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Feb
05
2018

My Two Cents - Integrity: Your Biggest Asset

Posted by jhadmin

When I speak to new pilots in the industry at HeliSuccess in Las Vegas, I stress the importance of maintaining one’s integrity and recount the most impactful decision I ever made. Following my moral compass, would mean losing my job and potentially destroy a dream I’d had for 10 years—flying a helicopter in Southern California. The crossroads came in March 1980 when I was flying for Rocky Mountain Helicopters on a HEMS program out of Lincoln Hospital in Phoenix. My former Army buddy, Joe Sulak, and I were temporarily on contract waiting to learn if Rocky would win the bid against Evergreen helicopters to land the University of California-San Diego Life Flight contract. We were told we would set up the program if they got the contract. Then the rug got pulled. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Safety My Two Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining categorySafety categoryOpinion-Editorial



Jan
29
2018

The Vuichard Recovery What’s all the hype?

Posted by jhadmin

A student I was training for a night vision goggle (NVG) instructor course was tasked to teach a segment on confined area operations. The student lesson plan included settling-with-power as a consideration when conducting confined area operations. The scenario I provided for the student was that this confined area operation would be conducted at night using NVGs. The recovery technique the student selected to teach was the Vuichard Recovery, which is a lateral recovery method that provides a more expeditious recovery with minimal altitude loss. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Confined Area operations helicopter lateral recovery technique helicopter training Helicopter Vuichard Recovery settling-with-power
Categories: categorySafety categoryTraining



Jan
29
2018

6 Ways That Helicopter Instructors Can Save Lives

Posted by jhadmin

After analyzing dozens of helicopter accidents that resulted in fatalities for pilots and passengers, the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (www.USHST.org) has uncovered six focus areas where flight instructors can improve safety in the helicopter industry. The facts show that failure in these areas has resulted in lives being lost. [Read More...]



Tags: Competency Based Training Helicopter Autorotations Helicopter Safety Helicopter Safety Studies Helicopter Spatial Disorentation IHST Pre-Flight Risk Asssessment US Helicopter Safety Team USHST
Categories: categorySafety categoryTraining



Nov
14
2017

Becoming A Good Role Model - My Two Cents - Randy Mains

Posted by jhadmin

Mr. Philip Carey sent me the following email after reading my last column titled “Are You a Good Role Model?” in the July/Aug. issue of Rotorcraft Pro where I discussed ‘The GoPro Set’ purposefully flying into the clouds as if trying to prove something to themselves and others. I found Mr. Carey’s story compelling in that we can all learn from his experience. Here is what he wrote: Randy, your article struck a nerve in me because of an incident that nearly caused me to lose my life recently in an OH 58 flying from Orlando to Sarasota. Looking back, my actions were selfish and dangerous and could have deprived my 5-year-old of her daddy and my wife the tragic loss of her husband. I’d checked the TAF/METAR for Orlando, Lakeland Regional, and Sarasota and noted there was broken mist that seemed to be clearing and Sarasota was clear. After I took off it immediately became apparent the mist was thickening. I soon I found myself VFR on top. I remember being a little perturbed by the mist but I was comforted by the fact I had selected an altitude that kept me clear of obstacles and I was referencing the Garmin 696 regularly. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter IMC Helicopter Safety Helicopter VMC
Categories: categorySafety categoryOpinion-Editorial



Nov
14
2017

Word on the Street - A safety message from NEMSPA - Primary Aircraft to Backup Aircraft

Posted by jhadmin

Considering the complexities of the air medical industry, completely removing all risk is a challenge. The road to progress, if not traveled in a deliberate manner, could lead to bad outcomes—this industry has seen far too many outcomes of that type. Although many factors can lead to bad outcomes in HAA, some unfortunate events can be attributed to the very thing that gives our industry its name—helicopters. They are labor-intensive machines that have regularly scheduled maintenance. However, from time to time well-maintained helicopters simply break. Pilots spend most of their time in one primary aircraft. When maintenance issues dictate, they swap to their backup aircraft. Herein lies the problem. [Read More...]



Tags: HAA Helicopter air ambulance helicopter backup aircraft Helicopter EMS helicopter primary aircraft Helicopter Rescue Helicopter Safety nemspa Word on the Street
Categories: categorySafety categoryHelicopter Sectors



Oct
16
2017

Ten Lessons Learned From Hurricane Harvey

Posted by jhadmin

The following is a sidebar of Rotorcraft Pro's story on Hurricanes Hit - Helicopters Rise that outlines ten valuable lessons learned from the first responders that were on the ground in the days following Hurricane Harvey. 1. Think about roles and responsibilities in advance, and put safety first. “People can get into these disasters…and they start to take risks they wouldn’t take elsewhere,” Tom Baldwin, Air Evac Lifeteam safety manager said. Put an immediate stop to any of that. Debrief after every shift. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter First Responders Helicopter Rescue Hurricane Harvey Helicopters
Categories: categorySafety categoryHelicopter Sectors



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

Your Risky Business: Pushing for More Safety Management

Posted by jhadmin

WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team has completed its comprehensive analysis of the root causes of fatal accidents and has developed 22 measurable safety enhancements aimed at reducing fatalities. The 22 safety enhancements can be grouped into four categories: [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Safety USHST
Categories: 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


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