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Precision lifting requires precision planning, beginning with city permits and FAA authorization. Roads and areas around the lift site need to be closed, and security people need to be stationed to keep onlookers out. “It’s amazing how people try to approach the work area if we don’t have people watching and keeping them out,” said Jim Anderson, who heads up construction sales and operations for Siller. Landing areas must be designated for aircraft refueling and emergency landing if needed. “We have a single-point refueling system for our VH-3A that lets us do fast but safe refueling,” added Anderson.


‘refueling is timed so the helicopter is lightest during the heaviest lifts, giving the flight crew as much excess performance as possible.


Crews try to schedule lift jobs during the coolest part of the day, Which normally correlates to the morning hours.’


Timing is crucial, too. Refueling is timed so the helicopter is lightest during the heaviest lifts, giving the flight crew as much excess performance as possible. Crews try to schedule lift jobs during the coolest part of the day, which normally correlates to the morning hours. During the summer months this is quite important, especially as the altitude increases. “Every helicopter, even strong helicopters, have performance limits and we have to be very aware of these hard limits during every lift job,” Anderson said. “There might be days when the S-61 could do a job safely in the early morning but might meet its limit by late morning, so altitude, outside air temperature, and engine performance are critical for all helicopters. We learned long ago we cannot fool these calculations, so in some cases where it might look like the S-61 could do the job, it would actually require our Skycrane to complete the job safely.”


66


July/Aug 2019


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