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Hey - Any Bell 214ST pilots in here?

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Hey - Any Bell 214ST pilots in here?

Old 8th Aug 2019, 14:30
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: US
Age: 58
Posts: 31
Hey - Any Bell 214ST pilots in here?

Hi,

Any people with Bell 214ST experience in here who want to share anything that would be good for a new-hire Bell 214ST guy to know?
Maybe something you wish you'd known when you were new at it?

Cheers,
~ K.
Lt. Kije is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2019, 10:37
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Aberdeenshire
Age: 72
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I have about 2500 hours on the ST but haven't flown it, or anything else, since 2007.

The biggest weakness of the ST is the engine starting system. The NiCad batteries were underpowered and the starter motors needed frequent replacement as a consequence. I believe improved batteries, and beefed-up starter motors, may now be available.

The biggest "GOTCHA" on the ST is a "High-side" failure of the engine control system and it has caught out a few people in the past. If the engine-driven alternator (which powers the engine control system) fails, or a certain one of its three windings fails IIRC, then the default arrangement is for the affected engine to go to full power: a "High-side" failure.

The serviceable engine will, meantime, reduce power in an attempt to maintain 100% RRPM. Diagnosis of this failure starts with RRPM. If it is >100%, then it's a High-Side failure. The higher of the two MGTs will indicate which is the malfunctioning engine. The torque meter is unreliable with this fault. (Cannot rememberer why)

The single most important point is NOT instinctively to dump the lever, but to contain RRPM with collective position. Lowering the lever would cause the RRPM to overspeed and, at about 117%, the affected engine overspeed trip would activate and close the engine down. The correctly-functioning engine, meanwhile, would be back at idle and would be unlikely to spool up in time to avoid this all ending in tears.

After agreeing with the non-handling pilot which is the affected engine, invite him to hold open the throttle of the GOOD engine, then you gently roll back the throttle of the "bad" engine , and slowly lower the lever when the RRPM has reduced to 100%. The good engine will spool up and the "bad" engine should be kept at a slightly lower power (by observing MGT). Then, with RRPM again at 100%, and your heart rate back to normal, find your Emergency Check List and confirm you've done it right.

I've just had a look in my cupboard for the Flight Safety's manual on the ST. It's an excellent document but, unfortunately, mine may have gone to the dustbin. If what I have written is incorrect in some way, I'm sure someone will be along to correct me!

However, what I am sure about is that you should REALLY understand how to deal with "High-side" engine malfunctions on the Bell 214 ST, and know clearly how to distinguish that from a "Low-side" failure or a simple engine failure.

In over 20 years flying the ST, in addition to other types, nothing bad happened to me. Once the engines were going (always a relief), then it was reliable and simple to operate. It's a shame that Bell didn't make an ST Mark 2!

Safe flying and enjoy the ST
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 02:14
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Canada
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I have a 1000 hrs on the ST, all single pilot and mostly on the left seat. I agree with Lingo Dan on the starts, we had problems starting the engines until they found new types of batteries (you need the exact voltage to start these things) and higher quality starter,s then no more problems.
I was doing vertical reference work with them and I am curious about what kind of work you would be doing?
If you end up doing areal work with them like I did (fire fighting, drill move etc) I would suggest you leave the Fly by wire system OFF and the rear stabs in the neutral position and keep it below 100kts the VNE without the system ON if I recall. The system is sensitive and will come off line all the time. Also the SCAS system is sensitive as well, don't rush the controls, the system will fight back. One more thing, always remember to put the SCAS ON before take off, she is a handful without it. I did loose all electrical one day while flying and had to do a precautionary landing on skids with all systems off and it was a challenge.
Once you know and understand this machine they are a love to fly and YES I wish Bell made a mark 2 as well. The 525 might be it though.

JD
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 21:48
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Thanks, guys - I've got that saved and I'll be sure to ask about it up during classroom training.
I'd be very surprised if we didn't have the better batteries and starters.

Cheers,
~ K.
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Old 11th Aug 2019, 03:02
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Always believed a review of past accidents/incidents can give lessons.

An example of Lingo Dan's post.

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...aair199100020/

Couple of others

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...aair198800115/

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...air/199501030/
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Old 12th Aug 2019, 14:33
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Thanks, guys - that's hugely helpful. Didn't AAR have some tail booms fall off of 214's a few years ago?

~ K.
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 12:25
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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If we are talking 214STs on skids, don't ever,ever, go underneath one without it being supported on jacks. One of the most frightening incidents of my 40 years in aviation maintenance, was the collapse of an St at Redhill when the rear skid beam broke as we were attempting to get the thing out of the hanger. The crack, and the resulting sound of the cabin hitting the deck shook the whole building. BHL never had them on skids, this was a client aircraft.
Alan Bristow took one look at the demonstrator, and said "anyone who puts a thing that weight on skids wants their heads examining" He probably used more colourful language than that.
We had the king of Saudi Arabia"s 214 through at one time, as you can imagine, it was like a flying palace, it was up for sale, but the main blades were near timex, and cost of a new set was $1/4 million each (20 years ago), and Bell said they did not have any anyway.
It never sold, and as far as I know, returned home, and is still sitting in a hanger somewhere.
a
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 16:57
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Originally Posted by Dave B View Post
If we are talking 214STs on skids, don't ever,ever, go underneath one without it being supported on jacks. One of the most frightening incidents of my 40 years in aviation maintenance, was the collapse of an St at Redhill when the rear skid beam broke as we were attempting to get the thing out of the hanger. The crack, and the resulting sound of the cabin hitting the deck shook the whole building. BHL never had them on skids, this was a client aircraft.
Alan Bristow took one look at the demonstrator, and said "anyone who puts a thing that weight on skids wants their heads examining" He probably used more colourful language than that.
We had the king of Saudi Arabia"s 214 through at one time, as you can imagine, it was like a flying palace, it was up for sale, but the main blades were near timex, and cost of a new set was $1/4 million each (20 years ago), and Bell said they did not have any anyway.
It never sold, and as far as I know, returned home, and is still sitting in a hanger somewhere.
a
Dave B, Even allowing for a bit of 'literal licence' in your tale of the fate of HZ-RH1(or 2), but in reality both have had subsequent careers with Evergreen.
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 18:23
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Were they the Kings aircraft, if so. I am glad they had a happy ending. The reason for my post was to warn of the dangers of having a quick look under an aircraft that size on skids.
I have also seen 212s collapsing, but they usually landed on the floats.
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 23:51
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Skids are tough, heli-pads are not. We never had any problems with the skids on these aircrafts but we don't go about our day's work crash landing them all day long just like any other skids equipped aircraft. That would be hard on the rear crosstube.

