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Articles for category Opinion-Editorial




Feb
12
2018

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Michael Cochran

Posted by jhadmin

RPMN: If you could give only one piece of advice to a new helicopter pilot, what would it be? The helicopter industry is a small community and your reputation will follow you as a pilot. My best advice is always be honest and professional. If you make a mistake such as over-torquing the aircraft, cause a little hanger rash, or overfly an inspection, admit your mistake and live to fly another day. Don’t try to hide it or not report it. Even the smallest lie will have your peers second guessing your integrity and it will likely follow you your entire aviation career. I have seen and read about pilots getting fired just because they did not report something or lied about it. If they were upfront and honest in the first place, they would have kept their job. Everyone makes mistakes. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter EMS Helicopter Pilots meet a rotorcraft pro Michael Cochran
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest



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
08
2018

Best of Industry 2017

Posted by jhadmin

While the Southeastern U.S. was being inundated with record hurricane floodwaters during the fall of 2017, record-breaking wildfires were torching California’s Wine Country. More than one million acres burned this year in California. The “October Fire Siege” fanned by Diablo Winds in Northern California constituted the deadliest series of wildfires in the state’s history, killing 43 people. The infernos torched at least 8,900 structures and 245,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of more than 100,000 people. As many as 11,000 firefighters were battling 21 major blazes in an area nearly one-third the size of Rhode Island. Insured property damage totaled more than $3 billion, making them the costliest complex of wildfires in U.S. history. “I’ve never seen the utter devastation and destruction I saw around Santa Rosa and Napa,” said Barry Lloyd, helicopter program manager for Cal Fire (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection). “It was absolutely stunning.” This is coming from someone who has been a helicopter pilot for 52 years and fighting fire for 44 years. He flies one of Cal Fire’s 12 Type II Hueys. [Read More...]



Tags: Best of Helicopter Industry Helicopter Firefighting Helicopter Rescue
Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryOpinion-Editorial



Jan
02
2018

Executive Watch - Tony Bonham, Senior Director of Flight Operations at Air Evac Lifeteam

Posted by jhadmin

“Pilots concern me that are continuously bragging of all they have done, how well they can fly, and how great of a pilot they are. Actions speak louder than words, and I want to see professionalism and safety in the way they fly, as opposed to the words they speak.” says Tony Bonham. Bonham’s aviation career began while he was still in high school, and upon graduating he joined the Army to attend flight school. Due to a recruiter’s ignorance, Bonham didn’t fly through his service; instead he stayed on the ground as an air traffic controller in Savannah, Georgia. “I actually went into the Army to fly helicopters but once I got in I found out that my eyes were far too bad to pass the physical for flight school. My recruiter had a field artillery background and was not familiar with aviation requirements and apparently didn’t care enough to learn,” he remembers without bitterness. [Read More...]



Tags: a Air Evac Lifeteam Helicopter EMS helicopter haa Tony bonham
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest



Dec
04
2017

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Dwaine Parker

Posted by jhadmin

RPMN: Tell me about your first flight. My dad had arranged a helicopter flight with a company operating out of the Tampa International Airport for my 18th birthday. This company would fly around to all of the large banks in the Tampa Bay area and pick up the bank notes and other paper transactions. Since there was no Internet in those days, the quickest way to get the “goods” to the airport for an overnight flight was by helicopter. The pilot would hover over the roof of the bank and the guy in the back, known as the “hooker,” would use a long pole to snatch the bag off the top of a flagpole. My fate with helicopters was sealed at the conclusion of that flight. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Pilots Law Enforcement Pilots meet a rotorcraft pro Professional Helicopter Pilots
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest



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



Oct
30
2017

Executive Watch - DAVID MAST: CEO, Precision Aviation Group

Posted by jhadmin

Upon graduation, the young man came very close to working in banking and finance. “The guy that ran NationsBank in Dallas said something to me that really changed my career path. I was very outspoken back then, and he told me that in the corporate world, 50 percent of the job is political. He told me that if I wasn’t prepared to play that game, then banking and finance wasn’t the place for me. That struck me and I realized my heart was in aviation.” After Mast realized his plainspoken, direct nature wasn’t tailored for bankers in Brooks Brothers suits uttering politically correct bromides, he returned to his first love and to the company that had helped him pay his college bills. AvGroup’s Ed Tomberlin had a job for the returning graduate that required neither political maneuvering nor silk over-the-calf banking hosiery. Nevertheless, Mast was expected to wear clothes. “He offered me $2,000 a year more than my banking job and $500 so I could buy some clothes,” Mast chuckles. “Ed was truly a brilliant man and entrepreneur. I was fortunate to learn the ins and outs of the industry under his tutelage.” Yes, Mast found employment in an industry that he loved and that fit him better than banking. Parts and components don’t care what you say or wear. Aviation is all about “mission accomplished.” [Read More...]



Tags: AvGroup David Mast Helicopter MRO's Precision Aviation Group
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryCareer Development categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryCompany Profiles



Oct
09
2017

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Kalynn Hargis

Posted by jhadmin

RPMN: How did you get your start in helicopters? I began ground school just after my 19th birthday at a school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. By the end of that year, 2007, I had my private and was working on instrument/commercial. When that school filed for bankruptcy, I had a huge loan frozen on my credit while a lawsuit was in play. All training ceased until almost a year later when my dad offered to take out a private loan in his name as long as I paid it back monthly. The loan amount was a guess, of course, and then when I needed more, I maxed out whatever credit card I could get as well as paid out of pocket for whatever I could. So I worked my restaurant jobs at night and trained during the day. Finally I had my CFI/CFII and continued working in two restaurants until one was sufficient, then finally I was OK working full time as a pilot. [Read More...]



Tags: meet a rotorcraft pro
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest



Oct
02
2017

From the Desk of the Editor - Are Helo Pilots Flying to Greener Pastures?

Posted by jhadmin

Earlier this year, you may recall that I wrote about factors that may impact the pilot supply in 2017-2018. Those factors were: (1) policies of the incoming U.S. President, (2) oil prices, (3) retirements, and (4) the airlines. I went on to ask if the pilot shortage that we have been talking about for the last decade was finally here? So far it seems that the four factors mentioned have had shifting dynamics, which are having an impact on the industry. Whether that’s good or bad is yet to be determined. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Employment Helicopter Jobs Helicopter Pilot Shortage
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryOpinion-Editorial



Aug
14
2017

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Dale Owens

Posted by jhadmin

RPMN: How did you get your start in helicopters? My first flight was at age 13 in a Enstrom. I lived near Ft. Lauderdale International Airport and handed some tools to a guy working on his helicopter. He asked if I wanted a ride; I couldn't refuse that offer! Fast forward a few years I earned my fixed-wing rating at 17, and a couple of months later I received my gyroplane rating in a McCullogh J2. (Yes, it was made by the chainsaw company.) RPMN: When and how did you choose to fly helicopters? Or did they choose you? In 1987 I received a $2,500 grant to go to school. I had an interest in helicopters and was curious about their operation. I didn't intend to complete the course due to the expense ($130/hour) and I really had no need for a helicopter rating, however when the fund money was gone, I was having too much fun to quit, so I pulled out my credit card and exclaimed, “Let's do this!” [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Pilots Helicopter Professionals meet a rotorcraft pro
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest


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