Other Peoples AdventuresThis is a new area on the site were sure you'll enjoy.Folks we need your help here. Share your stories about your helicopter travels so us little people can live vicariously through you.It doesn't matter if it was a hop, skip and a jump or an across the continent flight we'd all like to hear about it.From: Matt Haasen12/22/2004Here is the article from Russ's 2002 Oshkosh adventure. Matt 3000 MILE OSHKOSH ADVENTUREIt was back in 2001 that Al Behuncik and I started talking about going to Oshkosh this summer. Actually the original plan had been to go to Homer Bell’s helicopter gathering in Ohio first, then the Popular Rotorcraft Association’s annual do in Mentone, Indiana, and then to Oshkosh. The way my plans shaped up, I knew early on that I would never be ready for Homer’s in time. Sad, because we all know Homer’s is the event for amateur-built helicopters (he had around 50 there this year).I am in Calgary and have the first customer-built RotorWay Jet Exec to fly in Canada (actually the World). My helicopter C-GXHT was originally the first Exec in Canada in 1986 and has seen a number of upgrades over the years, but none as extensive as this one. It is now powered by a Solar Titan T-62T-32 gas turbine which is rated at 160 hp, and has a shaft-driven tail rotor. Being the first customer, I unintentionally became the test pilot and have worked extensively with KISS Aviation in California to develop improvements to the retrofit kit. By this Spring, I had put over 60 hours on the JetExec.Al Behuncik and wife Joyce live in Red Deer, Alberta. They have a beautiful RotorWay Exec 162F (C-FWAB) and won Grand Champion Rotorcraft at Oshkosh with it in 1999. Al and I have been the very best of friends for quite a few years now. We have flown together to quite a number of places in Alberta, including fly-in breakfasts and participated in air shows. Because of the relative sparseness here, we think nothing of flying 120 miles just for a feast of pancakes, bacon and eggs. There is usually something going on at least every other weekend from May to September.I had rationalized the journey to Oshkosh on the basis that it was just a sequence of short trips. That is all it really is anyway, with some added logistics for flight planning, getting fuel, and accommodation enroute. Our friend Rob MacInnis from Ontario had arranged for a spot in the camp ground, so all we had to do was get there.The main thing I worried about was being ready in time. The re-engineered tail rotor drive shaft was still in development in June, and the shroud I had made needed more work after the fellow I had hired to make a mold completely messed it up – in early July! Oh well, what would a trip like this be without a little bit of last minute pressure. There were still new main rotor blades to install and rig, painting to be done, doors to finish, and the interior panels to upholster. The night before leaving, the two friends who would be accompanying us in a 28 foot motor home were there helping me put everything back together. These two friends, George Pohl of Sechelt (near Vancouver), B.C., and Ian Westwood who lives a mile north west of me in Calgary, are both Exec owners. George has his commercial licence, and Ian is just starting on his private.Well the big day of departure arrived on July 19th. Luckily, I was able to get a few short flights in by then. However, at 7:00 AM I was still putting the doors back together! George and Ian had already left at 5:30 in the motor home. Al and Joyce lifted off from their place in Red Deer, Alberta at about 8:30. By the time I was ready to leave, it was 9:30 (I forced myself to not hurry). It was quite cool and windy that morning. It seemed rather daunting to say goodbye to the family and take off into the grey overcast sky for a destination 1400 miles away.DAY ONEThe first stop and rendezvous point was Brooks, Alberta (110 miles). I took it easy on the first leg. I wanted to get used to the feel of the new RotorWay blades and get the brain back in pilot mode. The blades were a little thumpy and it felt more like a lead/lag, but it was certainly smooth enough for the flight. The brain, on the other hand, took a little time to get back in gear. After not flying much for some time, the maneuvers were safe but certainly not pretty for a while. I flew over some familiar ground for the first 20 minutes, then struck out on course for Brooks. The sky looked worse up ahead, and sure enough the rains came. Oh darn – brand new blades and the paint job had been perfect. It is amazing what rain does to paint on rotor blades that have a 500 mph tip speed on the advancing blade. After getting doused a couple of times, Brooks appeared in the distance. After a couple of calls to nobody else in the circuit, I landed on the apron just outside the terminal building. Al and Joyce were already there, but the motorhome did not arrive for another half an hour. After another rain shower and a splash of fuel, we took off for Medicine Hat, AB.It was sure nice to be flying along side Al and Joyce again. We have done a fair bit of flying in quasi-formation together in the past, but