Letter From Frustrated Helicopter Mechanic To Engine Company a Classic!
For years now I have heard stories about one of our retired helicopter mechanics who was quite a unique character. When he was not coming up with ingenious contraptions or fixes to helicopter mechanical problems, he would occasionally fire off a letter on issues that he believed should be corrected.
Now anyone who works in or around helicopters knows that they are notorious for oil leaks. We have all heard terms such as "operational seepage" or funny quips like "a helicopter is nothing more than a thousand spare parts flying in formation around an oil leak." Well one day Bob finally had enough of the standard helicopter turbine engine oil leak and fired off the following letter, (recently dug out of an old file in the maintenance hangar).
XXXXXXXXX RotorCraft, Inc.
El Cajon, Ca. 92020
August 21, 2000
This is in Reference to your expensive 250C20 series engines. You are probably aware of the tendency of these engines to leak oil. Much of our maintenance effort is spent on trying to fix these never ending leaks.
I think I may have come upon a remedy for the above problem. For about fifty years I have operated lawn mowers. These mowers have a vertical shaft that drives a blade. This mechanism is immersed in oil. In spite of poor maintenance, sudden stoppage, over speeding (one turned so fast that it almost went into a hover), lack of oil, too much oil, and imbalance and out of track blades, etc. I have yet to see a drop of oil on the surface where the machines were parked. In light of the above I think you should either merge with Briggs & Stratton or hire one of their engineers.
P.S. You might pass this on to MD Helicopters we have the same problem with their gear-boxes. I'm sure they would be grateful."
See a copy of the original here. I thought this letter was just too good not to share.