Tired Of My Mini-500

bryancobb

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Well Folks,

My tenacity is used up. I went for a 10 mile flight yesterday after getting my more robust cyclic pivot installed.

It may be because I am almost 20 years older, much wiser, and 70 pounds heavier, but I just can`t muster up as much confidence in this machine as I had in the one I flew in the 1990`s.

I attempted to takeoff yesterday morning with 5 gallons. Wind was dead calm but Density Altitude was below 1500. I could not get out. At 7:00 PM the wind was about 6kts in my favor so it did get me out of the confined area around my residence, but it was at its limit.

There was no problems during or after the short flight but it just did not satisfy me like I had imagined it would. It has been a big part of my life (and my family`s too) for 3 years. I think I am about ready to sell it and use the money to get my 66 Mustang Convertible painted. This is the reason I went down this road in the first place.
 

Barney Bahle

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it just did not satisfy me like I had imagined it would

It seems chasing memories almost always ends this way. Try as we may there is no reliving the past.

That said I hate to see you throw in the towel so soon. Will you later regret selling it having not really flown that much?
 

Rambler

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I don't mean this as poke in the ribs since I have really enjoyed your build journey.

I think you should have put a yamaha power plant in it. But hey,,,I am glad I got that
warp drive prop, exhaust already hot jet coated and C-box w/ clutch from ya for
much less then I would have paid new. Thankx twice for the ride. Now go get that Mustang a new coat of paint!!! Don't forget to post a pic when it's done. OK?

take care. :)
 

Vance

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I feel it is a good aviation decision Bryan.

I feel it is a good aviation decision Bryan.

Well Folks,

My tenacity is used up. I went for a 10 mile flight yesterday after getting my more robust cyclic pivot installed.

It may be because I am almost 20 years older, much wiser, and 70 pounds heavier, but I just can`t muster up as much confidence in this machine as I had in the one I flew in the 1990`s.

I attempted to takeoff yesterday morning with 5 gallons. Wind was dead calm but Density Altitude was below 1500. I could not get out. At 7:00 PM the wind was about 6kts in my favor so it did get me out of the confined area around my residence, but it was at its limit.

There was no problems during or after the short flight but it just did not satisfy me like I had imagined it would. It has been a big part of my life (and my family`s too) for 3 years. I think I am about ready to sell it and use the money to get my 66 Mustang Convertible painted. This is the reason I went down this road in the first place.

Emotions are difficult to quantify and I am the only who knows how I feel.

Each time I fly I recognize that it is dangerous and I could die.

I try to balance my passion to fly against that risk and expense.

The memories won’t be worth much if I am not here to remember them.

So far it has been no contest and yet there are days when I don’t fly because of winds that I can manage easily but just make it more work and the flying is less fun.

In my early days of my flying there was little that could keep me on the ground and each maintenance item was a priority.

Now I need an excuse to get up in the air and sometimes I have to drag myself to the hangar to work on The Predator. I still enjoy working on her a lot but I find more excuses to procrastinate.

It looks like today is a nice day to fly but I probably won’t because I am exhausted from the Ken Brock Freedom Flyin.

In my opinion it is best to follow my passion and make my priorities based on how I feel; not how I think I should feel, expect to feel or how others think I should feel.

My good friend Stan sold his Helicycle when the passion to fly did not justify the impact on his life.
By every measure it was the perfect Helicopter for him. He just recognized when it was time to take up a different hobby. Based on my conversations with him it was a good aviation decision.

I have not ridden a motorcycle since I earned my pilot’s certificate because I do not have the passion to justify the risk, work and expense.
 

Rambler

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Well said Vance...You should give it a rest....it will give that brain of yours a chance to catch up with the rest of you. take care. ;)
 

StanFoster

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Bryan- I totally see where you are coming from. I reached my pinnacle and had an awesome machine.....but my gut feeling started overriding the fun I was having. It was time for me to let it go, and I had a few other reasons I have mentioned.

I am so wound up getting back into shooting that it is much more relaxing inside myself, and if you would ask Barbara hard enough, she would reveal she is more relaxed as well.

My mind only has time for building curved stairways semi retired....and one hobby away from my home life.

Vance- I appreciate watching you enjoy your passion for flying, and in my opinion, it is good that your passion is coming down a little.
 

