Playing doctor or doing unauthorized maintenance on the microclimate cooling system (MCS) should be a thing of the past, too. But that's not happening! Here's what should happen.
The MCS has a cooling unit (MCU) filled with refrigerant to keep soldiers cool. If you think refrigerant servicing on the MCU can be done at the AVUM level, you're wrong! It's depot maintenance.
Maintenance Tasks Not Authorized
Just because your unit has certified repair technicians that can charge and purge other refrigerant equipment, they are not authorized to try it on the MCU.
The MCU has less than three ounces of refrigerant. Using commercial refrigeration servicing devices not designed for small systems like the MCU will cause overcharging and damage to the MCU compressor.
The MCU must have an exact charge level because it uses such a small amount of refrigerant.
And you should never remove the cap on the refrigerant charge port. Doing so loses refrigerant.
Maintenance Tasks Authorized
On the other hand, operators and mechanics are authorized to change the MCU coolant filter, do routine cleaning and perform coolant charging and purging of the water solution, but NOT the refrigerant, like the TM says.
For Black Hawks, maintenance procedures are found in TM 1-1520-237-23-11, WP 1560 through 1573. For Chinooks, maintenance procedures are found in TM 1-1520-240-23-10, Task 16-188.
* Condenser cleaning--Remove the MCU cover to expose the condenser fins. Remove all the accumulated dust and sand from the fins using compressed air (not more than 30 psi) to blow the gunk off the fins. Make sure you're wearing an adequate respiratory device, such as a dust mask, NSN 6515-01-444-5223, and goggles.
* Liquid connector cleaning/lubing--O-rings in the MCU connectors should be cleaned with a lint-free tissue, NSN 3610-00-810-0571. Dirt buildup on the rings will contaminate coolant and clog the filter.
* Coolant filter replacement--Replace the filter to prevent contaminant buildup. This involves purging the fluid lines of coolant. Remove the MCU cover. Then remove a hose clamp at each end of the coolant filter. Remove the old filter, install the new filter connect the lines to the new filter and tighten the hose clamps. Then charge or purge the lines with coolant.
* Charging and purging coolant--Mix the water-glycol coolant solution and attach the charge/purge kit to the aircraft A-kit umbilical section. Then run the system until all the air is removed from the system. You can get the charging and purging kit from: Issaias Ortiz, Jr., PM Air Warrior/LME, DSN 746-6537, (256) 876-6537.
IF YOU'VE GOT PROBLEMS WITH YOUR AIR WARRIOR SYSTEM, LOG ON TO THE AIR WARRIOR WEB SITE AT https://airwarrior.redstone.army.mil
If you don't have an account, you'll need to request one. It usually takes 24 hours. Once logged in, click on the Ask Air Warrior link to type in your questions. If you need to locate a TM, they're on the LOGSA website: https://www.logsa.army.mii/etms/online.htm
THE PRODUCT MANAGER FOR AIR WARRIOR (PM AW) IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DEVELOPING, TESTING, PROCURING. TRAINING AND FIELDING OF THE MCS.