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Heaters....really!?!


THE_COYOTE
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So the new USFS CWN type 2 contracts require a heater to be installed in the aircraft......really!?! What will they think of next? Oh yeah, variable fill buckets only. We can't be trusted to do partial dips. Got to love big brother.

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Did you ever get into the cockpit just before sunrise after preflighting and wiping the windshield, only to find that it was fogged over again, get out and wipe it off again, and have it fog up again before you could strap in? I don't know about everywhere, but down here that's an everyday occurrence. Without a heater installed you have to wait until the sun heats up the windshield, or take off half blind or worse, and hope the wind clears it up before you fly into something. With a heater/defroster, you can just turn it on and clear the windshield in a couple of minutes. We put a small space heater inside the helicopter most nights to keep the windshield clear, so we don't have to wait when a patient flight comes in. Even with a heater it takes a couple of minutes, which we can't afford. Heaters have other uses than just keeping the pilot comfortable.

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Probably not, and it shouldn't happen. The company should know the reason for using a heater, and provide a capable heater. Stuff happens to cheap companies. Without a heater, the windshield fogs up, and it can take up to 10 minutes to get it completely cleared to allow takeoff. If you're flying HEMS, that's completely unacceptable, so you put a heater inside to warm the windshield just a little, and prevent the condensation. You do need a quality heater, though, which won't spontaneously melt from the electricity it's using. It also needs a tip switch. You may have to pay a few dollars more for a good one, but the extra few dollars is money well spent. If the company buys cheap crap, it deserves the results, and firing the crew for using what it was given is really crap.

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