you can never get complacent about it. It is amazing how fast you can close on the other aircraft if you are not paying attention. The best way we found to fly was with Al slightly in the lead and with me about 500 feet off to his right. That way Joyce could see me from her right seat and I could see her from the pilot’s left seat. We were yacking back and forth the whole time for the short 68 mile leg to Medicine Hat. On arrival there, I could not get near to the Jet A pump because of another aircraft, but after it left I cranked down the travelling wheels and wheeled XHT over right next to the pump. Gad this jet fuel is expensive at airports! Al filled up with premium unleaded from Jerry cans in the motorhome. I decided to burn the diesel (80%) and regular gasoline (20%) mix as much as possible after this in order to avoid financial ruin.Medicine Hat to Swift Current, SK, was the next leg – a distance of about 135 miles. This was the first time I had flown my Exec outside of Alberta. We were cruising a bit below normal speed because it was getting hot (33° C) and fairly bumpy. The piston version Exec has a “best economy speed” of around 83 mph, and Al’s oil and water temperatures tended to rise if we pushed it too hard anyway. By the time we got to Swift Current the wind was quite strong out of the west; I would say about 30 mph. More Jet A from the pump and the price was going up as we headed east, now up to $1.03/litre. Still, the airport folks were very nice there as they were at all the airports we visited.The last leg that day was about 90 miles to Assiniboia, SK. Fuel was not readily available there so we waited for the motor home. We were being entertained there by two crop dusters and their crews. By the time George and Ian arrived, we decided to stay there for the night. But now it was getting quite hot – at least 35°C and the wind dropped to nothing. It was quite hot in the motor home, so Ian and I decided to sleep in the terminal building. It too was hot. With no air movement it was a rather uncomfortable first night. And then, at 4:45 AM, a pair of the crop sprayers bounded out of the adjacent pilot lounge to noisily start the day’s activities. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the sound of a radial, but not at 5:00 in the morning after a horrible night! DAY TWOAfter Brekky by Joyce in the motorhome, we departed on the 130 mile leg to Estevan, SK. This put us in the south east corner of Saskatchewan and would be the last stop before entering the United States. There were some very strict procedures to follow since September 11, even as good neighbors and friends that we are. It was mandatory to file a flight plan so we did to Minot, ND. We also had to call to get transponder codes, but the most important thing was to call US Customs and give an exact ETA. If we were to have arrived without calling, we would have been liable for a $5,000 US fine!After a half hour on the phone making all the arrangements, we were off to Minot 100 miles away. We were soon over some very unusual terrain and a very interesting mining operation. Just below us were four huge draglines excavating coal for the power plants nearby. The spoil piles left behind made for a very unique looking moonscape. Shortly after this, we were looking down at a border crossing on a major roadway. Welcome to the United States! It’s funny – the air didn’t feel any different. Back to the business at hand - turn the transponder to the given code and switch to active. Right away it felt like Big Brother was watching. Thirty miles out from Minot, Al called them to say we were on our way. The controller just said to proceed on course and report five miles out. I was following Al quite closely at this point and heard him make the next call. We had another call about two miles out and I heard the controller tell Al, “By the way, do you have the B52 in sight?” Well let me tell you, that really got my attention. Then I saw it at about our altitude and right over the runway at Minot, heading from right to left. What a sight from a little RotorWay Exec. It made us feel rather minuscule. The B52 had must made a pass over the State Fair and was heading back to the AFB just north of Minot airport. After that excitement we received instructions where to land to clear US Customs. Expecting to be surrounded by the Marines, we were instead greeted by a single female customs officer. And what a nice lady she was. I would give her an A+ for our welcome into the US.The temperature was almost unbearable there – 40°C (104°F) on the apron - and we had the doors ON. We had arranged to meet George and Ian at Harvey, ND, so we took off as quickly as possible to get some air flow. We both had enough fuel for the uneventful 70 mile flight. Landing there, we were greeted by a fellow from Helm Flying Service Inc. Right away, he and Al recognized each other from when Al landed there on his 1999 trip to Oshkosh. After exchanging pleasantries, we relaxed in the air conditioned lounge until the motor home arrived. After it did, we all headed into the town to have supper. Leaving the restaurant, we were greeted with quite a