May 4, 2019 0 Comments in Aerial Agriculture, Client Case Studies, Ground-Effect, IMS News, Industry News by
Safety Notice for all Operators using Helicopter Spreading Buckets

Recently we received feedback from a New Zealand operator who has highlighted a risk factor when operating a helicopter bucket with a spreader bar / coat hanger on a MD 500 series helicopter.

Due to the way the mechanical release mechanism is mounted to the helicopter (directly onto the cyclic), we would like to take the operator’s experience as an opportunity to hopefully prevent a potential accident.

While topdressing in an MD 500 D The spreader bar on a fertiliser bucket caught over the top of the manual release cable and pulled the cyclic control from the pilots hand, nearly causing an accident. To prevent any further risk of a repeat incident, we opted to replace the hook assembly with a hydraulic manual release system.

The mechanical release cable was hanging too low possibly. However, rigging these cables can be tricky if the outer sleeve of the manual release cable is mounted too snug to the air-frame, hook movement can cause inadvertent release due to cable pulling.

The operator who supplied this feedback suggested we should recommend all of our MD clients to check their hook cable rigging is correct and suggest attaching the spreader bar to the cargo hook and rotate it at all angles to check for potential fowling. We at IMS strongly agree with this approach for any operator, regardless of helicopter make or model.

This feedback is extremely valuable to the entire industry and we really appreciate it. If you have any feedback, concerns, comments or complements, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our website or directly to any of the team.

If you would like to discuss this particular subject further, please feel free to contact Jordan Salmons on or +64 21 583 033.