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Old 04-30-2016, 07:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Another EC225 Helicopter Crash kills all on board

All 13 Dead In Helicopter Crash; After Rotors Detach - Offshore Post

Short shaky video in the link. Crazy watching the blades slowly spin down to earth without the helicopter.

I was out working on a boat when we heard the mayday call from the national rescue service over the marine radio.

Seems like a major design flaw in this particular model. All previous crashes had to do with the same thing, and yet they cant property keep the part which makes the aircraft fly connected to the aircraft.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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https://youtu.be/oD4jKBOIBwc
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I guess the Jesus nut was loose.

Kind of hard to autorotate when the rotor head separates from the aircraft.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Holy shit, first I've heard of such a thing!!
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It looks like the rotor came down at a decent pace. And if it was still connected they might have at least had a chance. Especially so close to shore, everything is protected and a ton of small islands here. They wouldn't have froze to death in the middle of the North Sea at least if they made it into the water.

The EC225 Super Puma has had several similar failures recently. Don't think I would be too happy getting on one.
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It looks like the rotor came down at a decent pace. And if it was still connected they might have at least had a chance. Especially so close to shore, everything is protected and a ton of small islands here. They wouldn't have froze to death in the middle of the North Sea at least if they made it into the water.

The EC225 Super Puma has had several similar failures recently. Don't think I would be too happy getting on one.
Weird the rotor came down as one piece (separated from fuselage)? At first I thought they were attempting an autorotation/emergency landing but that appears not to be the case?

Must have been a massive/almost unheard of mechanical failure...
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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How many more times does this have to happen before they pull these from service?

Very eery seeing the rotors floating down by themselves. As much as I try not to, I thnk about these accidents every 4 weeks on my way to and from the rig.
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I guess the Jesus nut was loose.

Kind of hard to autorotate when the rotor head separates from the aircraft.
They don't have a Jesus nut. That's Bell's (mostly inferior) method of attaching a rotor head to the mast.
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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They don't have a Jesus nut. That's Bell's (mostly inferior) method of attaching a rotor head to the mast.
I've heard of that before; "jesus" nut Like a singular nut that secures the entire rotor head to the shaft? What is used in substitute of that?


Maybe they forgot the Loctite
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Weird the rotor came down as one piece (separated from fuselage)? At first I thought they were attempting an autorotation/emergency landing but that appears not to be the case?

Must have been a massive/almost unheard of mechanical failure...
This shit happens. I don't know what exactly failed, but the mast assembly in all helicopters is under a tremendous amount of strain, so many helicopters have 'growing pains' in regards to mast and mast bearing failures that result in rotor system separation.
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I've heard of that before "jesus" nut Like a singular nut that secures the entire rotor head to the shaft? What is used in substitute of that?


Maybe they forgot the Loctite
On most Bell junk the mast is a fancy piece of 300M tubing, splined on both ends (and a few other places), with the lower splines being in the transmission (driving it) and the upper splines having the rotor head on them. They use a conical/taper seat below the top splines on the mast, then the top of the mast is threaded to take a rather large nut that sucks the rotor head down onto the taper, thus giving a very snug fit.

So, since there's only one nut, it's the Jesus nut. It's either because if it comes loose the first and last words after that are 'Jesus!' or because there's only one Jesus and he's an important fellow.

Other manufacturers have a flange on the top of the mast, which multiple bolts thread into or through, which is used to hold the head on. Others are a combination, with splines to take the torsional loading and multiple bolts/flange to retain it. And there's other goofy things where the mast has a complicated forging on one end, which is then machined to accept individual head components, thus making the mast and head essentially one assembly.

On some Airbus products the head retention nuts are referred to as 'Apostles', as there is a bunch of them and they're Jesus's little followers. At least people around here call them that, they don't likely in Europe though.

I don't know much about the 225, I worked for a place that had them but they sold them and got S92s before I had any chance to be involved with them.
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Weird. Super Pumas are dirt cheap right complete with a spares ship. This is discouraging!
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Weird. Super Pumas are dirt cheap right complete with a spares ship. This is discouraging!
Yeah, they've been around a while, I wasn't aware of this being a problem in the past.

Everyone I knew that dealt with them thought they were a pretty decent aircraft. Better than the S92.
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:57 AM   #14 (permalink)
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On most Bell junk the mast is a fancy piece of 300M tubing, splined on both ends (and a few other places), with the lower splines being in the transmission (driving it) and the upper splines having the rotor head on them. They use a conical/taper seat below the top splines on the mast, then the top of the mast is threaded to take a rather large nut that sucks the rotor head down onto the taper, thus giving a very snug fit.

So, since there's only one nut, it's the Jesus nut. It's either because if it comes loose the first and last words after that are 'Jesus!' or because there's only one Jesus and he's an important fellow.

Other manufacturers have a flange on the top of the mast, which multiple bolts thread into or through, which is used to hold the head on. Others are a combination, with splines to take the torsional loading and multiple bolts/flange to retain it. And there's other goofy things where the mast has a complicated forging on one end, which is then machined to accept individual head components, thus making the mast and head essentially one assembly.

