Posted 36 days ago ago by Admin
As an avid bowhunter, I tend to practice on targets to improve my aim. My granddaughter enjoys archery and often will practice with me. I consistently try to improve my arrow grouping. If I am to tighten the arrow group, I must pay attention to the little things. Consistent attention to the basic mechanics such as shooting position, anchor point, target concentration and release will pay huge dividends when the time comes to make the shot on the perfect deer.
The same holds true when I work with helicopters, the little things matter. Little things become big things when they are not given proper attention. An oil leak that is within limits can be considered a little thing but when an elastomeric bearing gets oil soaked and the rubber erodes then you have a big expensive problem. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, a lot of little pieces that when fit together create a clear picture.
Andy Andrews say’s. “Little things do matter. Sometimes, little things matter the most”. Big things demand our attention. But big things are usually made up of little things that we let slide. When you ignore little things, they often turn into big things that have become a lot harder to handle.” A perfect example is when an issue that you have been watching suddenly becomes a problem and now you are AOG on top of a hospital. The little thing is now a big thing, and you must call a crane company to retrieve the helicopter.
Another example of little things are dirty windshields. They may seem fine until the sun hits them just right and the pilots view is obstructed. Smoking rivets can be indicative of a crack or loose airframe structure. Oil leaks on the transmission deck or engine pan can be a loose or defective oil line. Coach John Wooden said that “It’s the little things that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
Next time you daily or preflight your helicopter make sure you look small. Remember the words of Andy Andrews, “every little thing you do or don’t do steers life onto a slightly different course.” Steady the course and the pieces will fit together to create a beautiful picture.
About the author: Mark dedicated the majority of his career serving the helicopter EMS community from Base Mechanic to Director of Maintenance. As Vice President & General Manager of Precision Aircraft Services, Mark now serves helicopter operators from many sectors to include Air Ambulance, Law Enforcement, Private Owners, etc. When not at work, Mark can be found spending time with his family or sitting in a tree stand.
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