Archive: July 2015
Bell 407: Another item that used to perplex me was reinstalling the K-FLEX driveshaft. It wasn’t too bad on the earlier models, but once the aft T/R driveshaft flywheel was “incorporated” to form the new thicker rotorbrake (R/B) disc up front, it became a little tighter getting the shaft to drop in. And when Bell increased the size of the transmission drive flange it became down right impossible without a little persuasion. That was until a friend showed me the light. And I use his initials as the submitter. [Read More...]
Throughout the training life cycle of a student pilot, the instructor will be required to provide endorsements in the student’s training record. These endorsements will include confirmation of citizenship, preparedness to take a knowledge exam, and most importantly, the final confirmation that a student is prepared to sit before the FAA for a practical examination toward airman certification. It sounds simple enough, however endorsements remain a weak link among many flight instructors. [Read More...]
If I were to answer the question as to why I love the helicopter industry so much, I would have to say it’s because of the quirky characters I’ve met and worked with over the years. Characters that immediately come to mind are guys like “Lofty” because of his extraordinary height, “Bambi” because of his doe-brown eyes, a Brit we called “Captain Kleenex” because he had a sinus condition that caused him to leave tissues strewn about all over the cockpit, “Too Tall McCall” because he was short, and an Australian we all called “Trackless” because he was even shorter than Two Tall. (In fact, he was much shorter because his legs were so short his butt would drag behind him and wipe out his tracks, hence the name.) There was also Robert “Don’t call me Bob” because that’s how he introduced himself, “Squeaky Cheeks” because he had an odd walk, a New Zealander we called “Sumo” because he resembled a Sumo Wrestler, a Brit we called “Crusher” because he landed on a load handler hooking up an underslung load on a wellhead in the oil field and “slightly” crushed him. [Read More...]
My Two Cents Worth
There’s an interesting old book floating around out there, which has been read by many people, and it conjures up some interesting cerebral (and optical) challenges. One of the passages refers to people who are obsessed with splinters. They seek these splinters in the eyes of others. They do so minutely, with a ferocity of inspection, hair triggered towards wagging an accusing finger: “Hey dude! You’ve got a SPLINTER in your eye! What is your PROBLEM!?” [Read More...]
You remember the Daleks?
In the heli choppy industry, (and others) you will occasionally hear dark mutterings from the lowly rank-and-file on the subject of certain fellow pilots, supervisors, bosses, who exhibit one particular trait. And, indeed, they usually possess this trait in abundance. To what, you may wonder, do we refer?
Some people simply never screw up. They are wise beyond their peers, staggeringly knowledgeable, and uniquely qualified by dint of their magnificence, to sit in judgment on you and me. Us lowly worms, cast by Fate into “the gutters of New Orleans”, (where a certain large company owner claimed to find most of his pilots) are often required by virtue of rank to do obeisance to these Sky Gods, and –occasionally- I think we are expected to tremble a bit before them as well. [Read More...]
In every major helicopter company, there is always some (brave) middle manager, who occupies a particular spot in the daily whirlwind. This spot/post/desk requires… well, (depending on your point of view), above average fortitude, skill, expertise, diplomacy and patience. OR, alternatively, a whole new dimension of “stupid”. [Read More...]