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Articles for category Career Development




Apr
09
2018

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Jim Garst, CEO Sevier County Choppers

Posted by Admin

RPMN: What is your current position? I am currently the President and CEO of Sevier County Choppers Inc. Our main business is conducting overhauls on Robinson helicopters, along with a small flight school and touring business. We are a family owned and operated business. RPMN: Tell me about your first flight. My first flight in a helicopter was during Army flight school. About halfway through I was pretty sure I would not be able to do this. I really thought I was going to throw up on my instructor and was probably several shades of green. Of course this was August in lower Alabama, so the heat didn’t help much. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryHuman Interest



Apr
02
2018

Instrument Training - When Simulation Becomes Reality

Posted by Admin

On 17 October 2017, a flight instructor and commercially rated pilot were practicing instrument approaches at the Molokai Airport (Hawaii) when they were lost from radar. Debris from the helicopter was found floating on the water northwest of the shores of Molokai. Although they were operating on an IFR flight plan, the flight was being conducted under VFR as a Part 91 training flight. (NTSB Identification: WPR18LA010) Air Traffic Control had cleared the aircraft for a practice RNAV (GPS)-B instrument approach to the Molokai Airport. They were provided instructions for the missed approach procedure, which included a climb to 4,000 feet and a heading of 040 degrees. Following completion of the instrument approach, they reestablished radio contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC). They were then issued a clearance to PHNL (Honolulu International Airport) with instructions to fly a heading of 260 degrees, then 240 degrees and ascend to an altitude of 4,000 feet. They were to intercept the Victor 8 airway, which they confirmed with ATC. Shortly after, the controller noticed the flight had descended to 3,600 feet before radar and radio communication with the helicopter was lost. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining categorySafety



Feb
12
2018

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Michael Cochran

Posted by Admin

RPMN: If you could give only one piece of advice to a new helicopter pilot, what would it be? The helicopter industry is a small community and your reputation will follow you as a pilot. My best advice is always be honest and professional. If you make a mistake such as over-torquing the aircraft, cause a little hanger rash, or overfly an inspection, admit your mistake and live to fly another day. Don’t try to hide it or not report it. Even the smallest lie will have your peers second guessing your integrity and it will likely follow you your entire aviation career. I have seen and read about pilots getting fired just because they did not report something or lied about it. If they were upfront and honest in the first place, they would have kept their job. Everyone makes mistakes. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryHuman Interest



Feb
05
2018

My Two Cents - Integrity: Your Biggest Asset

Posted by Admin

When I speak to new pilots in the industry at HeliSuccess in Las Vegas, I stress the importance of maintaining one’s integrity and recount the most impactful decision I ever made. Following my moral compass, would mean losing my job and potentially destroy a dream I’d had for 10 years—flying a helicopter in Southern California. The crossroads came in March 1980 when I was flying for Rocky Mountain Helicopters on a HEMS program out of Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix. My former Army buddy, Joe Sulak, and I were temporarily on contract waiting to learn if Rocky would win the bid against Evergreen helicopters to land the University of California-San Diego Life Flight contract. We were told we would set up the program if they got the contract. Then the rug got pulled. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining categorySafety



Dec
04
2017

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Dwaine Parker

Posted by Admin

RPMN: Tell me about your first flight. My dad had arranged a helicopter flight with a company operating out of the Tampa International Airport for my 18th birthday. This company would fly around to all of the large banks in the Tampa Bay area and pick up the bank notes and other paper transactions. Since there was no Internet in those days, the quickest way to get the “goods” to the airport for an overnight flight was by helicopter. The pilot would hover over the roof of the bank and the guy in the back, known as the “hooker,” would use a long pole to snatch the bag off the top of a flagpole. My fate with helicopters was sealed at the conclusion of that flight. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryHuman Interest



