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Hughes/MD 500

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Hughes/MD 500

Old 24th Jul 2006, 23:00
  #121 (permalink)  
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Rudestuff. Flown 25 different 500's yet to see one with 3 in the back. There was a diagram showing 4 in the back in a mil one I flew. How they achieved that I will never know.
All models of civi ones are 3 in front 2 in back
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Old 24th Jul 2006, 23:11
  #122 (permalink)  
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The four in the back layout was called, not surprisingly, the 'four on the floor' configuration. It was a utility, high density configuration. The seats were nothing more than pads, each with a seatbelt, and it required that the passengers sit with the opposite passengers legs intertwined. It has been used by military special operations, SWAT, utility operators and sky divers. Have not seen a 500 equipped in that configuration in a long time.
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Old 10th Sep 2006, 13:39
  #123 (permalink)  
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H500 tail rotor chip light


Was flying a H500c back from Denmark, got as far as Holland (about 50nm E Amsterdam) and got a t/r chip warning light.

Inspected the chip detector with a local engineer and found there to be fragments on the detector. Cleaned the detector and replaced and more chips arrived after a short hover taxi, no warning light though.

Just wondering if any of you guys have H500 experience and have had a t/r chip warning light and what was the eventual outcome?

Thanks, TD
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Old 10th Sep 2006, 15:02
  #124 (permalink)  
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Probably a great idea to have the tail rotor g/box inspected thoroughly before any more flight if debris found after cleaning plug. I'm not an a/c engineer but I would imagine it's possibly a pre-warning of something more serious. Usually, bits of 'fuzz' find their way onto the plugs in g/boxes etc, but after cleaning the plug, none should be found so soon after. That would apply to all heli types, not just h500!!
Check if second lot of particles are ferrous with a magnet. Again, not sure what components are made from but my advice? GET IT CHECKED before flying it again.
Old 10th Sep 2006, 15:08
  #125 (permalink)  
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Describe the bits -

a) Dark paste = bearing outer race spinning in housing

b) Shiny thin pieces with jagged edge possibly flower shaped and maybe slightly dished = ball bearing failure

c) Slivers and some black paste = gear failure

d) Nothing on detector but light ON when detector installed = broken gear tooth and part is too big to fit out through detector fitting (no joke). Have seen the same on Allison RGB and 500C MGB - parts too big to fit out through the chip detector hole.

As always refer to Aircraft Maintenance manual for the final say. Relatively cheap and easy gearbox to repair, is the same as 300C and interchangeable, but beware different and lower finite lives on the gears if it has been used on a 300.
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Old 10th Sep 2006, 17:49
  #126 (permalink)  
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Not much in there to come apart...so if you have metal on the chip detector get the engineer to investgate before further flight; it will not get better on it's own.
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Old 10th Sep 2006, 18:52
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i'm back in England now, left the helicopter in Holland. Was not intending to fly it until fully checked an given go ahead from engineer.

What I found on the detector was some shiny and dark grey thin pieces all the way around the detector the detector is obviously magnetic (may sound stupid to some of you but i'm not experienced with these things) and the particles were about 2mm in length all the way around the detector.

if it means anything the tail rotor gb was overhauled about 10-15hrs ago....

An engineer whom I know as he worked on our aircraft came down, inspected what he saw and we ran the engine on the ground for about 10mins, no light came on but more particles were found.

Doesn't sound good to me so I won't fly it.

How much of a big deal is the replacement of the tail rotor gbox?
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Old 10th Sep 2006, 20:57
  #128 (permalink)  
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Not as much as a TR gearbox failure....
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Old 10th Sep 2006, 21:46
  #129 (permalink)  
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Was glad it wasn't the main transmission but anyway....has anyone else had to replace a t/r gear box? is it that much of a big deal?

