Rigging Kit

jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Location
Laramie County, Wyoming
Some time ago, during a conversation, special tools was briefly brought up. I have a eclectic collection of tools, tool sets, tool kits, PMEL, etc. I would like to show one of my tool kits. It was an EBay purchase of a DRMO’ed tool kit. I think it’s important to have some documentation (DRMO turn in/out forms) to keep the powers that be calm. This kit was used to “rig” the flight controls of a helicopter. I seriously doubt that the kit will ever be used again. Civilian ownership of CH-53’s is extremely difficult due to the cost per flight hour, which was about $5000.00 last time I checked. I used a similar kit on the helicopters I crewed.
 

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jeffhuey1n

SMSgt, USAF (Ret.)
Steel Soldiers Supporter
1,404
154
63
Location
Laramie County, Wyoming
Rigging, in simple terms, means adjusting for proper dimensions. Starting in the cockpit with the “sticks” and all along the length of the flight controls, there are adjustable links. In order to make sure that any maintenance on the flight controls is done correctly, you measure each component and compare that measurement to a proper length as indicated in the technical orders. The rigging kit is installed at certain specific points. There are pins and blocks used to ensure proper length without having to measure with a ruler, which is a royal pain. If the pins fit correctly, your job is done. If any pin or block doesn’t fit correctly, you have to make adjustments which is what we call “rigging”.
Hopefully I haven’t lost you. I worked multiple types of helicopters and each type had a rigging kit designed by the helicopter manufacturer. On the UH-1, there one item in the rigging kit. On the H-53, there are 24 +/- pins and blocks. Regardless of the type, every time maintenance is performed on anything related to the flight controls, you must check rigging.
To fully understand the process, helicopter mechanics attend schools based on the helicopter to be maintained. My first helicopter was the Marine Corps CH-53A and D. That was a six week course followed by another course that was four weeks long. That’s just to learn the basics. Once you make it to your duty station, you get more training, OJT also known as On the Job Training. I’d guess over 25 years of maintenance, I easily spent well over a year in training on all the systems and airframes of helicopters I worked on.
I hope I didn’t confuse you. I’ll be glad to try and answer any questions. I’ll poke around and see if I still have course materials.
 
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