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Articles for category Opinion-Editorial




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



Jul
31
2017

Adaptability is Key: The Invisible Hand

Posted by jhadmin

I’ve always felt the shapers of the American experiment from the late 1700s were not only exceptional, but brilliant thinkers. Their ideas and ideals still guide our success in the 21st century. Take Adam Smith for example and his theory of the “invisible hand.” Investopedia says: Smith’s theory of the invisible hand constitutes the basis of his belief that large-scale government intervention and regulation of the economy is neither necessary nor beneficial. Smith put forth the notion of the invisible hand in arguing that free individuals operating in a free economy, making decisions, primarily focused on their own self-interest, logically take actions that result in benefiting society as a whole even though such beneficial results were not the specific focus or intent of those actions. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Law Enforcement Helicopter UAV's
Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryOpinion-Editorial



Jul
17
2017

Tiger Tugs Moves Toward the Future AND in Any Direction

Posted by jhadmin

What do you do when a friend asks you to build a helicopter tug for his aircraft? Well, the answer seemed quite simple for Steve Hill: he started Tiger Tugs. Hill had a company that specialized in airplane tugs, so when he received the request for the helicopter tug he felt it was a natural expansion. Hill asked his friend about existing tugs on the market and why he didn’t purchase one already available. His friend listed all the faults of existing tugs. Hill went on a road trip to visit helicopter companies and mechanics to find out what worked and what did not. He returned with a plethora of information. So, his tug design began with the recommendations of the rotorcraft pros he surveyed on the road. Once Hill and his team felt they had a product ready to debut in 2010, Hill started going to industry trade shows to promote his new Tiger Tug. At the first show, he walked away with two new orders. [Read More...]

Bell-206-and-Typhoon-photo.jpg  EC130-tigertug-photo.jpg  EC135-and-controller-photo.jpg  From-left-to-right-is-Tyler-Journey,-Ed-Light,-Steve-Hill-and-Derik-Sprando..jpg  Lukota-and-tug-military-photo.jpg  TigerTigs_heli-saddle.jpg  tugs-photo-2.jpg  tugs-photo-4.jpg  Typhoon-photo-1.jpg 

Tags: Helicopter Tugs Tiger Tugs
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryCompany Profiles



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



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
12
2017

PRATT & WHITNEY CANADA’S IRENE MAKRIS: A SUCCESSFUL RUN

Posted by jhadmin

Every second, a Pratt & Whitney Canada powered aircraft takes off or lands somewhere in the world. When listening to Irene Makris discuss the aviation industry from a 30,000-foot overview, as her discourse periodically dives down into details, one gets the distinct impression that the Pratt & Whitney Canada vice president of marketing well knows where each of those takeoffs and landings in the last few minutes occurred. Still, Makris stays on-message with clear, direct answers, befitting an executive with the requisite resume that gives one the opportunity to earn such senior responsibility: an engineering degree, an MBA, engineering, quality auditing, and service and operational experience at Honeywell and GE, maintenance, repair and overhaul program management, supply chain management, vice president of supply chain, and an extensive breadth of knowledge gained while serving as executive assistant to the president of Pratt & Whitney Canada. Yet, despite those business bona fides, Irene Makris began as, and remains, an engineer at heart: studying pure and applied science in college prior to her engineering degree at McGill University in Montreal. Makris recalls when her enthusiasm grew for the engineering side of her alma mater’s campus. “I wasn’t totally convinced I wanted to major in mechanical engineering. My brother was in engineering at McGill. He was making things fly, building and powering cars, and designing bicycles. It fascinated me. Engineering became my passion and I stuck with it.” [Read More...]



Tags: Pratt & Whitney Canada
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles 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
30
2017

A Tremor in the Force

Posted by jhadmin

On December 22, 2016 a State District Court judge in Austin upheld a ruling, giving the State of Texas the right to regulate fees paid to air ambulances for transporting patients covered by Workers' Compensation Insurance. On the surface it doesn’t look like that ruling affects the American HAA (Helicopter Air Ambulance) industry, but it could prove to change the fabric of the industry. The ruling has the potential to create a negative ripple effect in our industry, if successfully argued and used as a precedent in other State class-action lawsuits currently filed against for-profit HAA providers. Air medical companies have legally operated under the umbrella of the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act. This Act was originally crafted to remove government control of airfares as a way to promote healthy competition. This gave the consumer a choice of which airline they patronize based on a price they would be willing to pay. Air ambulance patients do not have a choice -- and are not told what the air ambulance company will charge until after the transport, which is the core of the legal argument. In July 2015, over a dozen clients in Oklahoma City were billed thousands of dollars for an air ambulance transport. The clients asked a judge to certify a lawsuit as a class action, naming several air ambulance companies in that suit. The claim: “They’re making profit margins [of] in excess of 750%, huge profit margins they’re trying to get from the average public.” [Read More...]



Tags: HAA My Two Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categoryRegulatory categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryOpinion-Editorial


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