Rando

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I have not ridden a motorcycle since I earned my pilot’s certificate because I do not have the passion to justify the risk, work and expense.
Funny, I gave up gyro's to get involved in 3 wheel motorcycles. First a Can Am Spyder and now a Polaris Slingshot. Loving every second of it!
 

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WaspAir

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stopped caring at 1000
I just can`t muster up as much confidence in this machine

A little constant distrust of one's aircraft can be healthy, as in "where will I land if this thing quits now", but there's a difference between caution and unease. If it doesn't feel right, park it, sell it, but don't fly it. It's for enjoyment, not a duty, and there are other ways to get enjoyment.


P.S. If the issue is that particular aircraft, and not flying in general, your options are much broader. Sometimes you have to let go of an investment (whether money, time, or both) that no longer makes sense. There's a good chance that something out there would re-energize your flying enthusiasm without any bringing on gnawing feelings of mistrust.
 
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Chopper Reid

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I would be getting rid of it Bryan. I would be happy to hear that you had sold it actually !
 

DennisFetters

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I agree. Take it apart and sell the pieces. Don't sell it as a flying helicopter.

When you first started this project, you pledged to build a Mini-500 Bravo with all the final factory upgrades absolutely according to RHCI standards, thus to prove that the Mini-500 in its final factory approved form was a satisfactory aircraft or not. I was happy to hear that you were going to do this, because I knew you would be immensely happier flying it over your first Mini-500.

You ended up with the most modified Mini-500 ever built. What did you gain by that?

- You ended up taking longer to build a Mini-500 than anyone else in the world.

- You ended up having unexplainable problems and setbacks that other Mini-500 owners that did follow the instructions never had, nor ever even heard of.

- You ended up with a machine you dislike and can’t trust nor feel comfortable with, and now you want to get read of.

Everyone, and I mean everyone that built the Mini-500 according to final factory standards with the upgrades had operational Mini-500s that they were happy to fly and had no further trouble, and great performance. I wish I still had all the letters to scan and post.

With the PEP installed and operating properly, it provides a difference of night and day to your performance and feeling of torque and power. That alone should have been a noticeable improvement that you should have come back saying “WOW!” over, but somehow you can’t get it to work right.

I’m really sorry that you didn’t just follow your pledge in the first place, and I think if you would have the story would have been different, long, long ago, because you would have been done and flying way back then.

Absolutely, don’t fly it again, and part it out and cut your losses. That’s the best thing you can do.

For those that care to know, here is a nice article of someone that flew a Mini-500 with all the upgrades;



********Mini Revolution********

Where is Revolution Helicopter’s Mini-500 series heading?

By Ken Armstrong
KitPlanes Magazine
November 1999 Issue

The Revolution Mini 500 possesses an enviable sales record because of the strong demand for low-cost, kit-built helicopters. However, marketing success has created problems for the company and its owners. Revolution has difficulty keeping up with customer expectations, and some builders unrealistically expect the helicopter to be snag-free during ownership.
In reality, the Mini 500 is no different from any homebuilt helicopter - or from any commercial helicopter ever produced. They have all experienced technical/design problems that required modification, and as a professional helicopter pilot since 1972, I was often the guinea pig who found out what those problems were. No helicopter design is perfect, and there is no fling-wing flying that does not have ongoing problems.
What can you do if you own a Mini 500 or plan to buy one? Approach ownership with an open mind and anticipate some down time while you install modifications that Revolution considers mandatory for the safe operation of the helicopter. If you plan to buy a used Mini 500, ensure all of the mandatory modifications have been completed.

Is the Mini 500 Safe?.....
Any helicopter is only as safe as the pilot in command. There have been a number of Mini 500 crashes, a number of them resulting in fatalities, and there is a common thread among them. Accident data from Revolution and the NTSB, combined with witness reports, indicate there have been few if any mechanical failures that were not caused by improper maintenance. In fact, 100% of the crashes had a pilot error component, with 43% sharing maintenance/pilot error causal factors. Nearly 75% of the pilots involved in accidents had less than 100 hours rotary wing experience, and some didn't even have a helicopter rating (more on this subject in the flight evaluation). Failure to maintain adequate rotor rpm was a contributing factor in almost half of the accidents. Another factor was pilots flying with the wrong carburetor jets for the ambient conditions - an important consideration when operating these hard-working engines. Operating with a two-stroke engine entails a higher risk of engine failure than a four-stroke powerplant would, and pilots must always be prepared to carry out an autorotation.
Another primary factor in the high accident rate for the Mini 500 (44 accidents out of only a few hundred flying) is that there are many being flown by pilots with relatively little rotary experience, and in a few of the accidents the pilots weren't even licensed. In the case of an engine out, proper training and experience is critical.
But other than the higher incidence of engine failures associated with two-stroke operation and pilot deficiencies, I don't see any particular safety risk associated with this helicopter, and I wouldn't hesitate to fly Mini 500s because the autorotative characteristics are quite reasonable in the event the Rotax takes a time out.

