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Sep
25
2017

Paperless Cockpit: A Slippery Slope for Instructors

Posted by jhadmin

During a recent Private Pilot examination, I asked the applicant to show me his planned cross-country route and associated planning documents. The applicant pulled out an iPad that was mounted to a kneeboard and said, “I’m ready!” As an opened-minded person, I was intrigued by the applicant’s quick study and preparedness for the task at hand. However, I was concerned the applicant hadn’t properly heard my request and restated that I desired to review all aspects of the pre-flight planning to include plotting the course, wind correction, etc. “Yes Sir” was the applicant’s reply. “I’m ready to go. It’s all right here” he said while holding up his iPad. The lack of materials the applicant had brought with him for the examination caught my attention. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Checkride helicopter training
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety



Sep
19
2017

Are You A Good Role Model - My Two Cents - Randy Mains

Posted by jhadmin

About a year ago a pilot attending one of my 5-day CRM Instructor courses asked me, “Have you seen this?” He played a YouTube clip that made my blood turn to ice. Michael Farikh, a highly respected Russian pilot who accomplished many great things for civilian helicopter aviation in his country, posted it. One article published just after his death called Farikh “The godfather of Russian helicopter aviation.” The clip the person showed me was entitled “Pilot Flies Helicopter into Clouds.” Farikh posted several similar clips, “Whiteout—What’s That?” and “Human Limitations—IMC Auto,” all equally chilling to me. In the initial clip, “Pilot Flies Helicopter into Clouds,” Farikh purposefully enters IMC conditions in a Robinson then covers up some of his flight instruments until he’s flying on partial panel. I witnessed very experienced ATP pilots lose spatial orientation in similar conditions in the Level-D simulator I operated in Dubai. That is why while watching Farikh’s videos I could not suppress a deep sense of dark foreboding. [Read More...]



Tags: Crew Resource Management Helicopter Safety Training My Two Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety



Sep
09
2017

NVG Operational Errors: 9 Common Mistakes Made by Operators

Posted by jhadmin

As the use of Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS) technology has continued to mature and grow throughout the helicopter industry, managers, pilots, and mechanics must be committed to supporting the entire NVG program both inside and outside the cockpit. Rotorcraft Pro asked several training experts in the night vision industry to point out the most common operational errors they see in the field so operators can enhance nighttime helicopter NVIS operations. Here are 9 operational areas that night vision experts Night Flight Concepts and Aviation Specialties Unlimited say could use consideration and improvement by operators and end users. [Read More...]



Tags: NVG
Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryTraining categorySafety



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...]

ImperialCountyR44_01_OpenerV1.2.jpg  ImperialCountyR44_02.JPG  ImperialCountyR44_03.JPG  ImperialCountyR44_04.JPG  ImperialCountyR44_05.JPG  ImperialCountyR44_07.JPG  ImperialCountyR44_08.JPG  ImperialCountyR44_09.JPG 

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...]

AfterCrash_01.jpg  AfterCrash_02.jpg  AfterCrash_03.jpg  AfterCrash_04.jpg  AfterCrash_05.jpg 

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


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