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Old 13 December 2017, 02:46 PM
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thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
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Default U.S. Marine Helicopter In Okinawa Loses Windshield Over School

Story here.

Posting this here in the hope that somebody who knows more about helicopters than I do can tell me whether it's normal for signficant pieces to fall off them while they're in midair. I really have no idea.
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Old 13 December 2017, 02:54 PM
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Psihala Psihala is offline
 
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It isn't normal for any piece of any aircraft type to fall off. I wouldn't expect it to happen on any well-maintained or otherwise undamaged aircraft.
if this military operated copter was not damaged in some other way that has not yet been reported, I'd consider it highly unusual.

~Psihala
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Old 13 December 2017, 05:12 PM
UrbanLegends101 UrbanLegends101 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psihala View Post
It isn't normal for any piece of any aircraft type to fall off. I wouldn't expect it to happen on any well-maintained or otherwise undamaged aircraft.


~Psihala
Perhaps undamaged is the operative word?

I had a side window of a Piper Seneca II to blow out.

The pilot side window has a small cutout with a hinged door and a crack started in the Plexiglas window and quickly spread until the entire side window popped out.
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Old 13 December 2017, 05:20 PM
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Richard W Richard W is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Posting this here in the hope that somebody who knows more about helicopters than I do can tell me whether it's normal for signficant pieces to fall off them while they're in midair. I really have no idea.
I suppose it depends how you define "normal" and how many incidents establish a pattern. According to the story,

Quote:
Just last week, a part from another U.S. military helicopter fell from the sky onto a kindergarten roof, but no one was injured.
So lately it's apparently been a weekly occurrence for parts of US helicopters to randomly fall off onto Japanese schools, but whether that makes it "normal" is a different matter...
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Old 13 December 2017, 08:30 PM
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thorny locust thorny locust is offline
 
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Yeah, basically I was trying to figure out whether the problem is likely to be that our maintenance is horribly sloppy.

I had assumed that pieces don't just fall off well-maintained aircraft; but sometimes my assumptions aren't right. And basically my knowledge of helicopters amounts to 1) you can get them in and out of places that you can't get a plane in and out of, which is why emergency services use them 2) sometimes they fly over my place 3) I went on a sightseeing tour in one once and discovered that I'm not afraid to be up in one (though if they commonly fall apart I might revisit that) 4) stay away from the blades!
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Old 13 December 2017, 10:39 PM
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I've been in a helicopter twice, and therefore I know twice as much about it as you do.

But both times were in New Zealand, in civilian helicopters owned by Kiwi companies, so I suppose I know the same amount as you about military US helicopters in Japan.
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Old 13 December 2017, 11:08 PM
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WildaBeast WildaBeast is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I had assumed that pieces don't just fall off well-maintained aircraft; but sometimes my assumptions aren't right.
IIRC, the engines on most (or probably all) jets with wing-mounted engines are attached in such a way that they're designed to break away in the event that a damaged engine is vibrating excessively. The idea being that it's better to have the engine fall off than to have it potentially damage the wing. Except that a) Assumes some other damage to the aircraft already (although I have heard of cases where they have simply fallen off due to poor maintenance*). And 2) Does not apply to helicopters at all.

*Yes, it's the Daily Mail. It just happened to be the first link I found.
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Old 14 December 2017, 12:05 AM
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BoKu BoKu is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psihala View Post
It isn't normal for any piece of any aircraft type to fall off...
It isn't normal, but it is common enough that there is a name for it. We call these "BFO incidents" for Bits Falling Off.

Props to UrbanLegends101 for using the original Rohm & Haas trademarked term "Plexiglas" with one s!

--Bob K.
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