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I shot this video of a helicopter exploding due to blade failure

Old 09-13-2014, 04:21 PM
  #1  
d12bn
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Default I shot this video of a helicopter exploding due to blade failure

Crazy seeing this in person

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N6J0UD_cHQ
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:04 PM
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JetPlaneFlyer
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Yes, I've seen the same video posted elsewhere, VERY nasty. Pure luck that someone wasn't hurt. Spin blades will be off my shopping list. There again I dont run such high headspeed on my big helis so hopefully little risk of a similar failure.
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:31 PM
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pizzano
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Ya....was posted at Helifreak a few days ago......

Fortunate the "tail boom" strike happened aways from the observers.....really not much of an explosion, nothing like a gasser or nitro in comparison......one advantage to CF blades, they shatter on impact quickly, causing less damage to the main rotor head assembly/gearbox.....it's the contact with the ground that will necessitate most of the serious repair work......
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:58 PM
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Turbojoe
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About 8 years ago I had a wooden blade fail at the bolt hole and split in two parts on a T-Rex 450 during hover. One pointed half of the failed blade zinged just past my leg. The heli balled itself up before it even hit the ground. Didn't get to salvage much. Haven't flown heli in a long time but the birds now have CF blades.....

Joe
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:18 AM
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JetPlaneFlyer
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
really not much of an explosion, nothing like a gasser or nitro in comparison
Not sure about that... these big electrics have if anything more outright power than i.c. helis, and anyway, the blade broke due to overspeed as the pilot did a hard stop from fast forward (inverted) flight. The blades 'windmilled' to much higher RPM that they would normally be driven, hence the blade failure.

It was the flying main blades that had the lethal potential, not so much the debris after the heli hit the dirt.
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:13 AM
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pizzano
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Not sure about that... these big electrics have if anything more outright power than i.c. helis, and anyway, the blade broke due to overspeed as the pilot did a hard stop from fast forward (inverted) flight. The blades 'windmilled' to much higher RPM that they would normally be driven, hence the blade failure.

It was the flying main blades that had the lethal potential, not so much the debris after the heli hit the dirt.
The referrence to "explosion" related to the OP's choice of description......electrics can build amasing head speed (RPM) much more rapidly then nitro/gas.....but the brute torgue of a nitro/gas is a lot less forgiving on rotor heads, main shafts, linkage, drive gearing and bearings.....and they do actually "explode" when electrical is mixed with liquid fuel on impact......witnessed a few personally.

Main rotor blades may have lost contact with blade holder(s) or failed due to blade to blade contact at some point, but there is an obvious blade, tail, boom stike through the last heli rotation about the same time, as the broken blade(s) left the seen of the impact..........
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
...but there is an obvious blade, tail, boom stike through the last heli rotation about the same time, as the broken blade(s) left the seen of the impact..........
No, the blade just failed due to overspeed, there was no boom strike that caused it. The blade that departed was recovered undamaged except for being sheared neatly across the bolt hole, you can see that later in the video. You can also see that the boom and tail rotors are actually intact after the crash, so no sign of a strike.

Reading the threads elsewhere this is obviously not the only instance of failure on these particular make of blades, there are a few photos of them with cracks in exactly the same place and other reports of similar overspeed failures.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:37 AM
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Can I just say, that the pilot is putting other people at risk quite badly flying so close and so fast.

He's obviously very good, but a split second loss of concentration and someone is badly hurt. If the blade failure had happened as he was flying high speed circles past the people... Ouch.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:00 PM
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Wish I had video of when my main shaft snapped .... no kidding. Sheared of clean at the top bearing in frame.

Nigel
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Sham View Post
Can I just say, that the pilot is putting other people at risk quite badly flying so close and so fast.

He's obviously very good, but a split second loss of concentration and someone is badly hurt. If the blade failure had happened as he was flying high speed circles past the people... Ouch.
in all fairness to the pilot, it doesn't look like people were close by. the field had nice sized flight stations, and I didn't see anyone close to them. The helis to fly at an amazing pace though, all the more reason to have a strictly enforced safety line.
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