Rotary Wing Forum  

Go Back   Rotary Wing Forum > Rotorcraft > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-09-2017, 07:22 AM
Mike G's Avatar
Mike G Mike G is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lillebonne France
Posts: 1,351
Default Rotor Balance "Qualifications"

In another thread I bought up the question of who is “qualified” to balance an autogyro rotor.

I was reading the Aviomania manual that states that :
“The complete rotor system may be balanced further to reduce stick shake. This task must be performed by a qualified person."

I unwittingly put Nicholas of Aviomania on the spot by asking what qualifications would be necessary to be considered “qualified”.

That was unfair of me because I suspect that all manufacturers’ manuals would require that any rotor balancing be done by a “qualified” person. If it isn’t clearly written (as in the Aviomania manual) I’m sure it’s implied.

So my question to the manufacturers’ representatives on this forum is
“What qualifications do you consider necessary to balance one of your rotors?”

I regularly balance rotors and have no formal “qualifications” but in France the rules for ultralights are sufficiently vague to allow this. How does this work in other countries?
Mike G
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-09-2017, 08:51 AM
phantom phantom is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eagle River
Posts: 1,373
Default

I think in most places you would be qualified to balance the rotor of a home built craft, the only exception mey be Britain they seem to have an incredible amount of stupidity that they gave to deal with due to way to many years of their citizens blindly following the rules and not enough government officials being killed by citizens, governments should always have at least some fear of the people that they lead.
I think it is more important that anyone has a working knowledge of how and why a rotor works and what needs to be done to correct a problem than any papers on the subject, I have built and flown many rotors but I have no papers that says that I can do anything to a rotor, I just had to learn what works and what didn't.
Norm
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-09-2017, 08:53 AM
All_In's Avatar
All_In All_In is offline
Gold Supporter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: San Diego, CA. USA
Posts: 13,514
Default

Hi Mike

First I do not have the experience to even knowing who is qualified here in San Diego to balance blades so you can evaluate my inexperienced anwser.

Second, in the states there is no qualification certificates to balance the blades.
If you need a log book entry then you would need at least an A&P to observe the person balancing them so he could write up the log book entry. Else anyone here could buy the equipment and open a shop.


What I will do is either find a PRA or gyro brother with the equipment and experience in balancing blades and learn how by watching. Then I'll buy the equipment and try and teach myself.

The main qualification I'm looking for is someone with experience balancing a few and know how to read the data produced by the equipment and be able to know where to place the weight that the only qualification that matters.

Or I will ask around locally who had done a good job balancing helio's?
__________________
Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
Cheers,
John Rountree

PRA- Director
PRA- Volunteer Coordinator

PRA31 - Vice President of S.D. Rotorcraft Club
http://www.Pra31.org

U.S. Agent for Aviomania Aircraft... the most stable gyroplane on the market today.
See: Aviomania USA http://www.AviomaniaUSA.com

OEM Dealer for MGL Avionics - glass cockpit EFIS for Experimental aircraft Ask about DISCOUNTS for PRA MEMBERS
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-09-2017, 09:29 AM
JEFF TIPTON's Avatar
JEFF TIPTON JEFF TIPTON is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: DICKSON, TN
Posts: 2,703
Default

Typically the qualification comes from either performing the balancing under the supervision of someone who is qualified, or attend a training course for the manufacturer of the balancing equipment being used.
__________________
PRA member 41204
PRA Chapter 16
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-09-2017, 09:43 AM
WaspAir's Avatar
WaspAir WaspAir is offline
Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 3,982
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by All_In View Post
in the states ...
If you need a log book entry...
You do need an entry.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-09-2017, 10:55 AM
All_In's Avatar
All_In All_In is offline
Gold Supporter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: San Diego, CA. USA
Posts: 13,514
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaspAir View Post
You do need an entry.
Thank you Jon I really wasn't sure.

And PS:
Mike buddy from reading your posts on balancing and use of equipment, and teaching how to use the equipment, you are qualified!!!
__________________
Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
Cheers,
John Rountree

PRA- Director
PRA- Volunteer Coordinator

PRA31 - Vice President of S.D. Rotorcraft Club
http://www.Pra31.org

U.S. Agent for Aviomania Aircraft... the most stable gyroplane on the market today.
See: Aviomania USA http://www.AviomaniaUSA.com

OEM Dealer for MGL Avionics - glass cockpit EFIS for Experimental aircraft Ask about DISCOUNTS for PRA MEMBERS
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-09-2017, 03:59 PM
Uncle Willie Uncle Willie is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North Ridgeville, OH
Posts: 120
Default

Mike,

As you stated, in France and many other places the rules are vague enough that the authorities can declare you as being Un-Qualified AFTER anything goes wrong.

