Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:43 pm Post subject: Danger of leaves?
I flew the other day to a golf course/hotel where it looked like they had swept all the leaves from the golf course to an area right next to their designated helipad/patch of grass.
Needless to say my landing nearby probably didn't do wonders for keeping all the leaves in one heap, but it got me thinking - apart from the obvious threat to visibility (in my case there weren't enough there to be any problem visibility-wise), is there any potential danger with lots of leaves on the ground when taking off/landing? The only thing I could think of was if they had got in the oil cooler door, so I checked that (none had got in), but is there anything else that could get damaged or that you should look for? _________________ Nick
PPL(H) R22 - ~100 hours
Just check for blocking of any intakes, this will restrict airflow and stop the engine working, like you said oil cooler door, because if the radiator is clogged it won't cool properly. As for anything else i don't think there is...
I'm not brave enough yet to leave a helicopter unattended as I am wary of unwanted probing and prodding to the heli by members of the public. Did you keep a close eye on it or was it in a secure area at the hotel?
Has anyone experienced this type of exited behaviour by people other than pilots?
Joined: Feb 14, 2008 Posts: 888 Location: Stavanger, Norway
Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:10 pm Post subject:
Leaves, cut grass etc can cause alot of problems. The oil cooler was mentioned, they will not get in through the oil cooler door on R22 but through the cooling fan. Prolonged hovering will pick up some grass and debris and start to block the effect of cooling for oil but also cylinder temp.
Even on turbines you can have a problem with intakes being blocked. I once had a bunch of leaves and grass block the starter/generator air intake on an EC120, turned out a bird had been building a nest over night near the warm engine. Like the oil cooler on the R22, I have had the engine air intake get covered with grass and other crap.
Clean aircraft policey... doesn't just mean polishing it!
Ive landed at couple of sites for lunch and not had any problems you just have to do a thorough A check. Most people will look but won't touch anything techincal.
Although i did have an interesting story told to me by an instructor who landed at a hotel for a wedding or party or something, when he came to leave one of the guest had used the cooling fan (r22) as a wine glass holder!
HH - Yeh, I didn't stick around too long as I didn't want to find out what potential problems there might be!
The few hotels I've been to have had their helipads away from anything else meaning it would be impractical to keep an eye on it at all times. That said as WindSwept said, a check A on leaving does the trick. _________________ Nick
PPL(H) R22 - ~100 hours
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