Rotor flap

Tina

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
976
Location
Temecula, California
Total Flight Time
400+ FW 100+ GYRO
I had my first rotor flap a few weeks back and like to talk about it and warn others.

My pre-rotor was not engaging correctly and I had this problem for some time now and it was only getting worse. It got to the point I can only get the rotors spinning up to 70 but still was able to manage that by feeding the air though the rotors slowly till take off speed but it was taking a lot of runway to do that. Dave was not able to come down and help me because he lives so far and his time was limited so I continued to manage it till one day I had a problem.

The day of my mishap I had the making of a prefect accident to happen. I went out to take off and had a bunch helicopter pilots wanting to watch me fly my gyro so I had that pressure of wanting to show them what a gyro can do. I went up to the runway and engaged my prerotor and I can only get it up to 50. I said to myself well others have had slower speed when hand spinning their rotors, I will just have to take more time feeding the air to take off. I started down the runway slowly feeding the air and noticed it was still reading only 50 so my mistake I put in a little more power then it read 45 at that time I knew I was in trouble and stop putting in power and coasted and said to myself get ready for rotor flap! I started pushing the stick forward and when doing that heard a small pop and I rushed to push my stick forward faster and cut the power but it was to late. I taxied back to my hanger and all these helicopter pilots came over to see what happened. I told them of my mistake and we all inspected my gyro and rotors. I could not find any damage to the rotors and was puzzled to what was that pop noise? Then seen the only one of my props damaged right at the edge. I looked over and over at my rotors and found one of the nuts on one of the rotors had a small line in it where the prop must of gotten its damage from. Talk about a miracle that I did not do more damage then that!

I had to send back one of my props for repair and Dave looked over my rotors and rotor head and luckily no damage at all. Even the nut was not damaged but a little mark of a line going across it.
 
Last edited:

Tina

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
976
Location
Temecula, California
Total Flight Time
400+ FW 100+ GYRO
Here is some pictures of the prop damage and the line through the nut. I feel so Lucky there was no more damage then that and learned a big lesson, again! You learn many lessons with gyros and I am sure there will be more to learn. I mainly learned if all is not right do not even try it no matter what!
 

Attachments

  • z3mishap.jpg
    z3mishap.jpg
    62.6 KB · Views: 0
  • z6mishap.jpg
    z6mishap.jpg
    34.3 KB · Views: 0
  • zmishap.jpg
    zmishap.jpg
    36.4 KB · Views: 0

choppergabor

Newbie
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
4,864
Location
Sunshine State
Aircraft
N65GK Behemoth
Total Flight Time
Too few to mention
Thanks for posting Tina this mishap and allow us to learn from it. I am glad you are OK and nothing bad happened to you. It was also your quick thinking and reaction that had saved the day! Good going!!! :)
 

Chuck Roberg

Gyro's are more fun
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
3,506
Location
Naperville, IL
Aircraft
SnoBird Tandem Gyro, Robinson R-22, Assorted Fixed Wing
Total Flight Time
1800
Tina, you were smart enough to realize you were going to flap the rotors. You caught it a little on the late side but thats a lot better than if you didn't catch it and let it progress.

Your not the first and most likely will not be the last to flap the blades.

At the first sign of blade flap you don't have a lot of time to get the stick full forward while at the same time putting on the brakes and bringing the throttle back to idle.

Glad your OK.
 

fiveboy

I FLY THE JUNGLE JET!
Joined
Jan 28, 2007
Messages
2,324
Location
Panama City Central America
Aircraft
AC Tandem Elite F30
Total Flight Time
Almost 200 hours
Tina

I have had rotor flap twice. Both times I was rushing the air through the rotors. So that others may learn who havn't experienced it let me say it happens in a nanosecond and is violent. It scared the pi$$ out of me both times. Now I wont even attempt a take off run if I have anything less than 120. Better to run up and back on a taxiway until you have some rotor speed than try to take off.

ROTOR MANAGEMENT a supremely important lesson to learn!

Glad it was nothing Tina. I know you wont forget it.... I know I haven't!
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,404
Because so many of us have prerotators, the technique for "nursing" blades at 50 RPM is becoming a lost art. Many of today's blades also are more ornery (but better performing) than the ones of yesteryear.

At 50 RPM, the correct airspeed is provided either by taxiing at a WALK, or by a gentle breeze, standing still. More airspeed will NOT help. Watch the blades and note their rhythm; when they finally "catch," the increase in RPM will be visible. It's best to keep your head out of the cockpit, as your senses give you more information, more rapidly, than the dials can.

By keeping your speed down, you'll prevent the flap from being so violent that it bends the blades down to hit the prop, tail or ground. Any flapping at walking speed should be limited to jolting the stick. Pop the rotor forward the instant that happens.
 

Redbaron

Banned
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Messages
2,679
Location
earth
Aircraft
bee
sorry bout your mishap tina! Doug that is good reading, me being a tight wad I will start off hand starting my rotor hawks, I'll be extra careful not to "feed" to much air into the blades as I learn!
 

