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MAINTENANCE MINUTE


By Scott Skola


Blue Light Special: TODAY’S SPECIAL IS THREE MX TIPS


TIP #1 Power of the Pencil You discover your Bell 206 Series battery relay does not come online after an engine start using an external power unit (EPU) due to a low aircraft battery. This relay requires a minimum residual voltage in the battery to actuate the solenoid and pull the contactor bar down.


While the aircraft is running and battery switch on, remove the round “label” from the top cover on most battery relays. Insert a wooden pencil in the cover hole and push down on the contactor bar. Reinstall the label or cover the hole with tape.


TIP #2 Bump and Run


Ever push out a Bell 206L Series after an M/R blade or hub change and find the nodal beams are hitting the down stops during ground run track and balance with the collective full down? The primary culprit is usually that the M/R blade angle has been set back to its nominal setting.


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 not-so-fun ground run.


To get through the bounce, pull some pitch to get beams off stops until you finish the complete M/R track and balance, to include setting the autorotation RPM.


22 July/Aug 2018


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 ground nodal bounce, first check all the nodal system elastomeric bearings. If the bearings look good, check that the autorotation setting is correct per the maintenance manual.


TIP #3 What a Gas


Do you find yourself needing compressed air to close an engine bleed valve for a compressor wash, spray paint a small area, or even run a drill motor, but the air compressor is a mile away, or worse, no power is available to run a portable compressor? No problem. Just wheel your nitrogen bottle/cylinder out to the aircraft.


Since most maintenance shops keep large 2,500 psi nitrogen bottles/cylinders around to service struts, tires, float bottles, etc., they can make a neat, portable “air compressor.” Ensure the nitrogen cylinder has a regulator to reduce the nitrogen gas pressure down to a user pressure of 100- 125 psi. Then using proper air fittings and hoses, adapt the nitrogen cylinder regulator to a separate inline regulator and plug in your final air hose. Adjust the pressure of the second regulator to the required level. Most air tools run fine at 80-90 psi.


Remember: this is for nitrogen gas cylinders only. Never ever use an oxygen bottle/cylinder, or it will be the last thing you remember in this lifetime. Have I emphasized nitrogen enough times?


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