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Robinson R44 C014-17 Pop Out Float InspectionChannel Islands Helicopters Tests R44 Pop-Out Floats

The annual roll-out inspection or the 3 year pop inspection of the r44 floats used to be a major wrestling match… my arms and shoulders would be sore for a few days afterward, then  I learned a few basics tricks!  

First is that a helicopter maintenance dolly is essential. Having the helicopter on a flat landing pad with wheels brings the task about a foot closer. Having the machine on the platform keeps you and your tools off the hangar floor. Take the time to find a pad for this task.

Two: Lube the snaps and uncoil the lacing before manually rolling out the floats or popping the floats. Doing this work beforehand is much cleaner and more manageable without the burden of a huge inflated float, or a floppy deflated float bag. When unlacing the float cover cord, only unlace about half the cord on the fore and aft covers, and unlace about 2/3 of the cord on the middle section cover.

Three: Find one or two helpers to assists in the deflation of the floats. I prefer using a vacuum cleaner, on the suction side, to draw a vacuum on each float chamber one at a time. I have a locally acquired tool to aid in this procedure. RHC may have a special tool for this job. As the vacuum cleaner draws the air from the float chamber have your helpers hold the float bag upright, folded in half perfectly, until the float bag becomes “vacuum sealed” in that position. This technique is essential for proper rolling and packing of the floats. Four: In order to pack a float that produces a clean, evenly packed look, my  recommendation would be to not over tighten the cords on certain portions of the float covers. There are certain sections of the assembly that have minimal float bag material, hoses and valves underneath, in these lightly packed sections, do not over-tighten the cover cords. These simple tips will reduce the amount of horsepower required for you next pop-out float inspection of the C014-17.

These tips will apply to the R66 pop-out floats too, we are all just waiting on RHC and Apical to introduce this essential option for the R66 helicopter. Above all, follow all directions in the instructions for continue airworthiness and Robinson R44 SB #80 Tags: R44 Pop-out floats, R66 pop-out floats, Robinson helicopter floats

Related Reading:

RotorCorp working with Apical on R66 Pop-out float STC