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Aug
21
2015

The Random Procreation of Fun

Posted by Francis Meyrick

I get a lot of emails, which is fun, and a few years ago, I received one such missive which positively bubbled cheerfulness. An exchange of emails led to a couple of phone conversations, and I found myself chatting to a bouncy young fellow, who was, in three words, ‘full of beans’. Our hero was in the process of graduating as a Commercial Helicopter Pilot and CFI from the renowned Bristow’s Academy in Florida. A learning establishment about which I have heard much good. He certainly appeared to have enjoyed it, and he now faced his penultimate challenge: to wit, the giving of a presentation to his fellow class mates and his instructors. Apparently that’s a tradition down there, and depending on the graduate concerned, some have been known to give the event much preparation. To include slide shows, and detailed hand out notes. Well, this young fellow wanted to ask me if he could use “Moggy’s Tunaboat Helicopter Manual” and the associated outrageous stories from the Dark Side, for his presentation. It was nice of him to ask. “Sure”, I said, “You bet! Just let me know afterwards how it works out!” [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Aug
21
2015

The Fermi Paradox

Posted by Francis Meyrick

Some things have long intrigued me. Understanding, despite my best efforts, eludes me. No, I’m not referring to Woman. Although in that area too, my L-plates are permanent. What I am referring to is the great “Fermi Paradox”. If there are billions of stars, more stars than grains of sand on all the beaches on this minor planet, then there are multi-multi-billions of planets, and if just one in XXXX thousand houses intelligent aliens, then that amounts to ga-zillions of intelligent civilizations polluting the Universe out there. And doubtless, somewhere, somebody has long since discovered the recipe essential to my personal contentment in this Universe: a simple formula. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Aug
21
2015

A Blip on the Radar - Vertical Flight, Without a Helicopter

Posted by Francis Meyrick

In my dreams, in common with many people, I have achieved feats of levitation, and flying under my own power. Sailing through the sky, accepting that my spontaneous flying abilities were perfectly normal. Invariably, these experiences were pleasing and relaxing. They seemed to occur a lot early in the morning, as I was slowly beginning to emerge from a deep slumber. That was also when I seemed to experience Out of Body Experiences. I would find myself looking down at myself, and my gaze would wander around the room. I would see the clutter, the open books, the reams of scribbles, and even the dust on top of the cupboard. I would gaze at the sleeping figure, thinking in a kindly sort of way, that it was actually about time the lazy blighter got up and did something useful. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Aug
14
2015

Helicopter Maintenance Tips August 2015

Posted by Scott Skola

ATA 63 Bell 407: If you’ve replaced a number of rotorbrake calipers, you know what a PITA it is to loosen/tighten the attaching hardware. Especially when things are still a little warm and you’re trying to get a head of the game. Enter the 5/16” and 7/16” ratcheting “T” wrenches shown below. And don’t forget to start the safety wire and glue the shim before installing your caliper. [Submitted by Rw] [Read More...]



Categories: categoryROTORwrench



Jul
23
2015

ENDORSEMENTS: The Weakest Link for Many Instructors

Posted by Randy Rowles

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...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Jul
23
2015

Spies in the Oil Field

Posted by Randy Mains

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...]



Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Jul
23
2015

Helicopter Maintenance Tips July 2015

Posted by Scott Skola

ATA 63 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...]



Categories: categoryROTORwrench



Jul
09
2015

That Beam in my Eye

Posted by Francis Meyrick

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...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Jul
09
2015

Those Magnificent Daleks

Posted by Francis Meyrick

You remember the Daleks? Ex-ter-min-ate… 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? 1) Perfection. 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...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Jul
09
2015

Hottentot Firebird

Posted by Francis Meyrick

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...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings


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