Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

Robinson service and sense of responsibility - or lack of it

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

Robinson service and sense of responsibility - or lack of it

Old 17th May 2020, 11:05
  #21 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: A cold country
Posts: 154
Originally Posted by AAKEE View Post
What about not delivering blades until the paint is hardened enough for the real world ?
Or that. I agree ...
madman1145 is offline  
Old 17th May 2020, 14:10
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 7,767
Originally Posted by madman1145 View Post
If that is the case, Robinson should make an amendment to the POH or Safety Notice or such like.

And its quiet scary you mention you needed 3" more power than normal, due to contaminated blades we can call them. That is a real safety issue, its not that the R22 is overpowered to start with ...
I'd be more worried about the ability to maintain RRPM in autorotation with all that extra profile drag!
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 17th May 2020, 14:48
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: italy
Posts: 133
I feel feel sorry for operators specially the small ones when shit like this happens.

would a switch to something like a Bell 206 be an option for the future ?

haihio is offline  
Old 17th May 2020, 15:08
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 488
Originally Posted by haihio View Post
would a switch to something like a Bell 206 be an option for the future ?
Can't speak for the OP, but the answer would be "No" for most R44 operators. I also can't speak to other countries, but in the U.S. you take an instant jump from $250-300/hr (assuming 500 hours per year) to $500-600/hr. Plus you get engine start cycle limited. This doubling of operating cost is primarily due to greatly increased engine overhaul and insurance costs amortized over the 500 hours. Thus the R44 fills an undeniable niche. Note that it's the same story when you go to an R66, Bell 505, or MD500/Hughes 369. The only difference is the capital cost of the helicopter. All are very similar operating cost-wise. For small/short tour op's, training, and any other cost-sensitive market, the jump to turbine operating costs, direct and indirect, just eats you alive.
aa777888 is online now  
Old 17th May 2020, 15:42
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 361
Originally Posted by madman1145 View Post
I know first-hand they talked to Robinson Helicopter Company directly about this.
Is Robinson performing the repair to your blades under warranty? Are there any loaner blades available? Unfortunately, slack AOG service isn't solely a Robbie issue. Every OEM has left an operator (even large operators) hanging at one time or another. Eurocopter/Airbus/Turbomeca has/had a good track record for leaving you stuck at the most inopportune time. And at one time it was said Agusta/Leonardo were catching up to them. Good luck.
wrench1 is offline  
Old 17th May 2020, 16:27
  #26 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: A cold country
Posts: 154
Originally Posted by haihio View Post
would a switch to something like a Bell 206 be an option for the future ?
We are working on it though not a 206 - nor a R66 ..
madman1145 is offline  
Old 17th May 2020, 16:34
  #27 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: A cold country
Posts: 154
Originally Posted by wrench1 View Post
Is Robinson performing the repair to your blades under warranty?
The blades are being shipped to them, they pay for the repair .. as mentioned in my initial posting, first they where sorry and would pay for a local repair in Denmark, but when they got the quote they backtracked plus suddenly no guarantee if they didn't do it themselves ...
madman1145 is offline  
Old 18th May 2020, 01:37
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Manitoba Canada
Age: 68
Posts: 162
It appears the green undercoat has good adhesion .... looks like a vinyl-wash primer which is excellent over aluminum .... then the whole blade was painted white with the black and yellow over top of the white.

The bond failed between the primer and the white .... and I agree with what others have said .... the paint is most likely waterborne because of California regulations.

They are still sorting out water based paints in the automobile industry and it is the last thing I would use on a rotor blade .... not only that it has been applied way too thick .

IMRON Polyurethane is still the best aircraft paint , true plastic coating , flexible and glossy and shrugs off bugs better than anything else. A sufficient coat of white for coverage and gloss .... paint is heavy .... pick up a quart and consider how much weight it adds to a blade .... so use minimum when possible .... and if erosion protection is desired use extra on the black leading edge only.

