The team of mechanics at Helimission in Madagascar is led by Dalee, a diligent Malagasy. He is supported by expats as well as other Malagasy people.
In order for a helicopter to fly, regular maintenance work needs to be carried out. For one hour of flying, around three hours of maintenance are required. Recently we had to do some major work on our Helicopter 5R-MKT (Mike-Kilo-Tango). This kept our technical crew occupied for quite some time. Our maintenance manager prepared everything in advance. That way, everyone knew what to do. As well as an annual inspection, we also had various additional tasks to do. For example, we had to replace the bearings on the tail rotor shaft. Most helicopter parts have a limited durability, either for a certain number of flight hours or a certain period of time. This means that various parts must be replaced after a certain date, even though they might still have some leftover “shelf life”. These intervals are precisely specified by the helicopter manufacturer. Naturally, this means a great deal of preparation for those of us on a base in a third world country like Madagascar. It is sometimes not easy to bring the necessary replacement parts into the country; one needs to think ahead. We are very glad to have great logistics teams, both in Switzerland and here in Madagascar. They make sure that all of the needed material is ready on time.
Finally, they had to rebalance different components and carry out measurements to be certain that everything was within the specified limits.