Faulty Blade Replacement

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,691
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
I would be comfortable flying a TAG gyroplane with the field repair in the USA.
 

JEFF TIPTON

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
2,859
Location
DICKSON, TN
Aircraft
Grumman AA5
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1280
To my knowledge all Titanium in the USA have received the blade modifications and have been returned to service.

I do not know if at this time any machine with the folding mast have been cleared to continue flying yet.

The effected blades appear to have modified design without TAG's approval.

It is not unusual for things to be quiet while things are sorted out.
 

Ramjet555

Newbie
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
6
Location
Portland, Oregon
Thanks for the feedback. The primary problem appears to be a lack of
communication. The feedback I've hear is that the folding mast
was never an issue and that false conclusion contributed to the
2nd accident.
 

JEFF TIPTON

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
2,859
Location
DICKSON, TN
Aircraft
Grumman AA5
Total Flight Time
1280
The folding mast may not be a concern, but it will take time to analyze the data, run testing and come a conclusion, and then if need be design a correction.

I do not know if any folding mast units are in the United States
 

Alan_Cheatham

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2003
Messages
1,961
Location
Dallas, Texas
I do not know if any folding mast units are in the United States
I dare say there is.

 

GyrOZprey

Aussie in Kansas.
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
2,951
Location
Whitewater KS
Aircraft
Butterfly Aurora N5560Z / Titanium Explorer N456TE & N488TE/ - trained in MTOsport 446QT/488FB
Total Flight Time
770
I spoke to Ramjet555. AKA Roger T ...at length yesterday between my flights back from Arizona! ( Before he started this thread!)

I'm disappointed that his statements above are quite inaccurate - based on what I KNOW we talked about!

Facts .... according to our phone conversation ..... he has spoken to TAG -owner's myself ,Desmon & Eric (Hosko) ...so he has heard from both ends of the "enthusiasm for TAG gyro... love/hate the customer service" spectrum!

Until ASRA & Coroner's reports are final & released ...none of us will know what the findings & conclusion will be!

ASRA have in all due conservative diligence issued the grounding SAFETY DIRECTIVE for the "steel-rod-balanceweighted" rotors ... blades number 21-89 ... on the POST ASRA investigation of the WA accident - discovery of unseen evidence( by the family friend cutting the rotor up for disposal) ... that a balance rod was missing from one blade ...which (COULD logically explain the erratic flight profile observed from ground witness in the last 10 minutes of flight & strange noises prior to rotor separation & catastrophic mast-structure destruction in the final seconds of the flight!) ...again these are publicly known FACTS that POINT to a gross rotor-imbalance event .....with the tragic result!

RE ...Further commentary & revelation of ANY FURTHER FACTS ,evidence & conclusions ...WE ALL AGREED to AWAIT the FINAL ASRA report!

ASRA released a statement updating information about the accident at Orange - in June!( see below) ...as I understand ...there is NO HARD evidence to support the extrapolation ( other than the rotor blades had consecutive serial number's with the WA accident gyro) ....as the rotor was disposed of in an asbestos pit! ( by the owner's NOT TAG Aviation!)


THUS. ...the initial statement in post #1 here that "has resulted in at least two possibly more than two fatal accidents "
is blatantly incorrect ...... there is according to ASRA directive & follow-up statement - below - "a REAL POSSIBILITY" - of cause for the WA accident (1 - little argument there) ...the follow-up was ...by extrapolation due to rotor serial number NOT HARD evidence ...that there was possibility that the Orange accident may have also been due to balance rod ejection in flight! ( ???maybe 2) ...MORE THAN TWO FATAL accidents NOPE! ....that he is suggesting that Jim's accident was due to a faulty rotor .....is ludicrous ...I have a clear autopsy report defining his brain hemorrhage being a definitive pre-mortem factor, great eye-witness observation of final 1 minute flight profile & HIS ROTORS WERE THE ORIGINAL ...lead-shot NOT steel-rod balance design! ( I still have the remains of the frame & rotor of #007 ...available for ACTUAL reference ..as needed by ASRA investigators - and requested during the investigation of the recent tragedies in Australia!)

