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-   -   AS350 Astar/Squirrel (https://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/229370-as350-astar-squirrel.html)

Heliport 5th Apr 2001 13:20

AS350 Astar/Squirrel

"LAPD Grounds Eurocopters Temporarily"

Los Angeles - On Saturday, March 17, 2001, the East Bay Regional Park Police experienced a complete engine failure in one of its Eurocopter AS350B-2 helicopters while it was being operated on patrol over San Leandro. The pilot landed safely and the crew sustained no injuries. The aircraft sustained minor damage.

Because the Los Angeles Police Department operates eight of the same model helicopters, it began a study of the East Bay Regional Park Police (EBRPP) incident to discover the facts associated with that incident. Following examination of the helicopter and discussions with key personnel, helicopter maintenance representatives, Eurocopter Corporation and Turbomeca, LAPD has temporarily grounded its AS350B-2 helicopter fleet pending further investigation. The Department continues to work closely with Eurocopter Corporation, Turbomeca and appropriate federal authorities in an effort to determine the cause of the EBRPP incident and ensure that LAPD aircraft are properly equipped for return to service.

It is expected the AS350B-2 helicopters will be returned to service during the next six weeks.


Thomas coupling 5th Apr 2001 13:51

No-one is going to convince me that one engine is as good as two for emergency service work. That would have been good for the industry if that happened over London or any other city here in the UK....

Thermal runaway.

Hoverman 5th Apr 2001 22:07

I can't comment on the emergency services, but why good for "the industry"?

Do that stats support the theory that singles are, in practice, safer than twins
Aren't most heli accidents in the UK weather related - very rarely power failure?

Deeko01 5th Apr 2001 22:19

I have to say having been a helicopter crewman, If you were to put me in a AS350 with an Arriel engine or an AS355 with Allison engines over water for 100 miles then I would chose the AS350 any day.

The feeling of the Twin Squirrel or TwinStar to US was that if you got an engine failure then the other engine took you to the scene of the crash.

My personal belief is with regard to the CAA's view on single engine helo ops near cities that it is not what the US can do it is what we cant do, the statistics prove I am right.

CAA = Jobs for the boys.

Better to be up there wishing you were down here than be down here wishing you were up there!

HeliEng 6th Apr 2001 00:30

An opinion I heard once, was a Twin is O.K. But having two engines, makes you twice as likely to have engine failure!

Don't know quite how that works statistically!

"Some days you are the pigeon, some days you are the statue"

hoverbover 6th Apr 2001 01:47

I was doing a conversion course in the states, and asked the factory instructor/test pilot (as we were practicing engine offs in a single at the time) How many engine failures he had experienced in his time (20 years in various mil roles I think)And he said just two,to this I asked wether it was a single or a twin, the reply:
"Oh it was a twin and both quit, an Apache actually !!!!!!" Apparantly it was quite exciting.

So maybe only Merlins/Eh 101(or anything with threeengines) should be allowed for EMS(joke).

The one thing you can be sure of,if its got an(y) engines they will stop! It may be at your request or it may not!


army427 6th Apr 2001 03:16

The organisation that I work for use a medium twin on 24 hour SPIFR SAR/EMS tasks. When the twin is unavailable we use an AS350. Although I do feel safer flying with two engines, my main concern is that the single is not equipped for the tasks we perform. Small cabin area, VFR, no autopilot etc.

Single engine VFR helicopters certainly have their place in a variety of roles but when it comes to emergency services work, particularly at night, they have limitations. Combine that with operations over urban areas at night and I feel that a twin is essential.

