A Maintained Aircraft Is A Happy Aircraft
Helicopters and small planes have been used for commercial use for decades, especially helicopters. This is simply because helicopters have the added benefit of hovering in a single location rather than making back and forth passes. It is because of this that touring areas like Hawaii, for example, would employ the use of a helicopter rather than a small plane. However, it is because of the frequent use of helicopters that the global commercial helicopter sales have been creeping towards a healthy $billion in 2017. But more importantly, because of those numbers, and frequent use, that a pilot’s number one concern should be safety.
So what can you do? Routine maintenance. That may seem like the obvious decision to make, right? Yes, for a good, dedicated pilot. You can’t treat helicopters like you would a hole in the wall and tell yourself, “I will fix that later.” It should be increasingly more important to any competent pilot if you plan on giving citizens tours. And since there are 131,500 reported aircraft mechanics and service technicians employed in the United States as of 2017, that means any state will probably have around 2,630 working employees at any given moment, also meaning you can easily find maintenance for any aircraft.
To further drive the point home, many parts need to be replaced after a certain time. Your battery for example has a specific life span. The manufacturers behind the battery will recommend when this time has come. The same can be said about the ability of your aircraft’s airflow, or a rotor track balance, or your aircraft is need of a vibration analysis.
Speaking of vibration analysis, your aircraft should need exceed a certain vibration, measured by IPS, which is short for “inches per second.” With a vibration analyzer, the IPS is measured and converted to a scale; have an IPS hovering, no pun intended, around 0-.2 IPS? That’s good! How about .21-.4 IPS? That’s fair! But once you start pushing .41-.6 IPS, you are entering “rough” territory with 1.01-1.2 IPS being absolutely dangerous.
Dynamic propeller balance is another important aspect to maintain. Dynamic propeller balance is an embodiment of entropy. Think of it like the axle of your car. If its alignment is slightly off, you can feel a slight difference that you can easily compensate for but over time, and very quickly, it’s soon so out of alignment that turning the car is nearly impossible. While the dynamic propeller balance does not work in a similar fashion, what it can do when not balanced right is cause problems to your engine and propellers through vibration.
Helicopters are clearly a popular avenue for pilots. The FAA has calculated that every year around 10,600,00 jobs are attributed to the employment of aviators in the United States. Just in 2015, aviation flights tallied 24,142,000 hours in the air during 2015. That averages out to about 66,000 hours logged every single day! People, clearly, love flying.