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Heliwiring

 

 

Now envision a failed starting attempt.  The ship doesn't light so the pilot lets go of the starter switch.  However, as the engine winds down to zero rpm, the permanent magnets in the starter (if so improperly equipped) may both keep the starter engaged to the ring gear as well as power  the shower of sparks system.  Should it generate a spark ahead of TDC, conditions are ripe for a nasty kickback.

 

That's why only field-wound starters are recommended for all helicopter applications (Sky-Tec HT or NL models for Lycoming-powered rotorcraft)

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