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Dec
28
2020

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: Maintenance Minute Mark Tyler
Categories: categoryMaintenance Minute



Dec
28
2020

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...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Dec
28
2020

Normalization of Deviance

Posted by Admin

What can the helicopter world learn from NASA’s mistakes?  I’m specifically talking about the Challenger disaster and the cancer of “normalization of deviance” that was the root cause of that tragedy.  On November 3, 2014, NASA Chief of Safety and Mission Assurance Terry Wilcutt and Deputy Chief of Safety and Mission Assurance Hal Bell, put together a presentation entitled “The Cost of Silence: Normalization of Deviance and Groupthink. [Read More...]



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



Nov
17
2020

Rote Knowledge vs Correlative Evaluation…Applying What You Know!

Posted by Admin

After many years of administering FAA Instrument Rating examinations, a consistent trend remains the cause of Unsatisfactory check rides. Having seen this trend develop, we as Pilot Examiners will mentor and train flight instructors to ensure their students not only know the material, but more importantly know how to apply the material in given situations. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Nov
17
2020

Maintenance Minute - November 2020

Posted by Admin

My favorite part of the aircraft maintenance process is the post maintenance operational checks or commonly referred to as ground runs. During my early days working for the helicopter maintenance contractor at Fort Rucker, I was engine run qualified for the UH-1H and the OH58 and performing ground runs was something I did on a regular basis. This is the time we see the fruits of our labor, but it is also the most dangerous time. The maintenance event may have called for component overhaul, engine replacement or flight control rigging. The maintenance process calls for checking, rechecking, and verifying. It is always good to have a pre-runup discussion with the pilot and every mechanic that is involved with the runup. Communication is key to keeping everyone safe. When the pilot yells, “CLEAR” and the mechanic responds with, “CLEAR” the setting will get noisy in a hurry. Prior planning with everyone is a must. The person behind the controls should know where everyone is always located so ducking under the tail boom to change sides is not allowed. [Read More...]



Tags: Maintenance Minute Mark Tyler
Categories: categoryMaintenance Minute



Nov
17
2020

Virtual CRM Instructor Course

Posted by Admin

With the advent of the Corona-19 virus pandemic, the workforce world-wide has had to adapt to an alternate way to approach their job.  I am no different as I teach and facilitate a 5-day CRM Instructor course.  Training to be an effective CRM instructor relies on learning how to become an effective facilitator, a skill I teach in my Instructor classes.  To be a successful facilitator, facilitation techniques must be practiced on others to achieve the desired result of changing adult behavior.  With the raging pandemic curtailing in-person interactions, learning to be a facilitator in aviation in a virtual setting is something the aviation industry has had to adapt to.  [Read More...]



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



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


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