I wish I was in Denmark , I would paint them for you
Arnie Madsen is offline  
Old 18th May 2020, 17:06
  #29 (permalink)  
MLH
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: California
Posts: 56
As a prior owner of two 44's I was fortunate in avoiding the myriad of MRB issues and associated expense. Given all of the ongoing problems and poor customer service, it's difficult to justify continued support of the brand.
MLH is offline  
Old 19th May 2020, 10:16
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: london
Posts: 683
As a prior owner of two 44's I was fortunate in avoiding the myriad of MRB issues and associated expense. Given all of the ongoing problems and poor customer service, it's difficult to justify continued support of the brand.
Cost. Nothing else. As others have said if you cant afford anything better, you buy a Robbie. However, without Robinson many of us would never have afforded to learn and the industry would be smaller and poorer
homonculus is offline  
Old 19th May 2020, 11:42
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 488
Originally Posted by homonculus View Post
Cost. Nothing else. As others have said if you cant afford anything better, you buy a Robbie. However, without Robinson many of us would never have afforded to learn and the industry would be smaller and poorer
That's actually a pretty narrow view of the subject. The R44 is the only 4 place machine that can operate in the $250-$300/hr range (wholesale). This makes it unique in the industry and marketplace. Its creation opened up the market substantially for all kinds of customers that would never have been previously able to afford helicopter operations. This goes well beyond training and private business/pleasure use. It also includes tours from 6 to 60 minutes, photography, survey, ENG, public safety, etc.. You name it, the R44 can often do it as well and at half the cost of the least expensive turbine powered ship. The R44 lags only the Jetranger in it's popularity, and probably only because the Jetranger has been around longer. Leaving emotion aside, the reasons for this are completely obvious, and the efficiency and utility of the machine undeniable. The only substantially negative thing about the R44 is that, as a lightweight, two-bladed teetering rotor head, low main rotor inertia design, it has, also undeniably, less safety margin with respect to turbulence and autorotation performance. Since people were apparently too stupid to appreciate these things, its appreciation was mandated by SFAR 73. Since SFAR 73 its safety record in the US has become no worse than many other helicopters (although it remains abysmal in certain other countries, which speaks to how those countries approach rotary wing aviation, not the design). Its ubiquity in the marketplace is what causes it to be in the news for accidents more often than other helicopters, not its design or performance.

Don't let the emotional baggage of pre-SFAR R22 and R44 operations cloud your judgement of a modern R44 (or even a modern R22). If you've never flown one go blow a few hundred bucks, get your SFAR 73 sign-off, and put an hour on one. You might be surprised, and I mean that in a good way!
aa777888 is online now  
Old 19th May 2020, 12:44
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 7,767
Originally Posted by aa777888 View Post
That's actually a pretty narrow view of the subject. The R44 is the only 4 place machine that can operate in the $250-$300/hr range (wholesale). This makes it unique in the industry and marketplace. Its creation opened up the market substantially for all kinds of customers that would never have been previously able to afford helicopter operations. This goes well beyond training and private business/pleasure use. It also includes tours from 6 to 60 minutes, photography, survey, ENG, public safety, etc.. You name it, the R44 can often do it as well and at half the cost of the least expensive turbine powered ship. The R44 lags only the Jetranger in it's popularity, and probably only because the Jetranger has been around longer. Leaving emotion aside, the reasons for this are completely obvious, and the efficiency and utility of the machine undeniable. The only substantially negative thing about the R44 is that, as a lightweight, two-bladed teetering rotor head, low main rotor inertia design, it has, also undeniably, less safety margin with respect to turbulence and autorotation performance. Since people were apparently too stupid to appreciate these things, its appreciation was mandated by SFAR 73. Since SFAR 73 its safety record in the US has become no worse than many other helicopters (although it remains abysmal in certain other countries, which speaks to how those countries approach rotary wing aviation, not the design). Its ubiquity in the marketplace is what causes it to be in the news for accidents more often than other helicopters, not its design or performance.

Don't let the emotional baggage of pre-SFAR R22 and R44 operations cloud your judgement of a modern R44 (or even a modern R22). If you've never flown one go blow a few hundred bucks, get your SFAR 73 sign-off, and put an hour on one. You might be surprised, and I mean that in a good way!
You would think that a company capable of producing a product which sits in a unique position in the market would be smart enough not to p*ss off it's customers by producing a sub-standard paint job on the blades which is clearly not fit for purpose.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 19th May 2020, 13:14
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 488
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
You would think that a company capable of producing a product which sits in a unique position in the market would be smart enough not to p*ss off it's customers by producing a sub-standard paint job on the blades which is clearly not fit for purpose.
On an absolute scale I can't disagree with you, Crab. From a relative perspective...

