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ROTORwrench…Tips, Tricks, and Info - September 2016

Posted 5 years 30 days ago ago by Scott Skola

Helicopter Maintenance Blog 

September 2016

Looks like the FAA regulation of the drone industry is ramping up. The new FAR Part 107 went live the end of August, and the new Drone Advisory Committee will hold its first meeting September 16th. 

I can see the headlines now…FAA ramp checks drone operator--fines him for faded placards.

Welcome to the big leagues.


ATA 77
Ever struggle to match engines because the torque indicator needle(s) are oscillating back and forth. Before digital systems became the norm, some direct reading systems were notorious for this; especially the 105. 

A fluid (e.g., engine oil) does not physically compress like a gas (e.g., air). Some anomalies (external or internal) acting on the pressure flow to the torque indicator can cause the needle to fluctuate. A quick way to cure this, or troubleshoot the indicator, is to install a “shock absorber” in the oil flow.

Disconnect one or both torque lines at the back of the indicator. Pull them away from the indicator and drain the oil from each line into a rag or container. Then reconnect the lines.  

The small pocket of air captured between the oil filled indicator and the system oil flow will compress and absorb the intermittent pulses of pressure change; while maintaining a constant pressure indication.  

If after several attempts the needle(s) still fluctuate, further troubleshooting may require installing a direct reading gauge at the engine side, or installing a replacement indicator. In rare cases, one of the indicating system flex lines could be collapsed internally, or might be kinked. [Submitted by Rw]

A couple FAA InFOs:

Bell engine mount legs

Auto detailing companies

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.*