The Vertical Challenge of Helicopters

Solving the 2:1 Conundrum

“At the time (1909), the chief engineer was almost always the chief pilot as well. That had the
fortunate result of eliminating poor engineering early in aviation.”
Igor Sikorsky, the undisputed ‘father’ of vertical flight

I can’t imagine anyone in aviation who is not awed by helicopters and the things they can do. Imagine a bunch of dissimilar parts working together to create a machine that can takeoff vertically, hover, fly left, right, forwards, and backward and then land on the proverbial dime.

And they’ve been doing it for nearly 120 years.

It’s not that helicopters don’t have their downside. No doubt you’ve heard the saying, “Helicopters are really a bunch of parts flying in relatively close formation: all rotating around a different axis. Things work well until one of the parts breaks formation.”

No one can argue that keeping all those parts where they’re supposed to be takes a lot of effort. Talk to any helicopter mechanic, and they’ll tell you it takes two hours of inspection and maintenance every one hour the helicopter flies.

Yes, the ratio is better when operating brand-new machines, but only a few operators have that luxury. And in their highly stressful world, it doesn’t take long for that “new helicopter smell” to wear off.

While that 2:1 ratio is mind boggling, consider that most helicopters are revenue-generating or emergency medical machines, so their operators need them to stay in the air and not in the shop.

Whether flying powerline patrol, emergency services, keeping the peace, or gathering the news, helicopters are hard-working beasts. Every hour on the ground translates directly into a loss of revenue for the owner.

That means that after a full day of flying, most helicopter maintainers are faced with getting all the required maintenance done in a fraction of the time their fixed-wing counterparts typically have.

Helicopter technicians don’t have time to search through stacks of logbooks and documents to find information about that rotorcraft’s maintenance history. Step one on practically every task card is knowing what’s been done by whom, where, and when with what parts–and so many parts to keep track of.

There’s one way to get closer to a 1:1 world

Every operator would like to cut their helicopter’s maintenance time in half. And while that’s just not realistic – helicopters are just too complex –– it’s easier than ever to save time and become more cost-effective than you might think.

Having all the helicopter’s paper logbooks and documents digitized by Bluetail and stored on our secure cloud network can cut all the required pre-maintenance research down to a few keystrokes and mouse clicks.

Think about it: cutting even an hour off of logbook research each day can quickly add up to hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars saved on routine maintenance every year. It’s not magic – it’s Bluetail.

15-minutes at HELI-EXPO can save you a HELI-of-a-lot of money
If saving loads of time and money while reducing a big chunk of wasted time from your technician’s workloads sounds like the right move for your operation, stop by the Bluetail Booth#B3934 during HELI-EXPO 2023 in Atlanta for a personalized demo.

NBAA New Guidelines on Electronic Recordkeeping