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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



Feb
08
2021

THE COMMUNICATION TOOL

Posted by Admin

My first exposure to aviation began in the U.S. Air Force.  When training in my chosen field was postponed, I was asked to crosstrain to a secondary career field.  “We really need aircraft mechanics,” I was told. I readily agreed, and so the adventure began. Later, as a crew chief for the F16 Fighting Falcon, I quickly learned the importance of marshaling aircraft and the use of hand signals…flight controls-check, speed brake-check, stop, go, chock, and the aircraft salute. Little did I know at the time that these simple hand signals would become part of an especially important essential tool that we must use every day. We have already discussed the tool of integrity: doing the right thing, and the tool of commitment: the fuel for action. Let us now look at the essential tool of communication.  [Read More...]



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



Feb
01
2021

MONTENEGRO WAVES FAREWELL TO THE GAZELLE... AND WELCOMES THEIR NEW BELL!

Posted by Admin

Montenegro is a petit country in Europe with perhaps one of the most interesting histories among the Balkan countries. It is definitely the youngest of the Balkan nations as its independence was regained in 2006. Going through numerous political situations, Montenegro’s capital city, Podgorica, has been renamed a couple of times, going from Podgorica to Titograd (named after the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s leader Josip Broz Tito) and after the formal break-up of Yugoslavia, going back to its prior name Podgorica. The city is also where the Montenegrin air force is based. [Read More...]



Tags: Bell 505 Bell Training Academy Helicopter Gazelle Montenegro Air Force
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles



Jan
25
2021

Helicopters and Multi-Mission Are Synonymous

Posted by Admin

If you look up the word ‘multi-mission’ in the dictionary, chances are that you won’t see a helicopter alongside it. But you should, because there are few transportation platforms as multi-mission capable. In the real world, the words ‘helicopter’ and ‘multi-mission’ are synonymous. “I’ve heard people describe helicopters as ‘the SUVs of the air’,” said James Viola, president/CEO of Helicopter Association International (HAI). “The industry’s constant drive to create platforms that are as light as possible while using the most powerful engines available has resulted in highly flexible aircraft that can be adapted to multiple tasks and carry all kinds of loads internally and externally, and perform so many functions so well.” [Read More...]



Tags: Aerial Firefighting Forestry and Stream Restoration Helicopters Multi Mission Helicopters Search and Rescue Helicopters Sikorsky YR-4B helicopters Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 rotorcraft
Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryOpinion-Editorial



Jan
18
2021

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Desiree Horton

Posted by Admin

RPMN: What is your current position? I am a fire pilot for Heliqwest. I fly a B205 on a local fire contract in Southern California (Heaps Peak) for the U.S. Forest Service. RPMN: Tell me about your first flight. My first flight was in an R22 out of Torrance, California. I remember walking up to the helicopter wondering, Wow, is this small helicopter going to fly? I had never seen one up close and only knew that helicopters were typically much larger. Once in the helicopter and in a hover I was certain now this was what I would do for living. I was astounded by how it felt to just float above the earth's surface like that. My flight took me over the coast and back to the airport. I was hooked. [Read More...]



Tags: Desiree Horton Forestry Helicopter Pilot Heliqwest Fire Pilot Meet A Rotorcraft Pro
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryHuman Interest



Jan
11
2021

Grace from Above - Mercy Air Supports Africans in Need

Posted by Admin

“To paint a picture of how remote some of the people are that we serve, it takes the inhabitants who live in areas of the Zambezi Delta three days to reach civilization by dugout canoe. The helicopter can reach those areas in 20 minutes.” - Matthias Reuter, Mercy Air helicopter program director  THE MISSION From 1977 to 1992, the Mozambican Civil War was a bloody battle to control the African nation. The war was fought between Mozambique's ruling Marxist Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), anti-communist insurgent forces of the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), and a number of smaller factions.  The Mozambican Civil War destroyed much of Mozambique's critical rural infrastructure, including hospitals, rail lines, roads, and schools. Additionally, according to estimates, over one million Mozambicans were killed in the fighting or starved due to interrupted food supplies; an additional 5 million were displaced across the region. In 1990, Mercy Air was born out of this conflict as a Christian initiative operating as a fixed-wing missionary program. The airplanes were initially used to provide relief and support to refugees fleeing Mozambique along the border of South Africa. Due to rebels and the poor security situation in the region, moving people and supplies via ground vehicles was too risky. In 2004, Mercy Air decided to add helicopters to their operations. Rotorcraft not only enhanced the aviation operation’s capability, but significantly expanded the geographic locations it could serve.  [Read More...]



Tags: Humanitarian Relief Helicopters Mercy Air
Categories: categoryHuman Interest


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