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My mag or my imagination?

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Sounds like you have no clue what the magnetos are or what they do, or what a mag check means, or what causes the drop, of why it's significant.


Because of the thread you started about the instructor taking the aircraft away from you over this issue, you should have kept this information in the same thread.


What do you think the magnetos do?

What are you checking when you do a mag check?

Why are you looking for a mag drop?

Why would cleaning spark plugs fix a mag problem?

What's a p-lead?

When you do a mag check, what's happening when you move the switch to R, L, or off?

How do you check for grounding on the magneto(s)?

What problems can occur with a magneto?

What happens if a magneto fails in flight?

What happens if a magneto slips in flight?

Can a flight be continued with a bad magneto?

What needs to be done to continue a flight with a bad magneto?

How is it possible to become a private pilot operation that aircraft, and not know this information?


You indicated that the aircraft experienced an engine failure on the flight after you flew; what kind of engine failure and what happened? Catastrophic, or partial power? If it was a magneto problem, it makes all the difference in the world, especially with regard to what to do about, or more specifically, what can be done about it, or what options one may have remaining.


One may not have time or reason to select the good mag; far more important to execute the safe forced landing or autorotation, but a knowledge of what and why and how is intrinsic to systems knowledge, and if your'e flying that aircraft, you need to know it.


Have you ever seen the engine and had it explained to you, part by part, function by function, so you understand what's going on? Sounds like it's a big mystery to you.


Could the engine fail? Yes. Not enough information has been provided, but you should have kept this in the original thread instead of spreading it out in multiple places. The answers here have a direct bearing on your original post in the other thread in the general forum. Moderators should integrate the two.

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This happened to my twice, in 2 different R44s with 2 different companies:



- An intermittent mag check (first no rpm drop, try again and get an acceptable rpm drop)


- Later while airborne, get a bucking feeling in the yaw axis (quick and doesn't last very long, and easily distinguishable from LTE, and of course never returns).


The first time this happened the engine failed on the next flight and the mag was later replaced (helicopter ran fine after).


The second time it happened (again different R44) They said the mags had just been re-built and thus just did a visual inspection using a mirror. They said that the mag was all the way to its tolerance (I have no idea what that meant, but they said they'd fix it on the next scheduled maintenance). So they cleaned the spark plugs and ignition switch and said everything was fine. However on a later flight had another intermittent mag check.


Could that second time had led to an engine failure?

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