surprise. The local Sheriff’s car pulled up, he got out and declared “I’ve got a couple of convicts for you”. Out of the back of the police car appeared two of my friends from Calgary, Rene Prevost and Bryan Gilbert. They too had made Harvey a stop after having heard, from the Customs lady in Minot, that we were headed here. The Sheriff just happened to operate the FBO as well, and had just fueled Rene and Bryan’s Piper Warrior. He was nice enough to give our friends a ride around town just to find us.DAY THREEWe had rented a couple of motel rooms for the night, mainly for access to showers and AIR CONDITIONING. We also had cable TV and thereby, the Weather Channel. This proved to be very valuable that morning. Where we were headed next was embroiled in thunder storms and very strong winds (70 mph). It was the hot spot for bad weather in all of North America! With this information, we decided to take it easy and did some lead lag adjustments on my Jet Exec. Another weather briefing in the afternoon showed we could proceed one good leg that would get us within striking distance of Oshkosh. The distance to Wahpeton, ND, was 190 miles and the longest leg we had ever flown. The winds were favourable and we made the trip in 2 hours exactly. This leg really proved the range for the JetExec. It is even more economical to fly at 100+ mph. You can comfortably say the range is 200 miles, 2 hours, and still have a 20 minute reserve. With his extended range tanks, Al’s 162F now has enough fuel for about 3 hours with an economical cruise speed of 83 mph. My bum was devoid of recognizable feeling and shape after two hours anyway!With more threatening weather, we were able to find hangar space at the Harry Stern airport at Wahpeton. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating. We walked into town, had supper, and found a motel room for the night after George and Ian arrived.DAY FOURThe plan for this day was for Al and I to get fuel at airports and get to Oshkosh as soon as possible. The motorhome would show up when it could, so we said our goodbyes and took off to the southeast and immediately into Minnesota. Now the terrain was getting interesting. Northern Minnesota is not called the “land of 10,000 lakes” for nothing.There were not only lots of lakes, but lots of trees too. Flying over terrain like that, it was a comforting feeling knowing that a smooth reliable turbine was right behind you.The day was not without its share of interesting events. I was flying along at about 500 feet AGL and I noticed a single engine fixed wing off to my right. I knew we were not on a collision path because it was well BELOW me at about 100 feet AGL. Then, coming in to land at St. Cloud, MN, we had been flying higher than normal, up to 2000 feet AGL. This was in part to evade the bountiful supply of large towers in the area. There was one tower Joyce pointed out near Minneapolis that was over 2000 feet high. It was quite a sight. Back to St. Cloud, being up much higher than normal made the approach into the airport a little unusual. I adjusted the collective for the right glide angle and the VSI said XHT was descending at 1200 fpm – not far off auto rotation. This is a very safe approach method; it would not take much to get into a full auto rotation if it became necessary.After a quick fuel-up at St. Cloud, we were off to Eau Claire, WI. The weather ahead was clear and sunny and we had a tail wind. What could be better? We fueled up again and had lunch at Eau Clair, then checked the EAA NOTAM for arrival procedures at Oshkosh. As prescribed, we made our phone call to the Rotorcraft Barn and gave them an ETA. Then we were off on the last leg. I was starting to get quite excited by this point.To get into Oshkosh, you have to follow an exact route and at an exact altitude. Our helicopters were to fly at 300 feet AGL, and I soon saw why. We were still a fair distance from Oshkosh and we could see the ribbon of air planes forming up to get in line for landing. Our route took us about 200 feet beneath this fixed wing highway. Al had been here in 1999, so I followed him closely. The final route was to follow a road, not fly over a certain farm, follow another gravel road, and voila! The ultralight strip was in sight. Another quick call on the radio to the Rotorcraft Barn, and we were on the ground. We had made it to aviation Mecca!Relief on arrival below.PIC OSHKOSHWhat can you say about Oshkosh that has not already been said? It is overwhelming, it is huge, it is friendly, and it is extremely well organized. The biggest thrill I had was meeting a number of people I had only talked to on the phone before. One of the first chaps to come over and introduce himself was none other than Homer Bell. It was truly an Honor meeting you, Homer, and the same to Rob MacInnis, Murray Sweet, Joe Waitman, John Spurling, and John Pohlman. There were many other long time Exec folks I had the pleasure of meeting there for the first time as well, such as Doug Busch, Craig Hook, Ed DeRossi, John Rahn, and Randall Coggin, who showed up from Texas with another JetExec. His friend Dave Stewart did some flying with it while