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Oct
19
2020

A Byproduct of being an Air Medical Pilot

Posted by Admin

When I was chief pilot at San Diego Life Flight air medical program, on my time off, I enrolled in a seven-month EMT class. There have been several incidents since taking that class where I’ve had to use those skills to lend assistance to people in need.  That is one reason I think everyone should take, at very minimum, a first-aid course. You never know when you may be in a position to be of medical assistance or to even save a life. [Read More...]



Tags: M2C My Two Cents Worth Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Oct
19
2020

Maintenance Minute - October 2020

Posted by Admin

I clearly remember that life-changing day in April 1990.  It was my first day working as a helicopter mechanic at Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama. The radio call dispatched the helicopter, the pilot brought the machine to life and the medical crew strapped in as the Bell LongRanger took to the air. It seemed like only minutes later the aircraft returned, and the patient was rolled past me to the Level I trauma center. From that moment on, life was different as the purpose for my work became clearer in that instant.  [Read More...]



Tags: Maintenance Minute Mark Tyler
Categories: categoryMaintenance Minute



Oct
19
2020

Helicopter Systems | Get It Right the First Time

Posted by Admin

A few weeks ago, I conducted a Private Pilot exam in a Robinson R22 helicopter. My helicopter systems questions often begin with correlative level questions requiring the student to understand many aspects of the system to provide a comprehensive answer. This level of questioning provides a path for the applicant to demonstrate higher order of thinking skills or HOTS as the FAA refers to this in the FAA instructors handbook. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Sep
18
2020

Maintenance Minute - September 2020

Posted by Admin

Aircraft maintenance comes in many shapes and sizes. There are so many different models of airframes and engines that one can become overwhelmed with all the manufacturing differences and operational requirements to keep these aircraft flying safely. Inspection requirements range from daily checks to major overhauls, progressive to periodic, scheduled and unscheduled. As an aircraft mechanic, we train to a standard and once that standard is achieved we receive a certification card from the United States government verifying that we have met the standard and are therefore authorized to inspect and return to service aircraft registered in the United States. With our signature on our certification card, off we go to make a difference in the world of aviation. [Read More...]



Tags: Maintenance Minute Mark Tyler
Categories: categoryMaintenance Minute



Sep
18
2020

Power Failure at a Hover…How to Teach and Stay Safe!

Posted by Admin

The FAA Practical Test Standards require each applicant completing a helicopter specific flight evaluation to conduct a Power Failure at a Hover (aka Hovering Autorotation) maneuver. The maneuver is a combination of throttle manipulation reducing engine speed with the required flight control inputs to safely land the helicopter. When conducted correctly, the maneuver is rather benign. During the learning process, the maneuver is anything but benign and is the cause to many hard landings during flight training. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Sep
18
2020

Instructor and Examiner as Gatekeeper

Posted by Admin

I recently received an email from a CFII by the name of Matthew Goodrich who felt compelled to write after reading my article, Knowing it’s time to hang up the Headset that appeared in the July/Aug 2020 issue of Rotorcraft Pro Magazine. Matthew wrote to say: “Great article Randy. You mention basic criteria for passing/failing a pilot in a checkride. Do you think instructors should evaluate the same basic criteria (judgment) when endorsing someone for checkride? Or do you think instructors should focus on clear standards and leave judgment of the bigger picture to examiners? It's likely not as black and white as I'm asking. [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents Worth Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Aug
24
2020

Maintenance Minute - August 2020

Posted by Admin

Looking back, I recall the time just after separating from active duty with the U.S. Air Force. I was attending Alabama Aviation Technical College to obtain my Airframe and Powerplant certificate.  It was during this time that I was hired at Fort Rucker by the helicopter maintenance contractor that supported U.S. military helicopter pilot training. One of the first requirements of this contractor was to have a minimum tools list.  As a young man just out of the military, I did not own many tools nor could I afford to buy a lot.  Taking my tools list, I drove to Sears to comply with the minimum, never dreaming that in the ensuing 39 years I would collect so many thousands of dollars in hand tools, special tools, precision tools and high-end toolboxes.   [Read More...]



Tags: Mark Tyler ROTORwrench
Categories: categoryMaintenance Minute



Aug
24
2020

Knowing it’s time to hang up the headset

Posted by Admin

A recent incident the FAA is investigating involving Harrison Ford that occurred this past April at Hawthorne Municipal Airport in California, prompted me to ponder the question that we all may need to address at some point in our flying career as we age: Will you know when it’s time to hang up your headset? [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents Worth Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Aug
24
2020

Aviation Memoirs Are A Pilot’s Greatest Gift

Posted by Admin

Each Friday, a group of the greatest helicopter pilots on the planet meet for lunch in Fort Worth, Texas. They discuss past, present, and future happenings within the helicopter industry, enjoy a great meal, and then it happens: oral history lessons for those who listen. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Jul
14
2020

Added Ratings and Foreign Pilots…Revisited

Posted by Randy Rowles

Within the past few months, the number of pilot applicant’s ineligible for a pilot certificate practical test has increased because their instructor misunderstood the requirements for an additional certificate or rating. Additionally, the number of ineligible applicants when using a foreign pilot certificate as the basis for FAA certification has increased as well. Let us review each of the problem areas directly. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride


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