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lineworker

Flying and counting

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Hi,

So, when building hours, I would try to get as any as possible. My inexperience would always make think, another landing, another start, another hour!

Then I was sat down in my 3rd year, 4 different meetings. 

1. Calculating revenue hours vs airtime hours. 

5 pilots in a meeting, were all set to look upon the new Canadian handbook, where we were directed to see flight examples, they were given as a 206 type lifting and landing, and running at idle, whilst geo folk collected water or type samples, they returned, and we lifted off. At the end of the flight, with perhaps 14 landings as examples, the revenue time was set to 2.4 hours, and the airtime for the journey logbook was set to .8 hours. 

We were encouraged to enter into our logbook 2.4 hours, and congratulated at the .8 hours of flight time with multiple landings. The landing were not spoken about, the after conversation was explained by some senior pilots as, hey man, you want to make more landings? Make less landings on paper. It doesn't matter to anyone until the gear is expired. 

2. Calculating N1/NP cycles in the EC30/Astar.

The same pilots sat with a maintenance director, or designate, to discuss how after a season, some of us were accumulating an incredible number of cycles in N1 and Np in the logbook.

No one was defensive, no one was arguing, we simply listened and understood how maintenance flights did not count as starts or flights or landings, nor did we need to count landings when passengers exited the ship when throttle was set at flight idle. Ground idle in an Astar as we know, is a larger count. We were given an equation, corrected, and set loose to count fewer cycles.

3. Calculating starts in any aircraft.

In 20 years, I have counted starts as those that have resulted in flight. I do not count ground starts, I do not count starts to do vibration checks, or maintenance flights. 

4. Logging time. 

We were at the same time in those meetings asked, do you consider yourself in control of the aircraft sitting on an off-level slope, in control of the aircraft? 2 people said yes, at flight idle, yes. We were told to log the time. 

My question to those reading, do you count all of your time flying non-revenue? Do you count your starts for non-revenue flights? 

If you own an aircraft, or if you are maintaining an aircraft, do you want the operator to count every start, every flight, every landing? 

I consider each person correct, I inquire for the reasons of maintenance importance, flight time on components, and flight experience. 

Flight experience can be cut and dis-considered. A 10,000 hour single engine pilot can jump in a 412 and fail a PPC upon the start with a couple of 2's on procedure. I would always have a check list. 

The rest are the rules but the rules vary, and the handbooks vary, and as a last point, HAVE YOU REDUCED YOUR FLIGHT REPORT REVENUE? To make a client happy? And then reflected the time in the logbook? 

A smart pilot who has fallen behind in production can see that if they reduce the flight time, they will make the client happy, keep their job, get better at the project and more efficient, and perhaps exceed the production numbers expected by the client, and return the time to the logbook. 

IE. Day 1. Crew Change on a drill job, move 23 pieces of equipment, crew change.

Previous pilot production = 2.4 hrs, 8 landings, 1 start.

Your pilot production = 2.9 hrs, 11 landings, 3 starts. 

Experience will play into being thanked for this production, or being questioned about the extra hours.

But when you finish your flight time at the end of the day, whether you have the client's thanks, if you are asked to learn a new way to count hours, cycles, landings, or starts, you will ask your fellows what they think.

 

Cheers,

Lineworker

 

 

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Any and ALL flights are to be logged.  

Get some cycle counters!

Bill the customer whatever you want, it's your business.  

Pilots who pad their books will quickly be called out.

Your story reminds me of any number of shady operators from days past.

 

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All I know, is I hope I don’t end up flying, or even worse , operating one of the Helicopters your company operates in the future...

I suggest you contact the Standards Branch at TC. Apparently, they have the expertise and experience required to address your concerns...

January 23, 2018, Chief of Standards, Deborah Martin advised:

My intention is to resolve any misinterpretations regarding air time vs flight time once and for all


I can assure you that the expertise and experience required to address your concerns is within the Standards Branch; specifically Mr. Freeman as Program Manager Aerial Work, Air Taxi and Commuter Standards.  Although, I’m not a helicopter pilot I do have close to 40 years of experience as a fixed wing pilot in both industry and TC; and as Chief, Commercial Flight Standards understand the issue very well. 

[email protected]

Robert Sincennes, P.Eng. Director, Standards Branch

Directeur, Normes

Tel: 613-991-2738   cell: 613-859-2796   facsimile / télécopieur : 613-952-3298

Internet: [email protected]
Transport Canada | Transports Canada

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The manufacturers clearly define what is to be logged. Start cycles and ground runs for maintenance purposes are typically never logged unless the aircraft leaves the ground.

The rest of that sounds pretty shady! 

Revenue, non-rev, Private doesn’t matter which, cycles, flight time etc are always counted.

Now the flight time = air time debate is a different can of worms. I disagree completely that flight=airtime and I log them separate. Again following the manufacturers requirements for airtime = skids up to skids down. Flight time = blades turning to blades stopped.

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Out of curiosity, I would like to see documentation from any manufacturer that states ground/maintenance runs don't count as start cycles on a turbine...  

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38 minutes ago, vortex said:

Out of curiosity, I would like to see documentation from any manufacturer that states ground/maintenance runs don't count as start cycles on a turbine...  

I would like to see that as well.

The reason their are cycle limits on turbine engines is because the manufacturer has dertermined the the rapid & significant temperature change to the internal components during a start has the potential to reduce the reliability of those parts. The parts don’t know, nor do they care, if you are starting it for a maintenance flight, revenue flight, or just to hear the cool sound it makes so you can record a ring tone.

I don’t want to wish my life away, but I do look forward to the day when all helicopters have VEMD/FADEC so all of this counting is done for us. Some dodgy operators will need to review their rates then!

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1 hour ago, vortex said:

Out of curiosity, I would like to see documentation from any manufacturer that states ground/maintenance runs don't count as start cycles on a turbine...  

Arriel 1D1 Maintenance Manual: 05-10-00-200-801-A01:

NOTE: Cycle counting does not take into account the run-ups for maintenance
purposes
.

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Quote

2. Calculating N1/NP cycles in the EC30/Astar.

The same pilots sat with a maintenance director, or designate, to discuss how after a season, some of us were accumulating an incredible number of cycles in N1 and Np in the logbook.

No one was defensive, no one was arguing, we simply listened and understood how maintenance flights did not count as starts or flights or landings, nor did we need to count landings when passengers exited the ship when throttle was set at flight idle. Ground idle in an Astar as we know, is a larger count. We were given an equation, corrected, and set loose to count fewer cycles.

As an Astar/130 guy, this is incorrect. Only ground runs for maintenance do not get counted, IF you don't take off.  ALL flights get counted.

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25 minutes ago, wcobra said:

A start is a start is a start.  That's it that's it that's it.

My experience is mostly on the French engines but referring to the Arriel 1D1 maintenance manual 05-10-00-200-801 - Airworthiness limitations it specifically states: Cycle counting does not take into account run-ups for maintenance purposes.

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 12.50.14 PM.png

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