Who Needs Politics?....
I believe the greatest non-technical problem plaguing the Mini 500 is the polarization between Revolution and a small number of vocal, dissatisfied owners. Revolution President Dennis Fetters is blessed and cursed with a strong personality that has bolstered him with the drive to create the successful Air Command gyro series and now the affordable Mini helicopter series. But success often breeds problems, and keeping up with the calls for technical revisions while attempting to provide really good customer support has been a challenge at Revolution. As a result, some of the owners have formed the support group known as the International Helicopter Builders Association Inc. (IHBAI).
Mentioning this group to Fetters is like waving a red flag at a bull. He feels the organization is trying to undermine his efforts and has been dishonest about its aims. The group says it simply wants to find fixes for Mini 500 problems typically agreed to as excessive vibration creating frame cracks and transmission gears manufactured by a third party that were not of sufficient hardness. For more details on these topics, see the May 1999 KITPLANES©.
Having mentioned this builders group, I should add that I met many Mini 500 owners at Sun'n Fun who have experienced no problems with their helicopters and are having a blast with them. Responses to company questionnaires indicate that more than 90% of the attendees at company training programs are completely satisfied with Revolution's efforts. In the Internet era, it's all too easy for a few unhappy owners to promote their discontent.

Builders Support Group....
At the 1999 Sun'n Fun meeting, IHBAI members, under President Bill Phillips, decided they would not hire an engineering team to modify or fix the Mini 500's problems because they felt Revolution was adequately tackling the situation. The 14 attendees almost unanimously expressed a desire to work with the company on problems and fixes. However, Fetters wanted no association with this group. For the most part, I found these owners to be levelheaded and simply wanting a solution to their problems at a reasonable price so they could continue flying.
Stan Robinson, president of U.S. AirPower, talked about the possibility of installing the three-cylinder, liquid cooled two-stroke engine currently undergoing flight test in the Revolution two-place Voyager, but this is unlikely in the near term, especially without Fetters' blessing.

Solutions Are at Hand....
Fetters has always maintained that the company manufactures modifications quickly and prices them realistically to support his clients. After many hours of discussion with him, I can appreciate his point of view and feel the company is striving assiduously to correct deficiencies and expand the performance and safety envelope.
Solving vibration problems has been a long slow process not because Revolution wasn't devoting a lot of time to the solution, but because rotor system dynamics are complex. The late model Talon (the model name for the improved Mini 500) I flew for this report had the latest refinements including mast support with rubber isolation, friction damper on the cyclic system and trimtabs on the rotor system. These refinements have apparently reduced the overall vibration level from 10 IPS to 0.01 in hover and 0.1 at 95 mph. Revolution asserts that all of these modifications are recommended because they work together to significantly reduce vibration. Minimizing the shaking reduces wear and tear, extends component life and provides greater system reliability. All new kits include all of the mast support refinements.
An Engine Information System (EIS) is a new option that constantly monitors cooling, fuel mixture, lubrication and power output for enhanced reliability. Although I have not evaluated this $675 package, it comes complete with all probes, wiring and displays to provide a visual warning in the form in a red light when an engine parameter has been exceeded. It’s like buying insurance.

Power Enhancement Package....
The factory demonstrator I flew at Sun 'n Fun, 500FD, had the optional power enhancement package (PEP) installed. The company recommends that every Mini 500 owner install this system to improve recovery from low rotor rpm. Faustino Padilla, a 240-pound Guatemalan pilot/owner who flies his Mini 500 from a base 5000 feet above sea level at very high temperatures, claims the PEP makes a world of difference to performance. The PEP system comprises a tuned exhaust system and special carburetion settings that provide an additional 18% hp and torque equating to an additional 138 pounds of lift, according to the company. Essentially, the engine is optimized for the narrow power band necessary for the helicopter application. Fetters believes that for $950, this is an inexpensive option that overcomes the need for a more powerful engine, which would be much more expensive.