we were there. By the way, the pleasure was at least equal in meeting the wives of some of the fellows mentioned above.PICAl giving a Young Eagle a ride.I have never talked so much in my life – even more than Al does normally. After our daily flights around the circuit we would typically park our machines at the spectator fence and then answer questions. My friend Joe Bedo, who does the turbine overhauls for us in Louisiana, was there to help answer questions most of the time as well. One day it was three hours before I could get away. And the people were from everywhere. Beside the host Americans, I met people from Romania, Italy, Germany, England, Australia, and New Zealand. There were thousands of people at the International Banquet on the Friday evening.Over the 5 full days we were there, I would guess I saw about a third of what there was to see. There were some excellent deals on avionics and other parts both in the hangars and at the Fly-Market, but you should have an idea what you need (OK – want) before you go there. I could have done a lot more damage knowing that and with more time.I will finish talking about Oshkosh here. I could go on forever. It could be summed up by saying it was addictive. The air show was different every day, and what a sight with all those war birds up there together. As I said before, the whole event was extremely well organized. Geoff Downey was in charge of the Rotorcraft and he did a stellar job of looking after all of us. Thanks again, Geoff.RETURN TRIP – DAY ONEWe decided to leave on the Sunday morning because I had to get back to work. It was going to be a longer trip back with some weather and headwinds a lot of the way. Even Oshkosh was not moving that morning because of quite thick fog. It eventually burned off at about 9:30 and we took off after saying some goodbyes at 10:15.The first day was fairly routine. Our route took us to Wisconsin Rapids, Eau Claire, and finished for the day at St. Cloud, MN. With the late start, slight headwind, and then encountering rain and thunder showers at St. Cloud, we only went 300 miles the first day back.DAY TWOOn the second day George Pohl, the owner of the motorhome, was to fly with me. George also owns a 162F and wanted to compare the differences. Well almost as soon as we took off we had to alter our flight plan. A solid wall of low cloud blocked our path. George commented the conditions we saw ahead would be a good flying day where he lives on the west coast, but we erred on the side of caution and headed a bit north to Detroit Lakes instead. That route took us over some fairly large lakes, at least big enough to appear on my Anywhere Map (AwM) GPS. The AwM was fabulous with all its features, and clearly showed me a route around these big lakes and still stay roughly on course. After 1.7 hours in the air, we landed at Detroit Lakes, MN for another fill of fuel.Then we were off to Jamestown, and back into North Dakota. That leg was 140 miles and 1.8 hours because of the headwind, and George flew for part of it. His only comment about the JetExec was that the control in flight was just like the piston version. The fuel burn was at the most a half gallon per hour more with George on board, both in a hover and in cruise. We were at full gross, but the EGT was never even close to the maximum allowed.We had arranged with Ian driving the motorhome by himself, that Harvey, ND, was to be our next rendezvous point. Part way through that leg, the chip light in the reduction gearbox came on. Hmmm! We were in the middle of nowhere and everything appeared normal, so we decided to carry on the short distance to Harvey. I was watching the gearbox temperature quite closely and alert for unusual sounds or vibrations for the rest of that flight. After landing at Harvey, we re-made our acquaintances with the folks at the airport and relaxed until the motorhome arrived. Thinking the chip light was just some fuzz, we departed for the town and a late lunch.Back at the airport afterwards, I unscrewed the chip detector to have a look and put fresh oil in. The “fuzz” turned out to be fairly big pieces of metal, and looked like the pieces had once been part of a round disc. I quickly called Dave Domanske about the situation. He said from the description, the only thing he could think of was that it may be a spacer between the input gear and a bearing next to it. He said he could never figure out why it was there in the first place, because the gear and bearing are both pressed into position. (He since found out that the disc is really a thrust washer to absorb any thrust load when the gearbox is driven backward. In our case we can never drive backward because of the sprag unit.)A group decision was made (many thanks to Al, Joyce, George, and Ian) to pull the reduction unit apart, which meant pulling the engine. The folks at Helm Flying Service were fabulous in my time of need. They offered us the hangar, tools, and the use of their forklift. Meanwhile another call to Domanske and he offered to ship a spare reduction unit to us in Harvey by overnight courier. We started the removal operation about 7:00 PM, and two hours