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Unread 02-08-2020, 11:59 AM   #46
jadnashua
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Made it home!

They let me out of the rehab hospital on Wednesday, and after an appointment with the surgeon on Friday, he said I could drive, which makes things much more convenient. Need to watch days when the surfaces might be slippery in the parking lots or to the stores, but progress is being made. The screws to stabilize my back are working, but I'll need to wear the brace for maybe another month in some circumstances.
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Unread 02-08-2020, 12:14 PM   #47
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Having seen how easy it is to hurt a perfectly healthy back walking on icy surfaces, Jim, I'd say you wanna be cautious to the point of just not doing that at all.

Sounds like good progress and I hope it continues. Wish we could get you a new toy so you could get right back on that horse, but that's a bit above even my big credit card limit.

Do hope you can figure out why it happened, at least.
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Unread 02-08-2020, 06:08 PM   #48
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Jim, I just saw this part of the thread about your incident. Glad you're still with us and at least able to get up and around a little bit. Hope your recovery is swift and relatively pain-free.

As for the memory thing, it's not unusual to lose some time with that kind of injury. I know of a few that lost the memory of several days prior to the crash. Hopefully it's normal, and not caused by something medical prior to the crash.

As for going back in the air, I wouldn't even think about it for a while. Pondering on something like that is best left for after you're feeling much better.
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Unread 02-08-2020, 08:29 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
As for going back in the air, I wouldn't even think about it for a while.
C'mon, officer, he's already driving an automobile fer cryin' out loud. And that's far more dangerous than any flying machine he's likely to gain access to. Even them little ones what don't even have no proper wings. And not nearly as much fun.
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Unread 02-08-2020, 09:29 PM   #50
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FWIW, they guys that moved the thing to a storage hanger for the FAA to peruse, should they decide to, said the fuselage pretty much came apart and they were covered with carbon fiber dust. I think that may have been part of what kept me intact, the whole thing acting like a big air bag as it crushed. There is, or was!?, an aeronautical 4130 steel frame, but the pretty outside was mostly for directing air, and while carbon fiber, actually quite thin. In most places, probably less than 1/16" thick. All of those fibers and the resin fracturing absorb a lot of energy. The company that designed the thing has been building them for over 50-years, and know a thing or two about them and how to make them work well.

Anyway, don't see the neurologist until late next week. Hope to get a bit more info then, but may never really know what precipitated the whole thing.

The thing is actually quite forgiving...the flexible rotor acts like a big spring buffer, so turbulence that normally would make a small plane bounce all over the place, this thing just floats through it. It can fly level as slow as 30mph, which makes the 115mph I got to somehow on the runway really a conundrum while still on the ground! And, to land the thing, with a little practice, you can flare and essentially land without any rollout, assuming there's enough room for the rotor to make its way down there. A conventional winged airplane will drop uncontrollably out of the air if you go too slow or exceed the angle of attack (think the Boeing 737's that had the issue last year). This thing doesn't stall, and the rotor naturally keeps it upright. The test pilots playing with the things when I checked mine out in Italy were pulling 90-degree banked turns.

Until I can get a better handle on what might have precipitated the incident (not calling it an accident, yet), I wouldn't fly one solo, even if they let me. Would want some closure on what caused the whole thing, and assurance assuming I caused it (likely), it won't happen again. I'd like to see my next birthday, and many afterwards! There was some mumbling about TIA evidence and I need to listen while fully following things and the ability to ask questions. One guy that was there while I was being pulled from the plane said while I was sort of awake, I was not very coherent. I remember nothing from the point I got to the end of the runway to start my takeoff run until I'd been in the emergency room for at least a few hours, so maybe lost 4-5 hours. I listened to my last radio conversation, and to me, I sound a bit off, so sounds like something may have started right after I finished my test and run up and then moving to the runway to take off. Really hard to tell, though. Medical scans aren't definitive for this sort of thing for their timing.