Also, does anyone know a good maintenance place in the UK for hughes helicopters. Good meaning good maintenance and good value (I was going to say cheap but that is taboo in helicopter maintenance I imagine!)
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Old 11th Sep 2006, 03:49
  #130 (permalink)  
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H500 Tail Rotors

Hi there,
I've only got about 300 hrs on 500s but have had a number of tail rotor problems:
Chips, short circuits and a Total loss of tail rotor control due to an unusual mechanical failure, (If you fly 500s regularly, I urge you to read the accident/incident report here so you can check on this particular problems: http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/...200505332.aspx
I like the info that Giovanni has put in. That's good stuff.
Here's my two cents worth...
The chip detector is a magnetic plug with two elements. When the elements are bridged by metal particles, the circuit is made and the T/R chip light illuminates on the master caution panel.
Sometimes, new components will wear down whilst they are 'bedding in' and some small particles will float and be caught. It is not unusual.
Some chip detectors have a thing called 'Fuzz Burn' which will put a larger electrical charge through small particles and disintegrate them. The reason is that small particles are normal wear and tear and if they're small enough to be burnt off using Fuzz Burn, then they are not really anything to worry about. (Fuzz Burn will sometimes cause the warning light to come on momentarily and then, once the item is burnt off, will extinguish).
If the chip is too big to be burnt off using Fuzz Burn, then the circuit will be made and the light will activate. This indicates significant chip in the system. Put the aircraft on the ground!
On one occassion, the T/R chip light was constantly illuminated but more dimly than other warning lights.
What to do?
1. Check chip detector - remove detector, look for chips, (save any chips on a piece of sticky tape folded over itself so that it can be used for analysis by engineers), clean chip detector, replace.
2. Do ground run for 30 mins.
3. Check chip detector again as in step 1. If no chips, then it's your decision to continue. Seek maintenance advice and then make a decision based on received information, flight manual/maintenance manual recommendations, your judgement, your comfort level and level of risk. (If in doubt, stay on the ground!)
4. If light is still on, get someone to earth/ground the connecting wire whilst you watch the caution panel. If the light illuminates brightly, then that's what it will look like if you have a chip. If the circuit is broken (when your helper ceases earthing/grounding the wire) and the light returns to its less bright condition, then you have a short circuit in the system.
What does this mean if the above happens? Well, the light will stay on because of the short circuit but if you get a chip, then the light will burn brightly. If you decide to continue, then remember that you'll have to keep an eye on the brightness of the warning light (which you can confirm by activating the press to test function of the MCP and comparing the different levels of brightness). Be aware of the difficulty in seeing warning lights when sunlight is shining directly on the MCP.
It means you can get to your destination with relative confidence in the chip detection system but you do so at your own peril. You must be happy that you can tell when you have a real indication compared to the constant false indication.
I was happy to fly the aircraft (solo without passengers) to the next destination which, at my insistance, was an airport that could do maintenance and fix the short circuit. The bosses were happy with the decision and so was I. T/R gearbox replaced, circuitry replaced, aircraft good to go.
Once, when I was flying Chinooks, we got a chip light, landed and pulled the detector. A bearing race had collapsed and the chips were over 1cm long (1/3 inch). One of them had a serial number stamped on it. NO JOKE!
Safe flying
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Old 11th Sep 2006, 06:29
  #131 (permalink)  
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Thanks for your info CB (and everyone else of course)

the airport where the light came on is a very helpful one, we get our fixwing a/c maintained there which was v. lucky!

So I left it there and have a company called Helli Holland coming down to look at it. I spoke to the guy I bought the helicopter off and he is getting a new or o/h tr gearbox and he is going to fit it to the helicopter.

Thanks for help again.TD
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Old 11th Sep 2006, 08:35
  #132 (permalink)  
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Only one company that is any good with 500's in Uk - Skytech helicopters at Sywell. Give Martin or Carrol a ring 01604493137
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Old 8th Oct 2006, 22:39
  #133 (permalink)  
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Anyone know of a 500 for sale in the US around the $450k mark?
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Old 9th Oct 2006, 22:55
  #134 (permalink)  
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I recall having t/r chip lights come on with newly installed gearboxes. Being out in the bush, I always carried lockwire and the required wrench to check it myself. It was usually fuzz, which was cleaned off and monitored. However, my experience has been that any slivers [bearing casing usually] has lead to a change of gearbox.
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Old 10th Oct 2006, 01:20
  #135 (permalink)  
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Had both Main and T/R chip lights

