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A Little Excitement Today


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I hadn't flown for awhile so today I decided to go for the hundred dollar hamberger. I was talking to one of my partners about it and he expressed an interest in going and after talking to his wife she wanted to go as well. It was the first helicopter flight for both of them. That should have been the first hint. I did an extra special preflight (not that I don't do a good one everytime). So we took off from home to the nearest airport to fuel up for the trip. I did a W & B and got enough fuel without putting me overweight and we were on our way. She felt a little heavy but all gages were in the green and the course was set for a well known hundred dollar plus hamberger joint 40 miles to the south. We were 20 miles enroute and then it happened! The main transmission chip light comes on. I remebered the manual stating that one should make a power on landing as soon as possible. We were coming up on a small valley town and there was a abandoned housing developement so I set it down to a perfect landing. I didn't really feel like I had any time to get nervous. I guess no one really knows how they will react in an emergency. Granted, I know that this isn't like an engine or tail rotor failure but it makes you think anyway after the event has passed.


I got out after the blades had stopped and removed the chip detector sensor and it looked clean as a whistle. Nothing on it. I replaced it and took it out again and nothing...! I then called the mechanic and discussed it with him and we decided to start it up again and if the light didn't go on to fly it straight home. We did, it didn't, so we flew back home and the light didn't come on again. He reccomended a few local flights and watching it for a bit and that is what I am going to do.


Anyway we are all back safe and sound (?) and my passengers had a little excitement to fuel stories for their friends. Me, I feel like I dodged another one and just felt like talking about it with others in the fold. Your thoughts are welcome.

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  • 6 months later...

I think most of us had this before. In more than 90% the light comes on, it's only normal abrasion wear. If your helicopter has no electrical system to burn it from the detector, just clean it and go ahead if it'n obvious normal wear. Our technicians always say "keep an eye on it and go on".

But it's important to know it's only normal wear.

Once I had it on a 500 and there half of a tooth of a gear wheel was broken.

It's better to be careful all the time, also if you call your technician for "nothing". I did that at least 20 times.

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  • 1 year later...

Used to have a R22 that would light up the TR gear box light. Pull the plug and it was be a little sludge and nothing else. Happened about every 100 hrs for the last 500 hrs of its life.


The BKs have a "pulser" button or something like that that arcs an electrical current over the plug and blasts that gunk / fuzz off the plug. Anything big enough to be a problem will come and stick to the plug again and turn the light on.

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