This may sound like a humorous reply, but there is a lot of truth in it.

If you are confident and you think you are qualified, you probably are.
If you don't feel you are qualified, you definitely aren't.
If you balanced the rotors and they ended up better than they were when you started, You're Qualified!
If you attempt to balance the rotors and made them worse, you were not qualified.

Most Importantly; If you were the last person to touch the rotors before an accident caused by a rotor problem,
you can be sure the legal authorities and the manufacturer are going to declare that you were unqualified to perform any maintenance on the blades.

Qualified or Un-Qualified is the Cover-All to assign blame AFTER the Fact!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-09-2017, 06:53 PM
Jincamty's Avatar
Jincamty Jincamty is offline
Magic free zone
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Te Kauwhata, New Zealand
Posts: 315
Send a message via Skype™ to Jincamty
Default

That is going on my wall. So true! :-)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-09-2017, 08:48 PM
PW_Plack's Avatar
PW_Plack PW_Plack is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Murray, Utah, USA
Posts: 8,329
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike G View Post
So my question to the manufacturers’ representatives on this forum is “What qualifications do you consider necessary to balance one of your rotors?”
Mike, that's a little vague. Balancing, tracking, pitch adjustment, lead/lag, centering in the teeter towers are all operations done routinely by owners of experimental gyros in the US. Since anyone can legally do this on an experimental here, anyone is qualified under FAA regulations.

Every time a Dragon Wings owner arrives at a fly-in, assembles his blades and "strings" them, he's adjusting lead/lag and balance, and then centering when he mounts the rotor. Is anyone suggesting this requires an entry in the maintenance log every time it's done?

As time goes on, the two-place machines seem to be moving toward less and less hands-on involvement by owners and pilots, are more likely to be factory-built, and are more likely to be hangared than trailered. Perhaps, in that environment, the services of a specialist are required, and formal log entries more appropriate.
__________________
Paul W. Plack
Private ASEL, SP Gyroplane
Secretary, URA & PRA2
Editor, Western Rotorcraft
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-09-2017, 08:56 PM
All_In's Avatar
All_In All_In is offline
Gold Supporter
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: San Diego, CA. USA
Posts: 13,514
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle willie View Post
mike,

as you stated, in france and many other places the rules are vague enough that the authorities can declare you as being un-qualified after anything goes wrong.

This may sound like a humorous reply, but there is a lot of truth in it.

If you are confident and you think you are qualified, you probably are.
If you don't feel you are qualified, you definitely aren't.
If you balanced the rotors and they ended up better than they were when you started, you're qualified!
If you attempt to balance the rotors and made them worse, you were not qualified.

Most importantly; if you were the last person to touch the rotors before an accident caused by a rotor problem,
you can be sure the legal authorities and the manufacturer are going to declare that you were unqualified to perform any maintenance on the blades.

Qualified or un-qualified is the cover-all to assign blame after the fact!
brilliant!!
__________________
Resistance is futile…… You will be compiled!
Cheers,
John Rountree

PRA- Director
PRA- Volunteer Coordinator

PRA31 - Vice President of S.D. Rotorcraft Club
http://www.Pra31.org

U.S. Agent for Aviomania Aircraft... the most stable gyroplane on the market today.
See: Aviomania USA http://www.AviomaniaUSA.com

OEM Dealer for MGL Avionics - glass cockpit EFIS for Experimental aircraft Ask about DISCOUNTS for PRA MEMBERS
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-10-2017, 12:11 AM
Aviomania's Avatar
Aviomania Aviomania is offline
Gold Supporter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Larnaca - CYPRUS
Posts: 1,124
Default

Hello Mike and sorry for not clarifying this earlier for you.

Some countries require that the person touching the gyroplane ( for maintenance, balancing etc. ) must be approved by the competent authority. So..... for us to avoid any legal issues we state in the manuals that an authorized person must perform any maintenance.

In countries that the owner / operator is the person responsible for the maintenance then he is authorised to do it..... he might not be qualified... but he is allowed.

We as Aviomania Aircraft can authorize someone to perform maintenance ( or rotor balancing) and issue a certificate. this will require training and an interview / exam for the complete maintenance Aviomania Certificate.

For rotor balancing (and with your experience) a skype training and explanation of the accepted adjustments of the rotor system is enough to issue a certificate.

