Flying a helicopter with a crane is a weird way to fly. 🙂 After a hard landing, Cape Copters came out, performed a hard landing inspection on our Robinson R44 Raven 2 helicopter, and determined we needed to ship back to the factory. They prepared our helicopter to be returned to the factory for repairs. They removed the main rotor blades, tail rotor, tail boom and stabilizers. A crane then lifted the helicopter onto the back of a truck and the parts were packed for shipping. Pretty cool to watch. The whole process took about 3 hours, which was surprisingly fast.
It was cool to get a closer look at the insides of the helicopter, and see how well it held up. There were no cracks, or issues in the helicopter frame, or critical components. No deflection or warping on the firewall. Everything was in good shape. The skid pants were bent, and for sheet metal work, Robinson said it has to go back to the factory.
There was surprisingly little paperwork to fill out. We completed a maintenance request form, and sent it with a check to Robinson for the inspection. Robinson has been pretty cool. The inspection fee will go towards any repairs they end up doing. Not a bad deal.
The down side is the 14 week process it takes the Robinson Factory to get an estimate completed. HOWEVER, this is one of those things I don’t mind them being thorough and taking their time.