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Author: Admin




Oct
27
2023

Rotorcraft Checkride | Fire the Canons

Posted by Admin

It should come as no surprise that unintended entry into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) has plagued our industry sector for decades. Thankfully, wonderful organizations like the USHST, HAI, and others have relentlessly tried to curb the problem. However, at least weekly, I read a news blurb about another helicopter that crashed after the pilot “encountered diminishing weather conditions.” The certificate level and experience level of those involved in these accidents vary. Each of these tragedies begs questions: How did they get into that situation? Given the situation, were they prepared for it once they found themselves there? Obviously, these are rhetorical questions, given the outcome of the numerous news stories. Many factors can be deduced to explain this situation. Still, I think most would agree that properly learning the warning signs of potential IMC scenarios and how to adequately control the helicopter by reference to instruments is lacking.  [Read More...]



Tags: Matt Johnson Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Oct
27
2023

My 2 Cents | Paying For the Sins of Others

Posted by Admin

As an industry, we fall victim to the questionable behavior of our brethren pilots and their sometimes-misguided follies. Not directly, but in the form of increased regulatory oversight, increased insurance premiums, and a sense by the public that helicopters are just unsafe! The evidence for such a belief is derived from the countless hours of helicopter crash videos found online. Not to mention the movies that often use a helicopter crash as the go-to ending for a high energy chase finale. [Read More...]



Tags: My 2 Cents Worth Randy Rowles
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Sep
22
2023

AUVSI is Your Copilot for the Future of the Drone and AAM Industries

Posted by Admin

Everyone has heard about these technologies that promise to reshape our industry. But no one knows exactly how that reshaping will occur. Each step forward depends on a multitude of factors, including engineering breakthroughs, federal and state regulations, commercial contracts, government budgets, and even consumer demand.  [Read More...]



Tags: AUVSI Uncrewed



Sep
22
2023

“Safety is not Proprietary”

Posted by Admin

I knew at age 16 I wanted to fly when I saw my first medical helicopter pick up a trauma patient in front of me. I began my career in air medicine at the ripe old age of 24 as a flight nurse at Lifeline in Rockford, Illinois.  It was several years later that safety took on a new meaning when I later flew for AirLife-Denver in Colorado, and our program experienced a fatal crash that rocked me to my core. I was afforded the resources to heal and saw meaningful industry-wide changes develop over time. I still applaud AirLife’s leadership who first supported their people and then mined for lessons learned, sharing them broadly to enhance safety for all.  When I became their le [Read More...]



Tags: Safety First VAST
Categories: categorySafety First



Sep
22
2023

Mil2Civ | The FAA has Launched a New “SPECIAL PROJECT”

Posted by Admin

In recent months, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has joined forces with the Veterans Administration (VA) in a collaborative effort to identify pilots who, whether intentionally or unintentionally, have failed to accurately disclose receiving disability benefits. [Read More...]



Tags: Mil2Civ



Aug
28
2023

FAA Oversight | Dysfunctionality Perfected!

Posted by Admin

Many facets of our lives, both personal and professional, changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. One significant entity within the aviation industry, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), took great strides in protecting their staff by providing a path for most FAA employees to work from home. During the pandemic, connecting with an FAA staff member once the communication process was developed and released seemed to be simple and functional. As an operator, we were pleasantly surprised by the expeditious email and phone call returns that were occurring in this new FAA work-from-home world, but this was all about to change. [Read More...]



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



Aug
28
2023

"Add-on" Angst

Posted by Admin

What we often think will be "easy" quite often turns complicated. This seems to hold true for those seeking an "add-on" rating, such as the pilot with an airplane private pilot certificate who desires to add a rotorcraft-helicopter rating to their pilot certificate. These pilots may have started their primary training in a basic fixed-wing trainer, earned their certificate, and decided to move on to helicopters for pleasure or career aspirations.    [Read More...]



Tags: Matt Johnson Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Aug
28
2023

Maintenance Minute - August 2023 | On Call

Posted by Admin

“The dreaded “on call”, and “the duty” were just a couple of terms of endearment that we used to describe being “on call” for aircraft maintenance. There were other names with more colorful adjectives that I will not mention here. For certain, in jobs like EMS, Fire/Rescue and Law Enforcement being “on call” is just part of the gig. “On call” could be most frustrating for the mechanic but it also could be very rewarding. Let’s take a quick look from both prospectives. [Read More...]



Tags: Maintenance Minute Mark Tyler On Call
Categories: categoryMaintenance Minute



Jul
27
2023

What’s the Warranted Risk You Will Accept?

Posted by Admin

One dark night on the San Diego coast, my crew was launched for LE to intercept a drug-laden “panga” en route from Mexico to the U.S. We got the intel from our command center and launched into the blackness to find our panga. As we headed west over the Pacific Ocean with our radar scanning the surface of the water and our night vision goggles tuned up, we encountered declining ceilings at 1,000 feet AWL. We continued our search pattern at 700 feet and as the evening got cooler, the ceilings got lower. When we went down to 500 feet AWL, we discussed our hard deck of 200 feet AWL and termination of the search. We went down to 300 feet and finally at 200 feet we reached our limit and returned to base. The risk to my crew in declining ceilings was not worth the gain of finding the drug runner.  [Read More...]



Tags: Dave McCarthy Safety First VAST
Categories: categorySafety First



Jul
27
2023

Maintenance Minute - July 2023 | On Call

Posted by Admin

It was just before bedtime. You know that moment when you know that you should make your way to bed because if you don’t go now, you will be on the couch or slumped over in a chair for the rest of the night. I was at that point when my cell phone began to scream like a red-tailed hawk looking for his next meal. My response was something like, “Oh no, not now.” Sure enough, it was the night pilot and calling that late meant there was a problem with the helicopter. [Read More...]



Tags: Maintenance Minute Mark Tyler
Categories: categoryMaintenance Minute


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