Support: April 30, 2005


Helicopters are heavily used in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the choppers are taking a beating from the dust and sand found, in abundance, in those countries. This stuff makes it necessary to spend more time on maintenance, and shortens the life of many helicopter components. To make matters worse, the crud comes in many different forms, from gritty sand, to stuff that looks and feels like talcum powder. This has made it difficult to get the right kind of filters on engines, and other components, of the helicopters. In an effort to deal with the sand, landing pads at bases are treated with various kinds of chemicals, or just water, to keep the dust and sand down. This has led to the use of several different dampening products to deal with the different kinds of sand. Its the variety of sand types that is driving maintenance troops crazy, as filters that keep out one type, will not work for others. Different parts of Iraq and Afghanistan have been surveyed and the local sand types noted. That way, flight and maintenance crews have some advance warning of what they will have to deal with.


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