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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 20:07
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In addition from the NZ accident investigation board......

"The Transport Accident Investigation Commission is concerned about the number of accidents in New Zealand in which Robinson helicopters have experienced ‘mast bumping’. These accidents have raised concerns about the risks of flying these helicopters in the mountainous terrain and weather conditions that are common in New Zealand.

Mast bumping is contact between an inner part of a main rotor blade or a rotor hub and the main rotor drive shaft (or ‘mast’). Serious mast bumping in flight usually results in the helicopter breaking up in flight, which is fatal for those on board.

Part of the problem is that the available evidence has not allowed the circumstances and causes of all of these ‘mast bumping’ accidents to be fully determined. However, a significant proportion have been found to have occurred in ‘low-G’* flight conditions. Helicopters with semi-rigid two-bladed main rotor systems, as used on Robinson helicopters, are particularly susceptible to mast bumping in ‘low-G’ conditions. Low-G can be caused by large or abrupt flight control inputs or by turbulence. The risk of mast bumping in turbulence increases with high power settings and operating at high speed and light weight."

" It is particularly important for Robinson pilots to be aware of the risks of flying a lightly loaded helicopter at high speed in turbulence. "

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