3-Nov-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
Following a recent incident to the first Guimbal G2 Cabri in the UK, Helicopteres Guimbal has issued the following statement via HeliHub.com:-
We at Helicopteres Guimbal are saddened to announce that two days after receiving its Certificate of Airworthiness from the CAA, the first Cabri in the UK had an incident that will delay its presentation in the country by a few weeks.
Cotswold Helicopter Centre are the exclusive Guimbal distributor in the UK and their first machine – appropriately registered G-UIMB – was delivered a month ago during Helitech, where it attracted a great deal of positive interest.
The helicopter was flying a demo flight with the recently-qualified instructor, when it made a hard landing.Both pilot and passenger suffered no injury.
The damage to the helicopter is limited to the tail and landing gear structure. The rotor blades and the transmission suffered no damage from the hard landing at a high rate of yaw. This is a tribute to the very high control power offered by the high-inertia, semi-articulated rotor, and to the strong structure. The incident is attributed to the pilot having limited experience of Fenestron tail rotor dynamics and European rotation helicopters resulting in loss of control in yaw whilst hovering.
The incident is worth some analysis to make sure that it will not happen again.
In the early nineties, Eurocopter and the British Royal Navy conducted a thorough flight test campaign on a British Gazelle to address a row of similar incidents or accidents involving yaw control. The Fenestron concept was under scrutiny.
These tests eventually proved that the Fenestron was totally free of so-called LTE (loss of tail rotor efficiency), and had always a very high manoeuvrability.
They also proved that the specific characteristics of all shrouded tail rotors require higher pedal inputs in the hover than conventional tail rotors, though its controllability is about 50 % higher.
Eurocopter released several Service Letters, the last dated 2005, to address this matter. The Fenestron is now a reference worldwide in terms of controllability and safety, reducing the accident rate dramatically compared to other concepts.
In the same manner, Helicopteres Guimbal will release a Service Letter to help new Cabri pilots, and particularly those with only counter-clockwise rotating rotors experience, get the best of the machine. We are also modifying our flight training programme in conjunction with Cotswold Helicopter Centre.
The Cabri has been tested to yaw rates in excess of 180Â°/sec and winds in excess of 50 kts in every direction with great success.
With more than 5000 flight hours in training in the recent years, the Cabri has been proven to provide increased safety, due to its high inertia rotors, innovative seats and fuel system crashworthiness.
The first British Cabri will soon be flying again and we trust Cotswold Helicopter Centre and its instructors to bring it a bright future in the UK.