later the engine was out, the gearbox was taken apart, washed out, and thoroughly inspected. Everything inside looked perfect. There was hardly any wear on the gears and both bearings were nice and tight. I made the decision to put it back together and carry on without the shim. We didn’t do any more that evening but by 10:00 the next morning, the engine was back in and we were ready to go flying again. Everyone was quite surprised how easy and quick it is to take the turbine out and put it back in again. And yes, the replacement gearbox did arrive before we left that morning, so we just returned it to Domanske.DAY THREELittle did we know, but day three had more excitement in store for us. As we were approaching Fargo, ND, we were informed the airport was closing to all traffic in 10 minutes. Somebody else asked why, and the response was that "Air Force Two was landing shortly." The controller got us to switch to clearance delivery, and they cleared us through the Class C airspace (about two miles north of the main runway) right as Vice President Dick Cheney was landing.We were then on our way to a small airport south of Minot, when out of nowhere I saw a single engine fixed wing air plane heading toward us from our right. At the time I was about 500 feet behind Al, 100 feet to his right, and 50 feet below him. When I saw the fixed wing, I was in the midst of having a drink of water. I quickly dropped the water bottle, swung the mike back in front of my mouth, pressed the PTT and blurted “Al, plane to your right!” Al had no time to take evasive action. The fixed wing passed just behind Al’s helicopter and about 50 feet above him, and I don’t think the other pilot ever saw us. That was close! We were nowhere near an airport and about 1000 feet AGL, so didn’t expect to see a fixed wing in “our” territory at all. Talk about pucker factor – my seat cushion did not return to its normal shape for a while.The motorhome had left before us on this leg, so we all arrived at the small Sawyer airport at the same time. We filled up our helicopters with jerry cans of diesel and premium auto fuel, and had some lunch before the motorhome left again for the Canadian border.Al and I were planning to clear customs at Estevan, SK. The Canada Flight Supplement said Customs was available there, but we thought we would phone just to get some clear instructions. Well, during the first phone call we were told that Estevan was a CANPASS-only customs process (the CFS did not say this). We were told to fly to one of two cities that we could not reach from the border, or back track 150 miles into Manitoba. To condense the next 20 minutes of frustrating conversations, a supervisor finally gave us permission to land in a parking lot at North Portal, SK, which normally handles vehicle traffic from a main highway. In 1.2 hours we were there, landed in the parking lot, two customs officers came out to greet and clear us, and life was good once again. Back in Canada, eh!After another short flight we arrived in Estevan, SK. We waited for the motorhome and our jerry cans of fuel. Both of us filled up with enough fuel to get to Swift Current. We left there with a small tail wind, but ahead the sky was starting to look a bit menacing.Not even half way to our next way point we got a bit too close to an approaching thunder storm. A 5 mph tail wind instantly turned into a 35 mph head wind. It was also quite turbulent, I would say in the moderate range. We were a couple of miles from a small town called Ogema, SK. Having enough of the bouncing around, Al said he would fly around the town to look for a landing spot, and I said I would check out a very inviting farm about a mile to the north of the town. I did a two “rekky” passes to look for wires and other features and announced I was going to land there. When I landed, a rather surprised farmer was right there to greet me. Al set down right beside me. The farmer, Laurie Gamble, was most friendly and excited to see us. Before a few minutes passed, both helicopters were wheeled into his quonset, safe from the rain that started a few minutes later. When the motorhome arrived, we took our new-found farmer friend into the town for supper. There, George and Ian announced they were going to push on toward home because of other commitments. So after dinner we tried to get a room at the hotel there, but every room was booked. “No problem”, said Laurie, “I have extra rooms and beds and you can stay with me.” We got what we needed out of the motorhome, said goodbye to George and Ian, and spent a very memorable evening with Laurie and his wife and daughter, who had driven down from Regina to meet the “drop-ins”. The next morning, we were greeted by a reporter from the local newspaper. OK, I guess it was a little unusual.DAY FOURWe said goodbye to our new-found and most hospitable friend Laurie, and took off for Swift Current. If everything went well, we would be able to make it home today. Well everything did not go well; this time it was Al’s turn. About 20 minutes out from Ogema, Al called me, “Russ, I’ve got a problem – have to land.” I was slightly in the lead and off to Al’s