Flight Evaluation....
I don't take flights in single-place helicopters lightly, and I've waited patiently for years for the fleet hours to accumulate demonstrating the inherent safety of the series (about 28,000 hours to date, according to Fetters). It was only after a detailed flight briefing and an impressive demonstration flight by Ricardo Aita, a company pilot, that I was prepared to place air under the skids. It turned out I was overly cautious-if that's possible.
Fetters showed me the preferred method for entering the cockpit, and I found the seat firm but comfortable (firm is best for a number of safety reasons). The controls came readily to hand for this paunchy pilot of 200 pounds and average height. The control checks with friction off showed there was no binding or significant friction in the system, and the friction was then cranked on to meet the company wishes.
I confirmed that the fuel valve was on, skipped the prime with the warm engine, closed the throttle, neutralized the controls and turned the master switch on. With the-seatbelt secured, I couldn't reach the ignition switch, so I had selected both in advance and used the cyclic mounted starter button to bring the Mini to life. It started easily, and I idled a short time until the Rotax 582's coolant reached the bottom of the green. Raising the collective at idle produced a low rotor rpm warning, the magneto check proved both ignition systems were operating correctly, and the throttle chop at operating rpm provided a needle split between the rotor and engine confirming the one-way driven clutch was operative.
At this point, I wanted to eliminate all friction in the control but was advised by the company pilot that it was preferable to leave considerable resistance in the controls. Later I learned that this was to reduce some of the vibration and stick shake. Although many pilots prefer to have considerable resistance in the system to minimize pilot overcontrolling, I prefer no stick trim or friction. I found that the collective requires some friction in the system or it will rise on its own during flight-not unusual in some helicopters. Moreover, if a pilot leaves the cockpit with the engine running, the helicopter could lift off if the collective is not locked down with a mechanical device or adequate friction.

Getting Acquainted....
Initially, I had some difficulty mentally adapting to the pedals, which are shaped like foot rests and move in a slightly different axis compared to standard pedals. However, after 15 minutes or so of hovering, I found my body and brain had made the conversion quite readily. I also found the throttle system friction quite high, and this resulted in my chasing the engine/rotor rpm somewhat at first-especially since the correlation system doesn't do it all automatically for the pilot. However, owners can remove the engine access cover and readily adjust the throttle friction from no resistance to absolutely locked.
The skill of keeping the rotor rpm at the top of the green can be quite a challenge for pilots like me who normally fly automatically governed turbine equipment. My natural fumbling at rotor speed control coupled with my intentional effort to establish the outside parameters allowed me to get a really good feeling for the Mini's rotor inertia. It also allowed me a glimpse into the scenarios that low-time pilots might encounter and that could lead to the low-rotor-rpm accidents that occur all too often.
Once I got a handle on the power lever, it was obvious the Mini was a delight to hover and play with in the ground cushion. It was virtually free of any noticeable vibration at the recommended rotor speed of 104%-positive proof that the Revolution fixes really work in the hover. As the rotor speed falls below 96%, some minor vibration creeps in. However, this is below the normal range and of no real significance during typical operations.
With the doors off, visibility was excellent in most directions with minor visual barriers straight down due to the floor and to the sides due to the doorframes. Nothing unusual there. The Mini had 9 gallons of fuel on board during the initial takeoff, and the nearly sea level OAT was 75°F.
Fetters says that most problems on this engine are related to poor fuel or jetting problems, and after taking a Rotax maintenance course, I know this to be true in general on two-strokes. As I personally added high-quality, filtered gas for our operations, I was comfortable with the anticipated engine reliability and experimented with a broad spectrum of operating rpms and altitudes. Although the rotor speed's normal operating range is 96-104%, I conducted operations beyond these limits and found no unacceptable characteristics.
The combination of relatively high rotor inertia and a sensitive throttle system results in pilots new to the type chasing the rotor rpm, but prolonged hovering operations can teach them effective rotor speed control. While operation in the low yellow rotor rpm band is not recommended, I found the helicopter had adequate power to recover from 90% or slightly less rotor rpm by milking the collective downward slightly while fully opening the throttle.
Under the ambient conditions, full throttle produced the following maximum hover height/rpm combinations: 6 foot hover attainable at 100%, 10 feet at 102% and 15+ feet at 104%. The recommended takeoff power is 104%, so the PEP would obviously produce more than sufficient power for hovering with the skids approximately 2 feet off the ground at considerably higher altitudes and/or with much heavier pilots. Unless you are operating well above 5000-foot density altitude, it would appear that this engine with the optional PEP is adequate in terms of power output (assuming that the engine is kept well tuned, with the correct jets for the ambient conditions, and approved, fresh fuel).

