-if-any maintenance experience with his own RAF. Rather, he seems totally reliant upon Dofin Fritts for its mechanical integrity (which, as you'll soon see, is a real red flag).

In my letter to the seller of N122LH, I outlined Fritts' falsified maintenance history (gimbal head, mast bushing, etc.) with photo proof. I informed him that his N122LH likely had several areas of mechanical concern, which could endanger him or the subsequent owner.

attachment.php


He expressed no interest in this warning, and asked no questions. Even though he has quit his training and is no longer flying N122LH, I found alarming his apparent apathy for the next guy's safety.


. . . continued in next post
 
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Kolibri

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Alert on used RAF 2000 for sale — N122LH

Area of Concern #3: Dofin Fritts

N122LH is hangared in Brewton, AL (12J), built, "maintained" and brokered by Dofin Fritts. This causes me the most concern of all.

Having purchased a used RAF 2000 co-built/hangared/"maintained"/brokered by Fritts, I would urge extreme caution and great diligence in a pre-purchase inspection by an actual A&P who is familiar with RAFs. (Because Fritts was then a more trusted name with RAFs, I mistakenly believed his representation about my gyro's mechanical and safety condition. I consider myself fortunate to have caught hidden, unstated, and outright deceptive repair issues, and thus still be alive today after 100+ hours in the air.)

Also be aware that Fritts "inspected" a used RAF (N5002E) in May 2014, which had been out of annual for 5 years in a hot and humid New Orleans hangar. Neither the owner nor Fritts replaced its visibly corroded control rod ends before the new owner took possession for training. Three months/32 flight hours later, husband/father Darren Mahler and a 12 y/o boy were killed on 21 September 2014 when one of those old rods ends pulled apart at 200' AGL causing uncontrollable rotor flap and contact with the tail (and uncontrolled descent into terrain).

I have personally looked at the wreckage of N5002E, and can attest to its deplorable condition of corrosion:

attachment.php


I do not believe that Fritts performed thorough and scrupulous maintenance of it for its annual, nor that the builder/seller Brupbacher acted in good faith to sign it off as "safe condition" to fly.

Fritts is being sued by the boy's mother for failing to "failing to properly inspect" what is alleged to be a "a defective gyrocopter."

I do not recommend Dofin Fritts in any regard -- not for sales, maintenance, technical advice, or training. However, if after the above thorough pre-purchase inspection by an A&P, you still wish to make an offer, you would be wise to insist on some kind of warranty from both the seller and Fritts. Beware of signing any "as is" disclaimer which will absolve the parties from any neglected maintenance. I would furthermore require a sworn affadavit from all parties that this gyro had never been involved in any incident/accident, and that the rotors had never struck the ground or object while in rotation. (If they have, a preemptive repair of the entire rotor and control system is $10,000+.)

For training, you may wish another CFI without students constituting 6 of the 16 fatal RAF USA crashes. For example, I've heard nothing but great reports about Ron Menzie. Thereafter, I would not take up passengers in it until you've >75 hours in it, and performed your own annual with the help of a good A&P. (Until then, you just won't know what you don't know.)

In my opinion, Fritts's gross lack of prudence and sound mechanical judgment constitutes an actual danger to those who trust him for gyro safety. If CFI Dofin Fritts wants to risk his own life in RAFs with old and failure-prone parts, that's his choice, however, to do so with passengers and students is an outright menace.

. . . continued in next post
 
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Kolibri

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Alert on used RAF 2000 for sale — N122LH

Area of Concern #4: condition of N122LH engine

The owner admitted that after Fritts assembled the kit "the engine developed a problem and required replacement". Where did Fritts get the second engine? How many miles had it? What was its condition? These are prudent questions for any prospective buyer.

— is there proper orange coolant for alum. block EJ2.2? (why not?)

