If your like us your nowhere near ready for the rapidly approaching Fall. The trees are all turning and leaves are flying along with the snow in Whitecourt already. This month we're going to have a look at what Sean and Ryan have been up to over the summer and what the cooler temperatures mean for your aircraft.
Sean has been away for two months flying with Black Hawk Helicopters all over Northern Alberta and Manitoba. Above are a few photos from the spray season.
Top: Sitting in the bush North of Flin Flon one evening with a spectacular light show.
Middle Left: Aerial Application is very dependent on weather conditions and mean most of the flying is done early morning and in the evening.
Middle Right: Working in cut blocks for the summer means a lot of remote locations and many hours with chainsaws and brush saws prepare landing sites.
Bottom Left: R44 on takeoff with a full load.
Bottom Right: Living in the middle of nowhere for the summer means a few friendly visitors. This young Black Bear would visit our trailer a couple of times a day looking for food.
The snow might not have stayed but whether your willing to admit it yet or not winter is coming and the overnight temperatures are starting to drop.
To start with a silver lining, at least the cooler temperatures mean an increase in performance for us all, well for your helicopter anyway.
Five degrees Celsius might not feel too cold for you standing outside with your warm coffee in hand and woolly toque on your head. If your machine has been sitting outside you can be sure five degrees is cold for an engine that likes to operate at 350° C or over 700° C for a turbine.
It's time to start thinking about covers and if you are lucky enough to have an engine preheating system it should certainly be getting plugged in now. There are a variety of options available and how long it needs to be preheated will depend on the system and outside temperature. They are worth using, ask any maintenance engineer and they will recommend them to prolong the life of your engine.
If you are shutting down for a while in cooler temperatures it's nice to have a body cover to hold the heat in the engine. Think how hard your vehicle finds a start in the middle of winter when it's cold. It stutters and coughs and limps into life and eventually will lead to a weak battery and failure to start. Your helicopter is no different, except when it refuses to start you might be in the bush and waiting in the cold for hours to be rescued.
Depending on the machine your flying you might also need to be digging out those winter baffles soon. Refer to you Pilot Operators Handbook (POH) to find out when they should be installed.
Winter might not be everyone's favorite time of year but getting a little heat before startup can make the world of difference to your day, your customers and help keep engine maintenance costs down.
Critical Surface Contamination
602.11 (1)"...critical surfaces means the
wings, control surfaces, rotors, propellers, horizontal stabilizers,
vertical stabilizers or any other stabilizing surface
of an aircraft....."
Ryan has been out working with an Astar in Northern Alberta. Here are a few photos of some of the sites he's been working.
We're still accepting applications for Fall courses! If it's always been your dream to fly give us a call today at 780 778 6600 to book a discovery flight or use the button below to sign up for the full course.