right, so I did a right 360 and followed him into another farm yard. Al already had panels off by the time I got over to his helicopter, and was looking at the broken supercharger belt. We found quite a number of belt fragments but luckily could not find any other damage. No problem, we could just put on the spare belt Al had brought. Wrong! It was in the motorhome that had reached Calgary by then. So now we have a real problem because the elevation was around 2500 feet ASL and the 162F engine has only 8.5:1 compression to accommodate the supercharger.Al felt he would be able to take off, so we transferred as much cargo from his helicopter into mine. Luckily, Al has a lot of time on Execs and knows how to nurse every ounce of power out of them. He skidded the helicopter over the short grass, through translation, and was airborne! I was waiting to see if he was going to make it, so it was about a minute before I was off. We lost each other for about 15 minutes, which did not help the already heightened situation. We met up near Assiniboia and decided to carry on to Swift Current. But now the weather was not looking too good. We flew through quite a bit of rain from then on, and right through one significant downpour. The cloud base was down to 200 feet in places, but the visibility was sufficient. This is scud running at its finest.It seemed to take a long time, but Swift Current airport finally came into sight. Al landed on the apron next to the 100LL pump, and I set down next to the Jet A. It was windy there as before, but now it was cold. Al called about a new belt, “No problem, we can have one here in three days”. I don’t think so! Al knew he could hover over the concrete apron, and wind speed was already higher than translation, so we decided to press on.After some more iffy weather, the next stop was Medicine Hat back in our home province of Alberta. The landing there was no problem. We both got fuel from the FBO and then warmed up a bit over lunch. The take-off from there was a bit of a problem. Where Al had fueled up put him in a difficult spot to take off. He had to nurse every ounce of available power out of FWAB to clear obstacles.We were relieved to be airborne and heading to our second-last destination, Brooks, AB. The sky had cleared somewhat, but the closer we got to Brooks, the higher the wind speed became. For the last 20 minutes of that trip, the wind was 25 mph right on the nose. Shortly after we landed, the northwest wind picked up even more, to about 40 mph. It did not make much sense to fight that, which was unfortunate considering we were so close to home. Discretion prevailed and we decided to do the final push the next morning. The kind folks at Brooks airport offered us a courtesy car to get back and forth to the town.DAY FIVEOne more leg to go! Al and Joyce decided to go directly home to Red Deer rather than stopping at my heliport in Calgary. Al’s “Bell 222-looking” long range fuel tanks really add a lot of options to flight planning. That distance and headwind would have been totally out of the question with the stock tanks. After our goodbyes, we took off on our diverging paths. The slight headwind was smooth and I chose to crank it up now that I was flying alone. For the whole trip, the air speed was between 100 and 105 mph. The fuel burn was more economical as well, needing only 1 US gph more to do an additional 20 mph (the average at 83 mph had been 15 gph).We had been yakking back and forth between the two helicopters when all of a sudden I could not transmit. My radio would still receive, but pressing the PTT had no effect. Now I was concerned. Al and Joyce were both calling me, and their voices contained a measure of worry. I hoped they would think that we were just out of range and would not be too anxious. Shortly after that, I went to use the cyclic mounted flip-flop switch to change to Calgary terminal frequency. It would not work either. Well, that crummy radio – what a time to pack up! A few miles later, it suddenly occurred to me that a plug just below the cyclic might have come apart. I landed in a gravel pit to inspect, and there were the two halves of the plug laying on the belly. I must not have pushed the two plugs completely together before engaging the safety clip.Now I could use the radio again. I called Calgary terminal to get a transponder code and clearance into the Class C airspace, and hoped Al would be able to hear that I was OK. After another 15 minutes, I was cleared into Westport Heliport which is my helipad on the west side of Calgary. The JetExec and I had made it! There to greet me were my wife Diane, younger son Cory, and a TV news crew.Here are some quick statistics for the trip:• Total distance – about 3000 miles• Flying time – 36 hours• Average ground speed – 83 mph.• Fuel used – 538 US gal.• Average fuel burn – 15 US gph.