— inspect thermostat and housing for corrosion

— if the coolant hoses date from ~2000, they should all be replaced

— pull the spark plugs and inspect (should be NGKs, if they care)

— perform compression test

— inspect timing belt, tensioner, and idler pulleys (look for grease); it would be best to remove the crank bolt/pulley, and center cover, and spin all the idlers for noise (how many miles were on the used engine installed? -- you'll have no way of actually knowing! Original idlers have failed as early as 330 hours, causing an engine-out in flight. I just changed mine at 399 hours, and two of them were sounded like skateboard wheels, a sign of imminent failure.)

attachment.php


— inspect water pump (spin without the belt on to check for noise)

— quality alternator such as Bosch, to replace crappy "Worldwide" OEM

— CAREFULLY inspect drive belt, inside and out, front and back (if it's over 5 years/200 hours old, insist upon replacement)

— CAREFULLY inspect prerotator belt, inside and out

— change oil/filter, cut open filter to inspect for metal shavings

— if the engine dates from ~15 years ago, look carefully for rust and corrosion (where has the machine been stored all its life -- the hot/humid Gulf coast?)​

NOTE: I consider the carbed 130hp EJ2.2 underpowered on days of high DA and/or with a passenger. If you live in altitudinous/hot/gusty country, or fly with a lot of weight, you'll likely wish you had the 165hp EJ2.5 (which, however, RAFSA insists on 400 hours of previous RAF experience, with good reason if the gyro hasn't an H-stab).

. . . continued in next post
 
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Kolibri

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Alert on used RAF 2000 for sale — N122LH

Area of Concern #5: overall condition of N122LH

As a potential buyer, are you aware of all of RAFSA's Product Notices? (They are not on their website, and Dofin Fritts didn't supply me with any from >2002.)

— directly contact the original builder with your questions

— THOROUGHLY compare maintenance logbook with RAF's inspection sheets and Product Notices. Do not be content with entries making vauge and general claims of "performed inspection per RAF", such as the fatal pencil whipping of N5002E (the maintenance log has water stains from the canal they crashed into):

attachment.php


— confirm that all RAF Product Notices have been complied with, in particular #s 22, 23, 24, 31, 33, 36, 37, 39, and 40. (I'd wager that N122LH is not in full compliance.)

— post-2002 upgraded steel nosewheel spindle? (Use a magnet on the spindle base, just about the wheel pant.)

— inspected/lubed gimbal head pivot bolts?

— newest gen. (2005-on?) rotors/hub bar/winglets/bolts? (Do NOT buy an RAF with older rotors!)

— remove/disassemble/CAREFULLY inspect the hub bar/winglets (which must be done at 100 hours, anyway)

— are the trim chains the OEM "dog collar" ilk? (Replace!)

— are the trim springs connected to just one fender washer? (add a 2nd to each side)

— RAF Product Notice 40 upgraded gimbal activation arm?

— CAREFULLY inspect gimbal arm and torque tube for any stress risers, cracks

— ask to inspect the mast's rubber bushing (which is probably OEM with cracks/deterioration by now, or replaced by Fritts with inner tube scraps)

— upgraded (post-2003) white plastic rotationally-molded fuel tank? (I would not, under any circumstances, buy any RAF with the old fiberglass tank)

— test old fuel for any presence of ethanol

— drain and fully refill fuel tank to confirm alleged __ gal. capacity and nonleaking integrity (wish I'd thought of this!)

— CAREFULLY inspect inside fuel tank fittings for leakage

— you would be wise to insist that an actual A&P (preferably familiar with RAF 2000s) performs a pre-purchase annual for you (i.e., do not trust any of the selling parties to conduct such, and thus risk a "pencil whipped" annual, which killed Darren Mahler in N5002E)​

Most importantly, for example, the control rod ends seem a similar color to the old OEM parts (which are not aircraft-grade, and made of low-carbon AISI 1112b vs. 4000 series medium-carbon steel of Grade 5/AN-spec). A prudent buyer would insist on the seller first replacing them with eight Heim HM-6M (⅜") and two Heim HM-4M (¼"), making sure to apply nickel anti-seize to the threads. Also to be replaced is the aluminum control rod with a SS version (see RAF Product Notices 23 and 40). Here is what quality Heim control rod ends look like:

attachment.php


The mast/scissors AN6-57 bolt appears installed nut-forward (this is Dofin Fritt's way) for easier lubrication. So was mine, and thus the bolt had never been removed per RAF's maintenance schedule and became badly rusted inside the mast. Do remove this bolt for inspection.

attachment.php






Area of Concern #6: where will you train in N122LH, at Brewton with Fritts?

I can easily understand the lure of "buy it here, train in it here!" I mean, Fritts has built many RAFs, has thousands of hours in them, and trained dozens of students, so it makes prima facie sense to buy/train through him. That's what I thought, too. Well, be aware of the horrible death record of Dofin Fritts students: 40% of USA RAF 2000 fatalities. I have posted about this often on the forum.


