NEWS | April 16, 2020

AH-64/UH/HH-60: Keep Feet Off Engines!

Spc. Paul Yaden, a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Repairer, assigned to 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, in partnership with 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division check the engine of a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter during Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services during Boarder Support, Nov. 8, 2018.
Photo by Sgt. Steven Galimore

Black Hawk and Apache engines have delicate connectors and parts. So every time you step where you shouldn’t, stuff gets broken. And that defeats the purpose of preventive maintenance.

Some of you are stepping on the engine’s accessory gearbox, hydro mechanical unit and IPS blower to traverse the engine nacelle. That damages engine seals, sensor wiring, splines, over speed drain valves and connectors.
over speed drain valve
over speed drain valve
Over speed drain valve cannot withstand weight on Black Hawk Engine

TMs and IETMs for the AH-64, UH-60A/L and HH-60M have references to safe stepping areas.  What you won’t find listed are references to every no-step area. Including them all would double or even triple the size of the manuals.

With that said, you should consider the engine a no-step zone. Don’t use it as a stepstool or a shortcut across the helicopter.  
Consider AH-64, UH-60A/L and HH-60M engines a no-step zone!

While the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, any straight line that includes the engine results in mission aborts, unscheduled maintenance and downtime.

Engine reliability depends on keeping your feet off the engine. It’s a good idea to spread the word to peers and subordinates that their feet don’t belong on the engines. Keep ‘em off!