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Sep
11
2015

The Unexpected

Posted by Francis Meyrick

In the fluid, endlessly fascinating world of helicopter flying, the Unexpected can come calling at the oddest times. Months, even years of relative routine may slip harmlessly by. But you never know when to expect that soft, unassuming knock on your door. It may be soft. But the subsequent detonation of sensory input is often anything but. That incipient, meek tap occasionally heralds in an explosive crisis that starts unfolding far faster than words can begin to describe it. The famous “Oh, shit!” moments helicopter pilots talk about afterwards, over a quiet beer, where even the expletive dies, stillborn, on your lips. You literally don’t have time to vent your feelings. It all happens so fast. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Sep
11
2015

The Fame Gallopers

Posted by Francis Meyrick

It’s a quiet night, and I am at home, sitting outside on the porch, relaxing under the emerging stars. A cool Guinness has hit the spot, and I am mellow, full of dreams, and silent thought. I have been pondering a simple question… How much apple pie can you eat? [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Sep
11
2015

Fessing Up

Posted by Francis Meyrick

In the life of every Man, Woman, or Newt, there comes a point when He/She/It faces a moral dilemma. To wit: do I confess, and maybe get shouted at? Or do I keep it quiet, and hope nobody notices? Every Man, Woman or Newt has to answer this question in his/her/it’s own way, but the question will rear its ugly head, sooner or later. It will define your humanity. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Aug
24
2015

“I’m an NVG Instructor”…Are you sure?

Posted by Randy Rowles

In October 2009, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released new regulations related to the use of Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) in the US National Airspace System. Inclusive of these newly minted FARs was guidance on NVG pilot training and certification contained within FAR Part 61. Additionally, specific criteria was established to be an NVG Instructor. Although the regulation is clear as to the specific eligibility requirements to be an NVG Instructor, the guidance to provide an NVG instructor the required endorsement per FAR 61.195(k)(7) is non-existent. Since the release of these new regulations in 2009, FAA personnel have struggled to find unity among their colleagues on this issue. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Aug
24
2015

But We’ve Always Done it This Way

Posted by Randy Mains

Has anyone ever said to you, “But we’ve always done it this way”? It’s a complacency trap that once held the potential for dire consequences for five of us employed as HEMS pilots for the king of Saudi Arabia. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



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


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