N122LH has a Boyer H-stab (probably because the owner remembered how difficult it was to master without one in his first RAF, the one I bought). Good, as such may just save the next owner's life. Do not be persuaded by Fritts (who is anti H-stab on RAFs) to remove it, either for training or for use at home. He can fly without one; you, a newbie, shouldn't risk it during your first 100 hours.
 

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Kolibri

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Alert on used RAF 2000 for sale — N122LH

Area of Concern #7: it's an RAF

The RAF 2000 could have been a great gyro, but neither the Canadians nor the South Africans care to make it so. Virtually every improvement of design or material has derived from the owners themselves (either in self-fabrication, or going to quality aftermarket sources). The component list is very extensive, and had I known of it as a newbie I'd have bought another brand of gyro. Rotors, hub-bar, control system, landing gear, ignition, horizontal stabilizer, fuel tank, etc., etc. There wasn't a single aeronautic engineer behind the RAF 2000, on either continent, and it shows.

In 2007 the South African training/dealer franchise bought out the many times sued RAF Canada kit manufacturer. I've seen no evidence that the RAFSA is actually making gyro parts, in fact, all evidence points to the Canadians still doing so. Why should you care? Well, unless you enjoy paying for a expensive global tour of your parts from Canada-Africa-USA, I think you'll find delay and shipping costs excessive. Many of us here have actually found it cheaper to have a local machine shop make a custom one-off, and it's of superior material, delivered quicker. I've a real moral issue with an aircraft kit manufacturer which doesn't actually make their own parts.

RAFSA still lists Dofin Fritts of Brewton, AL as an approved CFI & Agent.



SUMMARY OF MY RAF 2000 JOURNEY

I'm not only an RAF2000 gyro pilot/owner, I bought mine through Dofin Fritts just weeks after he "inspected" Mahler's N5002E. In other words, I'm the guy who didn't die in 2014 (or 2015). Having survived my first year and 100 hours in a Fritts sold/trained RAF, I will do my level best to ensure that Darren Mahler was the final unsuspecting victim of Dofin Fritts apathy for sound and safe gyroplanes.

In retrospect, I've profound mixed feelings about my RAF purchase, and through Dofin Fritts. What I like to focus on to avoid resentment is that I've learned a lot about working on gyros, and have greatly improved a machine which I think would have otherwise hurt or killed me another 100 hours later. It's a much safer and better machine now. Had somebody else bought it last year instead of me, who was not at least decent with tools, he'd have gotten into some real issues down the road.

After my extensive work on it, and then being able to fly it regularly, I've come to generally enjoy my RAF. However, I am not wild about it. They are rather slow and ponderous, and much of the design is dated and kludgy. Their maintenance schedule will surprise you. For the low-mid $20k, they're merely OK at best, but spend dozens of hours researching them in forums before you buy one.

They're touted as "cross-country" yet RAFSA states that 100LL is inappropriate for the 2.2 and 2.5. I don't see how the RAF 2000 can reasonably be called a "x-country gyro" since airports rarely offer mogas. Do they mean flying from one ranch to another and refueling with 91 octane premium?

I cannot recommend highly enough that you invest in rotors and hub bar from http://www.sportcopter.com (if not their entire rotor head and cheek plates). This will be $5,600-10,000, but worth it. Don't fool yourself that RAF's 500 hour rotor system is "acceptable".

I would only weakly recommend an RAF in general, and not at all if Dofin Fritts was anywhere in the loop. The "I'm not responsible for what my agent Fritts told you" owner of N122LH I have no respect for. Regarding N122LH, I already purchased it's "twin brother" from the same seller and through the same broker. I've been down that "dirt road" you are contemplating (yet envisioning a shining highway of fun). The RAF is not a gyro to take any chances with, and I think it's a newbie's worst choice for the maintenance load alone.

"If you could, would you do it all over again?" Absolutely . . . not.

In hindsight, I'd have avoided an RAF altogether (unless it had a full Sportcopter upgrade, and the host of improvements typical of savvy owners -- which I finally became myself!). If you believe that a $26,500 stock RAF will provide you a safe, reliable, and long service life in gyros, you are as naïve as I once was. While you can make a "silk purse" out of an RAF "sow's ear" it will cost you about $15,000 extra. Some of these $35,000 machines are for sale. (For example, here is a nearly completed Sparrowhawk II for $18,500.)

