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Apr
22
2019

TVA Employs Diverse Aircraft Fleet to Keep Power Flowing

Posted by Admin

It’s not easy for a power company to chalk up a 99.999 percent electricity reliability rating, but the Tennessee Valley Authority has been doing it for the last 19 years straight. Helicopter pilots and linemen are an integral part of this achievement. People outside the industry sometimes envision these pilots and linemen as a bit loony, and for good reason. The Tyler benches attached to the outside of helicopters commonly touch 500,000-volt electricity lines while linemen transfer themselves from the benches onto towers that stand as high as 300 feet in the air. While the lines are de-energized, their proximity to the helicopters and their spinning rotor blades is hair-raising to the uninitiated. Ask TVA Helicopter Operations Manager Adam Hammond whether the pilot or lineman is loonier, and he’ll quickly point to the other guy. “Definitely the lineman,” Hammond said. “They’re out there operating in all kinds of weather to get the power back on.” When rain grounds the helicopters, the linemen have to climb the towers instead. [Read More...]

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Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryCareer Development



Apr
16
2019

Can Our Industry Compete for Pilots?

Posted by Admin

Over the last four years there has been a significant increase in median pay for most helicopter pilots across the board. Good news right? Interestingly though, the industry is struggling to attract and retain experienced pilots. Why? [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development



Apr
08
2019

From Helicopters to Airlines: My Rotor Transition Program Experience

Posted by Admin

If you’ve ever had the desire to travel further, faster, and higher your time is here. I’ve flown helicopters commercially for 13 years. As a civilian, I attended a small flight school in Florida where I obtained all my training from Private through CFII where I used my GI Bill benefits. Until recently, most Part 121 air carriers did not count helicopter flight hours towards their hiring minimums. In recent years, this trend is on the decline. If you are an experienced helicopter pilot and have ever wanted to fly for the airlines, opportunity may be on the horizon. With as little as 250 hours of airplane PIC time and a commercial multi-engine land add-on certificate you can be eligible for hire at a regional airline that may provide a stepping stone to the mainline carriers. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryHuman Interest



Mar
18
2019

Mil2Civ - Find Your Purpose

Posted by Admin

Last year when one of my best friends was preparing to retire from the military, he expressed to me that one of the greatest challenges for him in the transition process was his difficulty imagining civilian employment could ever provide him with the same sense of purpose and fulfillment that he had experienced as a member of the military. For many of us who have served, defending the American way of life and serving in the country’s most trusted profession makes pay and earnings seem like an almost secondary motivation. For my friend, the thought of working at a job where—he imagined—salary and benefits was the sole reason to get up and go to work every day sounded like a rather unhappy way to live life. Fortunately, I had transitioned from the military two years prior and had already found my new purpose, which provided me with a few insights that I was able to pass along to him. Don’t get me wrong: redefining your life’s purpose after so many years of living with “duty, honor, country” as the default is not easy. It’s not easy at all. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCareer Development



Mar
11
2019

Executive Watch: NFC President Adam Aldous

Posted by Admin

Night Flight Concepts (NFC), based out of Waco, Texas, brings night vision training and technology from the military to the civilian masses who need to safely fly when the sun goes down. The company is known for cleverly marketing their night vision products and services under acronyms like L.E.A.S.E (Law Enforcement Air Support Entity) and S.O.A.R. (Special Operations Aviation Resources). With approx. 300 global customers, approx. 1,450 students trained, and approx. 3,500 NVGs inspected and repaired since 2006, another catchy acronym for NFC would be F.L.I.G.H.T. (Forward Looking Industrious Group Has Tenacity). NFC began as a vision, and early side-hustle, that its co-founder and president, Adam Aldous, had while serving in Iraq as an Army Chinook pilot. (Aldous still hustles; if he doesn’t wake up earlier, his 5-year-old daughter gets him up every morning by 6:00—without fail.) When we caught up with him in early January, he was working on NFC’s 2019 marketing plans, but he graciously found the time to share his fascinating story. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryHuman Interest



Mar
02
2019

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Tom Nicholson

Posted by Admin

RPMN: What is your current position? I currently work for Air Evac Lifeteam as a base pilot supervisor and flight instructor. Essentially, I'm one of four pilots at an EMS base with the added responsibilities of scheduling and pilot oversight. I also help out the training department with new hires and recurrent flight training as needed. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryHuman Interest



Feb
25
2019

Maintenance Minute - Yo, Got Weight........ And Balance?

Posted by Admin

No, despite the above title, I’m not trying to move some product on the street. Rather, when was the last time you looked over your aircraft’s Empty Weight & Balance Record (EWBR) and Equipment List (EL)? My what? [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRegulatory



Feb
18
2019

AeroTour - Costa Rica Pura Vida!

Posted by Admin

Pura Vida translated from spanish means “pure life.” The phrase is to Costa Ricans as Malhalo is to Hawaiians. Answering the phone: “Pura Vida.” “How’s your day going?” Reply: “Pura vida, my friend.” Fly a helicopter across a ridge line, in which a breath-taking view unfolds and a spectacular volcano is revealed before your eyes. Suddenly, you get the urge to shout something out of pure guttural excitement: “Pura vida!” Costa Rica, translated literally, means "Rich Coast.” Located in Central America, the country is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador is to the south of Cocos Island. This beautiful country has a population of approximately 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers (19,714 square miles). An estimated 2 million people live in the metro area of the capital city San José. With its healthy agriculture and eco-tourism markets, Costa Rica is one of the most stable countries in the region, both fiscally and geopolitically. Additionally, it’s also home to one of the highest educated populations in Central America, especially in healthcare. San Jose is well known for its cost-competitive, highly-trained, cutting-edge medical industry that attracts international clients from around the globe for a variety of procedures. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCompany Profiles



Feb
11
2019

Losing Your Career May Be One FAA Medical Exam Away

Posted by Admin

On 21 October 2016, shortly after my 32nd birthday I was given tragic news that would forever change my life: I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and my career as a professional helicopter pilot was over. My family doctor; a man that has known me my entire life; who subsequently, understands my passion for flying—the same passion many you must share—was the one who broke the news to me. I understood what the diagnosis meant and I am not ashamed to admit, I was crying like a baby in the arms of my girlfriend. She being a clinical pharmacist, was a voice of reason and the rock of stability I needed for our coming tribulations. In between my tears, I remember my physician recalling his morning conversation with his wife. “I will have to end a pilot’s career later today,” he’d told her. He also had a tear in his eye because he knew what the lab results meant. [Read More...]






Feb
11
2019

Editor's Letter - Sense of Gratitude

Posted by Admin

In my years as owner and editor in chief of Rotorcraft Pro, I’ve never used my platform to share anything personal about myself outside of my helicopter related experiences. But as I crossed the threshold into another new year, I had the urge to reflect on my life, the people in it, and my small place in this industry. My take away—gratitude. I feel blessed more than I deserve, that’s for certain. [Read More...]





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