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Articles for category Rotorcraft Checkride




May
11
2020

The Airline Mistress…An Affair of Necessity

Posted by Randy Rowles

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a helicopter pilot requesting a Bell 407 transition course. He had been flying for the airlines and was recently furloughed. Once he arrived, we engaged in conversation about his transition to the airlines two years prior. He was hired by the airlines via the Rotory to Airline Group (RTAG) organization. Having been furloughed, his only option was to return to the helicopter industry. A job opportunity had opened in a Bell 407, and the transition course would provide the aircraft currency to be eligible. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Apr
27
2020

Advanced Autorotation Training…What Is It?

Posted by Randy Rowles

Recently, I read an article regarding helicopter autorotations from the perspective of a new helicopter student pilot. Although the article was merely an overview of the author’s pre-solo training experience, it was titled “Advanced Autorotations.” Why such a title? [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Mar
12
2020

What’s That Vibration?

Posted by Randy Rowles

A few weeks ago, a pilot within our company was re-positioning a helicopter from the hangar to the ramp. While hovering, he experienced a rough engine, so he landed the helicopter on the taxiway. Seeing this, I walked over and joined him in the helicopter to aid in determining the issue. It was now that I learned that experience may falsely overshadow reality. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Feb
17
2020

Helicopter Flight Below VFR Minimums…A Very Slippery Slope?

Posted by Randy Rowles

On January 26th, 2020, an S76 helicopter collided with terrain killing all nine (9) passengers onboard. The weather at the time of the accident supported a theory that weather may have been a causal factor. All aircraft accidents are bad for the industry; however, this accident helicopter was carrying a high-profile passenger which brought international attention to the situation. The immediate question is why an extremely weather capable helicopter wasn’t transitioned to IFR in lieu of continued flight in less-than-VFR conditions. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Jan
18
2020

Alone and Afraid | When Solo Flights Fail!

Posted by Randy Rowles

Last week, a helicopter student pilot was returning from a solo cross-country flight when the student accidentally entered Class D airspace without the required communication. Although entry into this airspace was planned as a part of the solo cross-country flight, the student miscalculated the position of the helicopter and was farther along than anticipated. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Nov
18
2019

Segmented Autorotation…When More Than One Turn Is Needed

Posted by Randy Rowles

While conducting a Private Pilot examination, the applicant advised me that a segmented autorotative descent would be conducted in lieu of a constant radius turn during the 180-degree autorotation maneuver. The reasoning for the applicant’s decision was a set of small towers in the middle of the airport and a more segmented profile would eliminate the issue. The applicant executed the maneuver with a high degree of skill. It was a beautiful thing! [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Oct
24
2019

In-Flight Emergencies

Posted by Randy Rowles

A couple weeks ago, I was conducting a Private Pilot examination in Texas. As we were approaching the airport returning from the cross-country phase of flight, we found ourselves in an area of light drizzle and rain. As the applicant entered the downwind leg, he began to reduce power. Almost immediately, the engine began to run rough and only got worse as the applicant reduced more power. I immediately engaged carburetor heat…problem solved! [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Sep
16
2019

In-Flight Emergencies…When Seconds Count!

Posted by Randy Rowles

A couple weeks ago, I was conducting a Private Pilot examination in Texas. As we were approaching the airport returning from the cross-country phase of flight, we found ourselves in an area of light drizzle and rain. As the applicant entered the downwind leg, he began to reduce power. Almost immediately, the engine began to run rough and only got worse as the applicant reduced more power. I immediately engaged carburetor heat…problem solved! [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Aug
19
2019

Autorotation Fly-Through | A Potentially Dangerous Compromise

Posted by Randy Rowles

An increasing number of helicopter flight schools have reduced emphasis on the flare portion of the autorotation due to over-speeding. I’m told the risks of an over-speed outweigh the benefit the student experiences by conducting a positive flare in the early stages of autorotation training. It seems consensus among helicopter flight school leadership is that a gentle reduction in forward velocity to an approximate 30-knot ground speed is enough, and a go-around from this point in the maneuver is the safest solution. To be very clear, this is a dangerous compromise! [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Jul
15
2019

The Accident That Didn’t Happen…An Alternative Reality!

Posted by Randy Rowles

One year ago, a series of events led to the creation of helicopter accident data points. If the accidents didn’t happen, what would an alternative reality look like? [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride


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