But N122LH ain't one of them. It's an old <2004 kit, full of inferior parts which RAF itself felt they had to later upgrade. At $26,500 it's at least $6,500 overpriced, in my opinion. It's owned by somebody who isn't even a rated gyro pilot and doesn't understand what he's gotten himself into. It is brokered by somebody who can be located by "connect-the-dots-of-his-dead-students" right to the Louisiana courthouse steps of his pending lawsuit over N5002E.

And who knows where he got that replacement motor from, but I'm sure it was cheap.

After you've done your own research to confirm what I've written, post or PM me with any questions.

If you're actually to see N122LH, take many high-res photos and ask for my opinion. I'll no doubt spot things the seller knows nothing about -- stuff the broker probably knows but won't likely volunteer to you.

"A half-truth on the ground can mean a complete death in the air."

Good luck!
Kolibri
 
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BEN S

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Now Kolibri, THATS THE KIND OF REVIEW I want to hear on say...EVERYTHING!
Tired of meely mouthed mewlings always trying "not offend"
So, perhaps a thread of its own, but how many Students does a CFI get to lose before the FAA takes their creds away?
My Examiner was extorting students for money and he lost his creds.....
 

Greg Vos

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Alert on used RAF 2000 for sale — N122LH

Area of Concern #7: it's an RAF

The RAF 2000 could have been a great gyro, but neither the Canadians nor the South Africans care to make it so. Virtually every improvement of design or material has derived from the owners themselves (either in self-fabrication, or going to quality aftermarket sources). The component list is very extensive, and had I known of it as a newbie I'd have bought another brand of gyro. Rotors, hub-bar, control system, landing gear, ignition, horizontal stabilizer, fuel tank, etc., etc. There wasn't a single aeronautic engineer behind the RAF 2000, on either continent, and it shows.

In 2007 the South African training/dealer franchise bought out the many times sued RAF Canada kit manufacturer. I've seen no evidence that the RAFSA is actually making gyro parts, in fact, all evidence points to the Canadians still doing so. Why should you care? Well, unless you enjoy paying for a expensive global tour of your parts from Canada-Africa-USA, I think you'll find delay and shipping costs excessive. Many of us here have actually found it cheaper to have a local machine shop make a custom one-off, and it's of superior material, delivered quicker. I've a real moral issue with an aircraft kit manufacturer which doesn't actually make their own parts.

RAFSA still lists Dofin Fritts of Brewton, AL as an approved CFI & Agent.



SUMMARY OF MY RAF 2000 JOURNEY

I'm not only an RAF2000 gyro pilot/owner, I bought mine through Dofin Fritts just weeks after he "inspected" Mahler's N5002E. In other words, I'm the guy who didn't die in 2014 (or 2015). Having survived my first year and 100 hours in a Fritts sold/trained RAF, I will do my level best to ensure that Darren Mahler was the final unsuspecting victim of Dofin Fritts apathy for sound and safe gyroplanes.

In retrospect, I've profound mixed feelings about my RAF purchase, and through Dofin Fritts. What I like to focus on to avoid resentment is that I've learned a lot about working on gyros, and have greatly improved a machine which I think would have otherwise hurt or killed me another 100 hours later. It's a much safer and better machine now. Had somebody else bought it last year instead of me, who was not at least decent with tools, he'd have gotten into some real issues down the road.

After my extensive work on it, and then being able to fly it regularly, I've come to generally enjoy my RAF. However, I am not wild about it. They are rather slow and ponderous, and much of the design is dated and kludgy. Their maintenance schedule will surprise you. For the low-mid $20k, they're merely OK at best, but spend dozens of hours researching them in forums before you buy one.

They're touted as "cross-country" yet RAFSA states that 100LL is inappropriate for the 2.2 and 2.5. I don't see how the RAF 2000 can reasonably be called a "x-country gyro" since airports rarely offer mogas. Do they mean flying from one ranch to another and refueling with 91 octane premium?

I cannot recommend highly enough that you invest in rotors and hub bar from http://www.sportcopter.com (if not their entire rotor head and cheek plates). This will be $5,600-10,000, but worth it. Don't fool yourself that RAF's 500 hour rotor system is "acceptable".

