Author Topic: c/n 2514, N77TR  (Read 12830 times)

tailhook

Re: c/n 2514, N77TR
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2019, 08:33:24 AM »
I'll chime in here and give you a perspective that has not been mentioned yet. Kevin Dunn was the one who originally posted to me about 77TR on August 18th, 2018. Ken did not know until I sent him an e-mail, he called me ASAP between flight from O'Hare to Hong Kong. He had the video from the take-off sequence, which now is in the hands of the NTSB. The Helio stopped for lunch and fuel around 10:30 AM, then at around 1PM mountain time they departed for Spokane, WA the next intended stop. No weather briefing was made and the temperature had risen to 98 degrees at the time of departure. Great Falls, MT has a field elevation of 3700' AGL so the DA was through the roof. Runway 21 was selected because it is the longest runway at Great Falls and all commercial flights use this runway for flights to Denver and Salt Lake. Three minutes after a regional departs, N77TR took the next departure sequence, an approaching cold front swung the winds around 180 degrees after the take-off commenced.

If you look closely at the photos above, the pilot departed with full flaps, 40 degrees. and never locked the tail-wheel. The airplane was over gross because the back seats were filled with 29, 31, ABW, and axles for bush wheels that came with the sale. Helio N77TR rolled 900 feet before it came airborne while attempting to correct for a 20 knot tailwind, not only that, but it tore up chunks of concrete shutting down the main runway for over an hour. There was a discussion prior to the owners departure from MN not to fly X-country with the 35's installed, not only that but he had only 3.5 hours logged in a Helio.  You can have all the tail-wheel time in Super Cubs, C-180/185's with bush wheels and all that, but it was made clear by Ken, the Helio flies different that any other tail-wheel STOL airplane and you had better be ready for it. Thank the Lord, no one was hurt.

I spoke with the lead A&P mechanic at Holman Aviation and he sent me the photos you see above, and gave me a clear synopsis as they witnessed the event, that is when he told me that this airplane was not able to be re-built.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 08:48:04 AM by tailhook »

tailhook

Re: c/n 2514, N77TR
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2019, 09:09:44 AM »
Here is a shot from when Ken bought the airplane and flew out to Western, Canada about 3 or 4 years ago. It is clear in theses photos with the 35's installed that proper technique is essential when flying with bush wheels.


Stephen

tailhook

Re: c/n 2514, N77TR
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2019, 10:05:45 AM »
In the hangar at Holman Aviation, after the fact.