Training to be the best

The best way to save money on regularly-scheduled, in-shop helicopter engine checks is to properly maintain an engine in the field, so there is less damage and wear to be remedied in the shop.

Moreover, engines that are properly maintained last longer, are less prone to costly aircraft on ground (AOG) breakdowns, and have better resale value when it’s time to replace them with new helicopters.

As the world’s largest service center for Honeywell (formerly Lycoming) LTS101 engines and the only service center for the newly-released Honeywell HTS900 engine, Intermountain Turbine Services (ITS) of Lindon, Utah, wants to keep costs as low as possible for its customers.

“As a company who builds and values long-term relationships with helicopter owners and operators, we want to help them control their costs,” said Darryl K. Christensen, ITS president and CEO.

This is why ITS offers four-day LTS101 and HTS900 engine training courses at its Lindon facility, to help helicopter technicians and their employers maintain their powerplants in peak condition, in line with their operating specifications and Honeywell’s own recommendations.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transport Canada have approved both engine training courses, which play a key role in ensuring the longevity of these engine types.

The LTS101 is used in helicopters such as the Airbus BK117 and AS350; the AVIC AC311; and the Bell 222. The model’s popularity is reflected in the fact that more than 2,100 have been delivered to customers around the world since 1975, logging over 11 million service hours.

Meanwhile, Eagle Copters is retrofitting the new HTS900 engine into its Bell 407HP helicopter, and the HTS900 is also the engine of choice for Marenco Helicopters’ new SKYe SH09.

ITS’ approach to engine maintenance training mixes the best of classroom and hands-on education.

“We have a dedicated classroom in our maintenance facility, which is equipped with the latest teaching equipment and educational aids,” said Christensen.

“This is where our skilled and knowledgeable instructors, who are also helicopter technicians in their own right, intensively educate our students to the LTS101 and HTS900.”

Even for students who already have experience working on the LTS101, these classes can be quite eye-opening. That’s because ITS staff stays on top of the latest information from Honeywell and incorporates experience they gather in the field about managing the engine properly.

This is the kind of knowledge that technicians working at other companies may not encounter on the job, because they have so many other things to do on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, the company’s HTS900 classes provide even the most knowledgeable students with sophisticated insights into this 21st century powerplant.

“As the only authorized maintenance facility for the HST900, we know it probably better than anyone else, except perhaps for Honeywell,” said Christensen.

“We also know how to expertly decipher the manuals associated with both engines, ensuring that our students use them properly when doing maintenance on their own.”

This said, it is with hands-on engine maintenance training that ITS truly shines.

Because the company inspects and services these engines in its Lindon shop, students get hands-on training with real-world equipment, rather than out-of-service teaching aids that don’t actually work.

“Obviously, we are not going to let students do work on clients’ engines, for which they are not yet qualified,” said Christensen.

“But it is incredibly useful for students to get hands-on instructor demonstrations on viable LTS101s and HTS900s. And when they are ready to take that step, our students can try their hands on these functional engines–the kind that they will encounter in their own fleets today, and in the future.”

ITS’ training is part of the company’s enlightened approach to helicopter engine maintenance.

“Our goal is to reduce costs and downtime for our customers,” said Christensen. “This is why Intermountain Turbine developed its own field kits for the LTS101 and HTS900, to help our clients service both of them safely at their locations.”

The bottom line: For top-quality maintenance training on these venerable engines, plus solid field and in-shop servicing, repair, and overhauls, Intermountain Turbine Services is an essential provider with the ability to serve operators around the world.

“We want to keep you flying, and doing so at the lowest cost and minimal downtime,” said Christensen. “That’s what we’re all about.”

James Careless: