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Jul
19
2017

Faulty Training = Faulty Checkride

Posted by jhadmin

Many of the helicopters utilized in today’s training market are equipped with an engine governor. The governor assists the pilot with managing and maintaining appropriate engine/rotor RPM to safely operate the helicopter. When conducting system failure training, the engine governor will be turned off and the pilot will be required to manipulate the throttle manually. In situations where the engine governor fails and mismanages engine/rotor RPM, the pilot may be required to isolate or turn off the governor. Adequate training and proficiency is critical in these situations. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Checkride Helicopter Instruction helicopter training Randy Rowles
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety



Jul
04
2017

THE ROBINSON R44 PERFORMS ROYALLY FOR IMPERIAL VALLEY

Posted by jhadmin

Sometimes a small airborne law enforcement unit can make a larger impact than its size suggests. The Imperial Valley Airborne Narcotics Enforcement (IVAN) Air Support Unit makes such an impact. IVAN operates within Imperial County, which covers the lower east corner of Southern California and is bordered by Mexico to the south and Arizona to the east. Most of the area is low desert with a few small cities and many thousands of acres of farmland growing many types of produce. The area is warm all year, but during the summer months it is always hot; temperatures can reach well over 100 degrees for consecutive weeks. IVAN Air Support is a part of The Imperial County Narcotics Task Force (ICNTF),which originated in 1973 to combat local and regional drug trafficking and gangs. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies take part in the task force by sharing information and intelligence from many sources. The task force is governed by a board of directors chosen from participating agencies that include the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office, the Imperial police department, Imperial County Probation, U.S. Border Patrol, California Highway Patrol, Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations. ICNTF’s chairman of the board is District Attorney Gilbert Otero, and its commander is Mike Loyd. The IVAN Air Support Unit formed in 2011, with the purchase of a Robinson R44 LE helicopter. Since the program’s establishment, its chief pilot has been Donald Wharton. [Read More...]

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Tags: Imperial County Aviation Unit IVAN Air Support Law Enforcement Helicopters r44 Robinson Helicopters The Imperial County Narcotics Task Force (ICNTF)
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categoryTraining categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryOpinion-Editorial



Jun
05
2017

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Stan Rose

Posted by jhadmin

RPMN: When and how did you choose to fly helicopters? Or did they choose you? In 1968, shortly before high school graduation, a group of us were sitting around drinking beer. Around beer number three, my friend said to the group, “We are not going to get into college, are we?” Since there was still a college deferment from the draft and we were poor kids, we said “No.” After beer number four, he asked, “If we don’t get into college, we’re going to get drafted, aren’t we?” We said “Yes.” After beer number five, he said “If we get drafted, we are going to Vietnam, right?” We said, “yes.” After beer number six, he asked, “When we go to Vietnam, do you want to walk or do you want to fly?” I said, “I am too lazy to walk!” and he said, “Good, I made an appointment for us tomorrow with the Army recruiter. One of us had a medical deferment, another was color blind and he became an Army helicopter tech inspector, and three of us became helicopter pilots. None of us died in Vietnam. [Read More...]



Tags: meet a rotorcraft pro Stan Rose
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety categoryOpinion-Editorial



May
22
2017

Maximum Performance Takeoff…To Hover or Not to Hover?

Posted by jhadmin

Variations on the methods used to conduct a maneuver during a Checkride really isn’t that uncommon. However, lately one maneuver seems to have more variations than others, and in many cases, with the applicant not understanding why. The Maximum Performance Takeoff and Climb is seemingly a simple maneuver. It requires the pilot to perform a more vertical takeoff profile due to some obstacle that may be in the proposed takeoff path. Pre-takeoff planning is essential to include weight and balance, performance, and departure path; all critical to the safe, effective usage of this procedure. Each element is evaluated during the examination holistically so the Examiner may gain insight into the Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM), including Risk Assessment (RA) and Mitigation of the proposed departure. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Flight Training Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining



Apr
18
2017

Surviving After the Crash

Posted by jhadmin

Helicopter crashes can happen on any kind of flight, including short corporate helicopter jumps from city to city. “Let’s say you are flying from Toronto to Ottawa, Canada,” said David Arama, director of the WSC Survival School in Cloyne, Ontario, and author of the new survival book, ‘How To Start a Fire With Water’. “This is an hour-long flight path that passes over Algonquin Provincial Park: If your helicopter goes down there, you need to be prepared to survive in a wilderness situation!” Similar risks exist for American pilots flying across natural preserves and forested mountains; even in the heavily urbanized Eastern Seaboard. Add the post-crash challenges of unexpectedly landing on water – risks that exist even for helicopters hopping across New York City – and planning to survive after a crash should be a priority for all helicopter pilots. Unfortunately, “90 percent of helicopter pilots do not take survival preparations seriously,” said Arama. “They often fly with inadequate safety training and equipment; lacking anything beyond a car-quality first aid kit, and not knowing if their aircraft’s Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) is functioning properly. Should a crash occur, these pilots are utterly unprepared to survive until help arrives -- especially if they land in an hard-to-access area in bad weather where assistance can take days to get through.” [Read More...]

