Flying on New Year’s Day…NOT

So I was up at the crack of dawn (aka 9am) and zero degrees to fly on this bright and really cold morning. I was soo excited to be flying on New Year’s Day, but sadly it was not to be.

When I arrived at the hanger and started on the pre-flight, Instructor Steve was looking at the tail rotor oddly. What he was looking at was when you move the tail rotor control push/pull rod there was this bump like thing, when it should have moved smoothly and a slight odd noise. Its hard to explain, but it was very noticeable. But not a stopper to our flying, so I moved on with the pre-flight when Steve said to keep my eyes open for anything odd. Hmmm. When your instructor says that, you know something is up. I noticed right away that the blue transmission oil was low. It should never be low. NEVER. EVER. It always stays the same unless you have a leak. There was also blue oil all over the place once I started looking for it. Now normally this would have been an issue, but the R22 just got back from its maintenance checkup, so it might have been leftover from the checkup. Still something to look at, but not something that would stop our flying as it was low, but not too low.

So I continued with the pre-flight. Then I got to the back side of the fan scroll and noticed a little opening with a little door hanging open (it had a screw missing too). Well that was not normal and I showed it to Steve. This was the killer of our flight today. Steve tried to fix it, but it would not be fixed. So the little R22 was written up and not allowed to fly. Talk about a major bummer! So we did a hour of ground instead. So not a very exciting flying day, but a good learning experience about making sure that you do a thorough pre-flight.

What is this?
What is this?