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Maintenance Update

img_0457_1.jpgWell G-EWAW is getting a good rest and a thorough maintenance check. PDG have had my machine since last Monday and are performing a 100hr and 300hr check on her. The compressor was also due an inspection so that will get done too. I also had a short list of items that required attention which I hope they will get the chance to do, if the weather has anything to do with it, then I suspect they will have it into early January! I am in fact quite happy that G-EWAW is down at PDG because it

The odds and sods were nothing of significance, but included connecting a TOT reset key that had never been working, replacing the backlight bulbs on my VOR. N1 gauge and the compass so they can all be seen at night. We had also found that the throttle had become very stiff so they are replacing the throttle cable and also the collective had become ‘notchy’ and made it difficult to operate in a precise manner. On inspection of the main rotor head, PDG identified, some wear in a component on the swash plate and they were certain this was the cause of the problem on the collective , so that has been removed and is being sent to Sloane Helicopters for attention. They are all doing their best to have it returned prior to Xmas so that I can have it back during the New Year period, but to be honest I’m not holding my breath.

A major consideration for this inspection is the starts which have become very poor. I have previously written about these having a tendency to be very warm and although we changed the FCU (a scheduled change), replaced the starter generator and one or two other things, they have become poor again. So much so that it was becoming impossible to fire the machine without using a ground power unit in conjunction with the internal battery. A procedure that isn’t recomended but was necessary in the last few weeks to get her going.

The correction of this problem was to be number 1 priority on the list of things to do and the boys at PDG have concluded that my battery is actually the problem. This is slightly disappointing as I only had it fitted in March and is therefore less than 6 months old. I purchased it directly from the supplier and had it shipped to PDG for installation so I will have to deal with that element on my return although a new one is being ordered prior to my return to the UK.

Other items are unlikely to get done including a pre-flight kit that I bought in January and mainly provides for the installation of flight steps on the outside of the machine to stop me having to stand on the seats to conduct my pre-flight. They will get fitted eventually I guess. So that’s he update so far. I’ll keep you posted.

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G-LADZ comes a cropper!!!!

G-LADZ_311009_001It’s not G-LADZ’s year having come a cropper whilst stood minding it’s own business at Sleap Airfield (EGCV) today. As can be seen by the picture, a Cessna ploughed into the side of it whilst it was stood waiting to be refuelled.

G-LADZ owners, and myself, were sat having a coffee in the lounge when the crash alarm was activated and we all instinctively went to look out of the window to see if all was O.K. – only to discover that LADZ had been unceremoniously assaulted without provocation. The elderly pilot of the Cessna had apparently applied full throttle whilst taxiing from the AVGAS pumps and had ploughed straight into the side of the Enstrom. Fortunately no-one was hurt and the RFFS team were on hand to ensure that there was no fire.

LADZ was parked in the designated JET A1 refuelling area but fortunately had not yet uplifted fuel (otherwise that would have been a waste of JET A1!!!). Regrettably there is a significant amount of damage to G-LADZ and whether it survives to tell the tale will remain to be seen. Either way it’s a terrible shame as it’s only just been released to service following it’s dramatic landing recently when the gearbox failed in flight.

Fortunately most of the LADZ boys have Jet Ranger ratings so I guess my machine will be seeing some more action. I’ll keep you all posted!!!

Blackpool illuminations at night!!

202055It’s been a short while since I flew at night so I arranged to do a trip with some pals and my other arf at night to include a trip up the Fylde coast to see the Blackpool illuminations.  Continue reading

Stanley House, Mellor, Lancashire

IMG_0051Recently I visited Stanley House in Mellor, Blackburn. The occasion was actually a re-union for couples who had married there, and as my other half and I qualified, we were invited to attend. As I fly anywhere that is more than 3.5NM away, it was obvious that I would be commuting there at 1,500′ (O.K. it was more like 300’AGL, but I have to say 1,500′ in case the CAA are reading! 🙂 ). Continue reading

Dodgy Torque meter !

G-EWAW Torquemeter 004I’ve been experiencing a problem with my Torque meter recently. It was an intermittent problem, but it needed rectifying all the same. Basically, it was impossible to keep it below 40PSI on run up, which it should easily have been capable of and, it would almost immediately begin to show 70PSI. Once in flight, it would read accurately, (more or less), but if you put the machine into auto, it wouldn’t read any less than 70 PSI so it was clearly not a happy bunny. Furthermore the needle would oscillate  rapidly between two narrow levels (e.g. 70psi – 71psi). Continue reading

Manchester ATC Visit

IMG_1095_1.jpgLast week I was fortunate enough to visit Manchester Airport’s Air Traffic Control centre. This was part of a reciprocal arrangement made to take Air Traffic Controllers on a trip around the Zone so that they have an appreciation of the pilot’s world and the pilots, in turn, have an appreciation of the controllers world. We initially met at Barton and then after tripping the Manchester Zone 3 times in EWAW, we transferred across to EGCC to visit ATC.  On arrival we were met by Ian Revell who was the acting Z watch manager and he guided us through the strict security procedures and up to the tower, which as you would expect, has stunning 360 degree views of the surrounding area. Continue reading

Night Flight to Reading (not Night boat to Cairo!)

I had an early morning flight from Heathrow on Sunday but I wasn’t able to organise any sensibly timed connecting flights from\ to Manchester. This isn’t too much of a problem when you own a Jet Ranger so I decided that I would fly down south myself. My only slight concern was whether I would encounter early morning fog or some other poor weather on the morning of my transatlantic flight. Travelling down the day before and staying over night was to be the safest solution, but as I had loaned out the JetBox for the day, I was going to have to fly down at night. Continue reading