I would only weakly recommend an RAF in general, and not at all if Dofin Fritts was anywhere in the loop. The "I'm not responsible for what my agent Fritts told you" owner of N122LH I have no respect for. Regarding N122LH, I already purchased it's "twin brother" from the same seller and through the same broker. I've been down that "dirt road" you are contemplating (yet envisioning a shining highway of fun). The RAF is not a gyro to take any chances with, and I think it's a newbie's worst choice for the maintenance load alone.

"If you could, would you do it all over again?" Absolutely . . . not.

In hindsight, I'd have avoided an RAF altogether (unless it had a full Sportcopter upgrade, and the host of improvements typical of savvy owners -- which I finally became myself!). If you believe that a $26,500 stock RAF will provide you a safe, reliable, and long service life in gyros, you are as naïve as I once was. While you can make a "silk purse" out of an RAF "sow's ear" it will cost you about $15,000 extra. Some of these $35,000 machines are for sale. (For example, here is a nearly completed Sparrowhawk II for $18,500.)

But N122LH ain't one of them. It's an old <2004 kit, full of inferior parts which RAF itself felt they had to later upgrade. At $26,500 it's at least $6,500 overpriced, in my opinion. It's owned by somebody who isn't even a rated gyro pilot and doesn't understand what he's gotten himself into. It is brokered by somebody who can be located by "connect-the-dots-of-his-dead-students" right to the Louisiana courthouse steps of his pending lawsuit over N5002E.

And who knows where he got that replacement motor from, but I'm sure it was cheap.

After you've done your own research to confirm what I've written, post or PM me with any questions.

If you're actually to see N122LH, take many high-res photos and ask for my opinion. I'll no doubt spot things the seller knows nothing about -- stuff the broker probably knows but won't likely volunteer to you.

"A half-truth on the ground can mean a complete death in the air."

Good luck!
Kolibri
Going to copy this post onto my FB page 😁 we have a person like a Frits here in SA a real heavy hitter in the Gyroplane world locally …a worse AP has yet to be borne and yet our Gyroplane association kiss his ass … I salute you for saying it as it is …sadly here locally when we do …we get seen as the bad apple …love this post
 
Last edited:

Tyger

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What's kind of ironic is that this thread is from nearly six years ago, and that Kolibri was driven (for lack of a better word) from this forum by folks who did not appreciate his style. He could certainly be provocative, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
 

StanFoster

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I never will forget back in 2002 I showed up at Mentone for the first time. I had flown my Bensen since 1979....but stepped away from it until my youngest graduated from High School. So here I am at Mentone talking with Tom Milton whom I knew very well from years past. Next thing I know I am getting a ride in an RAF 2000 with Dofin Fritts....whom I did not know at all. I paid if I recall $50 for a ride. Dofin took off then on climb out he let go of the controls. His arms were crossed but he kept mentioning to me .."Pretty stable isnt it? " Well, even I knew that you just because you can let go of the controls...doesn't mean its stable." But he kept rambling on and on and on about the people on the ground saying how unstable an RAF 2000 is. By the way, Dofin's RAF had no HS on it. He had a serious heavy chip on his shoulder. Anyway he had me take the controls and just a little time later I slowly eased back on the throttle and Dofin got all ballistic on me. Cussing me out also. I said something back in my defense but don't recall what it was. Then I started doing a turn and he went off on me again and cussed me out again. I distinctly remember telling him...take the controls and then I crossed my arms and said take me back to the airport. I was not happy. He landed and when we got out I told him I was not paying him $50 to cuss me out.

He did apologize but I saw he had serious psychic problems.

I later bought me an Air Command low rider...and flew it to Mentone the next year. But the following year I did buy an unfinished RAF kit ...finished building it...put a Parham HS on it...and put Sportcopter rotors on it. It had a 2.2 Subaru in it, but it served me well until I bought a new SparrowHawk kit from Terry Eiland...and flew it to Mentone a few years.
 

Greg Vos

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Cape Town
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R44/22 H269/300 MD 500 Magni (all); Xenon RST; DTA; ELA; MTO Trojan
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What's kind of ironic is that this thread is from nearly six years ago, and that Kolibri was driven (for lack of a better word) from this forum by folks who did not appreciate his style. He could certainly be provocative, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
I have always liked his in depth tech ….the problem is that gyro attracts a certain segment of the market and in many cases the well healed who just wish to fly and really suffer with very little technical understanding …. I could name and shame a local CFI here who is nothing short of a sky god …he has ZERO tech knowledge and battles with anything beyond checking the oil….the problem is socially he is seen as a god and if we point out it’s his responsibility to inform new and converting students about matters tech it just gets personal and I have just distanced myself from these types
As for the value that Kolibri brings IMO it’s invaluable…try and get a constructive response from the RAF agent locally and you get labeled a trouble maker
 

DonBishop

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Feb 20, 2020
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61
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Grizzly Flats
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Mooney M20J
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1200 hours
This has been one of the best threads I've read. I like Kolibri's posts, including the green type. I hope we see more posts in the future.
 