This certificate can then be presented to the competent authority (if required by it) and it MIGHT be accepted in order to be authorized by that authority.
__________________
Nicolas Karaolides
CYPRUS
WEBPAGE http://www.aviomania.com/

Dead stick landing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv9q6hlrzdk
G1sa 99 hour Testing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aykdaMqOPQ
Join me on-board G1sa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRZLPL4sCuA

The 2 seat G2sa "Genesis Duo" early testflights
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPw_3b-DeYI
and
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUxH7X77f64

BOOSTER PREROTATOR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M4gNx40-bE
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-10-2017, 02:23 AM
Mike G's Avatar
Mike G Mike G is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lillebonne France
Posts: 1,351
Default

Thanks guys for the interest in this.
Paul (Plack)
You’re right I should have said “balancing, tracking, pitch adjustment etc” but that would have made the title of the thread too long.

Norm
It seems that in the US most gyros are officially homebuilt/experimental so the owner/builder can do pretty much what he wants. I understand that even the eurogyros (except perhaps the latest AutoGyro certified machine) are 51% owner built so my question probably doesn’t apply unless there is a factory manual that says or implies a qualification requirement.
I agree with your thoughts but I’m stuck with this word “qualified” and the legal ramifications in the event of an accident.

I think Uncle Willlie summed up the problem well in that the authorities will take the manual text and demand to see some sort of “qualification” (after the accident of course).

Here in Europe we have different requirements per country and I can see that globally Nicolas and the other manufacturers have a tough time writing something in the manual that suits everybody.

The problem for me is that once you write “qualified” you open the door to misuse by the authorities and create the requirement to define how one becomes qualified.

Nicolas
Thanks for your informative and positive reply, I will contact you about skype training, I might even come out to Cyprus for a little holiday.

Jeff (Tipton)
In my opinion the problem with asking the balancer manufacturer for training is that most of the balancer manufacturers have a wealth of experience balancing helis and assume that an autogyro will be a piece of cake. I’ve found that autogyros require a slightly different approach and that the gyro manufacturers are probably better placed to do the gyro specific training.

John
I’ve said this before, when I started promoting the Smart Avionics PB3/4 balancer I encouraged everybody to buy one. I now regret that because I realise with time that using a balancer efficiently requires a certain degree of technical competence and, like any computer program, needs to be practiced regularly to avoid going up the learning curve every time you take it out of the box. My recommendation is that you should buy a balancer as a group (or PRA chapter) and choose the most enthusiastic technically minded member to do all the balancing of the groups gyros. This way the group rapidly acquires a “memory” and a data base making each operation faster and more efficient.

Mike G
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-10-2017, 02:42 AM
ckurz7000 ckurz7000 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Vienna
Posts: 3,289
Default

I agree with Mike: simply having the equipment does not make you a person qualified to balance rotors. You need experience und some theoretical understanding.

I would estimate that balancing 2-3 gyros together with an experienced person (about 2 days' worth of balancing time, maybe) would give a technically minded person enough experience to continue learning and gather experience by himself from then on.

-- Chris.
__________________
Read about my trip across the USA in an MT03 gyro here.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-10-2017, 02:42 AM
Mike G's Avatar
Mike G Mike G is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lillebonne France
Posts: 1,351
Default

One thing that is missing from all of the manuals I've seen are vibration limits.

example
1/rev < X IPS OK
1/rev < Y IPS recommend balance
1/rev < Z IPS mandatory balance
1/rev > Z rotor removal inspection & balance

2/rev < ? IPS acceptable
2/rev > ? IPS unacceptable return to factory

Obviously you'd need to specify where to measure these vibrations.

Does anybody have any data like this?

Mike G
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-10-2017, 06:51 AM
WaspAir's Avatar
WaspAir WaspAir is offline
Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 3,982
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PW_Plack View Post
Every time a Dragon Wings owner arrives at a fly-in, assembles his blades and "strings" them, he's adjusting lead/lag and balance, and then centering when he mounts the rotor. Is anyone suggesting this requires an entry in the maintenance log every time it's done?
Yes.

Maybe your FSDO will think otherwise, but I've had an FAA Inspector tell me that every time I pull my sailplane out of the trailer, put on the wings and slide in the locking pin, I must make a log notation. There is no rigging or adjustment to be done in that operation. Compare that to stringing the blades, which changes the behavior of the system.

If nobody ever looks at your logs, there may be nothing to worry about, but the FAA can show a real instinct for the capillaries from time to time.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Ad Management plugin by RedTyger