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Old June 16th 04, 04:54 PM
Dennis Fetters
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Brad Mallard wrote:
I will put a little two cents in here. I was actually finishing a
Metallurgical Engineering degree at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa
a few years ago when the Areospace Engineering Department actually bought a
kit as a project for the department.

I was actually following along the process of construction because I had
planned for quite some time to build one as well. I kept notes on the
progress and talked with the select individuals chosen to actually construct
the craft. The Areospace department had only one instructor that was
helicopter rated and there is only one seat in this chopper, so it was never
a question of who was going to fly the bird.

According to the FAA report of the National Transportation Board ID #
ATL01A003 it says " On October 3, 2000, at 0856 central daylight time, a
University of Alabama Mini-500 Experimental Helicopter, N6165T, collided
with the ground and burst into flames."

This guy had thousands of logged hours, and numerous aviation ratings
including Commercial Helicopter and a repairman experimental aircraft
builder certificate. My thoughts of building a helicopter quit that day...

The full report can be read at
"Jay" wrote in message

Fetters wrote:
This is a little part of the problem here Brad. People don't tell the
complete story. In that way it will make a point opposite of what really
happened. Why would you do that? Here, lets go into the true, full facts:

On October 3, 2000, at 0856 central daylight time, a University of
Alabama Mini-500 Experimental Helicopter, N6165T, collided with the
ground and burst into flames while on approach to the Tuscaloosa
Municipal Airport, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. cut

According to the airport control tower operator, the helicopter had
completed three to four circuits in closed traffic to taxiway golf.
While on the downwind leg, the controller believed that the helicopter
had a sudden loss of engine power and began to descend. The tower
received no communications and the helicopters rotor rpm decreased and
appeared to stop before impact. Crash fire rescue trucks were on the
scene and the post-crash fire was extinguished within minutes.

Fetters wrote:
Why did the engine quit? according to our files I do know that the
helicopter did not have all the mandatory AD's installed and should not
have been flying at all. I do know that the helicopter did not have the
mandatory PEP exhaust system installed which eliminated the need of
jetting after ambient temperature changes. I also know that he had left
the stock Rotax jetting in the engine and ignored our instructions to
change it from airplane jetting to helicopter jetting, which would cause
the engine to lean out and seize in a decent, as all of our advisories
and instructions said would happen. He also never even once signed and
returned a single AD notice as required.

According to the aircraft logbook, on September 28, 2000, the pilot had
modified the helicopters horizontal stabilizer by cutting off part of
the stabilizer behind mounting plates number 88 and number 98, and
removed the winglets. The pilot flew 10 traffic patterns in new
configuration. He noted in the logbook "less objectionable side to side
shaking, but balance still indicates vertical 1.5 ips in climb."
However, according to the FAA, this modification was not approved as
required by the experimental aircraft operating limitations.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable
cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, and the pilot's
unapproved airframe modification that resulted in the loss of flight
control during the emergency descent.

Fetters wrote:
OK, now where was this the helicopters fault? The man was flying a kit
helicopter he built that didn't have the up-to-date mandatory upgrades,
he had the wrong jetting and he modified a sensitive part of the
airframe that directly allows proper entrance into an autorotation, and
he did not enter a proper autorotation after the engine quit, if he even
could after the modification. The FAA determined that it was pilot
error, who could disagree?

I hope this clears up any misconceptions from inadequate posting of
partial information.

Dennis Fetters