JD





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Old 14th Aug 2019, 14:34
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Ouch! Oh, that looks painful. Did those logs break under the weight? Or did they roll?
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 15:07
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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20 mins after shutdown the aircraft slid forward from a bigger diameter log to a smaller one just ahead of it and just the weight of the aircraft sliding down broke that log. I flew back to camp with an Astar and came back with the AME and a faller (chainsaw guy) we cut the logs one by one forward of the broken one and slowly the nose came back down. When it was level or so, I got one engine going and moved a couple of 100 fts to the river and started #2, picked up the guys and went back to camp. No damage at all on the ST. The pad had the right number of logs and size.

JD
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 23:27
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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The batteries fijdor mentions are Tesla. They are very powerful and will give a good start every time. The company he and I flew them for (different roles but whatever) also got a new place to overhaul the starters. we were suffering from starter failures quite often and usually carried a spare for our work in the arctic. The Tesla batteries allows you to just pluc an extension cord into the side of the machine to charge the batteries, and also allows a self heater system if needed (it was were I worked 6 months of the year...)
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 06:54
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214ST,s Love em , just under developed, not many machines can take off gross weight on one engine on a 30oC day, I worked on all the Lloyd machines that ditched in Australia and until the last machine was replaced with a Super Puma in about 1996 then I had to move over to Eurotrash, the first was a drag brace failure, Bell upgraded to a Super Cobra brace but they weren't out to the field before this one failed, the second was a high side failure misidentified, the co-pilot was screaming "Rotor RPM Rotor RPM" and the Captain thought it was going down not up and the rest is history, that was when the client wanted to know the true OEI capability of the ST , to see if it would fly away from a rig on one if there was a failure, so with permission from Bell and GE we loaded to gross weight at the base OAT approx. 30oC , started both wound one back to idle , pulled to a hover and flew a circuit, landed , wound up the idled engine , wound back the second engine and did it again, no problem, this was 20 odd years ago, not many machine have this capability today .
Third ditching was attributed to T/R control issue, I don't think so as the pilots lost and regained T/R control at different speeds and power settings, I think it was a nodal failure on one side which would induce massive lateral bounce at various speeds and power settings, the tail fin and t/r of this aircraft was never recovered and divers never looked at the nodals (still under panels underwater) before it was allowed to sink, I believe it was a nodal failure as an ST had a heavy landing in South America in the late 90's and the description by the crew as they were going down was almost exactly the same as the machine that ditched in Australia but on inspection it was discovered it had a nodal failure on one side and nothing was wrong with the T/R control, depending on the speed , attitude and power settings the nodals can have up to about 3" of movement or under idle conditions none at all, when one side of your gear box is going up and down 3" and the other side is hardly moving you can imagine what happens.
Starting, you get 3 goes from the batteries then you are stuffed, one engine then the other then back to the first then the batteries are dead.
Hints, if available plug in Gnd power about an hr before you want to start and do all your checks, load nav , radio etc , this time allows the batteries to trickle to max before the start, Cycle your batteries if you are using the std nicads about every 4-6 weeks , ensures optimum battery life and performance , carry a spare starter, and swap one ever month , pull the covers off the removed starter and blow all the loose carbon powder from the brushes out, this is what takes power away from the starters as the excess carbon build up resistance in the starter , this ensures optimum life from the starters, make sure you always have 2 x good igniters in the engines and you will have little problems.
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 01:20
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the co-pilot was screaming "Rotor RPM Rotor RPM" and the Captain thought it was going down not up and the rest is history
Scream "Rotor RPM" to any helo jock and he's automatically going to think low RPM. The accident was symptomatic of the laissez-faire approach of the times, (Laissez faire leaders try to give the least possible guidance to subordinates, and try to achieve control through less obvious means. They believe that people excel when they are left alone to respond to their responsibilities and obligations in their own ways) eg sim training deemed not required, crew co-ordination not on the agenda. The pity is, senior management of the time still believe it was all the Captains fault, and still rail that they were forced by the court to re-employ him following his sacking. Nothing learnt in other words.
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 02:11
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
Scream "Rotor RPM" to any helo jock and he's automatically going to think low RPM. The accident was symptomatic of the laissez-faire approach of the times, (Laissez faire leaders try to give the least possible guidance to subordinates, and try to achieve control through less obvious means. They believe that people excel when they are left alone to respond to their responsibilities and obligations in their own ways) eg sim training deemed not required, crew co-ordination not on the agenda. The pity is, senior management of the time still believe it was all the Captains fault, and still rail that they were forced by the court to re-employ him following his sacking. Nothing learnt in other words.
Yep , sim training started after that and CRM training as well, both changed a few peoples perceptions and outlooks and company slowly dragged into modern era.
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