Extreme Trimming
Extreme Trimming
29.11.2017

Philipp Dejakom is an avid helicopter pilot. He flies a wide range of missions - and sometimes they're quite the adventure. Especially when he's hovering over impassable terrain, cuttings vegetation back from power line routes with a suspended saw.

Blue skies surround Peiting in Upper Bavaria. There's a bit of wind. Perfect flying conditions for Philipp Dejakom. Sat in the helicopter cockpit, the pilot leans right out into the bulge of the bubble door. His gaze is directed downwards towards the suspended saw, making short work of branches up to 25 centimetres thick roughly 30 metres below him. His face is a picture of concentration and all his senses are sharpened. Which way is the wind blowing? How are the helicopter and the tool behaving? Together, experience and intuition allow the pilot to judge which direction the stick should move in to pass the machine closely by a power line and to cautiously raise and lower the eight-metre-long saw. His only support: The copilot, keeping an eye on the instruments, and a man on the
ground with a microphone to keep them abreast of the situation. This is no stunt, but rather an economical method of keeping power line routes clear of branches and thereby preventing power outages.

A dream becomes reality
Philipp was inspired to become a pilot after a flight in a helicopter during his teenage years. In 1998 he realised that dream by completing his studies in California. It was cheaper to study in California than in his home country of Austria, and the region offered more adventure to boot. He returned from the USA, acquired an Austrian pilot's licence and there was no stopping him.

Philipp Dejakom flies with and without external loads – be it for rescue operations, supplying mountain lodges or carrying construction materials into the mountains for cable car systems. He loves the variety and the thrills. That meant there was only a moment's hesitation when his employer was on the lookout for an experienced pilot they could trust to perform tricky manoeuvres while strapped to a saw weighing around 500 kilograms. "On the first flight, things were very tense, but it got easier as we got into the routine," reflects Philipp Dejakom, 40, with a smile. To date, he has accumulated over 6000 flight hours, roughly 400 of which have been spent trimming trees.

And yet despite all his experience, he cannot allow his concentration to lapse during a flight. Although the electricity is switched off along the stretch of line being worked on, sawing through a cable would entail a large delay in the work and additional costs for the client – most often energy companies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In addition, an entangled saw would place the pilots in mortal danger and would need to be jettisoned in a matter of seconds using a pull handle. Fortunately, Philipp Dejakom has been spared this situation thus far. A little luck is needed as well.

The checks before the start
Every flight is painstakingly planned in advance and the weather conditions are monitored for days. Yet Philipp Dejakom is the one who makes the fi nal decision on whether to fly, from his position at the site. A good pilot knows their limit. If the fog is too heavy or the crosswind is too strong, it's too dangerous to fly. Nevertheless, no wind at all is hardly cause for celebration, says Philipp Dejakom: "The trees sway to and fro because of the downdraught from the rotor. That makes the sawing harder." In contrast, headwinds, rain or even light snow are less disruptive. The helicopter, a SA 315 B Lama, is exceptionally sturdy and manoeuvrable. Provided that the technology plays ball – as it's certainly put through its paces as well.

Naturally, that includes the saw, where ten carbide circular saw blades with a diameter of 55 centimetres are placed in a row. It is crucial to accurately set the torque and ensure the blades have enough bite. The saw is driven by a 48 hp two-stroke engine. The saw is secured to the bottom of the helicopter using six metres of screwed-together aluminium pipe – known as the sling – and a hook. A cable inside the pipe controls the saw and provides additional protection. Almost 30 litres of fuel are located in the pipe above the saw – enough for around two hours. If everything works without a hitch, Philipp Dejakom can cut a path through a forest up to four kilometres long in that time. In comparison, five foresters with handheld saws and ladders would need two weeks and cost twice as much to do so.

By the time the saw needs refuelling and the saw blades need retightening, the pilot is in urgent need of a break as well. Maintaining this unnatural posture and constantly staring downwards are extremely physically draining. There is a risk that their concentration will lapse as well. An extra effort is required on Philipp Dejakom's part to refocus all his attention for the delicate moment when he lands the helicopter. With a substantial amount of finesse, he brings the saw to a standstill on the transport trailer. He carefully presses the pitch downwards and lowers the tool piece by piece until the person on the ground can hook it into its bracket. Philipp Dejakom flies backwards in a wide arc and cautiously lays down the sling. Then he lands. Shuts down the rotors. Removes his helmet. Takes a deep breath. And then? "I have something to drink and enjoy a good stretch."

