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Agusta A109E Caution Message

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Agusta A109E Caution Message

Old 18th May 2023, 03:47
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Question Agusta A109E Caution Message

In my Agusta A109E, a caution message has appeared stating “#1 PLA Motor”. The helicopter is a 2003 model with 1,143 hours total time.

The engineers at my service organisation have not been able to rectify the fault, even after getting a replacement PLA motor.

Has anyone had a similar experience in an Agusta 109E? If so, would you be able to advise what we should be looking for or what needs to be replaced?

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Old 18th May 2023, 05:44
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Do the trim switches on the collective work in Manual mode ?, and also Auto/Man switch operative ?.
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Old 18th May 2023, 06:05
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2004 would have been the last time I had anything to do with this model so .................."caveat emptor".

PLA MOTOR may be the warning on the IDS but you need to take into account that it implies the system is INOP but not necessarily exactly the motor.

Throwing another motor at it would have been a bit optimistic without confirming that it is actually the problem.

You need to understand the "logic" behind how the warning is triggered which may be derived and another simple fault in the system blows the logic.

i.e. 1/ Oil pressure "green range" versus temperature doesn't make sense if your oil thermo-valve is slightly out and you will get all sorts of warnings due to the "derived" info in the software from "mapped" data.
2/ I have seen an engine changed due to oil filter bypass indications that was only a duff thermal lock-out on the bypass indicator. Nothing actually in the filter! $35.00 fix versus $25,000.00 after the engine came back!

As a 20 year old aircraft I would have first swapped the motor from side th side (if possible of course0 then bus (ring) it out for continuity and be checking the earths or beep switch functionality.

The assumption is that the motor does not actually work and not just a spurious indication?

While you are at it I would take a good look where the DAU lives and it's general well being. Some where prone to moisture in that area doing all sorts of crazy stuff.

Stabilant 22 Enhancer is your friend on any connectors which you would be aware of as you have PWC engines where the use is pretty much mandatory. No idea how it works but it does!

As somebody in Italy told me - "Agusta is like a Ferrari - the fastest way to get to where you will break down next". They both need constant "fettling" to stay reliable.

The AMM is only the minimum required.
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Old 18th May 2023, 06:42
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Auto Man switch works on #1 PLA. #1PLA Trim switch works intermittently in both Auto and Man and moves PLA but faults and illuminates caution message. Light tapping on #1 PLA motor intermittently works but faults again. Installation of new #1 PLA motor has not fixed problem. All connectors have been checked and cleaned. No mechanical binding on PLA movement.

Auto Man switch is operative and the trim switch works normally on #2 PLA .
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Old 18th May 2023, 07:27
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Have you tried comparing moving the PLA #1 versus #2 manually with it in MANUAL which I think disables the brake?

Remove the cable at one end then the other to eliminate mechanical binding on the cable or the FMM?
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Old 18th May 2023, 10:03
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It wouldn't be the first time I have known the replacement part to be duff...

Just saying
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Old 20th May 2023, 00:53
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RVDT. Thanks. We will try.

Is there anyone else who has had this problem?

My aircraft is still grounded!

Last edited by Dick Smith; 20th May 2023 at 06:33.
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Old 24th May 2023, 11:16
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Dick: As there have been no responses reporting same problem so far, is this a case of contacting Leonardo directly for advice? Or has that already been done? They must have staff that could give a list of possible causes as they would know the internal logic per RVDT's post #3.
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