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ROTORwrench…Tips, Tricks, and Info - December 2016

Posted 7 years 161 days ago ago by Scott Skola

Helicopter Maintenance Blog* 
December 2016

Going to change things up a bit next year. 

I will be highlighting a specific helicopter model in the Tips and Tricks section. For 2017, it will be the SA315B Lama.

One of the reasons that drove me to start this blog was to build a database of obscure and unique maintenance tips before some of us croaked, or simply forgot them. In turn, once the level of data exceeds a certain point, I will create either an open-source data portal, or a small EBook: free to anyone who wishes to learn.

We’re not quite at that level yet, so I thought to try a different tack to get us there.

I’ve asked several mechanics to assist me in this endeavor. And some have responded. But I still extend the invitation to anyone who might have a little black book rotting away in the bottom drawer of their toolbox. What have you got to lose?

Thanks for another great year.

Hi-Yo, Silver…

ATA 00
Apical Floats
Various Models

This tip is only valid under several conditions: 1) the aircraft has Apical Floats; 2) the float system has integral life rafts; 3) the inspection and repacking of the floats is complied with by an external 3rd party vendor.

After complying with an actual inflation test on a line aircraft, it seemed to take forever to deflate all the floats with the single adapter test found in the Inflate-Deflate Kit. The other option was to modify your vacuum hose to depress the flapper mechanism in the topping valves.

If you look on each inflated life raft, you will find a perfectly good test adapter stuck in a strap of material attached to the side of the raft. If by chance those extra adapters were forgotten in a toolbox after the float assemblies were routed to a vendor for inspection and repack; I would calculate after several actual inflation tests, one would have enough adapters to dramatically speed up the deflation process. [Submitted by Rw]

A couple AgustaWestland newsletters:



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. 

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