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DrDirk
Member Since : 2012
Posts(20)
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Easter Candy drop

02-27-2015 02:40:50

I have been asked by a local church to do a candy drop on Easter. Did some searching and found a few videos but no write up. Anybody have any suggestions or practical experience. Initially they wanted to drop 500 pounds but I told them that's too much for a r66. The site is tight but workable. Some of the things I am trying to figure out:

1. Can you throw out for either side or better from left side only?
2. What do you keep the candy in?
3. what hight should we plan on?
4. Where and how do you store the candy?
5. Should I have one or two "throwers" and if so from what seat ideally?

Any input would be great.

Replies

Grant
Member Since : 2007
Posts(688)
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02-27-2015 03:54:11
Search "Candy" and you will find them
DrDirk
Member Since : 2012
Posts(20)
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02-27-2015 07:28:10
Thanks SN for your detailed description. I did google and find a few more write ups. The one thing I am still debating is where the thrower should sit. With all the wright in the rear seat behind the pilot it will be at the edge of the CG for sure. The R66 is very tail heavy as it is so having the weight in the back is not the best. I will run the CG for that again. Best would be in the left front seat from a flying point of few with all the bags behind. Now how much of a danger is there really that some of the candy hits the tail rotor? After all the tail rotor is blowing away form the helicopter? Would't it be just as possible that it hits it from the right side?

I may even try with a guy in the front left as a "cargo master" a thrower in the right back seat and of course a pilot. This way the front guy can hand the candy back to the thrower.

With less than 1/2 fuel that should work.

I have already checked the site and it is workable. Will be meeting with the church next week.

To the question of why would they do it, we are in Texas and the churches are huge and so are the crowds. They expect many thousands of kids.

13snoopy
Member Since : 2007
Posts(339)
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02-28-2015 01:36:26
If you search this site, you will find the thread on my egg drop last year.
At first the church wanted me to drop the eggs inside a bowl-shaped stadium that had a precarious entry point and after one practice flight a week before the event, I declined.
Instead, they switched to a nearby field that was roughly 75 yards by 50 yards.
We used an R44 and I carried a single person in the pilot side back seat (he weighed less than 160) and we removed both right side doors. The eggs were packaged in plastic bags of 250 each and we carried about 15 or so bags per drop.
We would fly into the area (I insisted on a crowd-free entry and exit lane to fly in and out so as to avoid overflying the spectators) and I would get down to about a ten to twenty foot hover over the field and then allow the guy in back to open the plastic bags and drop the eggs. I made certain that as the bags were emptied the guy dropping the eggs placed the empty plastic bags underneath his shirt so they wouldn't have any chance of blowing out and he only dropped the eggs from the right side of the helicopter so as to lessen the chance of eggs flying into the tail rotor. 
As we entered the field I had the guy in back assist me in verbally accounting for all wires and any other obstacles that could be of danger. That helped our situational awareness tremendously. 
We had three or four different child age groups to drop eggs for so we would land nearby, load up with eggs (we could safely pack 3,000 eggs into the helicopter) and then fly into the drop zone and do our thing. The only other trick was to be careful of packing eggs in the empty front seat and floor area (next to the pilot). It was difficult for the guy in back to reach over the front seat and into the floor area so a few times I would have to sort of lean over and grab bags of eggs from the front floor and pass them back to him. That was a bit tricky, but the fact that I'm very tall aided me a lot. An average height pilot probably shouldn't attempt to reach for stuff  in the front passenger floor area while he's hovering.
Overall, we had a great time and the crowd was incredible for a relatively small town. They had nearly ten thousand people show up! Of course, since Easter is in early spring, you have to plan for wind, but having the drop in the morning was a big help in that matter. Our day was great and if asked, I'd do it again.
I didn't quite understand why a church needed the helicopter but after pondering it and actually participating, I realized why: the kids love the egg hunt and the helicopter attracts a big crowd of curious adults.
This all happened at a local civic center and it had the GM of the center on pins and needles, but thanks to careful planning it went off without a hitch.
PS
Although it was a success, I've yet to hear if the church plans to do it again this year.
Lastly, this happened in class Charlie airspace so we had to keep the tower informed as to our flights. We were less than two miles from the airport.
DrDirk
Member Since : 2012
Posts(20)
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02-28-2015 07:22:22
Alright, I think you guys helped me figure it out! I ran the W&B numbers again and it should be
easy to have pilot and one person in back as the thrower. Candy will be stored on back and front seat somehow, not sure yet.

