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Articles for category Career Development




Feb
06
2023

Adieu - Thank for the Terrific Ride - Randy Mains

Posted by Admin

Last March, I informed Lyn Burks, owner and editor-in-chief of this magazine, that this November/December issue would be my last column for Rotor Pro. Before I fade off into the journalistic sunset, I’d like to share with you how I came to write my column, my motivation to do so and discuss how, in my view, the industry has changed since I joined this magazine. The wonderful opportunity to become a columnist for Rotor Pro happened more by unexpected opportunity than by design. In 1982, when I was working full time as chief pilot for UCSD Medical Center’s Life Flight program piloting a Bell 222 single pilot IFR in San Diego, I also attended San Diego State University full time and graduated with a degree in journalism. I could have never imagined I would one day have my own column. My first published article for Rotor and Wing magazine back in 1983 was entitled “Life and Death—an EMS Pilot’s Viewpoint.” In that same year, I was awarded the first Golden Hour Award presented by Helicopter Association International (HAI). The now annual award recognizes a person’s efforts to further the helicopter air ambulance concept in America. [Read More...]



Tags: CRM Golden Hour Helicopter Safety randy mains
Categories: categoryCareer Development categorySafety categoryOpinion-Editorial



Jan
23
2023

Meet a Rotor Pro - Tyler Carver, Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters

Posted by Admin

RP: What is your current position? I am the assistant director of operations for Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters. We are the world’s largest and longest-operating helicopter tour company with 57 years of experience. Papillon currently operates a fleet of 47 helicopters, including Bell 206Ls, Airbus AS350B3es and EC130B4/T2s, and an MD 900. We employ over 60 pilots in seven locations across Nevada and Arizona. In addition to tours, we also have a robust utility division with helicopters working on contracts anywhere from Alaska to Florida. [Read More...]



Tags: Meet A Rotor Pro Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters Tyler Carver
Categories: categoryCareer Development



Dec
19
2022

Maintenance Minute - Keep It Clean

Posted by Admin

Have you ever heard your mother or grandmother quote John Wesley saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness”? Turns out that quote is effective in aircraft maintenance as well. I like to think that cleanliness is the twin brother to order, and all aircraft maintenance requires cleanliness and order to attain the highest level of professionalism. When I was a young helicopter mechanic at Carraway Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, the first job my mentor assigned me was to wash the helicopters each morning. The primary reason was to display a professional image for the hospital. Next, he explained to me that washing and cleaning the helicopter was another way to inspect the machine and look for obvious defects. I quickly learned this was sound advice and I practiced it consistently. While washing helicopters, I have discovered many defects, including busted chin bubbles and windshields, broken antennas, missing or hanging strobe lights, corrosion, various cracks, bird nests, and the occasional dead bird just to name a few. [Read More...]



Tags: Maintenance Minute Mark Tyler
Categories: categoryCareer Development



Dec
05
2022

Military to Civilian - A Ground Lesson by Scott Tinnesand

Posted by Admin

A question that has been asked many times by transitioning military pilots is: What can I be reading, studying or learning right now to get me ahead of the game for my transition to civil or general aviation? Assuming you don’t have any prior experience as a civilian airman and you utilized the MilComp (military competency) method to get your certificates and ratings, the answer is easy – study those topics that fall in the cracks between military and general aviation training. What are some of those topics? They include airworthiness requirements, supplemental type certificates, airworthiness directives, minimum equipment lists, advisory circulars, endorsements, Part 119 and Part 135 operations, practical test standards, helipad markings and pilot logbooks—just to name a few! [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Military to Civilian Transition
Categories: categoryCareer Development



Nov
21
2022

Meet a Rotor Pro - Matt Johnson, Metro Aviation

Posted by Admin

RPMN: What is your current position? I am a single-pilot IFR HAA Line Pilot, Part 135 check airman, instructor, and FOQA gatekeeper for Metro Aviation, and a designated pilot examiner (DPE) for the FAA. I also remain active as a sworn law enforcement (LE) officer flying on a part-time basis for a sheriff's office. [Read More...]