Control Authority....
During a lengthy period of hovering that resulted in improved rotor speed control as the Mini and I became acquainted, I was able to conduct numerous hovering autorotations, and I found the Mini had plenty of rotor inertia to permit gentle touchdowns - even with a slightly drooped rotor rpm. Over two days, with varying winds, I confirmed that the 20 mph sideways and rearward maximum recommended flight speeds were conservative and safely flown with no tendency to exceed or even challenge the tail rotor's capability. There was plenty of control authority during all maneuvers, and the tail rotor seemed to have as much power as would ever be necessary at this density altitude. (No high-altitude testing was conducted during these profiles.) This Hughes 500 lookalike also transitions through translational lift quite smoothly, and I noted a distinct absence of measurable vibration under all flight conditions up to 30 mph indicated.
Circuit restrictions, gusty winds and smoke from a forest fire shut down operations on my second day of flying, so I was unable to conduct a lot of straight and level flying at normal cruising speeds. Fetters wasn't keen on my flying in those conditions at all, but my schedule wouldn't permit a later flight, so I was committed to flying when many of the other gyroplanes and helicopters chose to sit it out. Nonetheless, the helicopter flew smoothly up to the maximum speed of 75 mph - an air-traffic induced limit. I wasn't overly comfortable flying this lightweight under such conditions, but the company pilot who had 60 hours on type subsequently flew the demo in an aggressive and accurate demonstration program with absolutely no difficulty.
The Mini is not only responsive but also surprisingly stable in hovering operations, handling like a much larger helicopter. After only 20 minutes in type it was fairly easy to knock over the orange cone markers with a skid and then stand them up again. This can be challenging with any helicopter, and it was surprising to be able to accomplish this intricate task with so little time in type.

Cautious Considerations....
The pilot's operating handbook cautions pilots to apply aft cyclic while the collective is being lowered after high-speed engine failures to minimize the helicopter's tendency to nose over. It also advises avoiding low G maneuvers to avoid chopping off the tail boom. These are standard cautions with any helicopter. Also, there is a large area of the height-velocity envelope to be avoided during low-speed and high hovering operations. I conducted autorotations while within the edges of the avoid area, and the chart is conservative. However, this is another way a company can build in additional safety margins for pilots.
The major limitation of the helicopter is that it is hoisted aloft by a two-stroke engine. Two-strokes can be reasonably reliable if owners perform the suggested maintenance schedule recommended by Rotax, but these powerplants do require a lot of fiddling with jetting anytime a significant temperature or operating altitude is encountered to meet the carb/mixture/EGT requirements and limitations. Pilot/owners should follow the recommended procedures to keep their engines in optimum health. They should also ensure that their autorotational skills are honed.
Now that I have logged a few flights on the updated version of the Mini-500 series, it's difficult to understand the tempest that has ensued between the company and a few owners - unless one considers the personalities involved. The 500 not only looks great, it flies well and appears to be free of significant vices.
Helicopters are not toys, and they are not easy for low-time pilots to fly well. But they offer an excellent challenge for pilots who wish to rise above common pilot skills - vertically. The Mini, especially with PEP, boasts heaps of power for hot-and-heavy conditions and a blistering cruising speed for a low-cost helicopter. All this and measly operating expense, too.
Revolution's current offerings have solved the initial problems common with the introduction of a new type, and the company is well positioned to increase customer service and success in the market.
 

WaspAir

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stopped caring at 1000
Geez, Dennis, it would have been enough to say, "Sorry it didn't work out for you. Enjoy your Mustang", to support the fellow, without jumping on him.
You don't have to go critical and defensive when nobody's attacking you.
 

DennisFetters

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Geez, Dennis, it would have been enough to say, "Sorry it didn't work out for you. Enjoy your Mustang", to support the fellow, without jumping on him.
You don't have to go critical and defensive when nobody's attacking you.