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Tags: Helicopter Crashes Helicopter Survival Gear
Categories: categorySafety categoryTraining



Apr
03
2017

Line-Oriented Flight Training

Posted by jhadmin

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. He was an airline transport pilot with more than 5,000 hours in the aircraft. He wasn’t new to instrument flying, having logged hundreds of hours of actual instrument time using NVGs in a Blackhawk working for the Drug Enforcement Administration in Colombia. Luckily, this “flight” took place in a $14 million, Level D, full-motion Bell 412 flight simulator in Dubai that I was operating as a flight simulator instructor, flight examiner, and CRM assessor for Abu Dhabi Aviation. To test my pilot’s hand-flying skills, I had given him an autopilot failure on downwind, which caused him to have to fly the machine into dark nothingness. Because I have seen several experienced pilots “lose it” in the sim, it’s caused me to come to the realization of how important it is to have a plan of action before one does go into inadvertent instrument meteorological conditions (IIMC). This brings me to the topic of line-oriented flight training, or LOFT. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Safety Line - Oriented Flight Training LOFT
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety



Mar
20
2017

Facebook Flyers - You thought texting was bad!

Posted by jhadmin

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. The ground portion of the exam was going well as we proceeded into the performance planning portion of the scenario. We were a little over an hour into the exam, so I offered the applicant an opportunity for a short break. He accepted and proceeded to step outside. After a few minutes, I decided to walk to the FBO for a cup of coffee. As I walked outside, the applicant was holding his phone up with a selfie stick to conduct a live video on social media about the exam. To my surprise, he decided it was a good idea to turn the camera in my direction and introduce me into his video efforts. I waved in the direction of the camera and kept walking. To be clear, I was now getting annoyed by this activity. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining



Mar
01
2017

Advances in Helicopter Simulation

Posted by jhadmin

The field of aviation training devices and simulators is an ever evolving and interesting area. As expenses increase in so many sectors of the rotorcraft industry, devices (which don’t move) and simulators (capable of motion) help contain training and certification costs. [NOTE: In this article, the terms “sim” and “simulation” are used at times to collectively refer to both types of trainers.] Sims can create flight scenarios that are too dangerous to duplicate in actual aircraft, and make practicing other procedures safer. For example, more fatal training accidents occur practicing autorotations than any other skill. Simulation for such scenarios can save lives. Basic aviation training devices (BATDs) and advanced aviation training devices (AATDs) are now so affordable that primary flight schools have embraced using them to teach instruments, navigation, systems, and emergency procedures. Until the introduction and acceptance of these devices, these schools simply could not afford to acquire high-end flight training devices or full flight simulators. Simulation is governed by two FAA groupings: those that fall under the authority of AFS-205 National Simulator Program, and those that are governed by AFS-810 General Aviation and Commercial Division. [Read More...]

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Tags: Helicopter Simulation
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety categoryHelicopter Sectors



Feb
21
2017

WHAT IS AIRWORTHY?

Posted by jhadmin

Ever wonder how many times you signed your name and A&P number after the word “airworthy.” For me, it’s in the thousands. So, how does a mechanic define it? For some, the definition is rigid: the aircraft must be in like-new condition with a pristine record trail. For others, it’s a gray area of personal decision, defined by an aircraft’s use, age, and regulatory compliance. Regardless of interpretation, the airworthy condition of an aircraft is the core function of a mechanic. Yet, an official FAA definition of this fundamental word is lacking within our maintenance regulations and guidance material. Let’s try to find one. The Basics Numerous articles, papers, and FAA documents offer various descriptions of airworthy. The common accepted version today requires an aircraft to conform to its type design and to be in a condition for safe operation. Looking to the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), essential terms and their definitions are usually given at the beginning of a chapter, part, or section, along with an applicability clause. FAR Part 1, Definitions and Abbreviations, applies to “Subchapters A through K of this chapter,” so it seems it would be a logical place to find a definition for airworthy, since our Part 43 falls under Subchapter C. Unfortunately, the definition is not listed in FAR Part 1, or Part 43, or Part 65 for that matter. Given its significance, you would think airworthy, or airworthiness, would have its own part in the FARs. [Read More...]

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Tags: Helicopter Airworthiness Helicopter Maintenance Helicopter Mechanics
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety categoryRegulatory



Jan
30
2017

Sully, Welcome to our World

Posted by jhadmin

A 15 September 2016 article in The New York Times titled “‘Miracle on the Hudson’ Safety Advice Not Carried Out,” had these sobering words: In the seven years since an airline pilot saved 155 lives by ditching his crippled airliner in the Hudson River, there's been enough time to write a book and make a movie, but apparently not enough to carry out most of the safety recommendations stemming from the accident. Of the 35 recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board in response to the incident involving US Airways Flight 1549, only six have been heeded.” The airline pilot referred to is, of course, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who recently sounded a similar refrain on his Facebook page: “I’m very disappointed so many of the important safety recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board after Flight 1549 have not yet been mandated by the FAA. Unless the FAA mandates safety improvements, airlines historically will not adopt them. We owe it to everyone who flies to act on what is learned from accidents, often at great cost in lives lost, instead of just filing it away to gather dust while we await the next accident.” [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categorySafety categoryTraining


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