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Feb
22
2016

Learning to Fly Helicopters - Do I Trust This Thing?

Posted by Francis Meyrick

The Robinson R-22... Long time ago. Early model days. Old fashioned twist grip, no governor, straight tail. I was suspicious, still, about the mechanical integrity of the beast. It looked so flimsy. Like a bunch of surplus tin cans beat roughly into shape. Now masquerading as a flying machine. A wind up, clockwork, plastic toy. In a quiet moment, I ambled in to the work shop. Asked for the chief mechanic. Boss man engineer. Out he came, pleasant, friendly, American. I wanted to ask some questions? Learning to fly at the school? Sure, go right ahead. "Thanks. First. This here rotor system. It looks so home made. So fragile. What is the history of Robinson crashes due rotor system structural failures? As opposed to pilot error, and people losing Rotor Rpm due to incorrect technique?" I thought that was pretty well the fifty million dollar (and some cents) question. He laughed and told me: one. That he was aware of. Early on in the history of the R-22, some guys had noticed rotor delamination. Somebody had wondered if it would still fly okay. One way to find that out, eh? Let's go fly! It didn't work out, and they augured in. Oh!, I thought. You can't really blame that one on the designer. I was later to hear that there was also a minor matter of overflying the component times involved. (5,500 flight hours on a 2,000 component life) [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Feb
22
2016

I Certify ... I’m an Authorized Instructor

Posted by Randy Rowles

So you’ve provided all of the required training to your student. That’s it, they're ready to visit the FAA and apply for that sought after certificate or rating. However, there’s one last thing you have to do: You must certify to the federal government that as an authorized flight instructor you have provided the required ground and flight training, and found the applicant prepared to take the appropriate FAA practical test. So what defines an authorized instructor? The Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) define specific training requirements an instructor must meet to provide training for a certificate and/or rating. This definition is found within FAR 61.1: Applicability and Definitions. Most of the time, there is little confusion on this issue. However, over the last few years many regulatory changes and FAA Legal Interpretations are worthy of a closer look. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Feb
22
2016

Risk Resource Management—The Not-so-New CRM

Posted by Randy Mains

I’m going to give you a simple mental tool to keep you safe: Risk Resource Management (RRM). It’s a tool Chesley Sullenberger used for 14 years before he famously landed his Airbus A320 in the Hudson River. It’s also a tool he instructed his students to use when he taught crew resource management at US Airways. It’s a tool you can use in your helicopter to make better decisions, whether you’re flying single-pilot or multicrew. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Jan
25
2016

ROTORwrench - Tips, Tricks and Info...

Posted by Scott Skola

Well, we made it through another year. And 2016 looks to be an interesting year ahead, especially for those working in the offshore market. Hopefully, with the repeal of the 40 year-old ban on domestic oil exports, these operators will be able to weather the “storm.” It will also be interesting how the rest of the industry reacts as the offshore side downsizes by adjusting fleets and manpower. On a closer note, I am going to experiment with a few things on the blog this year. Received a few suggestions from readers. In addition to the monthly trick or tip, I will add one or two bits of reading material that never seem to make it out to the field level from aircraft manufacturer’s, ground support vendors, FAA, etc. We’ll see how this section develops this year. Finally, besides hanging a new shingle out front, there are several other additions I’m working on, to include a possible “maintenance question-of-the-month” section, so check back regularly. And here we go for 2016…. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryROTORwrench



Dec
22
2015

Helicopter On Fire - Who, Me??

Posted by Francis Meyrick

The first time I heard this story, I thought it was a Gulf myth. I didn't believe it. But then I saw the photographic evidence. It was kind of interesting. Irrefutable. Good grief. Yep. Many years ago, on a sunny day in the Gulf of Mexico, this event actually happened... A helicopter 'communications center' is, if you like, is the 'eye in the head shed'. It's a large room, with lots of telephones ringing, lots of screens, and lots of people hunched over those screens, and quietly cursing the telephones. . Out there, somewhere, lots of little helicopters are plying their trade. Pilots are calling the commcenter, and the commcenter is calling pilots. Position reports, landing reports, flight plans... [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Dec
21
2015

Helicopter Maintenance Tips - December 2015

Posted by Scott Skola

Another Bendix booklet, but for the good old C28. Appreciate all the support from the peanut gallery this year. And as requested, look for some changes next year as I add new content and info. Enjoy. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryROTORwrench



Nov
16
2015

Electronic Flight Bag...Yeah, in My Dreams

Posted by Randy Mains

Occasionally fate (sometimes luck) steps in to break a link in an error chain, serving to protect us from ourselves. That’s what happened to me in August 1974 while ferrying a Hughes 300C 300 miles, from McArthur River Cattle Station in the Northern Territory of Australia to Mt. Isa, for the aircraft’s scheduled 100-hour inspection. I’d been flying over parched, featureless landscape for 30 minutes; each minute becoming more and more perplexed because nothing I saw outside fit my woefully inadequate map. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Nov
16
2015

Checkride Etiquette - Look Like a Rotorcraft Pro!

Posted by Randy Rowles

My wife and I recently went to see a movie starring Robert De Niro. I truly enjoy most of his movies, however I wasn’t really sure at first I would like his latest: The Intern. In it De Niro portrays 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker looking to come out of retirement to fill a void left by the passing of his wife. I wound up enjoying the movie and related to Whittaker’s journey and perspective on the ever-changing workplace. In the movie, Whittaker’s co-workers are much younger than him, thus their work culture is somewhat different. From Day One, his co-workers comment on the way he dresses while mocking his work ethic. I won’t spoil the ending, however this movie got me thinking: Are my expectations of our younger pilot population too out of touch? After much thought and reflection, my answer is: I don’t think so. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Nov
16
2015

Learning to Fly Helicopters - Part 1

Posted by Francis Meyrick

When a chap has already logged several thousand hours fixed wing, and then starts getting involved with helicopters, people will ask 'why?'. When on top of that, he has previously been unkind about helicopters, people will be doubly intrigued. My quiet opinion, along with a great many fixed wing pilots, had always been along the lines of: "Fly helicopters? No chance! The day I climb into one of those contraptions will be the day I run over a Leprechaun! The most outlandish Heath Robinson concept ever thrown together. You need two nuts to fly a helicopter. One to hold the rotor on, and one to drive the infernal machine. There are more Jesus nuts and rotating parts than in an average scrapyard. It's far too complex a machine to have gyrating around the sky. At least in an aeroplane, if the engine quits, you've still got a wing. I do not fancy being suspended beneath a rotating paddle. If the engine quits on those damn things, you are going to know all about it. No thanks. I don't want to know. Should be banned from the sky." [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Nov
16
2015

Helicopter Maintenance Tips - November 2015

Posted by Scott Skola

More old stuff. ATA 76 Rolls-Royce 250-C20 Series: These Bendix booklets used to be worth their weight in gold. They gave a better intro to adjusting the fuel controls back when engine manuals were lacking. Knowledge is king. You’ll need an Adobe Reader program to view. C-28 and C-30 books to follow. [Submitted by Rw] [Read More...]



Categories: categoryROTORwrench


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