Most of our pasengers (patients) have little choice over which type of helicopter they are flown in. I think that they deserve the more capable twin.

widgeon 13th Jun 2001 06:53

AS 350 Astar / Squirrel
Am I crazy or was there an AS350C model , B is Turbomeca D is Lycoming, textron, allied signal / honeywell ( GE ? ). I recall seeing on the transport Canada site an early serial number (1004)C-GMEY that was converted from C to D and then to B.

rotormatic 13th Jun 2001 08:16

The AS-350-C was an astar powered by an early model lycoming engine, a LTS-101-600A

Pac Rotors 1st Jul 2001 06:16

AS-350B-3 Question
Hey All

Just had a question re the B3. Have been here with one in Alaska and it proved itself to be a very capable machine. We lifted a hut up on one of the glaciers and did it very nicely.

Was wondering what other pilots or mechanics thought of re this machine. Good and bad points.

Intersection 3rd Jul 2001 22:43

If your talking about the squirrel then yes they are a very good a/c and the RAF use them as a basic trainer are you talking about the twin or single both are good and i assume the twin would be able lift pretty large underslung loads. As the single does with relative ease they are comarible i beleive with the 206.

"Vacate next Left at intersection...., contact ground on 121.9"

Larry 4th Sep 2001 09:10

AS 350 Astar / Squirrel
After the terrible reputation these aircraft (engines)obtained in the 1980s does anyone know how the engine is holding up now on the remaining AS-350Ds out there ?....At one time they were called "EXPLODING STARS"

There are a few operated in Southern California that ive seen lately and its made me wonder.

From what i heard the problems are a thing of the past and considering the LTS-101s are about 1/3 the cost to overhaul and burn less fuel than the turbomecca they are now worth considering. Ive even been told some people are reconverting Turbomecca REengined AS-350Ds back to the LTS-101.


[ 04 September 2001: Message edited by: Larry ]

CTD 4th Sep 2001 17:23

The older LTS-101 engines were indeed troublesome and were terribly unreliable, but the later versions (A-3) shouldn't be saddled with the same reputation.

Nowadays, things have changed and the engine has become all the things you say in your post. I haven't flown one in 6 years, but I have friends who operate D's and B's together and find the D to be a much better ship. Easy on gas, easy to start, more reliable and MUCH lower DOCs. The company you speak of is now marketing a 'Super D' using BA components with the LTS powerplant, and by all accounts it's a great ship.

tgrendl 4th Sep 2001 23:20

I'd agree, the LTS 101 is now a superb engine. Great power margins, inexpensive etc.

SSShhhhhh, don't let it get out or the prices will go up. ;)

BigJim 5th Sep 2001 03:31

I work for a company that has a lot of D's and a Super D. Seem to be pretty good with the updated 101, having said that I had an early 101 distroy itself on the side of a hill, not a good feeling.

The super D pisses all over the BA and would fly it any day. All our landings are around 8000 feet and we have no troulbe with 7 pob and good fuel.

That's my 2 cents worth - hope it helps. :)

spinwing 6th Sep 2001 05:22

LTS101 engine of today is a very different engine to the engine of the early eighties...lots of development taken place with turbine wheels, burner cans and such like ...it is now a very good engine and as indicated in a previous post...having said all that I only operate the engine in the BK117 not the AS350!
;) ;)

RotorMod 8th Sep 2001 09:42

Does anyone know what the real costs are to convert an AS350BA to the new LTS101 power?

rotormatic 8th Sep 2001 10:17

Here is an example of the improved Honeywell engine....

The fuel pump needs to be pulled every 600 hours, and sent to CECO for inspection...not field maintainable.....

HeloTeacher 3rd Dec 2001 20:02

AS 350 Astar
AS 350 servo transparency

If anyone knows where to find accident write-ups and analyses related to this I would really appreciate finding out where they are.

Lu Zuckerman 3rd Dec 2001 22:12

To: Helo Teacher

The way this condition has been described to me it is the jamming or loss of servo boost under certain maneuvering conditions. For the life of me I don’t know where the term transparency came from to describe this condition but then again maybe someone else can.

To me it is a design defect in the hydraulic system that should be corrected by Aerospatial because under certain emergent conditions if the “transparency” manifests itself the helicopter could crash but then again that is what you are looking for.

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