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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



Sep
25
2017

Paperless Cockpit: A Slippery Slope for Instructors

Posted by Admin

During a recent Private Pilot examination, I asked the applicant to show me his planned cross-country route and associated planning documents. The applicant pulled out an iPad that was mounted to a kneeboard and said, “I’m ready!” As an opened-minded person, I was intrigued by the applicant’s quick study and preparedness for the task at hand. However, I was concerned the applicant hadn’t properly heard my request and restated that I desired to review all aspects of the pre-flight planning to include plotting the course, wind correction, etc. “Yes Sir” was the applicant’s reply. “I’m ready to go. It’s all right here” he said while holding up his iPad. The lack of materials the applicant had brought with him for the examination caught my attention. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety



Sep
19
2017

Your Risky Business: Pushing for More Safety Management

Posted by Admin

WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team has completed its comprehensive analysis of the root causes of fatal accidents and has developed 22 measurable safety enhancements aimed at reducing fatalities. The 22 safety enhancements can be grouped into four categories: [Read More...]



Categories: categorySafety



Sep
19
2017

Are You A Good Role Model - My Two Cents - Randy Mains

Posted by Admin

About a year ago a pilot attending one of my 5-day CRM Instructor courses asked me, “Have you seen this?” He played a YouTube clip that made my blood turn to ice. Michael Farikh, a highly respected Russian pilot who accomplished many great things for civilian helicopter aviation in his country, posted it. One article published just after his death called Farikh “The godfather of Russian helicopter aviation.” The clip the person showed me was entitled “Pilot Flies Helicopter into Clouds.” Farikh posted several similar clips, “Whiteout—What’s That?” and “Human Limitations—IMC Auto,” all equally chilling to me. In the initial clip, “Pilot Flies Helicopter into Clouds,” Farikh purposefully enters IMC conditions in a Robinson then covers up some of his flight instruments until he’s flying on partial panel. I witnessed very experienced ATP pilots lose spatial orientation in similar conditions in the Level-D simulator I operated in Dubai. That is why while watching Farikh’s videos I could not suppress a deep sense of dark foreboding. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety



Sep
09
2017

NVG Operational Errors: 9 Common Mistakes Made by Operators

Posted by Admin

As the use of Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS) technology has continued to mature and grow throughout the helicopter industry, managers, pilots, and mechanics must be committed to supporting the entire NVG program both inside and outside the cockpit. Rotorcraft Pro asked several training experts in the night vision industry to point out the most common operational errors they see in the field so operators can enhance nighttime helicopter NVIS operations. Here are 9 operational areas that night vision experts Night Flight Concepts and Aviation Specialties Unlimited say could use consideration and improvement by operators and end users. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryTraining categorySafety



Aug
21
2017

Executive Watch - Scott Davis, Dallas Avionics

Posted by Admin

For a man who sports a flamboyant Burl Ives beard and moustache that gives the impression that he sings Silver and Gold every Christmas, and for a man who focused on sales and marketing promotions as he worked his way up to vice president of sales and marketing at Dallas Avionics, and for the co-owner of up-and-coming record label, State Fair Records, Scott Davis has a surprising flair for understatement: “I have a one-line resume. I got out of high school and went directly to work here at Dallas Avionics.” When asked where he grew up, Davis, as if to emphasize a limited background, doesn’t answer Texas (That would be too big!), but instead he says, “I was born and raised at Dallas Avionics.” If this multitalented aviator, musician, and businessman only wrote his resume with one line, then Harper Lee only wrote one book: To Kill a Mockingbird. Of course, we discovered that the Monroeville, Alabama, author quietly penned Go Set a Watchman, and maybe a few more surprises that will surface posthumously. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryCompany Profiles



Aug
14
2017

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Dale Owens

Posted by Admin

RPMN: How did you get your start in helicopters? My first flight was at age 13 in a Enstrom. I lived near Ft. Lauderdale International Airport and handed some tools to a guy working on his helicopter. He asked if I wanted a ride; I couldn't refuse that offer! Fast forward a few years I earned my fixed-wing rating at 17, and a couple of months later I received my gyroplane rating in a McCullogh J2. (Yes, it was made by the chainsaw company.) RPMN: When and how did you choose to fly helicopters? Or did they choose you? In 1987 I received a $2,500 grant to go to school. I had an interest in helicopters and was curious about their operation. I didn't intend to complete the course due to the expense ($130/hour) and I really had no need for a helicopter rating, however when the fund money was gone, I was having too much fun to quit, so I pulled out my credit card and exclaimed, “Let's do this!” [Read More...]



Categories: categoryHuman Interest



Aug
07
2017

Let's Go Fishing - Tuna Boat Ops

Posted by Admin

It may seem odd that in a helicopter magazine, we are going to talk about fishing. Not with nylon and hook, but with helicopters. Behind the tuna we buy in supermarkets, helicopters are critical to getting tuna from the sea to the table. And for those who love the sea and its marine life, this job is a perfect adventure. Since tuna is such a popular food worldwide and commands a high price, the use of expensive helicopters is cost effective for commercial tuna boats that use large nets called purse seines. Helicopters are extremely useful for spotting tuna, since these fish gather in large schools or shoals to cooperatively hunt vast areas for smaller fish prey. Helicopters takeoff early in the morning and fly long hours before parking on the ship overnight. R-22, R-44, B206, and MD500 are the most commonly used helicopters for this type of fishing. It’s not unusual for pilots with relatively few hours of flying time to join tuna operations. These jobs allow pilots to accumulate hours quickly, earn a decent paycheck, and work with fishing crew members from around the world while visiting exotic ports of call. It’s a bold alternative to the common practice of starting a career as a flight instructor. [Read More...]

TunaBoats_01.jpg  TunaBoats_02.JPG  TunaBoats_04.JPG  TunaBoats_05.JPG  TunaBoats_06.jpg  TunaBoats_07.JPG 

Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors



Jul
31
2017

Adaptability is Key: The Invisible Hand

Posted by Admin

I’ve always felt the shapers of the American experiment from the late 1700s were not only exceptional, but brilliant thinkers. Their ideas and ideals still guide our success in the 21st century. Take Adam Smith for example and his theory of the “invisible hand.” Investopedia says: Smith’s theory of the invisible hand constitutes the basis of his belief that large-scale government intervention and regulation of the economy is neither necessary nor beneficial. Smith put forth the notion of the invisible hand in arguing that free individuals operating in a free economy, making decisions, primarily focused on their own self-interest, logically take actions that result in benefiting society as a whole even though such beneficial results were not the specific focus or intent of those actions. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors



Jul
19
2017

Faulty Training = Faulty Checkride

Posted by Admin

Many of the helicopters utilized in today’s training market are equipped with an engine governor. The governor assists the pilot with managing and maintaining appropriate engine/rotor RPM to safely operate the helicopter. When conducting system failure training, the engine governor will be turned off and the pilot will be required to manipulate the throttle manually. In situations where the engine governor fails and mismanages engine/rotor RPM, the pilot may be required to isolate or turn off the governor. Adequate training and proficiency is critical in these situations. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety


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