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Hi All


One of the companies I fly for is completing the purchase of a TwinStar. This will mean a trip to Florida for some training etc.


I seriously question the wisdom of this purchase, I can't really say what it is going to be used for without divulging too much information about myself or the company but it will be flown between sea level and 4000ft in a high corrosion environment.


I feel it will be a high maintenance machine which is expensive to operate.


Can anyone share their experience or knowledge of this particular animal?



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Worked with them at Canadian and Abitibi in the early 1990's. Electrical snags & engine seal leaks! Every machine has its niche and twin engine aircraft are the wave of the future (even if the second engine only helps you get the ground.). The purchasers should seriously look at the FX program and convert the aircraft to a A-Star style electrical system. The kit lowers the gross weight and makes the C20R engine available if you really need them. Most snags on the aircraft can be contributed to the overhead electrical panel moisture issues. The main bonuses are the twin hydraulics, twin engines, ton's of available STC'd Mods and lower initial purchase cost. I hope they have done their homework the Twinstar is more expensive to run that an A-Star. Hopefully they have a good contract! Helidude, Ray, and the Chocolate Man should be able to add some constructive input! :up:

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I spent a lot of time with one that CHC picked up from Viking around 1990.


Got to learn all about it on a winter seismic job.

It was an electrical nightmare, but I think that could be mainly attributed to the lack of workmanship by the previous operators.

I picked up the a/c with about 70 snags. Tried going through it all, at outside temperatures of -35.

Changing engine seals was a daily occurance.


I agree with AMODAO that you must replace the fuses and ECL switch pack with a Geneva or Van-Isle switch pack. (Aeronautical Accessories holds the STC for the Van-Isle switch pack.)


Operating in a high corrosion environment will play havoc on the electrical system.

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lower initial purchase cost
That probably has something to do with the decsion.


Every machine has its niche and twin engine aircraft are the wave of the future


Maybe they will increase in value?


I'll let them know about the Switch Pack Mod.



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A few things you can expect to experience along the way:

1 - As previously stated, a nightmare electrical system with insulation displacement connectors (push the wire into a knife edge to cut through the insulation into the wire - absolute s&%t but there are now crimped terminals available), awesome idea for something that shakes rattles and rolls.

2 - Unreliable transmitters and instrumentation

3 - A governor control system that defies sensibility (somebody must have had pictures of the DGAC inspector that signed that one off) that requires constant rerigging

4 - Very hard on turbines as it will be temp limited in the summer

5 - Compressors that take a s&%tkicking, you will be prematuring a lot of them unless you have the particle separators installed. Forget the 1750 hour midlife, you will have gone through at least one set of case halves by then.

6 - Very expensive turbine and compressor overhauls

7 - Harder on accessory gearboxes over the long term due to the extra torque at max continuous power (if the TOT allows)

8 - Engine cowls that have outer skins soften and distort from the engine exhaust (polyester resin completely out of its element)

9 - Dual bodied servos that are way expensive with overload switches and shuttle valves that act up

11 - Fire detectors that acticvate when flying through rain

12 - Cheezy, unreliable heater check valves that that will cause compressor stalling on starts

13 - Transmissions that vent without much chance of a cure

14 - Continual PTO seal leaks

Speaking as the survivor of too many years of 355's if I had to I would work on them again but are they ever a lot of work and perpetually frustrating. Drivetrain components normally last, it's the engines that really drive the DOC's. Having said all this, you'll get used to the idiosyncrasies the same way you'd get used to most anything and carry on. Good luck!

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If your thinking an FX conversion in the future its a great machine, Otherwise they can be full of electrical snags, it believe the boys covered this already. The twin engine has its pros and cons. The FX conversion gives you a reasonably priced machine that will complete against the B2 very well!

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Even with all of its issues I would pick it any day over a Bell (a four letter word!). And to appease Bell lovers out there, I know the trusty 206 (in any of its incarnations!) is still the main staple of the operators everywhere, but, one day Eurocopter will rule the world...........! :P

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