• Fuel burn at 105 mph – 16 US gph.Would I do it again? Already thinking about Oshkosh next year, with Homer’s as well. See you in Ohio next July.Anecdote #1: Al’s supercharger is now working just fine since he installed a new drive belt. He also trimmed the stepper motor butterfly at Tom Smith’s suggestion. This seems to have solved his problems. The belt is staying tight with no more adjustments, and the boost is the way it should be.Anecdote #2: About the shredded washer in the reduction gearbox, I feel now it was not in place where it was supposed to be at the time it was shredded. I had the two halves of the case split twice during assembly of the JetExec, and the errant washer may have fallen off and into the gear cavity. After getting home from Oshkosh I had the unit apart again and could find no marks or polishing whatsoever on either the bearing or the gear (where the washer should have been). This would indicate the washer had not been there.We have also found out the washer was installed by the manufacturer to take reverse loading, i.e. it was supposed to take a thrust load if the gearbox was driven backwards (by a wind milling propeller, for instance). In our application, the sprag unit prevents any reverse load so the washer is simply not required.What an Adventure,Hopefully we'll be able to get the pictures from someone that belong in this story soonPosted from RotorwayFun.msn on Dec 27th 04From: PilgrimSent12/20/2004 Thought some of you would find this interesting. RotorWay hit by Squall and high windsOn Sunday my wife and I went for brunch with a customers 162F, we went only 25 miles from home and the sky was clear blue and very mild (7 degrees C) (No need to check the weather) Big Mistake. When airborne the helicopter danced around for a few minutes of the flight and then the air smoothed out and we landed at the Wolf Creek restaurant. On landing and during brunch I noticed a low line of cloud approaching quite quickly from the west so we left while the clouds were still about8 miles to the west. We headed southwest toward home without incident until about half way when we encountered a heavy up draft followed by heavy wind shear that swung the helicopter 45 degrees to the right. within 30 seconds we were drifting at an estimated 60 MPH side ways. A second wind shear swung the helicopter 90 Degrees to the right. We immediately headed for the ground and a line of high tree to the west with a field belows us. At 75 MPH indicated we were just crawling forward over the field toward some shelter of the trees. At over 60 MPH on airspeed indicator we landed firmly in a hay meadow. At this point my greatest worry was that the blades would be damaged by mast bumping on run down. As the blades slowed thru approx l00 RPM the cyclic was full forward to maintain a rough track. My wife held the cyclic there and I jumped out and unto the right rear gear step and caught the blades for several turns to stop them quickley. We used my wife's shoe laces to tie down the blades. The helicopter (which was sitting directly into wind) was shaking and rocking and we were afraid the wind would blow it over. putting the skid weight from the rear to the front skid and then standing on the skids at the front stopped some of the rocking. Later standing on the road , trying to stop a motorist to find out just where we were so my son could bring tie downs, I could hear and see trees in the bush crashing down. We took the blades off and hauled the helicopter home. NO Damage, Just frazzled nerves which a couple of strong beer calmed down. This storm caused sudden and major damage in Alberta and killed (1) pilot in an ultra light aircraft. Things to remember "Always check the weather" and the RotorWay is a very strong helicopter and exhibits excellent high wind control capabilities. Fly safe and have fun. "But check the weather".Al Behuncik Posted from RotorwayFun.msn on Dec 27th 04From: Kenbigironpilot112/20/2004Al, I had a similar experience in the mid-80s. I was one of two pilots of Army MEDEVAC UH-1V crew when it happened. We were flying south along the California coastline close to Big Sur on a rescue mission. A Pacific storm had come ashore, so there were torrential rains and moderate to severe turbulence forecast along our flight path. For once the forecast was right on. We were flying along at 90 knots, 800 agl, and windshield wipers on high. Then it happened. One moment were were flying south and looking south; the next moment were were flying south and looking north. Severe turbulence had kicked the fuselage 180 degrees. We executed a "land as soon as possible". Once on the safely on the ground and shut down, there was silence in the aircraft. Personally, I was sitting there wondering if rain was leaking into the Huey or did I wet myself. It's one heck of an experience isn't it? Congrats on job well done. Ken Posted from RotorwayFun.msn on Dec 27th 04From: FinalRedbone2712/22/2004I had a similar experience with wind shear at 3500'AGL in Feb 2003. It "sucked" the door off the pilot side- jerked the helo sideways over 350' in less than a few seconds (report from GPS) and the door knocked the horizontal stabilizer off !It was a "full attention" 11 seconds to the ground with "awkward" control..... but he's correct in that this little RW162F-ACIS brought me to the ground in 1 piece to fly again another day.ArdiePosted from RotorwayFun.msn on Dec 27th 04PAUSEYour Adventure StoriesGo Here!