On some Airbus products the head retention nuts are referred to as 'Apostles', as there is a bunch of them and they're Jesus's little followers. At least people around here call them that, they don't likely in Europe though.

I don't know much about the 225, I worked for a place that had them but they sold them and got S92s before I had any chance to be involved with them.
Don't forget Robinsons 3 bolt system. One for each blade and one to hold the head onto the mast

I don't guess that particular company needs to worry about the bolts when the blades will delaminate first.
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Don't forget Robinsons 3 bolt system. One for each blade and one to hold the head onto the mast

I don't guess that particular company needs to worry about the bolts when the blades will delaminate first.
Robinson Pretendacopters are a little too scary for me to spend any time with. I've never worked on one, and intend to keep it that way.
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:05 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Robinson Pretendacopters are a little too scary for me to spend any time with. I've never worked on one, and intend to keep it that way.
I always thought they were kinda neat looking. 6 cylinder Lycoming, correct?
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I always thought they were kinda neat looking. 6 cylinder Lycoming, correct?
Yeah, they're Lycoming powered, IIRC. Lots of different submodels between the R22 and R44, but the R22 is 4cyl and the R44 6cyl IIRC.

Like I said, I won't work on them. I also have very little aircraft piston engine experience. I help people with their planes (not for money) every now and then, and that's about it, I don't think I'd be comfortable doing much and signing my name to it.

They make a turbine version now too (R66).
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:28 PM   #18 (permalink)
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On most Bell junk the mast is a fancy piece of 300M tubing, splined on both ends (and a few other places), with the lower splines being in the transmission (driving it) and the upper splines having the rotor head on them. They use a conical/taper seat below the top splines on the mast, then the top of the mast is threaded to take a rather large nut that sucks the rotor head down onto the taper, thus giving a very snug fit.

So, since there's only one nut, it's the Jesus nut. It's either because if it comes loose the first and last words after that are 'Jesus!' or because there's only one Jesus and he's an important fellow.

Other manufacturers have a flange on the top of the mast, which multiple bolts thread into or through, which is used to hold the head on. Others are a combination, with splines to take the torsional loading and multiple bolts/flange to retain it. And there's other goofy things where the mast has a complicated forging on one end, which is then machined to accept individual head components, thus making the mast and head essentially one assembly.

On some Airbus products the head retention nuts are referred to as 'Apostles', as there is a bunch of them and they're Jesus's little followers. At least people around here call them that, they don't likely in Europe though.

I don't know much about the 225, I worked for a place that had them but they sold them and got S92s before I had any chance to be involved with them.
Interesting info!! thanks for sharing
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I always thought they were kinda neat looking. 6 cylinder Lycoming, correct?

The r22 had a 4cyl the r44 has the 6cyl lycoming.

Stupid helicopter. Soooo light and chinsey feeling. Blades are so light. Watch one spoil up and down and the amount the tail shakes is unnerving.


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Old 04-30-2016, 01:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think this bring it up to 6 crashes since 2009 in the North Sea and the death toll up to 33. This helicopter has been falling out of the sky for quite some time, and they can't seem to get it fixed.

Maybe they will finally ground it permanently. Looks like the UK grounded all operations of this model due to the Norway crash in addition to the Norwegians grounding them. Interesting to see what plays out. I saw that the unit that fell out of the sky had maintenance delayed for 200 flight hours.
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:13 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Has anybody found any names of the people killed?

A friend of mine works for Welltec over there a lot and the article said one guy from Welltec was onboard.

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Old 04-30-2016, 05:11 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Robinson Pretendacopters are a little too scary for me to spend any time with. I've never worked on one, and intend to keep it that way.
I went to their school and have worked/flown on them quite a bit. Once you learn the quirks they seem less sketchy. The thing to remember is that the tolerance for acceptable work and components is tiny when compared to other aircraft. There is nothing about that aircraft that is not 100% critical.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:02 PM   #23 (permalink)
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That's super fucked up, RIP to all aboard .


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Old 04-30-2016, 09:16 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I went to their school and have worked/flown on them quite a bit. Once you learn the quirks they seem less sketchy. The thing to remember is that the tolerance for acceptable work and components is tiny when compared to other aircraft. There is nothing about that aircraft that is not 100% critical.

Least critical part is the pilot. No joke.


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Old 05-01-2016, 04:01 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I've heard of that before; "jesus" nut Like a singular nut that secures the entire rotor head to the shaft?
Yep. Pretty much what Dirty Comanche said above. Bell Helicopters have one big nut atop the rotor mast that holds the rotor head on.

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They don't have a Jesus nut. That's Bell's (mostly inferior) method of attaching a rotor head to the mast.
Yes, I know what the Jesus nut is, hence my reference to it. I know that the EC225 has a fully articulated rotor system much more advance than Bell's teeter-totter Yet, apparently, the the mechanism for retaining the rotor head on an EC225 has some design flaws.
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