Oct
30
2017

Executive Watch - DAVID MAST: CEO, Precision Aviation Group

Posted by Admin

Upon graduation, the young man came very close to working in banking and finance. “The guy that ran NationsBank in Dallas said something to me that really changed my career path. I was very outspoken back then, and he told me that in the corporate world, 50 percent of the job is political. He told me that if I wasn’t prepared to play that game, then banking and finance wasn’t the place for me. That struck me and I realized my heart was in aviation.” After Mast realized his plainspoken, direct nature wasn’t tailored for bankers in Brooks Brothers suits uttering politically correct bromides, he returned to his first love and to the company that had helped him pay his college bills. AvGroup’s Ed Tomberlin had a job for the returning graduate that required neither political maneuvering nor silk over-the-calf banking hosiery. Nevertheless, Mast was expected to wear clothes. “He offered me $2,000 a year more than my banking job and $500 so I could buy some clothes,” Mast chuckles. “Ed was truly a brilliant man and entrepreneur. I was fortunate to learn the ins and outs of the industry under his tutelage.” Yes, Mast found employment in an industry that he loved and that fit him better than banking. Parts and components don’t care what you say or wear. Aviation is all about “mission accomplished.” [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryCompany Profiles



Oct
09
2017

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Kalynn Hargis

Posted by Admin

RPMN: How did you get your start in helicopters? I began ground school just after my 19th birthday at a school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. By the end of that year, 2007, I had my private and was working on instrument/commercial. When that school filed for bankruptcy, I had a huge loan frozen on my credit while a lawsuit was in play. All training ceased until almost a year later when my dad offered to take out a private loan in his name as long as I paid it back monthly. The loan amount was a guess, of course, and then when I needed more, I maxed out whatever credit card I could get as well as paid out of pocket for whatever I could. So I worked my restaurant jobs at night and trained during the day. Finally I had my CFI/CFII and continued working in two restaurants until one was sufficient, then finally I was OK working full time as a pilot. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryHuman Interest



Oct
02
2017

From the Desk of the Editor - Are Helo Pilots Flying to Greener Pastures?

Posted by Admin

Earlier this year, you may recall that I wrote about factors that may impact the pilot supply in 2017-2018. Those factors were: (1) policies of the incoming U.S. President, (2) oil prices, (3) retirements, and (4) the airlines. I went on to ask if the pilot shortage that we have been talking about for the last decade was finally here? So far it seems that the four factors mentioned have had shifting dynamics, which are having an impact on the industry. Whether that’s good or bad is yet to be determined. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development



Apr
25
2017

2017 Salary Survey Report

Posted by Admin

In it’s third year, Rotorcraft Pro’s annual U.S. Pilot Salary & Benefits Survey was initially launched in an effort to monitor and report trends on the salaries of pilots in the industry. Traditional surveys were sent directly to employers via snail-mail in ballot form, then collected and tabulated. This old method did provide interesting results, but because employers are reluctant to reveal the exact salaries and benefits they provide, the sampling could be rather small and probably wasn’t always representative of the larger whole. Modern web technologies have given us the ability to survey actual pilots and their employers thus generating more participation throughout the industry. As in previous years, this year’s survey had excellent participation and we have obtained some of the latest information on helicopter pilots: ~ What are their qualifications? ~ What do they fly? ~ In what sector do they fly? ~ What ratings do they have? ~ How much do they make? ~ What type benefits do they receive? We think you’ll find the answers to these questions revealing. The goal was for Rotorcraft Pro to interact with our readers in the industry by focusing on two main questions: ~ How much do helicopter pilots make within the industry? ~ How much are you worth? [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development



Apr
10
2017

Meet a Rotorcraft Pro: Simon Jones

Posted by Admin

RPMN: In your view, what is the greatest challenge for the helicopter industry at this moment in time? I thought about this for a while and came up with a number of different things, but decided on this: If you look at the statistics for helicopter accidents, it's normally a low percentage that are caused by mechanical issues. To me, this means that you can trace the other accidents to a decision that the pilot made at some point. Even if it's weather related, the pilot still chose to fly. I always try to fly with that in the back of my mind. It means that, for the most part, you are in control of your own destiny. This is a good thing but won't be the moment you forget it. Remember, if something goes wrong today, it's probably because of a decision you made! [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryHuman Interest


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