Owning any type of vehicle carries on a certain set of responsibilities and duties an owner has to take into consideration at all times, certain maintenance procedures must be undertaken to make sure that the aircraft remains airworthy. When it comes to ultralight helicopters, there are a few minor details the owner can take care of from the comfort of his own home, provided the necessary mechanical skills are present. Since these Lightweight frames are not subject to yearly inspections, it falls onto the owner to keep the aircraft in tip-top condition and even when it is recommendable that it be taken care of by a professional, invested owners can take a hand at maintaining their aircraft themselves.
Very much like a car, an ultralight vehicle suffers from attrition and wear from continued use, so checking the gas pumps and rotor systems every time the vehicle is to take flight is a must; electronics, albeit simple, must be properly taken care of, cleaning the board and fuses in the dashboard is of the utmost priority, one bad contact or reading while in the air could be catastrophic. Rotors are a separate thing, it is strongly advised that a licensed mechanic checks these on the craft since these are pretty complex and delicate pieces that need to be fine-tuned.
Other than that, structural integrity on the craft is important as well, whenever the craft lands it generates a certain amount of vibrations that could damage hull integrity, this directly translates to loose parts and/or tears in the frame. The owner of the craft must be on the lookout for these damages in the airframe and take the necessary steps to fix them. All these things should be prioritized before taking the craft for a flight, but it is advisable that the craft undergoes security mechanical inspections often, at least every twenty five hours of flying.
The fuel system must also be checked regularly, the main fuel pump itself, as well as the channels the fuel travels through. The aircraft’s owner must always make sure that the vehicle is operating at 100% every time before flying, an hour or two worth of inspections on land, can save them a week or more in the hospital, remember, safety first. Finally an owner must have a close track on the vehicle’s piece life-time, things such as the landing gears, engines, valves and many other pieces must be replaced as time goes by, for said purpose the owner needs to look no further than the internet to find these, sites such as ebay have a plethora of exchangeable pieces for sale, making this task a lot easier.
All in all, owning one of these ultralight aircrafts is definitely a boon, but one that comes with a huge amount of responsibility and an even bigger amount of knowledge and awareness when it comes to keeping it functional, a defective aircraft can be as deadly as a car without brakes.
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