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Apr
12
2021

New U.S. Helicopter Safety Team Report Lays Down a Path for Automatic Flight Control Systems in Light Helicopters

Posted by Admin

WASHINGTON DC – As a result of its comprehensive analysis of fatal helicopter accidents, the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (www.USHST.org) determined that loss of control while inflight has been a leading factor in accident causes, especially involving light helicopters. Current light helicopters have flight characteristics that are challenging and demanding of pilot workload. In response, the USHST is moving forward with some first steps to increase safety by encouraging the development and installation of stability augmentation systems and autopilot devices that increase the flight stability of light helicopters. [Read More...]



Categories: categorySafety



Apr
12
2021

Maintenance Minute - Equipping Yourself for Success with Customer Service

Posted by Admin

I recall starting the day with excitement, yet nervous anticipation as my civilian helicopter maintenance career began. As a young man, I didn't have a taller-than-me stacked toolbox filled with every possible combination of tools one can imagine. What I had was a two-drawer portable toolbox that was stocked with the bare minimum. When my new boss and future mentor saw this, he asked, “What are you going to do with those plow tools?” By his raw honesty, he certainly succeeded in his intent to change my perspective.  If I was going to be a professional aircraft mechanic, then I had to be equipped for the role. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Industry Customer Service Helicopter Industry Professionalism Helicopter Maintenance
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryOpinion-Editorial



Apr
05
2021

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - David Luke, Vice President of Night Flight Concepts

Posted by Admin

RPMN: What is your current position? I’m co-founder and vice-president of Night Flight Concepts and FAA repair station accountable manager. RPMN: Tell me about your first flight or experience with helicopters. I was an enlisted specialist, E-4, in the U.S. Army as a medium lift helicopter mechanic on CH-47Ds. It was 1994, while assigned to Bravo Company (Varsity) 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Brigade out of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, when I was selected above my peers to go to a flight crew-member board consisting of our unit flight standards and flight platoon sergeants. After being accepted, I was assigned to the 1st flight platoon and designated a crew chief and taken on my first flight around the military reservation on a routine training flight. It was the most electrifying experience I had in my life at the time. The combination of perilousness, adventure, excitement, riskiness all at once changed my life forever. I was hooked. [Read More...]



Tags: David Luke Night Flight Concepts
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest



Mar
29
2021

IN FIVE YEARS, HELICOPTER MAINTENANCE WON'T BE THE SAME

Posted by Admin

By inventing technological advances that allow Health, Usage and Monitoring Systems (HUMS) to expand to the smallest of rotorcraft, GPMS is democratizing a powerful tool that not long ago was reserved only for heavy helicopters.  GPMS launched its compact, speedy and lightweight next-gen Foresight MX in 2018, and it's already proving its worth many times over.  GPMS co-founders Eric Bechhoefer and Jack Taylor met at Goodrich (now Collins Aerospace), where they worked on first-generation HUMS that weren't feasible for 95 percent of aircraft because they cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, weighed more than 100 pounds, and required signal processing experts to interpret data. A former Naval aviator, Bechhoefer decided he was going to re-engineer and put the product within reach of all sizes of helicopter. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categorySafety



Mar
22
2021

Transitioning During a Pandemic

Posted by Admin

So, you’re transitioning during a pandemic that has upended our entire way of life? Have no fear, with some preparation and patience, you will be just as successful as those who transitioned during ‘normal’ times. The good news is that much of the helicopter industry is still hiring. As with any transition, preparation and flexibility are key to your success. Many parts of the networking and hiring process will be different. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Pilot Military to Civilian Military to Civilian
Categories: categoryCareer Development



Mar
15
2021

A Record Fire Season Tests Aerial Firefighters, As Pandemic Rages

Posted by Admin

The aerial firefighting industry faced unprecedented challenges throughout 2020.  For starters, it was a record year for wildfires, particularly in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, as well as uncharacteristically active in Oregon.      At a glance, the numbers show a significant increase in wildland fire events over the previous year.  According to year-to-date National Interagency Fire Center statistics as of 13 November 2020, 49,815 fires destroyed 8,750,197 acres. For the 2019 comparable period, 45,840 fires burned 5,418,234 acres. All indications are that dry conditions will persist, especially in the West, and fire seasons will get longer and more destructive, as the fuel load—the vegetation that will dry out in the summer—increases.  Along with this, the trend toward residential development in the wildland/urban interface makes the fires that much more catastrophic—and more deadly. [Read More...]



Tags: Aerial Firefighting Boeing CH-47D Chinooks call-when-needed (CWN) contracts exclusive-use (EU) contracts Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks Type-1 helicopters
Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors



Mar
08
2021

Executive Watch - Randy Rowles, President of Helicopter Institute

Posted by Admin

You likely know Randy Rowles from his training commentary, “Checkride,” in every Rotorcraft Pro issue. However, you may not know that when Rowles takes off his ‘press’ hat, there are more distinguished hats in his closet: he is president and owner of Helicopter Institute Inc., the vice chairman of the Helicopter Association Board of Directors, an FAA designated pilot examiner, and a regular teacher at the annual HeliSuccess career conference. Yes, just as Forest Gump wore “lots of shoes” Rowles wears, and has worn, lots of hats. The difference between them is that Forest was mostly just a witness to history, whereas Rowles has actively participated in and contributed to the rotorcraft industry, especially in the helicopter training sector. “I love the training space,” he says. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Institute Randy Rowles
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest



Mar
01
2021

H135 Helicopters to Support Space Exploration

Posted by Admin

I find it curious that the first flight on the surface of another planet will be attempted via a helicopter. As I write this article (February 2021), we are only days away from NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover landing on the surface of Mars. This new Mars rover is on the cusp of plunging into the Martian atmosphere to land on the Red Planet and is equipped with panoramic cameras, subsurface radar, laser micro imager, x-ray spectrometers, and a weather station. But there’s one more innovative piece of equipment that will be dropped from the belly of the Mars rover onto the planet’s surface: Ingenuity, the Mars helicopter! [Read More...]



Tags: Airbus Helicopters H135 Ingenuity Mars Helicopter the Mars helicopter!
Categories: categoryHuman Interest categoryCompany Profiles categoryHelicopter Sectors



Feb
22
2021

Editor's Letter - Singularity: Is the future of rotorcraft finally here, or still a pipedream?

Posted by Admin

The “singularity,” according to Wikipedia, is a hypothetical point in time at which technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible, resulting in unforeseeable changes to human civilization. Only on two other occasions have I confessed publicly that I am a helicopter geek to the degree that I actually own a 75-year-old copy of the first helicopter magazine ever printed. The year was 1945 and the month was December when the first issue of American Helicopter magazine rolled off the printing press. The 1945 cover read, “Man’s Newest Conquest” as the ads and editorial pointed to the helicopter as having the potential to be used for such lofty missions as “suburban air ambulance, commuter service, forest fire control, pipeline patrol, and Coast Guard rescue.” [Read More...]



Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial



Feb
15
2021

When FAA Legal Interpretation and Common Sense Collide Does Safety Even Matter?

Posted by Admin

A commercial pilot student transferring to our pilot school provided training records that included a cross-country flight that met the requirements of 14 CFR 61.129(c)(3)(iii). It was a 2-hour cross country flight in a helicopter in nighttime conditions that consists of a total straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure. However, it was conducted prior to his private pilot check ride. My initial response was that the flight time was unacceptable because it was pre-private and would not count toward commercial pilot requirements. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development


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