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Beware of Powerlines! Get a airial map and learm where the powerlines re.
#1
Sad day in the ultralight community. RIP John..... Uptigrove was piloting a Mosquito XE285 at around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday when it crashed on the banks of the Highwood River, according to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) news release.

He designed the original Mosquito ultra-light helicopter through his company, Innovator Technologies, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Uptigrove then partnered with Dwight Junkin, of Composite FX, and they co-created the XE series, the CBC reported.

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=213343
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#2
75 feet above the ground. So I'm not entirely sure I have the social skills to open a conversation about this so soon after Mr. Uptigrove's accident...but as a >10 hour student pilot, I see these videos of people flying their Mosquitos "nap of the Earth" style very low, and no one seems to really talk about it. I mean don't get me wrong, I'm sure it is the most fun you can have with your clothes on to fly just mere feet above a river flying along its winding coarse...but unfortunately down low like that is also where a bunch of danger resides.

So I just want to ask all of your pilots who have tons of hours in Mosi's or Robbies or anything...is it really worth?(I'm not asking rhetorically, I'm generally curious)

I see so many people giving so much good safety advice(helmets, pre-flights, etc.) and then I watch videos of the Trenton fly-ins with people flying what seems to me like "quite fast" just a few feet off of the ground in the open hay field behind CFX...and as cool and as fun as it looks I sit there and say "what happens if that person's engine fails"? I mean there is that portion of the HV chart to the right that says high airspeed with low altitude can equal bad... 

So I'm just asking if you experienced pilots just turn a blind eye to this behavior and it just kind of becomes that unspoken "guilty pleasure"? Is there a "minimum altitude" that you personally set for yourself(unless of course taking off and landings)?

I did not know Mr. Uptigrove at all, but I'd like to imagine he would like his death to mean something...and perhaps this is a teachable moment I'm not sure...it's so hard for me to say anything for sure with my experience level...but from what I've seen...and the things I can imagine that can happen...you'll never see me flying at such low altitudes unless I'm taking off or landing. In all my life, I've seen so many helicopters out flying around, but I can't remember a time I've ever seen one flying below or even near the treeline. I don't see Robbies doing it, I don't see JetRangers doing it...but I do see Mosquitos doing it(well not in person but I think you get the idea right?)...and now we're left with a great tragedy...

Okay I'm ranting again...anyways, what do yall think? Is there such a thing as flying too low for you?
"Into the fires of forever we will fly through the heavens
With the power of the universe we stand strong together
Through the force in our power, it will soon reach the hour
For victory we ride, Fury of the Storm!" 
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#3
In NZ we have a minimum of 500ft over unpopulated areas.  That puts you well above the main danger area.  The most dangerous part is flying up a gully and a farmer has strung a single No8 electric fence wire across it - its almost invisible.  When we do low level ops for work, there is always pilot, front seat Pax as lookout and in the back the camera operator.  The front seat Pax is purely on lookout, not watching the work.
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#4
The number one cause of helo accidents is wires. Unfortunately, a map is always out of date the moment it is printed. The reason we fly over the power pole or tower is because you can't see the wire. If you want to do nap of the earth, a good recon beforehand is necessary, just like doing a confined area landing survey. We don't have wire cutters like the big boys, so each has to set their own personal minimums.
XE285 #1329 N869DJ
Start: June 2018
Done:  Sep 12, 2018  Sleepy 
AWC Issued: Sep 26, 2018  Big Grin  
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#5
This should give you some idea     of the height and velocity you can play around with in the back yard and still be safe to auto if engine fails, as long as you are not in the shaded areas and know what to do you will do fine.  the guys i see in the videos are well within the limits and for the most part seem to be seasoned and know the boundaries.  If I had 10 acres to hover and play it would be all good in the clear area of the chart.
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#6
https://www.facebook.com/thehelicopterpa...73319/?t=3
Jim
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#7
(09-04-2018, 09:46 PM)jimwitkowski Wrote: https://www.facebook.com/thehelicopterpa...73319/?t=3

Man I love watching those guys work! I’m so surprised that little MD helicopter isn’t over gross having to carry two sets of balls so big!

Funny how once you get up to a certain voltage it is actually safer to work from a helicopter than from the ground lol, huge respect for these guys! 

Though my favorite part of the video is where you have these two professionals working and the bonding strap they use on the helicopter is just an ol pair of vice grips with a cable welded on them lol! Absolutely love it!

But of course, these guys have a job to do, so they’re getting down low and into the thick of things, to me, us Mosi pilots have no business being that low unless we’re landing or taking off, but hey I guess I must be in the minority, but yeah, love that’s video haha
"Into the fires of forever we will fly through the heavens
With the power of the universe we stand strong together
Through the force in our power, it will soon reach the hour
For victory we ride, Fury of the Storm!" 
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#8
Triston, you are exactly right and thanks for posting the Height/Velocity chart for the Mosquito. I would caution that in order for the H/V chart values to be of any use, the pilot would have to respond immediately and correctly so keep that in mind. Don't develop a false sense of security and become complacent. Treat each takeoff as though this will be the one where something will go wrong.

As for wires and recons, who is to say that John didn't do a recon? Maybe he did and still missed the wire that he hit. The best defense against hitting wires is to refrain from low level flying. If flying low level is something you really want to do then do it on private property (preferably your own) where you have control over what gets put up in the air. I have a rule of thumb when teaching my students; I tell them to fly through the middle of the air not around the sides because around the sides is where you hit things. Wires are not the only danger to flying low as Triston has pointed out with the H/V chart (Dead Man's Curve). Fly safe y'all!
Mark Thompson
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#9
Such a good person
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#10
(08-25-2018, 08:14 AM)arrow123 Wrote: In NZ we have a minimum of 500ft over unpopulated areas.  That puts you well above the main danger area.  The most dangerous part is flying up a gully and a farmer has strung a single No8 electric fence wire across it - its almost invisible.  When we do low level ops for work, there is always pilot, front seat Pax as lookout and in the back the camera operator.  The front seat Pax is purely on lookout, not watching the work.

Having built and flown Gyrocopters in NZ and Australia, Yes, I know the difference between Gyro's and helicopters. NZ has a min of 500ft AGL, Australia has min height of 300ft, so to go flying we are taught from the start, to fly over the power poles/ towers, wires have caught the bet of pilots out, there are no maps around that list all the wires that farmers string between gullies, hills or where ever. So to expect that there would be a map of these things is asking too much. Farmers are not in the habit of telling the local airport, " heh , Iv'e just strung some wires from this hill to the next hill,  be careful when flying over my property. Just a little of my back ground, I v'e built 15 gyro's and have just purchased a Mosquito Air.
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