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Norm

The dangers of net guns

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I thought you would never asks....Ok...so... the next day I get told that I would be taking some guys out to a telephone tower so they could do some work at the tower site. I would be taking the same ship that I had flown the sky divers the day before.So I show up at the hangar in the morning to get the ship ready for a 2-3 day job up north and it is -40 that morning. I start doing a DI on the old jetbox and as I am checking the engine oil level I see that the oil which should be a nice honey colour  has turned a very dark brown colour which is definitely not what I have seen ever before. I get the chief engineer over to have a look and we both agree that something is not right. I ask if there is another ship to take and of course there isn't. So I tell him that I will dump out the engine oil and  fill it up with fresh oil and fly the guys an hour north to where we are going to stay and I would check the oil again and call him back. The guys show up and off we go. I land at the resort where we would be staying at and get checked in. I then have a look at the engine oil. Not good. The oil has already turned brown. I call the hangar and we decide that I should take the guys out to the tower and then fly the ship back to the hangar and then change ships as one would be available by the time I had gotten there and then I could fly back to the tower. Well I was not feeling really comfortable with that as the temps outside were still very cold and the trip out to the tower would be about 30 minutes and then an hour and a half back to the hangar. Well the guys really wanted to get to work so push comes to shove and off we go to the tower. All seems to be going well...the tower comes into sight and I set up for an approach. This tower is about 300 ft tall and as usual has 3 guide wires holding it up. I will land next to the building at the base of the tower. As i start slowing and not quit into a hover there is a huge white cloud of smoke swirling  around the machine. As I come into a hover about 20 ft above my landing spot the back door on my side opens and the smoke fills the cabin. I am have a he## of a time seeing were I am going to land but I managed to get it on the ground and without a cool down I shut the engine off. It appears that my rear seat passenger had decided to jump out of the ship as he somehow figured that it would be better to bail out then wait for an explosion . I asked him where that had been in the safety briefing. Well we called the hanger and told them what had happened and they dispatched another ship to haul us all back to civilization . The 6-7 oil seal had blown out due to blockage in the oil return line. I checked the engine oil and it was pretty much all gone. So the next day I got to fly back into the site and change a turbine at -40C.....not a happy camper. I was off to a new job with new employer in a week. Didn't fly a jetbox again for a very long time. Good machines though...I have 4000 hrs on them and that was the closest call I had in them...do a good oil flow check on them and make sure that return line is clean as well. Fly safe!

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55 minutes ago, Actuality said:

We should start a new sub forum called ‘Storytime with DGP’

I got a million of them... HAH!

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I will go through my log book and get the dates and temps for both days as I always put the weather in my logbook for every flight and get back to you. I am sure it was about -20C when those guys were skydiving. A warm winter day in Manitoba.

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The skydiving date was March 11/2000 and the temps were -15C. I usually put in the lowest and warmest temps of the day so -15 was the high. The tower flight was actually on the 13th of March and it did get up to -10 for a high but  the morning temps were very cold that day. I had an engineer with me the day we changed the turbine and he can tell you it was close to -40 when we landed at that tower as he also was not a happy camper.We had been dropped off by another pilot...I will not mention names so we had to get the ship fixed to get back to town! I think it warmed up to -10C when we headed home. I will check that out. Happy trails!

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I enjoy it. With the right guy on the gun and good communication its no more dangerous than any of the other foolish jobs we do with a helicopter on a regular basis. I think power line work is probably worst. Everything there wants to kill you and your exposure time is a lot longer. Net gun your exposure time is pretty short when you look at a whole day of it. Most of the day is spent locating the animal, on the ground doing what ever it was they wanted to do with the animal in the first place and then untangling the dam net and so on. A couple min persuading it to go where you want it and get it in the net then its all over till the next one.      

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I probably have forgotten some of the really good ones...did I ever tell you the one about fly the ship to South America!   Through the Caribbean  ...on skid gear! This the Mark I know very well from T-Bay?

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