The part of your hoist that gets the most use and needs the greatest amount of maintenance is the cable. To increase cable life and reduce birdcaging, we recommend the following:
Keep the cable clean. Do a “quick wash” of the cable during post-flight inspection to remove dirt and grit from the cable. Do a full water wash after operations in or near salt water.
Keep the cable lubricated. Lubricate it after cleaning and during post-flight inspections by placing an oil-soaked rag around the cable and running the cable through the rag as it’s reeled in. Maintain tension on the cable while reeling in.
Use the hoist. Cables that are used to do short lifts and/or low loads will have the shortest life. If possible, use the hoist at lengths over 50’ (15 m) and loads of at least 150 lbs (70 kg).
Perform a regular cable conditioning lift. Cable conditioning applies the full load to the full length of the cable, allowing stresses to equalize along the length of the cable. To perform a conditioning lift, while in a hover, extend the cable out to its down limit. Attach a weight within 100 lbs of your hoist’s rated load, and raise the weight using the hoist while the aircraft descends to keep the weight within 10’ (3 m) of the ground. When the weight reaches the skid or is just below the aircraft, use the aircraft to lower the weight to the ground, disconnect the hook, and reel in the cable to “home” the hook. There is no third-party equipment that can replace the need for doing a cable conditioning lift with the aircraft.
Perform regular maintenance. Read and follow the instructions found in your hoist’s CMM, and in SIL 2012-02, found on the technical publications site - To access our technical publications, visit http://techpubs.goodrich.com and follow these instructions.