I have around 1600 hrs in 500's. Had both T/R chip light and Main Transmission lights come on. On 2 separate occassions T/R came on.
1st. Bearing let loose. We could almost get part numbers off of crap in Gear Box.
2nd T/R The bearing was turning on shaft making medal. I think it may have been nickle or iron. Can't recall the lab results. Replaced bearing and shaft on that one. The oil turned a dark brownish color.
On the Main Tranmission it was a silver paste. The gears were coming apart.
The RFM says Land as soon as possible when you get a chip light. I have never had a chip light come on when it wasn't a problem.
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Old 17th Oct 2006, 18:45
  #136 (permalink)  
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I took my PPL in 96 in a 300C. Turbine transition was on the 330 in 97, and then - the dream - the 500 in 98. I did the type rating at SAAB Helicopter south of Stockholm, the instructor being an extremely experienced bush pilot from half-way up north (PG Johnson, Dala Helikopter). I had some time from the right seat in the baggage, but never was I prepared for the response and the bush capabilities of this machine.

I remember landing in a just cleared forest area with the left skid on the remains of a proud fir. My right hand just met my left (left leg lifted...) as the right skid made ground contact. Do that in a 206...

Anyway, the 500 is a very agile machine and I love it. Yes, it has stick forces that have to be countered, yes, it is a bit tight in the back, and no, it is not a big helicopter.

I feared the full touch-down autorotations. They were mean and scary. Today, with a few more hours, the scare is gone. I recently did my PC in a 500D and had a number of wonderful autos, all full touch down - one with a massive over-shoot. Didn't think it would go that far... I now love them.

So, for what it is worth, I declare my love for one of the best helicopters ever made. It is fun, agile, manouverable, quick, responsive and could be compared to a Ferrari. It's not the choice for long flights (just did a five hour ferry in the D-model - GAH!) nor for moving grandma around. For grandma, I'll take the 206L... I also beleive it is the best machine to completely crash and roll in. No way to break the egg.


Just PPL(H), but going for a CPL(H) for my fiftieth birthday.
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Old 18th Oct 2006, 18:14
  #137 (permalink)  
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my 2 cents....... i have flown the 500 in alot of different situations only the D model i have about 2000hrs in them and to this day ( touch wood) have had no real major probs! it would be the best production long line platform i have ever used and with good Dailys an some TLC from engineers is a great safe work horse! it's old tested and proven! not a fan of the new blades though cant lift as much.

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Old 12th Apr 2007, 10:50
  #138 (permalink)  
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Ex-Denmark 500C's

I've come across an ad for three Danish ex-military 500C's (369 HM's IIRC), that are now in the UK and being offered on US Civil reg's. I'm guessing that they would be subject to similar restrictions as our home-grown ex-mil Gazelles if anyone tried to put them on a 'G', though in theory as they on a foreign register, there are no Permit to fly restrictions enforceable?

Anybody know anything about them? Are they to be snapped up or avoided like the plague?


206 Jock (maybe one day 500 Jock!)
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Old 12th Apr 2007, 14:45
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Depends on the serial numbers.
If they are 369M then no chance
If they have a normal civilian serial number then you might be ok. I would guess the engines are the mil version of the C18 ( T 700 I think ), if they are you have no chance. bear in mind one of the first UK mil gazelles was put on the Zwaziland reg used in the Uk for about a week before it was grounded by the CAA !!!
Let me know how you get on. They are rather expensive for a C18 powered machine mind you
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Old 12th Apr 2007, 18:21
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Hughes (MD) 369 (500)

Hi 500 enthusers.

Just a couple of notes to correct some misconceptions.

The Hughes 369HM model HAS BEEN CAA certifiable. Have personally flown the right hand drive military machine many times, including for a CAA C of A Air test. G-RAMM for the reggie buffs.

The 369 (500) ... 269 (300) nomenclature is quite simple. The civil marketing guys at Culver City decided to use the 300 designation to indicate a three seat capability. Likewise the 369 was marketed as the 500 for its five seats.

Just for the craic ... as they seem to say in Ireland, I've seen the 500 lifted into a low hover with nine up. (3 plus 4 and 1 per skid.) Ditto the Enstrom 28C, being six up (2 plus 2 per skid)

Both machines were certified in the utility category.

Dennis K
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