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An Engine Change


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I think that it was about three winters ago that a Sea King was on it's was up North passing through Whistler when it hit bad wx and decided that this would be a good place to spend the night.

The boys parked on our pad so they could plug in, a really nice group of guys.

The next day the wx had improved enough that they were going to make a go of it. After de-icing they fired up to split. Now our pad is raised up slightly off the main ramp area at the heliport and as the Sea King hover taxied off it to the main pad one of the engines blew it guts out the front end (big stall??). Well the old girl came down like a sack of turd half on and half off the pad, went up on two wheels on its way over. The boys and myself were tripping over each other running for cover. Thankfully it ended up on all three and they shut it down.

The point of the story is this. It took over two weeks for the engine change. Like I said before the lads were great, good fun, but two weeks? I think that some of them were getting their mail sent here.

The feeling that I got is that there is no sense of urgency to get back up and running. Any private operation would have heads rolling long before two weeks. Like it was said before, when push comes to shove things get done fast, just for the private folk, push allways comes to shove.

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Okee dokee, one more time with feeling - I am not putting anyone down nor am I claiming one system better than the other


From the beginning I have just wanted to understand the diff in the hopes that I can encourage, recommend change in the hopes that we can learn and make things better, more efficient where we can. I really appreciate the feedback from everyone, especially those of you who have experience on both sides of the fence.


The story of the aircraft taking two weeks to change an engine is unfortunately too familiar and really really confuses me when I see AMEs change engines routinely in a day!


As for the bambi bucket, yeah it's simple and relatively cheap but no matter what we add to any of our aircraft, whether or not it's been tested for the civilian market it still must go through the entire military test flight process and engineering review. Many times it has to do with the maintenance/engineering contracts we have on the airframes. The entire process just isn't cost effective for us to do on something like the bambi when we would probably only ever use them once in every three to eight years maybe.


When you get to something like the Sea King for example, our instrument panel is a night mare and would not meet IFR requirements for MOT or FAA. It would be relatively cheap to drag them all into Van Isle and have new panels with a proper basic T for instruments with an HSI and GPS, none of which we have. The problem is with the contract for maintenance and mods. Everything must go through the contractor (IMP) and full engineering studies done. Basically just to look at a very basic modification for us you are looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars, hence the same old crappy panel lives on.

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Guest Bullet Remington



To address your initial question, the differences between the Mil Types and the Civie types are slowly changing. As you are aware, the mil chucked the foolish 500 series trade groups and combined 511 Engines, 512, Air frame and the kilowatt cowboys to make one trade. I believe its a 513 (?) trade MOC now?


That was my moc when I got in, did the last course and they changed it. Was and still is a better system. One guy can legally (Military wise anyway) sign off all the previous trade groups. Which is the way it was, is and should have always been.


The other major difference is the interaction between the wrench benders and drivers. Out here (civie) we have a give and take relationship. We need the drivers to put everything in motion and make us money. They need us to provide repair and care to a machine they inflict wear and tear upon. As well, the driver needs us to blame things on when he has to do a down wind landing and bounces the thing around. He can't blame those things on his Missus, or whatever his other half is, so he blames it on us. We'll browbeat the livin Bejasus outa each other, but despite the snide remarks, and the constant cheap shoots, there is an underlying respect for each other. We never admit it because we know that drivers aren't smart enough to really mend the mahine, just bending the machine.


The mil don't have that interchange. The rank structure and some of the "gentlemen's" egos won't allow it. And that is a major contribution to the attitude. If ya ain't part of the "gang" - yer garbage. (No offense meant there)


Most mil drivers have no freakin idea how to fuel, DI, A, B or PI a machine. Now I do know that some of the drivers have "other duties." When I was working outa E and F hangars, the prime duty as trying to get to the BMS before Jubba ate the whole damned thing!


( I kinda miss Jubba and his successful forced landings on the deck!) Don't know who shook more after doing them. Jubba or D. T.! (DT now working for MNR outa Shubie.)