Originally Posted by wrench1 View Post
Every OEM has left an operator (even large operators) hanging at one time or another. Eurocopter/Airbus/Turbomeca has/had a good track record for leaving you stuck at the most inopportune time. And at one time it was said Agusta/Leonardo were catching up to them.
Not that makes it right, surely.

There is also the fact that Robinson has an effective monopoly on the low end of the market. Until we see a putative Cabri G4 or the like, that keeps hourly operating costs within shouting distance of the R44, it's going to stay that way. IMHO, anything over $375/hr is a non-starter and you might as well go turbine if your mission won't cause issues with turbine cycles.
aa777888 is online now  
Old 19th May 2020, 13:22
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Brantisvogan
Posts: 605
Originally Posted by aa777888 View Post
Don't let the emotional baggage of pre-SFAR R22 and R44 operations cloud your judgement of a modern R44 (or even a modern R22). If you've never flown one go blow a few hundred bucks, get your SFAR 73 sign-off, and put an hour on one. You might be surprised, and I mean that in a good way!
Never been fussed by the early history, it's the ongoing safety funk that permeates the aircraft and those that use them.
Robbie have never managed to master rotor blades, there has been one iteration after the next, each with a new problem as they have tried, and failed, after decades, to produce a safe and reliable component.
I am not disputing that it isn't more challenging to stretch tinfoil over balsa wood , but they should by now have had enough practice.
Their clientele must be less discerning or are just happy with the cost compromise.

I am grateful that they exist, as others have said, they made the entry to civilian pilots much more accessible. My last hour in one was 2015, what a glorious day it was to be rid of that contraption.
Bell_ringer is offline  
Old 19th May 2020, 15:20
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: California
Posts: 252
Originally Posted by homonculus View Post
Cost. Nothing else. As others have said if you cant afford anything better, you buy a Robbie. However, without Robinson many of us would never have afforded to learn and the industry would be smaller and poorer
Not all of us were forced to fly Robby. In my early days of renting I also had the S300 and Enstrom to chose from in my area, but I loved flying the R22, so I stuck with the little guy.

In fact, if money were no object there would be one in my garage,...right in between my Lamborghini and Bell 222
Robbiee is offline  
Old 19th May 2020, 22:59
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: OZ
Posts: 189
Originally Posted by Robbiee View Post
Not all of us were forced to fly Robby. In my early days of renting I also had the S300 and Enstrom to chose from in my area, but I loved flying the R22, so I stuck with the little guy.

In fact, if money were no object there would be one in my garage,...right in between my Lamborghini and Bell 222
Ive enjoyed many hours flying R22/R44
If money were less of a problem, Id have an R44.

If money were no object there would be a H500D between my Ferrari and my AW189.
Twist & Shout is offline  
Old 19th May 2020, 23:18
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: London/Atlanta
Posts: 231
Has anyone had similar problems with other manufacturers? And if so how did they respond to concerns raised, I’m sure every owner/operator has had some bad experiences.
nomorehelosforme is offline  
Old 20th May 2020, 03:17
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: California
Posts: 252
Originally Posted by Twist & Shout View Post
Ive enjoyed many hours flying R22/R44
If money were less of a problem, Id have an R44.

If money were no object there would be a H500D between my Ferrari and my AW189.
Ah, but would you still buy that 500 if they told you, you had to keep it out of the rain for the first six months?
Robbiee is offline  
Old 20th May 2020, 10:17
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: australia
Age: 56
Posts: 32
An issue with a R44 that Robinson don’t want to know about. I’ve lost 3 friends in those things in 3 separate accidents. That company is one of denial and blame. Haven’t flown one now for over 10 years, would not get in one again.
rottenjohn is offline  
Old 20th May 2020, 10:42
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 488
The R22 and R44 are probably the most studied helicopter designs ever. It would seem unlikely there is something unknown about them at this point. With all due respect to your friends, certain countries outside the US, in particular NZ and Brasil, are dramatic statistical outliers compared to the US for Robinson accidents. Since the designs are the same worldwide, this can only speak to how they are trained, flown and maintained in those countries.
aa777888 is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.