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AS I AM FLYING ALONG, IT’S NOT HARD TO NOTICE THE POWER AVAILABLE.


one occasion the FAA questioned if a small statured pilot could handle the ship with hydraulics off. Remembering a rather petite gal that works at Robinson and has some helicopter time, they took her up with the FAA and she easily han- dled the run on landing with hydraulics off. Doug cautions that you don’t want to try a normal approach to a hover as the stiff controls can get the best of even a good pilot. Like any ship its size, always run them on. The new certification standard requires that the seats endure a 16G force.


After a few attempts, the machine testing the seats broke from the force it was delivering! After re-working the seats, and the testing machine, Robinson settled on a design that uses an extended area below each seat to help soften the blow. Think of it like a spring under the seat absorbing some of the force if an acci- dent occurred. The best news to come out of all the FAA testing was relating to the SFAR


73 rules. Simply put, the new R66 is certified without any reference to the SFAR. The rules do not apply to the new Robinson creation. As I am flying along, it’s hard not to notice the power available. With full


fuel and four of us on board, 100% torque brought us a 1600 FPM climb at around 70 knots. I ask Doug what he would like to see changed in the 66. “I


ROTORCRAFTPROFESSIONAL 38


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