18-Jul-2014 Source: Airbus Helicopters
A team of six technicians working for Russian helicopter operator UTair gathers closely around the EC175 full-size maintenance training helicopter installed at Airbus Helicopters Training Services in Marignane, France. Their attention is focused on mechanics instructor Yann A., as he explains the effect of tension on the aircraft’s electrical network, one of several subjects covered in the day’s curriculum.
“Getting to know this new aircraft and seeing what it consists of inside thanks to the open maintenance device is the most important part of this training. Everything that is new is interesting to us,” says Andrei Shadrin, a mechanic at UTair who is adding the EC175 to his repertoire.
Already in their third week of classes, Shadrin and his colleagues are the inaugural group of technicians to undergo EC175 mechanics type-rating training at Airbus Helicopters. By the end of July, they will be certified to perform maintenance on the company’s newest mid-sized twin-engine aircraft.
“The maintenance training helicopter we are learning on offers us direct access to aircraft parts that we won’t see on a regular basis once the helicopter goes into operation, such as the transmission and the gearbox. So this training is our best opportunity to learn these new parts and procedures inside out, like the system for checking and balancing the shaft and rotor,” adds Ramil Sofarov, a helicopter technician at UTair.
The technicians were also introduced to the new interactive TechPub reader called ORION, which Shadrin says “will help them to navigate TechPub more easily when they have a specific query about a part or maintenance task.”
This new tool works by connecting all technical content related to a particular subject within the TechPub database via a network of live links. For example, if a technician needs to work on a fuel tank, he or she can easily jump from the instruction manual to the work cards or parts description with just the click of a mouse. The reader is already deployed for the EC130, the AS350 B2 and the AS350 B3, and will be ready for the EC175 upon its entry into service.
UTair has ordered 15 EC175s and will receive their first delivery before the end of 2014. The company operates a fleet of 350 helicopters and provides transport for oil & gas companies and international organizations like the United Nations.