And yes SN, I think you are right... just went back and checked again and the tail rotor is on the left...I still think it blows to the left as well.

Didn't recall the doors off section so thanks for the reminder but I never really fly without doors and if I do I keep the passenger doors on in case they loose their slippers or something.

Now this may be academic but I can see how something falling out of the left side is more likely to blow back into the tail rotor when in forward motion. When hovering I kind of doubt it would hit the tail rotor but without a wind tunnel or some cool modeling we will never know for sure.

In any case, I have been flying for 30+ years and stay "by the book" so right side it will be. Depending on the actual weight of the candy and potential volunteers I may still keep someone in the left front seat to help with gathering candy and in case something falls around.

Also sticking the bags into a shirt or something is a great idea I have not thought of yet. Definitely will do something along those lines.

On a side note, the guys in Texas doing the hog hunting out of helicopters hang out of the left side with guns and ammo. It always made me a bit uncomfortable and I probably wouldn't do it, even with harness and shell collector. Come to think of it, I wouldn't do it for other reasons as well but that's a whole other topic.

Safe flying,

Dirk
13snoopy
Member Since : 2007
Posts(339)
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02-28-2015 08:04:00
Thanks SN for your detailed description. I did google and find a few more write ups. The one thing I am still debating is where the thrower should sit. With all the wright in the rear seat behind the pilot it will be at the edge of the CG for sure. The R66 is very tail heavy as it is so having the weight in the back is not the best. I will run the CG for that again. Best would be in the left front seat from a flying point of few with all the bags behind. Now how much of a danger is there really that some of the candy hits the tail rotor? After all the tail rotor is blowing away form the helicopter? Would't it be just as possible that it hits it from the right side?

I may even try with a guy in the front left as a "cargo master" a thrower in the right back seat and of course a pilot. This way the front guy can hand the candy back to the thrower.

With less than 1/2 fuel that should work.

I have already checked the site and it is workable. Will be meeting with the church next week.

To the question of why would they do it, we are in Texas and the churches are huge and so are the crowds. They expect many thousands of kids.

No, if you put two passengers in the ship along with yourself you are gonna really limit how many eggs you can carry per trip. And I cannot believe you would be out of cg with a light weight person sitting behind you in the pilot side rear seat.
I did the same in an R44 and had no handling problems whatsoever.
PS
Regarding your question about the tail rotor, the last time I checked the tail rotor on Robinson's are on the left side. The chances of something flying back and into the tail rotor is much more likely if you throw stuff out of the left side versus the right.
You can google a video search or look on YouTube and see Easter egg drops and some of the ships do drop them out of the left side, but I think somebody just wasn't using their head.
Again, for a bigger R66 there's really no way you'd be out of balance with a 160 pound person sitting behind the pilot, unless maybe the pilot weighs 300 pounds.
jabr800
Member Since : 2008
Posts(134)
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03-01-2015 02:11:52
Section 4-9 of the R22 POH - "Doors Off Operation"

"Avoid removing left door to protect tail rotor from loose objects.
If left door must be removed, warn passenger to secure loose objects and to keep head and arms inside cabin to avoid high velocity airstream."

Is there anything like that in your R66 POH, that might give the FAA or your Insurance Company some real teeth, if they have the need to come after you?

Just some food for thought.
I have a lot of back round in the R22, but zero in the R66.