Thanks for the kind thoughts.
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Unread 02-08-2020, 10:14 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Yeager
If you can walk away from a landing, it's a good landing. If you use the airplane the next day, it's an outstanding landing.
Not sure where your landing rates in Chuck’s scale but I’m sure glad to hear you are back up and moving around.

Following up to no memory of event; I had a similar thing happen while coaching soccer a number of years ago and still have no memory of it. I apparently slipped while running on wet field and hit my head pretty hard. I was told I got right up and said “I’m okay” and finished practice. Later however I had to call my wife to get me and our daughter because I couldn’t find my way home. I think she was more worried about getting our daughter home safely but I still got a ride home and then a second ride to the ER.
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Unread 02-08-2020, 11:32 PM   #52
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Quote:
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C'mon, officer, he's already driving an automobile fer cryin' out loud.
Well, he ain't in Arkansas, so I've got no say-so on that. All I can do from here is make friendly suggestions.
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Unread 02-10-2020, 08:34 AM   #53
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I drive a lot, and I've pulled a travel trailer all over this continent, including two trips to Alaska and back, every state in the Union and a good number of Canadian provinces . . . and I still advise to just not fly in small flying machines of any type including hot air balloons.
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Unread 02-10-2020, 07:33 PM   #54
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Glad you're feeling better, Jim.
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Unread 02-12-2020, 03:48 PM   #55
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Glad you're on the mend, Jim....Maybe you should have started out with an Autogyro, eh?

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Unread 02-12-2020, 05:26 PM   #56
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Those early autogyros (an early name of what the FAA now calls a gyroplane) were deathtraps. A modern, well-designed machine is one of the safest flying machines you can be in. I may never find out why I had the incident, but it wasn't the machine's fault from everything that's been discovered so far. It essentially destroyed itself protecting me from more severe injury as the carbon fiber shell crushed, absorbing lots of energy in the process, leaving me belted into a hard point.

The thing would normally be flying at about 40-50 mph. How it was on the ground at 115 and not flying could only happen if it was being held down. How and why that was the case, I may never know. But, if it had made it into the air in a more typical manner and I blacked out, it had enough fuel to fly for about 4-hours, and someone a couple of years ago, got theirs up over 28Kft, where you'd likely either freeze or pass out from lack of oxygen, so it could have been much worse! If the throttle was left at max, the normal way you take off, it would just keep climbing unless adjusted by the operator that has to be awake and aware of what's going on.
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Unread 02-13-2020, 12:28 PM   #57
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You're a braver man than I, Jim, for this is as close as I'll ever get to one of those new fangled flying thingies you were in.
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Unread 02-14-2020, 06:52 AM   #58
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Dan - I think I’ve seen that very machine in front of the old Baby’s R Us store in Fairfax. Store is long gone now but my kids clocked many imaginary flights!!
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Unread 02-15-2020, 05:20 PM   #59
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The neurologist said I had embolic stroke. This is basically a clot that comes from somewhere else and up through the carotid arteries until it can't go any further. She said there was more than one spot affected, and the clots actually went up both arteries and caused multiple stroke events. So, now they want to do some more testing to see how my brain is functioning, and then a heart monitor for awhile to see if that's where the clot came from. Luckily, my motor functions are fluid with no weakness, and I think I'm being coherent in my writing and speaking. It could have been much worse if I'd gotten into the air before blacking out. The jet stream has been cooking. Last night, it hit something like 270 mph at altitude. Expected NYC to London flights to set all-time records with ground speeds of nearly 900 this weekend. Given the fuel aboard and the maximum velocity, that would have taken me way out into the ocean...

The broken vertebrae don't really hurt, but I sprained something in my neck, and that is the worst. Tore a tendon in my left index finger, and that may be a pain to fix...see that doctor next week.

Reading and posting here helps pass the time. Hopefully, it helps some along the way, too.
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Unread 02-15-2020, 06:17 PM   #60
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Good luck with all that Jim. No fun being banged up like that.
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