The aim of the paper is to demonstrate the extraordinary sensitivity of laminar-turbulent transition process in a thermal plasma column to frequently undiscovered accidental process initial conditions (e.g. to common changes in start conditions etc.). Just they are mostly responsible for poor reproducibility of the dynamic behavior and heat transfer effects taking place in the column under such conditions.
However, owing the plasma column self-organization controlling the non-linear phase of transition process, there exists a set of particular states − the process "milestones" which are almost not sensitive to little changes of initial conditions and exhibit remarkable reproducibility both of dynamic as well as of thermal behavior of the transitional plasma in the column.
At the same time, the self-organization also controls the evolution of strong energy separation in the plasma column, characterized by unexpected changes of arc chamber thermal balance. And the onsets of distinct phases of this balance correspond to the transition process "milestones", too. Thus there exists a possibility of ascertain these well reproducible and effective arc heater working conditions directly by analyzing only the evolution of arc chamber thermal balance.