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Articles for category Safety




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
11
2017

Not All Twins Are Alike - My Two Cents - Randy Mains

Posted by jhadmin

“But all twins are not alike”, I said to the air medical flight doctor who is very keen to make it mandatory that all air medical programs in America operate twin-engine helicopters. He replied, “I wasn’t aware of that.” So, what are the differences? It all has to do with the weight-to-horsepower ratio of the machine and the ability to either land safely on one engine or fly away. Helicopters are categorized by the FAA as Performance Class 1, 2 or 3. Performance Class 1 is defined as those helicopters with performance such that, in the event of failure of the critical power unit, the helicopter is able to land within the rejected take-off distance available or safely continue the flight to an appropriate landing area, depending on when the failure occurs. To be operated in Performance Class 1, a helicopter must be certified in Category A, which is a design requirement meaning it must be equipped with at least two engines, and also have a certain number of safety-related equipment items, as well as redundant backup for control, lubrication, etc. Category A helicopters must offer the performance needed to guarantee that, in case of an engine failure, the flight can continue safely. 
 Under Performance Class 1 conditions, the helicopter can manage the failure of one of its two engines at any given moment while maintaining satisfactory safety criteria, especially during the takeoff or landing phases.

 [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Safety My 2 Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categorySafety



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



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
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



Dec
05
2016

Trouble with autos.... Seriously?

Posted by jhadmin

Trouble with autos. Seriously? When I flew for the Royal Oman Police, the British, Scottish, and Australian pilots I had the pleasure to fly with had a lovely saying. Whenever they wanted to convey an idea, but wanted you to know that you may already know it, they would preface their statement by saying, “Now, I don’t want to teach Granny to suck eggs but….” Similarly, I certainly don’t want to tell you something you may already know, but to my great amazement it seems there is ‘some problem’ with how pilots execute autorotations, which to me is an easy but fundamental maneuver. So, at the risk of “teaching Granny to suck eggs,” please indulge me while I offer my 2 cents’ worth on the subject that has served me well over the years. At the same time, I apologize if you already practice autorotations in the way I will describe. [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categorySafety categoryTraining



Dec
05
2016

Post-Maintenance Preflight - Take a Closer Look

Posted by jhadmin

Prior to the flight portion of an FAA exam, the applicant will be tested on their knowledge and ability to conduct a preflight on the aircraft being tested. It is imperative that a pilot understand the systems of the aircraft they plan to operate. The ability to determine airworthiness can only be accomplished when the pilot has adequate knowledge of their aircraft and knows what to look for (normal vs. abnormal) during the preflight process. A few weeks ago, I was picking up an aircraft that had just completed a heavy maintenance inspection. Many of the aircraft’s flight components had been removed, overhauled, and reinstalled. Before I conduct an operational check flight (OCF), I like to establish a personal relationship with the maintenance staff working on the aircraft. Having conducted many post-maintenance OCFs, I’ve grown accustomed to the nuances of maintenance technicians and appreciate that each maintenance facility’s processes and procedures may differ. In the case of the aircraft in question, I did not know all of the mechanics. The main gearbox and rotorhead was completed by a mechanic new to the facility. Since this situation occurs often within our industry, it gave me no great concern; I had faith and trust in the quality assurance process of the system. [Read More...]



Tags: Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety


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