29-May-2023 Source: Helitrends
If you own a helicopter, you’ll already know that repairs and maintenance simply don’t come cheap, and they’re rather not possible to undertake by yourself. If issues are not detected quickly, not only can they cause safety issues and a huge headache, but they can even impact other areas of the helicopter and cost you even more. The good news is that the performance calculator for power assurance check (PAC) can help tackle issues before they have the chance to escalate – but you may have a few questions before getting started. For example, how often should these power checks be performed and are there any real benefits to performing them regularly?
Let’s take a look at how frequent power checks can be worthwhile.
Performing engine power checks can keep your helicopter going
These types of tests will tell you a lot you need to know about the performance of your helicopter’s engine. This can be a good idea both in real-time (so you know your helicopter will be capable of taking you where you need to go) and in the long-term, as the more checks you do, the more data you’ll have to hand to compile a well-rounded view of performance. When you have a broad scope of information to analyse, you’ll be better able to spot changes, troubleshoot issues and recognise the general condition.
When you understand better the condition of your engine, you’ll find that you’ll spend far less time and money on your helicopter. The biggest risk of not doing regular power checks is neglecting to catch easily fixable problems, which can lead to more expensive repairs and downtime.
With this in mind, Engine Condition Trend Monitoring (or ECTM) tools can come in more than handy. Automating checks and calculations, analysing data in real-time, minimising human error and more can help pilots and helicopter operators to streamline their usual processes and get deeper insights for the information they need with little to no input.
Effective ECTM will require the recording of key parameters, and a dedicated performance calculator can take care of this for you by performing calculations, saving and storing data you may need to refer to later and drawing automatic conclusions to make sure everything functions as it should.
Frequency promotes accuracy
The more checks you perform, the more precise the measurements become and the more accurate conclusions you can draw. It’ll even help you to find false results. As there can be deviations in data, there can be discrepancies in trends. When these present themselves, ECTM can detect abnormalities by machine learning. More frequent checks will give a better idea of whether these outcomes are false.
The good news is that serious mechanical faults like foreign object damage will be detected in real-time, allowing for a faster response.
Minimising repairs and saving money is already an advantage point, but did you know that frequent helicopter engine power assurance checks can also help to find signs of engine’s condition degradation and decrease of engine performance sooner? Identifying a problem at the early stage is important for promoting the lifespan of your engine and lowering its operating costs. Since you probably want your engine to operate as long as possible, this becomes a significant factor to consider.
The way you use your helicopter can affect its performance
By becoming aware of the trends within your engine’s condition, you can begin to see how the way you fly is having an impact. For example, does the engine operate as it should during take-off and more? Is it functioning at optimum performance at all times? Do engine cycles consume consistently?
Sometimes, observed trends can seem chaotic, but there could be something causing these step changes. Often, these changes can be so minor that significant, long-term analysis can be the only way to spot them.
Some pilots want to take a more traditional approach that is often cheaper, but takes up a lot of time and has the potential for human error. This is referring to creating spreadsheets, where data will be added manually to track the many points of engine performance. The biggest drawback to this isn’t just how time-consuming the process can be, but any inaccuracies that may be recorded can have a significant impact on the overall results of the engine’s condition.
If this is you, it’s worth considering just how beneficial using innovative, automated software can be. It will automatically analyse data for you and can significantly reduce a whole host of unnecessary costs.
Modern technologies are developed and designed with both the user and top performance in mind, and the solution offered by Helitrends is certainly affordable when you weigh up the time and costs that are typically associated with manual tracking processes. The Helitrends app allows pilots to analyse engine performance, save collected data and produce educated, intuitive conclusions that could help save your helicopter’s engines from expensive repairs.
Instead of wasting money on overpriced gadgets, download the Helitrends app on an iPhone or iPad, and get to grips with the outstanding services for free. If you are happy with the tools on offer, the UI and more and would like to access even more features, there’s a pro version available, too. Operating your helicopter’s engines in good condition and effective performance has never been simpler than with the innovative performance calculator – the Helitrends app.