Tags: Matt Johnson Metro Aviation Meet A Rotor Pro
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest



Nov
07
2022

Executive Watch - Mark Schlaefli, President and Owner of Dakota Rotors LLC

Posted by Admin

“It’s not fake it until you make it , but keep working until you obtain it,” says the entrepreneur pilot who accelerated through the pilot ranks into management faster than a V-22 Osprey and decided that wasn’t enough. So, he bought four helicopter tour operations that fly from Montana to Mount Rushmore. That wasn’t enough. So, he’s starting up a fifth utility operation to balance his tourist-heavy holdings. Yet, if you’re expecting to meet some hard-charging, win-at-all-costs egomaniac, you’re in for a pleasant surprise and time. Here, let’s introduce you to Mark Schlaefli president and owner of Dakota Rotors LLC, and (deep breath now): Black Hills Aerial Adventures, Rushmore Helicopters, Badger Helicopters (DBA Badlands Helicopters) and Yellowstone Helicopters. Coming this fall is the addition of a Part 133 and Part 137 certificate to Dakota Rotors to enhance their ability to deliver a full spectrum of services throughout the Midwest and Mountain West. [Read More...]



Tags: Black Hills Aerial Adventures Dakota Rotors Helicopter tour Operations
Categories: categoryHuman Interest categoryCareer Development categoryCompany Profiles



Oct
10
2022

Military to Civilian - Know These Valuable Resources By Heidi McBride

Posted by Admin

Combatting the pilot and mechanic shortage is on the forefront of the agenda for most helicopter companies today. Finding a solution to this shortage, with qualified candidates, seems to be evading even the most prestigious helicopter companies. [Read More...]



Tags: active duty military members intern program DOD SkillBridge program Military to Civilian Aviation
Categories: categoryCareer Development



Sep
26
2022

Meet a Rotor Pro - Tony Minnis

Posted by Admin

RPMN: What is your current position? I recently retired as the Aviation Section captain for the Orange County Sheriff's Office in Orlando, Florida. The Section has four helicopters, one fixed-wing aircraft, and 24 full-time personnel consisting of pilots, flight observers and mechanics. There are additional part-time personnel available on an as-needed basis. RPMN: Tell me about your first flight or experience with helicopters. My first flight in a helicopter was when I was assigned as an A-4 plane captain with VMA-131 in the U.S. Marine Corps. We flew on a CH-53 from Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Pennsylvania to Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. It was a fantastic experience. The pilots were Vietnam veterans who truly enjoyed their work and took time to explain what they were doing as well as how the systems operated on the aircraft. From that point on I was hooked on becoming a pilot. [Read More...]



Tags: Meet A Rotor Pro Orange County Sheriffs Aviation Unit Tony Minnis
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryHuman Interest



Sep
12
2022

Executive Watch - Vice President Of Aviation Specialties Unlimited, Inc. Kip McDermott

Posted by Admin

“I never really thought I’d have the title “Vice President” in front of my name. Coming out of the Army as basically an A&P mechanic, I never really thought my career would reach this level; it’s a pretty daunting responsibility to be honest,” says Vice President Kip McDermott of night vision leader Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) in Boise, Idaho. His current responsibilities seem daunting for sure: working with government regulators all over the world, writing test plans, certification plans, and wrangling designated engineering representatives (DERs) up for engineering reports, overseeing a Part 145 repair station along with ASU’s Part 135 and Part 141 flight operations groups, as well as being responsible for supplemental type certificate (STC) certification and ASU’s highly regarded night vision goggle (NVG) lab would “daunt” any executive, but McDermott is confident he can handle his lengthy list. If he loses his grip, he says there’s help, “The saving grace of it all is that I’ve got good guys I’m working with; I don’t have to micromanage them (I’ve never been a micromanager and will never be.) They make my job easier; if I drop something, they pick it up.” [Read More...]



Tags: Aviation Specialites Unlimited Executive Watch Kip McDermott ASU RotorPro Executive Watch
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categoryCareer Development categoryOpinion-Editorial



Aug
16
2022

Maintenance Minute - Be Intentional

Posted by Admin

As helicopter owners, pilots, and mechanics we must consistently be advocates for safety and always meet or exceed the standards. Personal safety and prevention of equipment damage are of utmost importance. The number one concern in the aviation business today is the rising cost of insurance. The rapid rise in insurance is directly due to injuries and equipment damaged. So, how do we mitigate the risk thereby decreasing premiums? Here are some simple and basic measures that will aid your flight and maintenance operations in keeping safety as the top priority. [Read More...]



Tags: Aviation Maintenance Helicopter Maintenance Maintenance Minute Mark Tyler
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryOpinion-Editorial


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