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ROTORwrench…Tips, Tricks, and Info - June 2016

Posted 7 years 345 days ago ago by Scott Skola

Helicopter Maintenance Blog

June 2016

Been a busy month. One interesting note, the Germans have 3D printed a flying aircraft. No BS. It’s small and unmanned. But, think of the future possibilities. Find a P/C link corroded, no problem. Instead of going through the antiquated process of ordering a new one, just mosey up to your handy-dandy Snap-On 3D part printer.  Puts a whole new meaning to signing it off… “Fabricated new P/C link from….”

A programming note. I’m heading to the Land of the Midnight Sun for a six weeks. Off grid, no phones, no computers.  Yes!

Will reply to all emails once I get back. Thanks.


ATA 62

Bell 206L Series

Ever push out an L model after a M/R blade change, with everything set back to nominal, and the nodal beams are hitting the down stops during ground track and balance? Pull some pitch to get beam off stops until you finish the complete track and balance, to include setting the autorotation RPM.

The nominal settings are designed to provide sufficient M/R autorotation RPM in the event of an engine failure on the first flight. These settings induce a negative pitch into the M/R blades which in turn push the nodal beams down hitting the stops. Add a blade out of track and it can be a rather fun ground run.  

Once the M/R is flown out and the autorotation RPM is properly set, the nodal bounce should go away. If you run across an aircraft that’s flying smooth with a nodal bounce, first check all the nodal system elastomeric bearings. If they look good check the autorotation setting. If still bouncing, check collective rigging and then track and balance. [Submitted by Rw]


Welcome to the inaugural Maintenance Question Section. The plan is to swap it out with the Misc Info Section whenever I get a question that may appeal to a larger audience. I’ve fielded this one a few times in the past, so it makes a good one to start the section. 


Can a private Bell 206 helicopter be maintained under an Annual Inspection program?

[Submitted by RPB, a pilot/owner looking to upgrade to a Bell 206]


Yes, it can. FAR Part 91.409(e) provides several different inspection program options for a single engine, turbine rotorcraft.

If an owner/operator selects Part 91.409(a)(1), they must also comply with the additional maintenance requirements in Part 43.15. While you can legally use Part 43 Appendix D as your guide for the Annual, along with the appropriate manufacturer requirements per 43.15, I’ve found it is easier to use the factory inspection forms as the Annual guide. Also, be sure you can find an IA who has the desire and experience to comply with an Annual on a turbine rotorcraft.

Since this has been a popular question in the past, look for a detailed article on this subject in a future edition of Rotorcraft Pro magazine.


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.*