Flying through

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Prior Planning Prevents Piss-ups

The battery is behind the passenger seat
Yesterday, I had an interesting example of how a little prior planning could have saved embarrassment.

I went to do a 162F owner's test. When I arrived at Street Farm the helicopter was already there, although the pilot was to arrive later, brought up by a friend and delayed by M25 traffic. This is probably an important factor, since, although he thought he had brought everything necessary for the test ie log book, licence, medical etc he actually forgot to bring the second collective for his machine.
This being a test, and as he was anyway not current, I could not fly without the collective, so, this would have been a disaster had the Bull Brothers not once more saved the day. We were able to use a collective from another machine... luckily it fitted, and this luckily should be underlined, since, as Rotorways are 'hand-made,' the parts are not always interchangeable.
The collective in and we were ready to go... flat battery.
Rotorway pilots know just how important a battery is in the Rotorway machines. The engine runs directly from the battery, there is no intervening magneto etc to help.
However, we were able to jump start the battery. This is not an easy matter in the 162F as the battery is behind the passenger seat, and hence external starts are not as easy as they are in full-grown machines. But yet again the brothers were marvellous, having everything we needed. Once the leads were in place the battery started easily and we were soon good to go.

The pilot flew extremely well, and there was no need to fail him, but I think he will remember this test for a while.