Fotocredit: Wucher Helikopter / Huber Karl

Your Contact

Please choose your country:

VOLLMER FRANCE S.A.R.L.
Tel.: +33-296-390904
info-france@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER DO BRASIL Industria de Máquinas Ltda.
Tel.: +55-41-3072 2321
info-brasil@vollmer-group.com
CAMCO CUTTING TOOLS INTEL. PTY. LTD.
Tel.: +61-3- 8336 1500
dionnoSpamPlease@camcointl.com
VOLLMER AUSTRIA GmbH
Tel.: +43 2256 630580
info-austria@vollmer-group.com
Lintera Close corporation
Tel.: +375 17 3870240
minsknoSpamPlease@lintera.info
B.V.B.A. NOBLESSE BENELUX S.P.R.L. Industriepark
Tel.: +32-52-300981
infonoSpamPlease@noblesse.be
Vollmer Austria GmbH
Tel.: +43-2256-63058-0
info-austria@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER DO BRASIL Indústria de Máquinas Ltda.
Tel.: +55-41-3072 2321
info-brasilnoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
Vollmer Austria GmbH
Tel.: +43-2256-63058-0
info-austrianoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER OF AMERICA CORP.
Tel.: +1-412-278-0655
info-usnoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
IMPORTADORA CHILE SUECIA S.A.
Tel.: +56-41-2391444
solecianoSpamPlease@solecia.com
VOLLMER Taicang Co. Ltd.
Tel.: +86-512-53572870
info-china@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER DO BRASIL Industria de Máquinas Ltda.
Tel.: +55-41-3072 2321
info-brasilnoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
Vollmer Austria GmbH
Tel.: +43-2256-63058-0
info-austria@vollmer-group.com
Ing. Frantisek Korinek-K+K
Tel.: +420-220-920-015
infonoSpamPlease@korinek-kk.cz
Vollmer Scandinavia AB
Mob.: +46 76 1302040
info-scandinavianoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER Werke Maschinenfabrik GmbH
Tel.: +49 07351-571-0
infonoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER FRANCE S.A.R.L.
Tel.: +33 296 390904
info-france@vollmer-group.com
CONSULTING & SALES
VOLLMER WERKE
Maschinenfabrik GmbH
Tel.: +49 7351 5710
infonoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com


VOLLMER SERVICES

Mon–Fri. // 7.00–18.00
Tel.: +49 7351 571350
servicenoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com


