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Old 2nd Aug 2011, 05:39
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 520
Statement from Bruno Guimbal

The following is a statement from Bruno Guimbal who told me I can post this. He broke away from a holiday to participate in the complete investigation the day after the accident at Lelystad. I'm literally just cut/pasting the following from the email he sent me.

I will not interfere with the official services report nor with our own manufacturer report, but this is a first set of facts :

- The two pilots (instructor + pilot starting his TR) were flying a full auto to the grass and they were satisfied until they decided to go around on short final to avoid a crossing taxiway in front of them,
- For some reasons, the power recovery did not occur. The engine was running after landing, and was run again and found in good condition, as the entire powerplant and main transmission, during investigation.
- The helicopter once bounced on the grass after the taxiway, then the pilot achieved a very smooth, level landing.
- At a very low RPM, the blades contacted the tail boom and one stroke it down to the internal shaft,
- The helicopter suffered no damage in its main, forward part, including landing gear and engine installation,
- One blade was found undamaged, another one with very minor repairable damage at its tip. The last one is damaged beyond repair but only on its trailing edge. The rotor was flying and controlled during final landing.
- The rotor head and transmission is undamaged since the tail transmission was unplugged through its splines.
- The helicopter was released to its owner the same day by the authorities. It is expected to be repaired soon at a (hopefully small) fraction of its cost.

We have two early comments :
- Because "mast bumping" was cited on the internet, we recall that this is meaningless with a semi-rigid rotor like the Cabri's one,
- During the Cabri certification testing with the authorities, extensive in-flight evaluation, with instrumentation, was conducted of rotor-to-tail boom clearance and were concluded as very satisfactory. Manoeuvres performed included hard landings at rotor speeds as low as 60% of nominal, and aerobatics well beyond the allowed flight envelope.

Helicopteres Guimbal will issue a set of recommendations in accordance with the airworthiness authorities.

I allow you to release the above with my name, but only in its entirety.
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