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r44 raven ii snow on blades while parked


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Does anyone know how much snow can build up on a r44 raven ii's blades before it becomes an issue... its stuck ouside and can't be moved... thanks in advance.

 

Maybe you could take a push broom and push the snow off? I doubt there is a rating for how much snow weight the blade can take. I would be more concerned about water getting into tight spots and freezing up. They make this thing called a hangar...just a thought.

Edited by Goldy
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Maybe you could take a push broom and push the snow off? I doubt there is a rating for how much snow weight the blade can take. I would be more concerned about water getting into tight spots and freezing up. They make this thing called a hangar...just a thought.

 

This. Especially the part about water getting in little crevices. My old flight instructor got his ratings in Montana, so I'm sure he'd know a thing or two about snow on an R-44. I'll call him and see what he thinks.

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im 1/3 of the way across the country... i would love to have a hanger... from the research i have done, the blades can handle the weight and I will clean it off daily, its the droop stops that are the concern. i put the collective up to dump the snow easier. I understand the concern about freezing, I have heard of helis sitting on the ramp in new jersey all winter with no icing problems. im interested in what your cfi in montana says...

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The FARs require all frost and ice to be removed before flight. If you have doubts, crank it up and run it on the ground for awhile, shut down, and check the blades again to make sure it's all gone. You do not want to try to fly with any ice at all on the blades, nor do you want to run it with enough ice to cause an imbalance.

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It would seem to be a little late for blade covers.

 

As long as the blades are thoroughly thawed, there should be no damage. Just don't try to break the ice off, that will quickly turn the blades into scrap. Just thaw everything out and it should be fine.

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im 1/3 of the way across the country... i would love to have a hanger... from the research i have done, the blades can handle the weight and I will clean it off daily, its the droop stops that are the concern. i put the collective up to dump the snow easier. I understand the concern about freezing, I have heard of helis sitting on the ramp in new jersey all winter with no icing problems. im interested in what your cfi in montana says...

 

I dont think you could put enough snow on top to ruin the droop stops. However big blocks of frozen ice at the end of a long lever (the blade) could be an issue. The hangar comment was just Goldy sarcasm shining thru.

 

Just dont pull down on the blades to clear the snow and you should be fine. Do heed others advice to make sure about removing all the ice. Me...I would get up there with a blow dryer and melt any ice in the rotor head before I cranked it up....plus something to warm up the block.

 

But I'm sure most of us have absolutely no first hand experience on the issue. I think its cold when it gets below 70F.

Have a great trip..

 

Goldy

Edited by Goldy
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Don't use a blowdryer, heat and ice don't mix especially on a part that is prone to delamination already!

 

Surely someone will have some deicing fluid on that airport. I think we always used a glycol-water mix (I used to live in Oregon). Makes a big mess, but gets the snow off. Best to pre-warm the fluid a little, works much better. Get one of those pump-spray bottles from the hardware store to spray it on.

The water can re-freeze on your blades depending on how cold it is, but this is only a problem if you wait around too long. As soon as the blades turn all the fluid gets thrown off.

 

 

Engine pre-warming is recommended by Robinson below freezing. This is a bit tricky to do on the spot without the right gear.

Some folks just stick a couple of 100W lightbulbs into the engine compartment over night, works pretty good but you obviously need access to a power point.

Edited by lelebebbel
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im 1/3 of the way across the country... i would love to have a hanger... from the research i have done, the blades can handle the weight and I will clean it off daily, its the droop stops that are the concern. i put the collective up to dump the snow easier. I understand the concern about freezing, I have heard of helis sitting on the ramp in new jersey all winter with no icing problems. im interested in what your cfi in montana says...

 

I haven't seen too many helicopters not hangared in NJ during the winter. Boatpix have a R22 that sits outside on the ramp for months at a time in Linden, and it looks like crap. Floats completely flat on it and at one point I seen a blade hanging on it as if the droop stop was broken. I'm not sure how that happened though. Anyone who is serious about keeping their machine in good shape will keep it hangared in climates like we get in the Northeast. Just look at all the little fixed wing aircraft that sit outside year round at your local airport. Do you want your helicopter looking that raggedy?

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"I think we always used a glycol-water mix (I used to live in Oregon). Makes a big mess, but gets the snow off. Best to pre-warm the fluid a little, works much better."

 

Is that ethelen glycol? like automobile antifreeze? or the RV Stuff? or something different.

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its at a remote cabin, the storms are over now. i cleaned it up, did a thorough preflight. it fired right up. i hovered for about 5 minutes then went for a quick flight. its going to get cold tonight so i wanted to get all the water out of everthing. We are flying yellowstone park on friday, should be awesome!

 

thanks for the help and insight. Didnt think I would be dealing with a storm while out here...

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"I think we always used a glycol-water mix (I used to live in Oregon). Makes a big mess, but gets the snow off. Best to pre-warm the fluid a little, works much better."

 

Is that ethelen glycol? like automobile antifreeze? or the RV Stuff? or something different.

 

Not sure what kind of glycol it was, but we would dilute it with hot tapwater and spray it on with one of those garden-spray bottles - I believe it was an aviation specific product, they bought it in drums.

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I'm on two 135 certs and de-icing fluid is prohibited on both for our helicopters. Not sure why, but it is.

 

There was an EMS pilot in the midwest that had a ice problem many years ago. He forgot to put the helicopter in the hangar and the blades iced up. He fired it up with the ice on the blades and it threw a big chunk of it into the tail rotor. Needless to say he didn't have a job long after that.

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