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What is this???

Old 5th Dec 2015, 16:54
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What is this???

I work in the Oil and Gas industry and fly in a Bell 212 often, my co-workers and I have been having a debate on what the big red lever above the pilot is in aircraft? Can someone tell me what it is for?

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Old 6th Dec 2015, 20:52
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It's the rotor brake.

Almost identical to the one in the S61.





(this one has got some pipe insulation over it to stop scratches/chips.)

Last edited by Wirbelsturm; 7th Dec 2015 at 12:01.
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Old 7th Dec 2015, 15:10
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Old 7th Dec 2015, 17:22
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........what ever?
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Old 8th Dec 2015, 13:15
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........what ever?
???? ???????
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Old 8th Dec 2015, 13:54
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what, ever? I think he meant?
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Old 8th Dec 2015, 14:16
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Simple question, simple answer.

Gotta love the responses.

Like... WHAT ....evvvvvvvver!
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Old 10th Dec 2015, 16:34
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I think he may have left the 'l' from 'lever' out
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Old 11th Dec 2015, 08:13
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I think he may have left the 'l' from 'lever' out
Hmmm, now that would make sense. There was me thinking it was like being answered by my 17 year old daughter!!

Which, ironically, means my reply looks silly and childish as well!

I'll leave it just for the irony!

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Old 11th Dec 2015, 08:19
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Yes, it is the rotor brake. The dense foam padding is not to prevent chips and scratches on the handle, but to provide a modicum of protection to the pilot's head. Most of us don't wear bone domes when flying offshore

You can often see the same dense foam on the wiper motors, just in front of each pilot, at the top of the windscreen
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Old 11th Dec 2015, 10:58
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The dense foam padding is not to prevent chips and scratches on the handle,
I never flew with the foam attached to be honest and always believed it to be for shipping purposes. To me it just looks like a bit of FOD waiting to happen.

Mind you nothing a couple of tie wraps wouldn't fix I suppose.

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Old 11th Dec 2015, 11:04
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Originally Posted by Wirbelsturm View Post
I never flew with the foam attached to be honest and always believed it to be for shipping purposes. To me it just looks like a bit of FOD waiting to happen.

Mind you nothing a couple of tie wraps wouldn't fix I suppose.

The factory glue isn't the best: you can see the excess on the left of the photo that you posted. Quite a few 212/412s I've flown have the tie wrap solution, S61s they hadn't invented tie wraps and used stronger glue
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Old 11th Dec 2015, 12:15
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S61s they hadn't invented tie wraps and used stronger glue
Very true, I don't think they had invented the word 'subtle' for anything in the S61 either!

Great fun to fly though!
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 08:21
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Just wondering how often the Rotor Brake is actually applied. I recall in the mid nineties seeing a Jet Ranger parked on a platform helideck. A severe squall sprang up and in no time at all the rotor started turning, the aircraft began to bounce about on it's floats (it was the only one in our fleet which operated with floats) until it tipped over the side, demolished the safety netting and plunged into the sea.
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 10:22
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Mike Tee,

It pretty much depends upon the machine and the conditions. Bell recommend the application of the rotor brake below 38-39%Nr down to an almost stop and then to release it.

The idea being to stop/prevent excessive blade sail as the rotors slow down. The correct action would then be to install a blade cuff and tie down to prevent the windmilling you describe. A touch of laziness crept in perhaps? Occasionally, if the weather was benign there are some who would roll to ground idle and let the blades windmill without chopping the engine or applying the rotor brake. This has led to a few dynamic instability roll overs that I know of!

On the bigger machines the rotor brake is applied whenever the rotors are stopped and not cuffed. This is especially important on machines with fully articulated heads as the flapping/dragging/feathering hinges allow for quite a bit of movement in windy conditions.

The idea would be to stop the blades clear of the tail boom in order to prevent a tail strike. I have seen the S61 composite blades hit the ground during a squall on deck!
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 10:23
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Sounds like it committed suicide, Mike!

Not all aircraft are fitted with a rotor brake and on some types the pressure bleeds off after a while, rendering it ineffective. In those cases, it's usual to fit some sort of blade tie to prevent the blades rotating.
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Old 17th Dec 2015, 17:21
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That's interesting, having, on other occasions seen the Rotor Brake engaged I assumed that it was a "mechanical" brake but apparently not. I do seem to recall that the unfortunate pilot who's aircraft committed suicide was in fact dismissed. A shame as he was a really nice chap. The aircraft in question drifted away inverted with landing lights blazing under the surface, all very errie and was eventually "captured" by a supply boat then lifted onto a work barge. I believe that it was eventually it was scrapped.

Last edited by Mike Tee; 17th Dec 2015 at 17:22. Reason: typo
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Old 21st Dec 2015, 17:25
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Hmmm, now that would make sense. There was me thinking it was like being answered by my 17 year old daughter!!

Which, ironically, means my reply looks silly and childish as well!

I'll leave it just for the irony!
..and I just though they hadn't seen that episode of Father Ted and missed the comedy value in my post.
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