December 1998 Issue

The Right Tool

The multi-tool market is red hot. For minor cockpit repairs and tweaks, top picks are the Leatherman Wave and SwissTool.

Losing the bolt that holds the collective link rod to the main rotor mechanism on a helicopter is usually a precursor to a messy end for all onboard. Necessity and adrenaline can accomplish miracles, but the right tool can make the difference.

In this case, one of the passengers, Dave Zalunardo, climbed outside the chopper and using the pilotís Leatherman Pocket Survival Tool, was able to improvise a solution that allowed the pilot to safely land. While this is the most dramatic aviation survival story weíve heard attributed to having a multi-tool, itís hardly the only one. (See www.avweb.com/articles/leatherm.html for the full narrative.)

Aircraft are mechanical assemblies and li...

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