BEN S

Active Member
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Guam
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Sportcopter Vortex
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Me too as long as its not a deep dive on how bad a Vortex is...;););)
 

Tyger

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Kevin_Richey seems to know how to get a hold of Kolibri – maybe he can pass along your encouraging thoughts. But I haven't seen Kolibri on this forum in a long, long time. I have a feeling he was actually banned by the RWF powers that be. But at least his old posts are still there.
 

Martin W.

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May 10, 2020
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Winnipeg
Heard he ordered a Sportcopter and apparently works for them now.
He had a condescending superior attitude and considered everyone else unwashed peasants.
Tough guy , rugged individual , who cried like a baby because the used RAF he bought was not perfect like him
Typed everything in green ink so the peasants knew they were reading the best of the best of the best.
 

DonBishop

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Feb 20, 2020
Messages
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Location
Grizzly Flats
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Mooney M20J
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1200 hours
Heard he ordered a Sportcopter and apparently works for them now.
He had a condescending superior attitude and considered everyone else unwashed peasants.
Tough guy , rugged individual , who cried like a baby because the used RAF he bought was not perfect like him
Typed everything in green ink so the peasants knew they were reading the best of the best of the best.
It is an interesting point that two people can read the same posts and come up with completely different conclusions. I read a bunch of Kolibri's posts (well after they were written) and believe he provided well thought out points of view. I never got the impression that he thought he was talking to "peasants." The green ink was helpful when I wanted to scroll through to find Kolibri's responses quickly. They stood out. The warning above about the RAF seller was beneficial to anyone looking to buy an RAF. It's obviously just my opinion. We all experience things differently.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
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4,054
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Tampa, FL
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AR-1
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4000+ 380 gyroplanes. Sport CFI Gyro and Trikes
Heard he ordered a Sportcopter and apparently works for them now.
He had a condescending superior attitude and considered everyone else unwashed peasants.
Tough guy , rugged individual , who cried like a baby because the used RAF he bought was not perfect like him
Typed everything in green ink so the peasants knew they were reading the best of the best of the best.

Wasn't he banned and the most offending political and attacking posts he wrote (one whole thread in fact specifically) was deleted? A few people left the forum because there was no moderator checking abusive posts on that terrible thread. Finally the moderator appeared after months and put a stop to it. We are here to discuss rotorcraft flying and associated issues not to find out what party registration others hold. I could care less about that and let that get in the way of enjoying others company in reference to flying community.

Kolibiri made some good points sometimes but a lot of times he was way out of line and he does not know where the lines are. He bought a cheap very old used RAF and I am not sure what he expected. You don't buy a 17+ year used gyro and expect not to spend any money or effort correcting its flaws which there were plenty it seems. Though on such an old used machine his bitching was out of proportion and the responsibility of getting a good pre-buy done falls on him.

He was obviously a huge fan of SportCopter rotors that he got for his RAF and that is neither here nor there. However, he went out of his way to be a fan of theirs by putting down other brands mostly on points that did not have technical merit in my opinion. He is best left off this forum. I was going to say bye to this forum if he had stayed at the end and that political thread allowed to continue. He is probably around lurking under a pseudonym anyway unless the moderator has gone off and not approved any new memberships which is also possible.
 
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fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
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Tampa, FL
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4000+ 380 gyroplanes. Sport CFI Gyro and Trikes
It is an interesting point that two people can read the same posts and come up with completely different conclusions. I read a bunch of Kolibri's posts (well after they were written) and believe he provided well thought out points of view. I never got the impression that he thought he was talking to "peasants." The green ink was helpful when I wanted to scroll through to find Kolibri's responses quickly. They stood out. The warning above about the RAF seller was beneficial to anyone looking to buy an RAF. It's obviously just my opinion. We all experience things differently.

You did not experience the other stuff which got him thrown off I think. You are correct n this particular issue
 

Tyger

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Clermont, NY
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