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ROTORwrench…Tips, Tricks, and Info - May 2016

Posted 7 years 362 days ago ago by Scott Skola

Helicopter Maintenance Blog

May 2016

Unfortunately, we start this month off on a terrible note. A North Sea aircraft loses its M/R head and blades in flight. While not the first time this has happened, it’s the first time I’ve seen a video of the head/blades spinning down without a helicopter below it. Enough said.

Moving on….


Ground Support

Ever find yourself needing compressed air to close an engine bleed valve for a scheduled compressor wash, spray paint a small area, or even run a drill motor? But the air compressor is a mile away, or worse, no power available to run a portable compressor? No problem. Just wheel your compressed NITROGEN cylinder out to the aircraft.

Since most maintenance shops keep large 2500 psi NITROGEN bottles/cylinders around to service struts, tires, float bottles, etc., they can make a neat, portable “air compressor.” Ensure the NITROGEN cylinder has a regulator to reduce the NITROGEN gas pressure down to a user pressure of 100-125 psi. Using proper air fittings and hoses, adapt the NITROGEN cylinder regulator to a separate inline regulator, and plug in your final air hose. Adjust the pressure of the second regulator to the required level. Most air tools run fine at 80-90 psi.

Remember: this is for NITROGEN gas cylinders only. NEVER use an oxygen bottle/cylinder as it will be the last thing you remember in this lifetime. Have I mentioned NITROGEN enough times? [Submitted by Rw]


One more FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins (SAIB), and one FAA Information for Operators (InFO) bulletin.

SAIB on BP Turbine Oil Changes


InFO on air ambulance stretcher installs.



Have an old tip or trick you’d like to share with your fellow mechanics? Or maybe a question that you can’t seem to find an answer to? Or just some info to pass on?  Send an email to [email protected]

About the author: After 32 years maintaining helicopters in various capacities, Scott concluded a full time career with a major operator in 2014. When not pursuing future writing projects, he can still be seen around the flight line tinkering on aircraft for beer money.  He can be contacted at [email protected]

*And to keep the hounds at bay, the information contained in this blog is for discussion purposes only.*