JRB549

J.R. Brown
Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
1,653
Location
Elkhart, IN
Aircraft
Working on a Two seater
Total Flight Time
171
Great move Tina! I never will forget the first time I had my LOOSE nose wheel go crazy in a shimmy at 20mph. I could'nt eat for a week, could'nt walk for 3 hours just crawled, had to buy all new clothes, even shoes and I think somewhere I frenched the ground between the taxistrip and the hanger.
 

Redbaron

Banned
Joined
Apr 20, 2009
Messages
2,679
Location
earth
Aircraft
bee
My friend "fixed wing pilot" said I should cut two holes in the seat! one in the back so when I **** myself and one in the front so my elephant nuts could hang through! I tried to reasure him it isn't as scary as it looks!:wacko:


Great move Tina! I never will forget the first time I had my LOOSE nose wheel go crazy in a shimmy at 20mph. I could'nt eat for a week, could'nt walk for 3 hours just crawled, had to buy all new clothes, even shoes and I think somewhere I frenched the ground between the taxistrip and the hanger.
 

Tina

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
976
Location
Temecula, California
Total Flight Time
400+ FW 100+ GYRO
I finally got all repairs done today with Dave and Greg's help. Its been months and months, waiting and waiting to fly again.

I flew it around hemet airport several times around the pattern. It was great being back up in the air again. The magic is back and now am thinking I may not sell the gyro after all. I was kinda getting fed up with the gyro and all the repairs I had to do this past year mostly due to my fault. Having to get new rotors then a prop then damaging my new prop and this and that. Other flying machines started looking to be a better alternative. It was starting to get to me but after today and being up in the air again I said to myself it is all worth it in the end. There is nothing like flying a gyro its feels like magic!

There are many struggles we gyro pilots go thru to fly a gyro but that just goes with to territory I guess, if it was easy everyone would be doing it ;)
 

Dirtydog

Best seat in the house!
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
2,297
Location
South, SC
Aircraft
Dogbee / Gyrobee
Total Flight Time
18 duel/ 55 hrs in the Dogbee
Tina :
great catch ! I know the feeling myself, wind caught mine when I was trying to get them started. But now I have learned a few thing on this too.

I was luck nothing happened.....
 

GrantR

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
1,329
Location
Plains, GA
Aircraft
Kolb MarkIII and a "Jake" Gyroplane
Total Flight Time
About 85 fixed wing 3 gyro
Tina,

What happened to your 1st set of rotor baldes? I am glad this turned out ok for you. Are you still going after an aerobatic plane or just sticking wiht your gyro now?
 

StanFoster

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
16,975
Location
Paxton, Il
Aircraft
Helicycle N360SF
Total Flight Time
1250
Tina- You caught it and you sharing your experience makes us all the wiser.

Now...when I start flying my Helicycle...I have to be careful and not shut down the rotorblades with a strong left crosswind. They could flap high at the nose end...which is no problem...but when one blade flaps up,..the opposite blade flaps down....and that would be my tail feathers and tail rotor!


Glad you decided to hang on the gyro.

Stan
 

EI-GYRO

21st Century Crankhandler
Joined
Oct 31, 2003
Messages
2,220
Location
Dublin, Ireland
My friend "fixed wing pilot" said I should cut two holes in the seat! one in the back so when I **** myself and one in the front so my elephant nuts could hang through!

My seat tank has only ONE hole. What can this mean?
 

Stoney

Bitten by the Gyro Bug
Joined
Jul 6, 2009
Messages
161
Location
Suffolk, VA
My friend "fixed wing pilot" said I should cut two holes in the seat! one in the back so when I **** myself and one in the front so my elephant nuts could hang through! I tried to reasure him it isn't as scary as it looks!:wacko:

Red,

That surely must be a baby elephant you're riding with. I'm sure that an adult is too heavy to fly with on your bee.


Tina,

I too am glad that you've decided not to sell the gyro and that things are working out well for you now.
 

swfarrier

Newbie
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
60
Location
Chama, New Mexico
So then folks, Doug Riley says the art of "nursing" rotors at 50 rpm is pretty much a lost art due to many fliers having a pre-rotor and Flyboy won't taxi until he has 120 rpm on the rotors. That being said , here are my questions: 1) If 120 rpm is the minimum for a safe take off, what would be the maximum? 2) Would the maximum rpm be different for a tractor than for a pusher? I'm thinking too much rotor spin would create torque problems on take off especially if a person was using a tractor configuration and inputs a tailwheel correction too quickly while moving down the runway. I realize having a shorter 'wheelbase' would increase the problem. I'd appreciate any observations, experience or opinions.
 

Dirtydog

Best seat in the house!
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
2,297
Location
South, SC
Aircraft
Dogbee / Gyrobee
Total Flight Time
18 duel/ 55 hrs in the Dogbee
swfarrier :

I don't think he was saying he was take off with the blades turning 120. He doesn't like to taxi with them turning SLOWER than 120 or he would not taxi with them turning slower than 120.
At 120 my bee does not even start to want to fly or come up on the main wheels.

More like 200 before I can see any thing......But this is my bee!:cool:
 
Top