VOLLMER TRAINING

Tel.: +49 7351 571167
tdznoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
Loroch Mörlenbach
Tel. +49 06209 / 7159 - 0
infonoSpamPlease@loroch.deinfonoSpamPlease@loroch.de
VOLLMER UK LTD.
Tel.: +44 115 9491040
info-uk@vollmer-group.com
CE Grindtec
Chatzidimitriou, Evangelos
Tel.: +49 7351-32360
cenoSpamPlease@grindtec.net
VOLLMER DO BRASIL Industria de Máquinas Ltda.
Tel.: +55-41-3072 2321
info-brasil@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER DO BRASIL Industria de Máquinas Ltda.
Tel.: +55-41-3072 2321
info-brasilnoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
Vollmer Austria GmbH
Tel.: +43-2256-63058-0
info-austria@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER Technologies India Private Ltd.
Tel.: +91 80 4171 1155
info-indianoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
EUROASIATIC JAYA P.T.
Tel.: +62-21-5696 0555
ea.jakarta.idnoSpamPlease@euroasiatic.com
PSDP Co.
Unit 2, No. 3, 8th Street, Niloofar St., Khoramshahr (Apadana) Ave.
Tehran 1533863748, Iran
Telephone:  + 98 (21) 8852 46 36 
Fax: + +98 (21) 8876 11 57
infonoSpamPlease@psdp.org
VOLLMER UK LTD.
Tel.: +44-115-9491040
info-uk@vollmer-group.com
SERTAS INDUSTRIAL SERVICES
Tel.: +972-8-9761903
srtsnoSpamPlease@zahav.net.il
VOLLMER Italia S.R.L.
Tel.: +39-045-7651260
info-italy@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER JAPAN CORP.
Tel.: +81-48-640 6363
info-japan@vollmer-group.com
Palma Trading Co.
Tel.: +82-32-6242 048 /-049
palma@hanafos.com
INFLEKS, SIA
Tel.: +371-67-551879
infleksnoSpamPlease@infleks.lv
UAB LINTERA Technikos pardavimas ir servisas
Tel.: +370-349-61161
jonavanoSpamPlease@lintera.info
Vollmer Austria GmbH
Tel.: +43-2256-63058-0
info-austria@vollmer-group.com
TEEM WELL (M) SDN. BHD
Tel.: +60 (3) 61879519
twnoSpamPlease@teemwell.com
VOLLMER OF AMERICA CORP.
Tel.: +1-412-278-0655
info-us@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER Italia S.R.L.
Tel.: +39-045-7651260
info-italynoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER FRANCE S.A.R.L.
Tel.: +33-296-390904
info-france@vollmer-group.com
NUKOR IMPORTS (PTY) LIMITED
Tel.: +27-11-61020 00
sawmillingnoSpamPlease@nukor.co.za
B.V.B.A. NOBLESSE BENELUX S.P.R.L. Industriepark
Tel.: +32-52-300981
infonoSpamPlease@noblesse.be
Slijpmachinefabriek Ijmuiden B.V.
Telefon:  +31-255-519.114
infonoSpamPlease@slijp.nlinfonoSpamPlease@slijp.nl
VOLLMER DO BRASIL Industria de Máquinas Ltda.
Tel.: +55-41-3072 2321
info-brasilnoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER Italia S.R.L.
Tel.: +39-045-7651260
info-italynoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
A. Falkenberg EFTF Maskinforretning
Tel.: +47-66-778 900
infonoSpamPlease@falkenberg.no
VOLLMER DO BRASIL Industria de Máquinas Ltda.
Tel.: +55-41-3072 2321
info-brasilnoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER POLSKA Sp. z o.o.
Tel.: +48 32 733 08 69
info-plnoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
T.A. VOLLMER ESPAÑA S.L.
Tel.: +34-937-714 570
Vollmer Austria GmbH
Tel.: +43-2256-63058-0
info-austria@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER Rus OOO
Telephone: + 7 495 1501112
info-rusnoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
Vollmer Austria GmbH
Tel.: +43-2256-63058-0
info-austria@vollmer-group.com
Ing. Frantisek Korinek-K+K
Tel.:  +420-220-920-015
infonoSpamPlease@korinek-kk.cz
Vollmer Austria GmbH
Tel.: +43-2256-63058-0
info-austria@vollmer-group.com
NUKOR SAWMILLING (PTY) LIMITED
Tel.: +27-11-61020 00
sawmillingnoSpamPlease@nukor.co.za
T.A. VOLLMER ESPAÑA S.L.
Tel.: +34-937-714 570
Vollmer Scandinavia AB
Mob.: +46 76 1302040
info-scandinavianoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER Werke Maschinenfabrik GmbH
Tel.: +49 7351-571-0
infonoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
CORREMAX International Co., Ltd.
Tel.: +886 2-2345-2929
infonoSpamPlease@corremax.com.tw
THAISAKOL GROUP CO., LTD.
Tel.: +662-736-0888
infonoSpamPlease@thaisakolgroup.com
VOLLMER FRANCE S.A.R.L.
Tel.: +33-296-390904
info-france@vollmer-group.com
F.N.T. Ahşap İşleme Makinaları San. ve Tic. Ltd. Şti
Tel.: +90-258-251-7484
fntnoSpamPlease@fntahsap.com.tr
VOLLMER DO BRASIL Industria de Máquinas Ltda.
Tel.: +55-41-3072 2321
info-brasilnoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER OF AMERICA CORP.
Tel.: +1-412-278-0655
info-us@vollmer-group.com
VOLLMER DO BRASIL Industria de Máquinas Ltda.
Tel.: +55-41-3072 2321
info-brasilnoSpamPlease@vollmer-group.com
VETTA Co., Ltd
Tel.: +84 (8) 5173407
vettanoSpamPlease@hcm.vnn.vn
NUKOR IMPORTS (PTY) LIMITED
Tel.: +27-11-61020 00
sawmillingnoSpamPlease@nukor.co.za