HINTS AND TIPS

The Buttons below will take you through the different hints and tips that I feel will make your helicopter safer and more reliable.

Valve Cover Gaskets

I was in the Houston Texas area providing flight training with Scott Worthington. Part of the training required a night cross country flight in his Rotorway 162F. It was equipped for night flight and over the past 20 hours it had performed flawlessly. I donít usually do the night cross country flights in a Rotorway helicopter but in Scottís case we could lift off from Sport Flyers airpark and fly a few miles south over open farm land to interstate 10. The plan was to then fly the cross country over the median of Interstate 10 were we would have good ground reference on this full moon night.

During the late afternoon prior to the night flight we thoroughly checked the entire helicopter and found it in airworthy condition. We then removed the valve covers and performed the 25 hour interval valve lash adjustments. We installed the covers and tightened the cover bolts to the proper torque and then ran the engine for about 5 minutes to check for leaks. None were found so we fired up again and flew the airport traffic pattern and once again shut down and checked for leaks around the valve cover gaskets. The cork gaskets that come with the ship are only good for a couple of cycles of removal and installation before they need replacement so we were being extra cautious about checking them before this planned night flight.

Once it was legally dark we fired up and lifted off. We flew another airport traffic pattern and then headed south for I-10. We had only tracked I-10 for about two or three minutes when I thought I smelled a slight odor of oil smoke. I asked Scott if he smelled anything and he thought that he did also. We immediately turned back toward the airport and landed. Upon inspection we found that oil was indeed leaking from the left valve cover and that the cork gasket had torn. The distinctive odor of oil smoke gave us the warning that we needed and enough time to safely land and get it repaired.

I prefer the silicone gaskets over the cork ones because they can be used numerous times without wearing out. If you are planning on keeping the cork gaskets that came with the engine then purchase an extra set or two from Rotorway.

. We installed a new gasket, went to dinner while the adhesive set up, and then after checking it out for leaks we finished our 3 hours of night flight training.

Below is a photo of the Roller Rockers installed in My Rotorway Exec 152. Notice that by this time I had converted to dual ignition and dual spark plugs.

 

DISCLAIMER:

The material on each page is the opinion of the author only and any actions taken by the reader relating to information on this site is the responsibility of the builder.