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Feb
27
2017

ROTORwrench…Tips, Tricks, and Info -February 2017

Posted by Scott Skola

How convenient. Just as we start a year of Lama tips, one of the largest operators of SA315B and SA.316B type aircraft decides to retire their entire fleet. The Indian Army cited recent flight incidents and safety concerns as the reasons for grounding their fleet of approximately 44 aircraft. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryROTORwrench



Feb
27
2017

A Blip on the Radar (Part 24E) "What did you do THAT for...?

Posted by Francis Meyrick

I had let it go as long as I possibly dared. Longer. I had given this Commercial Pilot every opportunity to recover. To get with the action. Hell, to blessed well get involved, even. But no... Too busy waving The Royal Wave at his buddies. Too busy doing his Grand Fly By. Too busy showing off… I could hear the blade slap. I could feel the buffeting. I could sense what was about to happen. All the warning signals were there, all the harbingers of Truth, all the Reminders of the immutable Laws of Nature and Gravity... everything was lining up, trying to flash that little amber caution light in a good pilot's mind… Remember the introduction? [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Feb
27
2017

Facebook Flyers | You thought texting was bad!

Posted by Randy Rowles

A few months ago, I was conducting a commercial pilot practical test for an applicant in the South Florida area. At the beginning of the exam, the applicant held up his copy of the FAA practical test standards (PTS) next to his face and took a selfie with his phone. He then proceeded to request I “hold on a minute” so that he could post the picture on Facebook. At the time, I didn’t really mind as this moment was significant to him. Maybe it was his way of calming his nerves: no harm, no foul. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Feb
27
2017

Line-Oriented Flight Training

Posted by Randy Mains

Have you ever accidentally done a loop in a helicopter on a moonless night at 1,000 feet on downwind leg to an airport because the pilot flying lost spatial orientation? I have. The sudden and abrupt transition from controlled flight to uncontrolled flight, when the pilot “lost it,” then fighting for control, took me as much by surprise as it did the poor pilot. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Jan
23
2017

Comments from a Reader

Posted by Randy Mains

Often times I receive comments from readers who have an observation or two about a column I’ve written. I recently received an email from a Captain Mark Sobaszko who flies for a major airline offering his 2 Cents’ Worth about my latest article, “Sully Welcome to our World”. As a former helicopter pilot, I find Captain Sobaszko’s comments quite interesting as he’s seen both sides of the coin. Here is what he had to say: [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Jan
23
2017

ROTORwrench…Tips, Tricks, and Info - January 2017

Posted by Scott Skola

As I mentioned last month, we will be focusing on SA315B Lama tips and tricks. But first, a note from our sponsor: the Lama is technically an Alouette III. Believe it or not! [Read More...]



Categories: categoryROTORwrench



Jan
23
2017

I'm good. I don't need your help. (Part 1)

Posted by Francis Meyrick

As we readied ourselves for another Tuna Boat take-off, I watched my... (student?)(candidate?)(ward?) carefully. My hands were very close to the controls. I knew, in my heart, that I didn't trust him. I wanted to, but bitter experience had placed me on guard. More and more, I found the thought of his flying alone off another Tuna Boat utterly frightening. I knew I had an uphill battle on my hands. My Boss was totally determined to have this fine fellow summarily checked out, and dispatched asap to the next available open slot on a Tuna Boat. That could come any day. Our pilot turnover was high. People burned out, or got into arguments with crew and captains. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Jan
23
2017

Flight Instructor Expiration...Every 24-Months?

Posted by Randy Rowles

The FAA requires a Flight Instructor to renew their certificate on a 24-month basis. Why 24-months? I've posed this question many times to FAA types and the answer appears to be elusive. The most common answer is simply that a 24-month renewal period provides the FAA with a mechanism to evaluate a Flight Instructor on a recurring basis thereby ensuring their ability to consistently meet the high standards of the Flight Instructor Practical Test Standards (PTS). With all of the various methods to renew a Flight Instructor certificate, the least of which is taking a practical test, it would appear that logic may be flawed. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Dec
20
2016

The Simple Stuff Can Bite You - Part 2

Posted by Francis Meyrick

It's the STUPID little stuff that trips you up. The routine. If I can get that point across, I'll be thrilled. Here is an example, one which does not paint me as the great Sky God. But, hopefully, it can show you how easy, easy, easy, the stupid, simple stuff can bite you... [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Dec
20
2016

Solo or No Solo? That is the question

Posted by Randy Rowles

The subject of solo requirements for the addition of a helicopter rating to an existing commercial pilot certificate, when the applicant does not hold a helicopter rating at any level, is a question not easily answered. To get the correct answer, you must look at more than just the experience requirements as stated in 14 CFR Part 61.129(c). Additionally, the method in which a pilot would log the pilot in command (PIC) flight time is confusing. In this article, we’ll attempt to provide some clarity on these subjects. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride


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