Did you recently get your license to fly a helicopter? Are you looking to purchase your very own copter instead of just renting one or borrowing a friend's at the local airport? Owning any kind of aircraft is a big responsibility. Maintenance and repair are things you should take extremely seriously. A car that breaks down might be able to get to the side of the road. But if an aircraft breaking down mid-flight is simply not an option for obvious reasons. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to taking care of your new helicopter.
Know What's a Quick Fix and What Might Require an Expert
If you are not an expert at helicopter maintenance, you will want to proceed cautiously. Your helicopter's equipment manual might have some troubleshooting tips you can follow along with, and most helicopter owners should at least be able to handle cleaning the aircraft on a regular basis. But if you intend to do more than that and start messing with things like the engine or changing fluids like oil on your own, be absolutely certain you know what the problem is and the exact steps you need to take. There's no shame in consulting an expert for maintenance or repair as needed. In other words, if you are used to popping the hood of your car and figuring it out as you go, just keep in mind that this is not a viable option when it comes to an aircraft.
If You Do Your Own Work, Use the Right Tools for the Job
If you've received enough training and feel comfortable working on your own aircraft to fix more complex issues, the first thing you need to do is make sure you have the right professional tools for the job. In other words, It's not likely you are going to be able to grab just any old wrench out of your garage toolbox and have it work on an aircraft.
Many helicopters will require special tools that are made directly by the manufacturer of the aircraft. A Bell helicopter might require Bell 505 tools, for example, but another type of helicopter might require its own unique set of tools. Trying to adjust or fix a part with the wrong tool might lead to a situation where you break something or leave something looser than it should be. Again, this is not the type of vehicle where you should feel comfortable just winging it. Make sure you have the exact right tools you need for this work or hand it over to a professional instead.