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Ladies and Gentlemen of Industry, I have the need to share a tale of woe, and of gross incompetence, that has caused (and continues to cause) major pain to some of our brethren on this site.


Some good friends of mine (in the interest of full transparency I have to confess I had a small financial interest, but was completely silent in the operative sense) owned an aircraft that they were putting to good use in the airborne geophysical realm. They sent their engine to a somewhat reputable firm (I have heard countless stories of incompetence since this happened to my friends, hence the "somewhat reputable" reference), which I shall call "Heli Zero" for an AD compliance check. They received their engine back in seemingly good order and went to work. Their very first SOAP sample after receiving the engine back showed high (and increasing) levels of iron in the oil. Being very smart and prudent fellows (if incredibly ugly), they sent it back to Heli Zero to see what was going on.


Heli Zero reported back that the issue was a nut spinning internally that was losing metal into the oil (or something to do with a loose nut... I'm a pilot after all!). The area that the nut had loosened was in the same area that Heli Zero had done some work, but they ("they" being Heli Zero) didn't think that was a factor. My (and yours) good friends didn't want to quibble over something that would never be known for sure (it is, after all, possible that an engine can run 1400 hrs without an issue, go for a minor check, and then make metal due to a loose nut within 70 hrs of the check, with this just being a "coincidence").


The story after this gets very complicated... the engine was sent to Heli Zero and they charged our friends over $70K for a repair that most observers felt was a result of an error on Heli Zero's part to begin with...Our friends' agreed to pay it as they really needed to get to work since a HUGE percentage of their fleet was grounded...


Then things went South... literally.... The engine could only be test run in Colorado at Heli Zero's facility there... But they were trying to dial in the test cell for the Arriel engine that was in the new US trainer... it turned the opposite way... Oh these FRENCH!!!! Anyway, our friends were told it would be next week... then next week... then next week... then next week...


Guess how long it took to get their engine back? You won't be able to... no way...


The engine was dropped off in December of 2010...


It was promised back in February of 2011...


Then when things started to be delayed it was March... then April... then May...


The owners of the helicopter had begged for a rental engine... they were told by the Zeros (apparently the personnel at the firm call themselves "Zeros") that there were none available.... our friends looked and looked.... but there were none to be had.....


The owner of the operating company (in writing) said " it's obvious we won't have it for May so we need to figure out something as we're going to be broke without that aircraft for the summer"... Heli Zero said, in response, "I (the fellow our friends were dealing with) give you my word you will have it by May 25th"....


Guess when the engine that Heli Zero likely broke to begin with was finally available to our friends??


In December of 2011, fully one year after it had been dropped off for repair (with NO RENTAL available) it was ready to pick up.... And Heli Zero stated they wouldn't release it without payment in full.....


PAYMENT IN FULL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After waiting a year with a parked aircraft.... No wonder this subsidiary of the world's largest "pretend-an-operator" is so successful.... Go eff yourself Heli Zero and your parent See Her Seam...


The lawyer that Heli Zero has assigned has an interesting perspective on things... she says our friends should have "mitigated their loss by finding another engine".... our friends response was "we tried Turbomeca and they said Heli Zero has the largest supply of those engines in the world so how could we find one if you couldn't?"... Heli Zero responded that it wasn't their problem... more or less anyway...


Moral of the story?




The lawyer for Heli Zero is a girl who we shall call Blow Fan Gleeson.... That's close enough for me... Go eff yourself Blow Fan...



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The operator is us and other than the "pilot interpretation" is true and not a day goes by we do not have the stress of the issue. It is hard to comprehend the simplicity of how they screwed us. Communication was one dimensional with zero initiated by them! We made gracious offers to make a positive outcome(one where they actually would have made additional money) but guess the response,,,,,to quote Arnold 'SUBZERO'

ZERO took a very good company that we trusted and based our decision to purchase this type and in turn turned them into zeros, which took our company making zeros. Am at a loss of word to base anything positive about it. EFF the zeros and Blow FAN Gleeson.

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It also needs to be said that Turbomeca damaged the engine while testing it, but doesn't think they are responsible for anything except fixing what they effed up, regardless of robbing a small operator of the entire summer season while doing so. I deal with numbers every day and I recommend that every operator with a Turbomeca engine get something else. Go with a Heli-Lynx or Soloy conversion in an Astar... more power, less fuel burn and WAAAAY cheaper acquisition and overhaul cost...


Eff You Heli Zero

Eff You Blow Fan Gleeson

Eff You Turbomeca


Good luck with the lawsuit Skully! I hope we can all support the endeavour as these Zeros need to pay...




P.S. I wish I worked with Blow Fan... I'd never be able to work with her without sniggering whenever she walked by....

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Heli-Zero are the main bad guys here,,,,,yes turbomeca damaged the engine and thus caused downtime and should share a lot of the blame but had the zeros simply reconfigured the test cell and ran the engine as promised the engine would have been installed making money in march,,,,non of this would have happened. The greed of the monster zero chose to screw over the little guys for the big money. eff you heli zero, eff you blow fan Gleeson.

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I am angry again reading this... EFF YOU HELI ZERO!!!!


I have received a couple of emails from operators with similar stories although no one so far can top Skully's FULL YEAR to get his engine back.


I am wondering if people that have been similarly screwed want to join the lawsuit and turn it (if possible) into a class action... PM or email me if you'd be interested... for that matter maybe we need a bulletin board set up in the forum to post stories of vendor floggings and sodomizings (of the non-consensual kind!)...


Operators make the skinniest margins in the whole helicopter business so when a vendor screws you there usually isn't much option. HAC would be no help because the vendors are so entrenched. I think maybe a quasi-version of HEPAC to protect operators from unscrupulous or incompetent (like Heli Zero and Blow Fan Gleeson) vendors would help level the playing field... This would benefit all because half the issues pilots and engineers have with Operators are a result of Vendor power... I have worked for Operators where Vendors threaten (and do) to shut down the account for going one day over on one invoice... and they know there isn't anyone else out there... The funny thing is that some vendors (Eagle Copters, one of the best companies of any kind in Canada, springs to mind) would give you the shirt off their back at -20 while others (Heli Zero springs to mind) wouldn't let you drink anything but paddy water when you were shot in the guts! That was a reference to one of my favourite scenes from Apocalypse Now.... I love Robert Duvall in that movie...




P.S. Eff you Heli Zero....

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As a simple pilot, I find it (almost) humer houmer humor humouro funny to see operators complaining about a supplier much in the same way pilots and engineers whine about certain operators. Just goes to show there's always someone out there looking to screw you, no matter what level you're at.


As for HV's idea of a board for operator rants about suppliers, you'll want to do that elsewhere than here. Turbocrap and Heli Zero spend a lot of advertizing dollars on Vertical, so you can expect threads critical of these "clowns" to disappear, much the same way threads critical of "you operators" tend to disappear from time to time... ;)


Sorry if I seem flippant, but it's been such a crappy summer I have to find solace in the fact I'm not the only one who got screwed up the arse this year. Looks like I'm gonna have to sell my house if I don't get a couple tours in this fall... :mellow:

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