Next time I'll try to remember to have you write what I want to say.
 

bryancobb

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The melancholy feeling is more because of ME than the machine. This helicopter will probably give a 200 pound pilot in his 30's the feeling I was seeking but for a 270 pound pig in his mid-50's...no joy.

The bluehead 582 engine has not given a second of trouble, the gearboxes run cool and indicate to me they are happy, the four angular contact feathering bearings make the blades feather easily with 10,000 of outward force, and my tail rotor driveshaft setup hasn't indicated any problems. There IS a large nut on my cyclic stick that just will not stay tight. ;)

My problematic vibration was probably created by the small horsepower increase of the bluehead over the grayhead OEM one, or newer technology incorporated into the newer Gates cog-Belt. The undampened, spring-tension idler, just would not stay still even though it was put together just exactly per RHCI instructions.
 
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bryancobb

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Geez, Dennis, it would have been enough to say, "Sorry it didn't work out for you. Enjoy your Mustang", to support the fellow, without jumping on him.
You don't have to go critical and defensive when nobody's attacking you.

His personality was really the obstacle to 20,000 Mini-500's being flying today. Back then, he had so much heaped on his shoulders and his first batch of customers were very demanding. I know, I was one. All of us were told we just didn't measure up and that we really didn't have the knowhow to assemble a helicopter that carried a person.

The damn little machine was just soooo sexy that we tried our best to ignore the criticism.
 

DennisFetters

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Stopped counting years ago after 5,000
His personality was really the obstacle to 20,000 Mini-500's being flying today. Back then, he had so much heaped on his shoulders and his first batch of customers were very demanding. I know, I was one. All of us were told we just didn't measure up and that we really didn't have the knowhow to assemble a helicopter that carried a person.

The damn little machine was just soooo sexy that we tried our best to ignore the criticism.

First, I didn't say anything that was not true, I only capped off with the facts and history of your saga. No personal defamation was intended or given. I only agreed to what the majority of people on this same thread posted; Give up and part-out that aircraft. None of them were criticized for posting their opinion.

Next, yes I have a strong personality. Yes, I say what I think and know. Yes, if I would have continued to kiss the ass of that psychopath Jim ZOOM Campbell and continued to advertise in his rag magazine, he would have stayed on my side and wrote those negative articles against the people trying to take over my company by trying to put me out of business. That was my single biggest mistake; not continuing to kiss the devils ass and pay my dues in the form of advertisement to him. I should have took out a full page, and history would have been different, but I would have had to give up some of my honor doing so. So, no mistake there, I made the right choice for me.

Finally, I had no idea you are 270 pounds. I thought you were 200 pounds. When I flew the Mini-500 I was 220 pounds at the most, and it flew great. The truth is; you are too fat. Not just for flying the Mini-500, but for living life itself. You can't be happy being that heavy. Now, before everyone lays into me, I have the right to tell Bryan that.

Bryan, I was 318 pounds when I lived in California in 2008, and five years away from being dead. Life was terrible. I could not walk 300 feet without my back and ankles hurting, heart pounding and had to stop and catch my breath. I lost weigh before through every imaginable diet, but finally faced the fact that a diet would nerve solve my problem, because I would just gain back the weight, and a little more after loosing it. Its not a matter of willpower.

I finally got the lap-band procedure. Yes, it had a few small drawbacks on what I can eat, but after loosing 118 pounds, I can tell you those small drawbacks are nothing, and well worth the new life it has given me. I am like 30 years old again. I now have a new baby girl 1.6 years old. I can climb mountains and have no pain nor lack energy. I run cycles around these young engineers while I'm 61 years young.

Take to heart what I'm saying. Keep that Mini-500, and put it back to the factory design, and loose that extra weight permanently with a Lap-Band, and go get that WOW feeling flying it like you were looking for in the first place, as well as with everything else you do in life.
 
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bryancobb

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I am wayy fat. That`s a fact. A couple of times in my life, I have set a goal that required weight loss.

In 1985, I was a munitions guy in the Air Force when I decided becoming an Army Warrant Officer and flying helicopters was my goal. I lost 20 pounds and started running 4 miles per day. I met my goal. I was 24.

In 1995 I decided being a State Trooper and flying helicopters for the Georgia State Patrol. I lost 80 pounds, got in shape, and met my goal. I was 34.

In 2013, at 52, I bought the Mini-500 kit and started shedding weight as documented on my forum thread named `Losing Blubber to Hover.` I went from 268 down to 231 and then I was fired from my 15 year job that I loved. It took my `Mo-Jo` so badly and because I am an old fart I just haven`t been able to get it back.