March 30
AUSTRALIAN SPORT ROTORCRAFT ASSOCIATION INC
SAFETY DIRECTIVE

No: 2019.01
Date: 30 March 2019
Subject: Titanium Aircraft Group (TAG) Gyroplanes – All modelsBackground.
In February 2019, a TAG gyroplane was seen to crash into the sea off the coast of WA after the rotor system detached from the airframe. Both occupants of the gyroplane suffered fatal injuries.
Inspection of the wreckage revealed that the joiner plates of the folding mast system had failed. The mechanical cause of the failure has not yet been determined, pending the finalisation of several scientific and metallurgical inquiries.
Subsequently, the wreckage was released into the custody of the wife and mother of the 2 deceased who asked a friend to dispose of it. Whilst cutting the rotor blades to facilitate easier disposal, he noticed that a leading edge balance rod was missing. He finally discovered that the end cap of the same blade was also missing. The whereabouts of the missing rod and end cap is unknown. There is no evidence to suggest mishandling or mismanagement of the wreckage after the W.A. Coroner's Office released it.
This observation raises a real possibility that the balance rod had departed the Forrest Beach Titanium Explorer rotor under centrifugal force during cruise, which – if this occurred – would have resulted in an instantaneous and massive rotor imbalance. Where massive in-flight rotor imbalances occur (in helicopters), it is usual for the rotor support structure to fail almost instantaneously as well because the imbalance forces are so extreme.
There is a real possibility, therefore, that if such a massive instantaneous rotor imbalance occurred with the Forrest Beach Titanium Explorer, then the failure of the folding-mast side-plates would have been a secondary, rather than primary cause of the double fatality.
A real possibility exists that the balance rod arrangement of some TAG rotors may be affected. Because owners have no feasible way of inspecting and checking the integrity of the balance rods of their blades, ASRA must take definitive action.
Urgent follow-up inquiries will now be undertaken in relation to the integrity or otherwise of the October 2018 Orange fatality rotors. Urgent follow up inquiries will also be initiated with TAG Aviation concerning the integrity of the mass balance and weighting of their rotor system.
In the meantime, ASRA considers that this very serious question mark over
the TAG rotor system represents a serious and imminent risk to flight safety.
Directive.
With immediate effect, all gyroplanes manufactured by the Titanium Aircraft Group (TAG) are grounded until further notice.
Follow-up.
The manufacturer has advised that not all blades are affected, as some use lead shot encased in a carbon fibre sock for balance purposes. All owners must contact the gyroplane manufacturer to determine if their gyroplane is affected.
ASRA may progressively lift this grounding order on a machine-by-machine basis once the following steps in relation to each machine are undertaken:
(1) The present owner ensures that he or any person likely to fly their Titanium immediately desists from flying;
(2) The present owner then contacts TAG to determine whether the rotor fitted to their Titanium may be affected;
(3) TAG in-turn informs both the owner and ASRA whether the rotor blades fitted to that particular machine are affected or not; and
(4) The ASRA Operations Manager may then remove the particular gyroplane from the general grounding order if and only if TAG have given written assurances that the rotor blades on that particular machine are not affected. (5) If the ASRA Operations Manager exempts a particular Titanium from this general grounding order, then that fact is to be immediately entered into the gyroplane logbook and the rotor system is retained on that gyroplane until further notice and not swapped over to another machine.
Allan Wardill
Asst. Operations Manager
Saturday, 30 March 2019


ASRA Statement
25th July 2019.

RE: TAG Gyroplane rotors fitted with steel balance rods
Orange Police have advised ASRA that new evidence has become available regarding the TAG Gyroplane accident that occurred near Orange Airport on the 31st October 2018. Orange Police and the ASRA investigative team have now examined the new evidence and with permission from the Coroner and Police, ASRA is permitted to release the following information;
There is a real likelihood that the gyroplane was operating normally in the circuit at Orange airport when an internal balance rod embedded within the leading edge of one of the rotor blades, ejected from the blade under centrifugal force. If this indeed was the case, then the resulting massive rotor imbalance would have been such as to induce structural failure in the folding mast (original-design SP01) side-plate junction.
The investigation is continuing at this time.
Jeff Blunt
Operations Manager.



I could continue to go on with my rebuttal .of post #1 inaccuracies ... but experience tells me this will likely be futile & just stir up more antagonism!

Those who KNOW me in REAL LIFE ...those who KNOW NEIL & SAM ... as REAL people ... know who we are & how we conduct ourselves! ...are well aware that all the crap being spouted about the TAG Aviation/ TAGNA entities being deceptive, evasive, dishonest ...etc is utter BS!

I have made mistakes on social media taking on certain people who should be TOTALLY ignored! ( I'm loyal to a fault to my REAL friends & when they are unfairly attacked ...well I can only stay on the "high-road" so long before I blow my stack!) ...just who I am ....I will fight for my friends & product when they are relentless attacked & mis-represented!
 
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