Archive: April 2016
Looks like the old B model…well, not exactly old…nor a true B…but at least it has a 206 M/R on it…any hoots…the Bell 505 looks to close in on 400 total orders this year. I guess you can say it’s pretty in its own way. I wish them luck.
Truth be told, when they stopped production on the Bell 206B, I did shed a tear or two. I had cut my rotorwing teeth on a B model. The good old days of cable operated rotorbrakes, and pan floats you could pack in your sleep. But, then again I also liked the SA315B, BO-105 and triple deuce. [Read More...]
This time I turned up with a very different attitude. Gone were the doubts. In their place was a lot more confidence. Confidence in the helicopter. Confidence in me. Oh, there were still doubts. And still, a certain amount of fear. I didn't like autorotations. MY instructor told me I would end up loving them. Maybe. But I didn't right then.
Looking back on it, I think my understanding of the aerodynamic principles of autorotation was not matched by my confidence in the blessed principle working. It sounds so simple. In powered flight, all normal, the engine powers the rotor system, via the transmission. Airflow is "induced" down through the rotor disc. Okay, happy-happy. Now, gremlins. What happens if the engine goes tiddley-up AWOL? As in Kaputt, seized, broke, busted, knackered? We simulate that in autorotation training. We lower the collective lever, that looks like a really old fashioned vintage hand brake, and roll the throttle off. Sadistic instructors enjoy doing this to petrified students. I'm sure they torture kittens as well. [Read More...]
We’ve all been there. Flying with our student during the test prep phase of the training lifecycle, confirming what we set out to do so many hours before. That is, to present the FAA a qualified, proficient pilot applicant who is capable of exceeding all test standards set before them. You’ve done this many times before; it’s just a walk in the park. So you walk through your FAA exam checklist to verify nothing has been missed: [Read More...]
It certainly wasn’t my intention to be on drugs when I addressed FAA regulators at the “Meet the FAA Regulators” session at HAI Heli-Expo 2014. Two hours prior to that talk, I literally couldn’t walk. My back suddenly went out causing excruciating lower back pain, something that occurs every three years or so due to years of competitive tennis and decades in the cockpit. Still, I needed to tell the regulators that they missed a real opportunity to draft meaningful new rules to stop the unacceptable HEMS accident rate. Throwing a mix of over-the-counter painkillers down my throat, I gingerly made my way to the convention center. [Read More...]
My Two Cents Worth