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Tag: Helicopter Maintenance


Maintenance Minute - Hold Your Mouth Right

Posted by jhadmin

One item that used to perplex me was reinstalling the K-FLEX drive shaft on a Bell 407. It wasn’t too bad on the earlier models. But once the aft T/R driveshaft flywheel was “incorporated” to form the new thicker rotorbrake (R/B) disc up front, it became a little tighter getting the shaft to drop in. However, when Bell increased the size of the transmission drive flange it became downright impossible without some persuasion. That was until a fellow wrench, Kevin H., showed me the light. This tip is directed at the latter K-FLEX installation. While it’s a bit hard to explain, it’s even harder to draw a diagram. But it works. You just need to hold your mouth right. [Read More...]

Tags: Helicopter Maintenance Maintenance Minute Scott Skola
Categories: categoryTraining


Executive Watch - Gabriel Massey, Able Aerospace

Posted by jhadmin

Able Aerospace Services, a Textron-owned company in Mesa, Arizona, has built the numbers in its favor. In its 30 years of business, the MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) corporation has repaired millions of components for OEMs and operators across the globe. Two key drivers: An innovative, solutions-focused culture, and an on-site, experienced engineering team that works with designated engineering representatives. One dedicated engineer rose through Textron’s ranks to pilot Able Aerospace Services from an all-encompassing view. In that rise, general manager Gabriel Massey, a Montreal native, hasn’t lost his engineering enthusiasm for numbers. “I was always good at math and numbers,” he says. “Many of my relatives were engineers, so I always knew it was part of my path, but others were entrepreneurs, which fostered an equal interest in business strategy – a little unique for an engineer.” At Able, this helps him to see more than just digits and details. “It’s important to understand the details, but not get buried in them,” Massey observes. “As a leader, it’s a balance of digging into technical details when necessary, but at the same time not managing the details. I allow my teams to take care of their details and make their own decisions.” That’s a lesson Massey learned watching other leaders during his rise. “I’ve seen leaders that are good in the details, but never rise up above them, and I’ve seen some that didn’t master details and were disconnected.” [Read More...]

Tags: Able Aerospace Gabe Massey Helicopter Components Helicopter Maintenance Helicopter Parts MRO Textron
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest


Maintaining Helicopter Batteries

Posted by jhadmin

Maintenance of helicopters’ onboard batteries is a critical function and it is structured on the basis of their component maintenance manuals. However, the knowledge of industry practitioners on how to accomplish onboard batteries related maintenance tasks sometimes is limited only to what is available in maintenance manuals. To inform professionals involved in helicopter maintenance, we reached out to experts in the field and identified a few factors to consider when performing and managing maintenance on these critical components. [Read More...]

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Tags: Helicopter Batteries Helicopter gel batteries Helicopter lead batteries Helicopter Maintenance helicopter nickel-cadmium batteries Helicopter performance
Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors



Posted by jhadmin

Every year I get asked a version of this question: can an owner use an FAA annual inspection on a turbine-powered rotorcraft? The short answer: You bet! While an annual inspection may not be advantageous in every case, it is a legal and viable method to maintain the airworthiness of most turbine helicopters. Airbus AS350s, Bell 429s, and even Sikorsky S-76s are eligible, provided they’re operated as a private aircraft under FAA Part 91. What follows is my version of the long answer via a brief overview of the annual inspection process: [Read More...]

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Tags: Helicopter Annual Helicopter Maintenance



Posted by jhadmin

Ever wonder how many times you signed your name and A&P number after the word “airworthy.” For me, it’s in the thousands. So, how does a mechanic define it? For some, the definition is rigid: the aircraft must be in like-new condition with a pristine record trail. For others, it’s a gray area of personal decision, defined by an aircraft’s use, age, and regulatory compliance. Regardless of interpretation, the airworthy condition of an aircraft is the core function of a mechanic. Yet, an official FAA definition of this fundamental word is lacking within our maintenance regulations and guidance material. Let’s try to find one. The Basics Numerous articles, papers, and FAA documents offer various descriptions of airworthy. The common accepted version today requires an aircraft to conform to its type design and to be in a condition for safe operation. Looking to the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), essential terms and their definitions are usually given at the beginning of a chapter, part, or section, along with an applicability clause. FAR Part 1, Definitions and Abbreviations, applies to “Subchapters A through K of this chapter,” so it seems it would be a logical place to find a definition for airworthy, since our Part 43 falls under Subchapter C. Unfortunately, the definition is not listed in FAR Part 1, or Part 43, or Part 65 for that matter. Given its significance, you would think airworthy, or airworthiness, would have its own part in the FARs. [Read More...]

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Tags: Helicopter Airworthiness Helicopter Maintenance Helicopter Mechanics
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety categoryRegulatory



Posted by jhadmin

Though inspection is part of the FAA definition of maintenance, I kept it separate for three reasons: One, inspections have their own set of performance rules in Part 43. Two, in the course of aircraft maintenance, other than inspection, the mechanic selects the reference. In the case of an inspection program, the owner/operator selects the reference under authority in Part 91. And three, once an inspection program/reference has been selected, the mechanic is required by regulation to follow that reference. I’m sure everyone agrees the inspection process is an expensive recurring cost in maintaining an aircraft. And although it would be unwise for an owner/operator not to consult with a mechanic prior to selecting an inspection program, it happens. Even though a mechanic may know a more efficient program to follow, Part 43.15 mandates the mechanic to follow the selected inspection program. [Read More...]

Tags: Aircraft Inspections Helicopter Maintenance
Categories: categoryRegulatory categoryTraining



Posted by jhadmin

Ever had someone sneak up behind you while twisting a wrench and inquire if you were doing it “by the book”? Ever wonder what book they were referring to? What follows is my own unconventional interpretation. I’m by no means an expert. However, after years of practicing I think I can get this as mixed up as the best of them. [Read More...]

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Tags: Helicopter Maintenance Scott Skola
Categories: categoryTraining

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