The Guimbal Cabri G2 first arrived in the UK just before Helitech, and generated a lot of attention. Designer Bruno Guimbal flew in from France for the event, and the aircraft was presented by exclusive UK distributor Cotswold Helicopter Centre. The Cabri is receiving increased interest from various countries, and the manufacturer has in recent weeks appointed new dealers in Denmark and the Czech Republic.
A few weeks after Helitech, the British aircraft had a small mishap at Cotswold Airport (aka Kemble to some of you!), after loss of yaw control in the hover. This resulted in a number of low-level rotations before making a heavy landing when the tail also suffered a ground strike. The helicopter remained upright, the main rotor blades did not impact the tail section of the aircraft and both the pilot and passenger exited the aircraft unharmed. A report from the AAIB will be issued in due course.
This situation necessitated a return to the factory in France, where the damage was quickly and economically repaired.
It is perhaps notable that the accident investigator for the insurance company commented that a similar accident in any other type of 2 seat piston engined helicopter would probably have resulted in a total loss of the aircraft and serious injury to the occupants.
Now the Cabri is back on UK soil, Cotswold Helicopter Centre are looking forward to commencing ab-initio flight training and completing a number of type rating courses that have been pre-booked. The aircraft is also being taken on a tour to various flight training organisations around the UK who have expressed an interest in the Cabri.
A second Cabri currently in build and is scheduled to arrive in the UK at the end of March.
Jeremy Parkin -HeliHub.com
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