I have no idea of a sure fire way to see improvement in military production levels. Maybe more money?? As in real paycheques? Better gear? Better tooling and ground support? Danged if I know!


As for Ken Rowe and his gang, if Mad Max is still running that place (Ex-Bameo) it's no friggin wonder Ken will continue to rape the military for bucks. Good luck seeing anything good from that lot!


Any way, CYA and stay alive! Things will get better. Or that's what they kept tellin me for over 20 years!


IBIS? We don't need no stinkin IBIS! Gimme some speed tape!

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Donnybrook, I offer my sincere apologies for any misunderstanding you may have made of my post, as nothing I said was done so with the intent to cause the sort of reaction you delivered.

I was going to PM you to explain my post, but as you chose this forum as the place to air your displeasure, I felt this would be the best place to clarify the comments of mine that you have interpreted differently than other readers.


At no time did I “allude to civ techs being better than mil techs”.


One writer described the faster results in the civilian world as being “more productive”. Interestingly, this comment has since been removed by the author. I clearly stated in my post that this was not my choice of words.


As even yourself had just noted, my comments in that post were to swing the blame away from the “guys” involved, and onto the “system”. The topic was a discussion about how long it should take for engineers to change an engine in the military as opposed to the civilian worlds. Several good comments were made.

But I felt too much of the reason for a slower engine change in the military was being pinned on the fine military techs, not on the “system” they work in.

My comment about the "differences" between people concerns their personal desire to work in a "system" that moves at a slow pace, and does not make any comparisons about the productivity level of anyone in the military as opposed to the commercial world.


My comment "I do know the civvy guys were productive before they started work in the commercial industry, not the other way around...," is about the inherent life-long personal nature of some humans who wish to work in a for-profit environment, and how that trait was in them before they joined the civilian workforce.

At no time does it make any comparisons about the productivity level of anyone in the military or say that civ techs are better than mil techs.


My comment "However, they were usually breaking some sort of 'rules' in the process of "getting the job done", was clearly stated to concern “several examples mentioned in the previous Griffon pages where military crews have done excellent work, at a quick pace”.

Here are some quotes from that topic that should help to clarify my post…..

“All maintenance was properly noted in the aircraft log but we still got a load of flak”……..

“You take parts from a toilet seat if you have to and if it works you get a pat on the back. Some 'real pretty' young Lt. comes along and gives you sh** “………..

“when it hits the fan you do what you gotta do”………..

Again, my point was that military techs achieve high productivity levels when they can get away from the “system”, although this is often seen by the “system” as breaking the rules.

At no time does my comment make any comparisons about the productivity level of anyone in the military or say that civ techs are better than mil techs.


I accept that you are entitled to interpret my post in any manner that you wish. I have apologised for any misunderstanding of the intent of my post. I have tried to clarify my comments.

However, to respond to my post that was clearly (to the other readers it seems) in defence of the fine technicians of our military by telling me to “lighten up” is as confusing as it is offensive.


Furthermore, your comment that I did “allude to civ techs being better than mil techs” is not based on any fact and is defamatory, and therefore libelous.

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Good Day All,


Apparently things have snowballed way beyond reason and it's partially my fault. I have no problem being told when I've stepped on my d**k, if it is warranted. Cyclic-Monkey, I accept your apology and hope you'll accept mine. I think we were both taking comments more seriously than they were intended. I'm all for heated debate but things stopped being fun for everybody. It was definitely not intended as a personal attack. Sorry to all involved.


As I take my very own suggestion to "lighten up" to the mirror I do not see any real footprints on my crotch as we were both stating our opinions, but will definitely follow these words of wisdom to avoid any cleaning bills...


Play Safe

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Guest graunch1

Just to add to this latest change in direction....I don't have any problem with mil vs civvy but was just pointing out some of hte situations I ave seen. No harm no foul :lol:


Of course then we could look at how the US of A'a military maintain their aircraft :wacko:

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