Rotor Track and Balance training in South Africa

Mike G

Junior Member
Jun 16, 2005
Lillebonne France
Owned Magni M16 now ELA 07
Total Flight Time
550FW + 500 gyro
I shall be visiting SA in November so I posted the following on the two SA forums I know of (AVCOM & Microlighters SA) with little or no response except one guy interested who rang me up and said that few people use those forums.
So in the hope that some South Africans still use this forum is anybody interested?

I am booking my flight to J,bourg.
I plan to arrive on the 4th Nov and leave the 18th Nov. I shall be busy from the 4th to about the 9th and available for any Rotor Track and Balance (RTB) training session that we can organize at Springs from the 10th to the 18th. I presume that anyone interested would prefer the weekend so if really necessary I could try to reorganize my program to be available for the weekend 9th & 10th.

As I said earlier if you're interested the total cost of the 2 day training session will be 500 euros per person, I think that's about 8000 Rands. I'll need a deposit of 100 euros to ensure that people turn up on the day. I propose that you can pay that part of the fee in Rands say 1500 Rands and it could be paid to my friend in Springs (he's somebody in the SA powered glider world, trustworthy and in country). If I can't make it for some reason you'll get your money back from him of course. Payment of the difference will need to be in Euros or dollars I’m afraid.

The training session is in 2 parts.
Part 1
Is 1 to 2 hours long and is aimed at the average gyro pilot to teach him about the different types of vibrations he'll experience and how to detect the major ones (1 & 2/rev) by the seat of his/her pants. It gives some hints on how to separate out the different vibrations (rotor, 2/rev, prop, engine etc). It explains how a balancer works, how the results are plotted on the Polar chart and how to understand the frequency analysis. All this with no math. This also serves as an introduction to the main 2 day session. Usually we charge 50 euros for this so if you’re interested in just doing this part let’s call it 800 Rands cash on the day.
Part 2
Follows on from part 1 and is about 3 to 4 hours class room with different Power Point presentations taking you slowly through how to track and balance a gyro rotor using a Smart Avionics PB4 dynamic balancer and how to interpret the frequency spectral analysis to detect rotor/ prop/engine vibrations. We also go step by step through a number of real rotor RTB's that I have done to give the participants more experience without the time lost flying. While the training is based on the PB4 the techniques and procedures are applicable to any professional type rotor balancer.

Part of this class room work is broken up by actually balancing one or two rotors depending upon availability and time lost due to traffic in the circuit. So we obviously need some gyros to work on (the owners get a free track and balance). If time permits we also cover a prop balance but I rarely have the time there are so many questions.

Part 1 is aimed at the average gyro pilot who wants to get an idea if his rotor needs balancing or not. He will also understand what the guy who’s balancing his rotor is talking about and should be able to interpret the polar charts and vibration spectra and ask educated questions.

Part 2 is aimed at the real enthusiasts who want to invest in a dynamic balancer and track and balance their rotor. I do not sell dynamic balancers.

If you’re a Magni driver you will also learn about the latest Magni adjustable rotor design.

If you’re interested please contact me at [email protected] with some details about you (owner/dealer/manufacturer) your gyro(s), how much “hands on” you are with your gyro maintenance. This gives me an a idea of the level I have to work from. I also need to know which dates you prefer.

If you need any references about how good (or bad) this training is contact Abid Farooqui at Silverlight in Florida or Jason Knight in Texas, they're both on Facebook and the American forum.

Mike G