I found another job in short order and have been earning wayyy more than ever, but the weight just jumped back on me because my spirit is damaged and I just can`t find
the motivation to do anything...including losing weight.

I really did not expect my Mini-500 to pick me up at 270, at all but was surprised when I tried hovering and it even has a little excess power with 5 gallons of gas. As long as I have a slight headwind and am very careful with technique, I can climb out of my yard at anytime except mid day. The takeoff path has a place to put it if the Rotax konks-out.

I plan on finishing the 40 hours in Phase I, fly it to work at Meggitt a few times, and make one long cross-country to Trenton, FL before I sell it. I will not be parting it out unless I wreck it.

My `Mo-Jo` is probably not ever going to return. My weight is probably not going to decrease significantly. Considering that my Dad had heart bypass in his 50`s, and just yesterday, I went to visit my 69 y/o brother in the hospital after having Angioplasty and stents placed, I suspect my stroke or heart attack is in the statistics.
 

DennisFetters

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Messages
3,321
Location
Abu Dhabi UAE
Aircraft
582 Commander Elite
Total Flight Time
Stopped counting years ago after 5,000
I am wayy fat. That`s a fact. A couple of times in my life, I have set a goal that required weight loss.

My `Mo-Jo` is probably not ever going to return. My weight is probably not going to decrease significantly. Considering that my Dad had heart bypass in his 50`s, and just yesterday, I went to visit my 69 y/o brother in the hospital after having Angioplasty and stents placed, I suspect my stroke or heart attack is in the statistics.

You will always gain back any weight you loose in time from diets. That is a fact. Give up on the diet, it is a temporary solution that only makes you gain more weight back then the last time after each failed diet.

You will get back that Mo-Jo, same as I did if you dump that 80 or so pounds. The Lap-Band is the answer. My dad dropped dead at 53 on the job. Was not from being overweight, but a lifetime of smoking and heart trouble. Nevertheless he was in better shape than I was when I was 318lbs.

My insurance covered all but $200, and yours will probably cover it too. You are in the hospital one night, and back home and in full recovery less than a week. All micro surgery, so no scars.

My advice is not only saving your life, but changing your life for the best. Take it or leave it. If you take it, you will soon be thanking me. If you don't.... well, you know the results already, but that is your business. You check it out and talk to a Lap-Band doctor in your area.

Good luck, and I sincerely hope this time to take my advice.
 

bryancobb

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2010
Messages
5,065
Location
Cartersville, GA
Aircraft
Owned Brantly B-2b/Fly Kitfox III/Mini-500b
Total Flight Time
1350
Still Flying It

Still Flying It

I climbed out and took about a half hour flight yesterday. The DSS put the 70MPH vibes at 0.42 IPS. Much higher than I want and higher than Fetters` "do not fly" level of 0.15 IPS.

I will get it down to below 0.1! I promise.

The instrumentation I have is beginning to give me a little peace of mind. I have the EIS set-up to constantly display MRGB lubricant temperature and alarm Redlight at 195 DegF. It never went above 156 DegF during the 30 minutes.

My dedicated instrument panel digital EGT gage read 1060 in 70% cruise and 1140 in an extended hover. A second pair of thermocouples feed the EIS EGT channel and it is set-up to flash the warning light at 1195.

Coolant temp was always around 165 in cruise and 180 during a long hover so the much lighter aluminum radiator is working well.

I pulled the plugs and there was a little dryish soot but no oily goo. The ceramic insulators were tan and no indication of overheating. I am running 150 Main Jets and 2.78 Needle Jets. That seems very lean on the high end but temps and plugs are right where they need to be. The 2.78`s make the midrange VERY rich and when I begin a moderate descent, the EGT`s always decrease, not increase.

I still haven`t gotten my low fuel warning system to work right. Air pressure
inside the engine bay is just not high enough to trip the Dwyer pressure switch.

At 25 hours I`m gonna borescope the MRGB and inspect the gears. I`m not expecting problems.

My tail rotor driveshaft appears to be working perfectly. The bearings are running a little hot (195 DegF) but I`m sure they are fine because they have almost no load on them. I removed the seals from the 17 year old, new-in-the-box bearings and cleaned and repacked them with Aeroshell 14 before I assembled the drivetrain.
 
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