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Tips & Tricks


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Best way to educate an experienced crew on what they know and what they don't is to have them do the briefing.

 

I've also used this on numerous occasions and it works well.

 

Just DON'T make the guy doing the briefing look stupid in front of his peers! Always thank them for a job well done, (even if it wasn't), because you have have helped keep the briefing on track anyway...

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Traveling around as a pool pilot I would often find myself in a hotel that had little or no restaurant or cooking facilities. A small George Foreman Grill and a small kettle is often all I needed to make a decent snack late in the day or early in the morning.

 

On the flying side, a wise former boss once told me that whatever I do on the job, follow the Ops Manual as closely as practical but if I had to stray from it, first imagine myself defending my actions in court if something goes wrong.

 

I haven't touched a GPI pump in over ten years but I still have a spare shear pin in my license holder wallet and I know how to use it.

 

On the coast, on a morning where the windshield is clean but covered in dew, all you need is a full splash of lukewarm water just before you fly away. If you go to the trouble of wiping it off, you will have streaky windows all day long. Let the airflow clear it and you will be sparkling clean.

 

Never, ever use 210, pledge, "Clear to land" or any other product on a dirty dry window. Always clean it with a bucket of water and a clean cotton towel first. If you have a deer shamois to dry it, even better. A good quality car wax like rain dance is great and only use "Rain-X" on glass windshields. Snowy foggy days on the coast will be much different with a well prepared and properly treated window.

 

Most motels and hotels will have bags of old stained cotton towels they will gladly give you for cleaning. I've come back to a base with enough to last us years and the hotel was just going to throw them out.

 

A check pilot once debriefed our flight, only to say "don't whistle, it makes the passengers think you are nervous" My reply was "yeah I was nervous, I was flying with you!". It is true though, anyone involved with sailing says the same thing. Whistling on a vessel of any sort is supposedly bad luck, as is opening an oil can upside down. Some oils have particles that settle in it. Better to store it upside down then open it upright if you have anyone superstitious around.

 

Loading nets, pack things so they form a square that is 45 degrees to the side of the net (diamond). That way when the net comes up to form a pyramid, the load is supported relatively evenly. Load a few net loads of cardboard tree boxes for planters and this will make sense in a hurry. Same goes for anything, fuel barrels will not get as dented this way and they will fly much better. I've seen seasoned veterans that could not load a net safely. I spent a long time as a hangar rat and loadmaster before I was given the chance to fly, all rewarding times.

 

Cheers,

 

RH

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A few other things.

 

Never be too proud to take advice, even if you know the information, there are a lot of ways to do a task and your instructor's was only one of them. Never say "I know", once you do that, good people will stop giving you good advice.

 

If you ask for advice, take it and try to use it.

 

If you are new to a hangar, try to leave it in better shape than you found it. This is especially true with the AME's tools. I always asked first and always cleaned anything before returning it, they'll say yes next time.

 

If an engineer is busy trying to get you serviceable, offer to help where you can but don't lurk around glancing at your watch every time they look your way. You want it fixed properly and safely, not a rush job.

 

If you have time to use up, read online TSB accident investigation reports. It is amazing what you will learn from the misfortune of others.

 

Instructor's advice to a student headed out on his first job... Keep your machine clean, your nose clean and your mouth shut. No matter what the machine, be it a five tonne truck, rental car or a JetRanger.

 

RH

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"I haven't touched a GPI pump in over ten years but I still have a spare shear pin in my license holder wallet and I know how to use it."

 

Thats a real good idea, nothing worse than a dead GPI pump. Other items will work in place of a shear pin, like R22Captain said a piece of tie wrap etc.

 

It's also a good idea to put the fuel cap in a pocket when you take it off, they don't stay on the maintenance step very long once you get airborne.

 

Be careful opening drums under a turning rotor, pressure build up in the drum tends to make the bung fly vertically once the last thread is reached.

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It's also a good idea to put the fuel cap in a pocket when you take it off, they don't stay on the maintenance step very long once you get airborne.

 

Learned this one from my previous employer (who was also my flight school) - put the fuel cap on the pilot's seat while fuelling up - hard to forget about it when you sit on it!

 

I don't have much experience, but I do have some dumb little ones I use:

 

If a door is unlatched, your hand never leaves it. This way, it won't get caught by a gust of wind or rotor blast from another machine (and flung into the windshield!).

 

Always remove your watch when washing the machine - especially the windows. Not to save the watch, but to avoid scratching the machine.

 

If your fuel bowser needs a key for a lock or timer, it should be one of three places: In the fuel pump lock/timer or hanging on it's hook or in your hand. Once it goes in a pocket, it tends to go off on a flight in the field (not convenient for the other machines that need fuel!).

 

When using a stepladder around a machine, try and orient it so that if it gets knocked over (or you fall off it :blink:) it falls parallel to the machine rather than into it.

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As for fueling out of drums when no high tech water detectors are available.

 

Take both bungs off. Look (very carefully to avoid fuel in the eye) into the small bung hole. There will be enough light coming in the big bung hole for you to see the entire bottom of the barrel.

 

Any water? If there is you will see it clearly.

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