In 1982, offensive lineman Dave Schreck was coming to the end of his college football career. His team had gone 8-5 and beat Vanderbilt University in a bowl game. It was the first winning season in over ten years at the Air Force Academy and the team not only beat Army and Navy to win the coveted Commander in Chief’s trophy for the first time, but also scored their first victory ever over a ranked Notre Dame team. Schreck finished the year being inducted First Team All-WAC (Western Athletic Conference) selection—and was also one of ten players nationwide selected for a scholarship by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. He garnered these athletic and academic accolades not at some “football factory” school, but at The United States Air Force Academy. Now, that’s noteworthy.
His success both on—and off—the field at the Colorado Springs academy would open up a new world in a coming Air Force and corporate career for the young cadet who hailed from the quaint town of Coon Rapids, Iowa. “My goal was not to get out of small-town Iowa. I loved small-town life and where I grew up, but the Air Force Academy opened a new set of doors for me that I never knew existed. Looking back on the chain of events that started with my graduation from there just amazes me—the Air Force gave me so many opportunities,” Schreck says. “For example, I never dreamed I’d work in the White House, but the Air Force gave me that opportunity. I’ve traveled to all 50 states in my career, as well as over 25 countries. Up until age 17 my sphere of travel was limited to states adjacent to Iowa.” [Read More...]
Rotorcraft Pro Executive Watch
There are some helicopter search and rescue (SAR) missions that are just impossible.
A prime example of this was the crash of a Dehavilland DHC-2 ‘Beaver’ on Alaska’s Thunder Mountain on 4 August 2018. Flown by Rust’s Flying Service, the sightseeing plane had one pilot and four tourists onboard when it accidentally turned into a high-hanging glacier in Denali National Park.
At 1,800 hours, the pilot managed to get a satellite call to Rust’s Flying Service; asking for help before contact was lost. After many reconnection attempts, the pilot was reached once more. He reported being trapped in the wreckage with two possible fatalities onboard. Then contact was lost.
The National Park Service (NPS) dispatched its AS-350 B3e high-altitude rescue helicopter from its base in Talkeetna to the crash location reported by the Beaver’s emergency transmitter. “We had no ability to get to the site at that time, since snowy, windy weather had settled onto the mountain,” said Nic Strohmeyer, an NPS aviation helicopter specialist. “So our SAR helicopter had to return to base.” [Read More...]
helicopter search and rescue
Several times a year, I’ll field a question about aircraft records. Not the Chuck Yeager type, but those binders, stacks, or sometimes just boxes of documents and paper products that record the maintenance performed on an aircraft.
The specific topic may vary a bit, but one topic that continually repeats itself concerns the FAA required format for these records. While there is FAA guidance on the content and form for each maintenance entry made into these records, there is no mandated format, i.e. physical form, on which that entry should be written. [Read More...]
FAA Advisory Circular 43-9C
FAA Maintenance Records
Becker Avionics has been innovating high-quality products since 1945 when Max Egon Becker created his first aircraft radio receiver. Within three years, he was building luxury car radios for Mercedes.
“Max was a great innovator and great thinker,” Becker Avionics USA President Luis Gonzales related. “He had a passion both for automotive racing and flying.”
Becker’s focus on the general aviation market, especially gliders, naturally led to equipment attributes that all pilots desire. “It required them to build light equipment that was very reliable,” explained Lee Benson, a senior consultant for Becker USA. “That continues in the ethos of Becker today.”
Becker remains a high-tech family company, now under the direction of Max’s son, Roland, with a focus on digital avionics technology. It creates and manufactures communications, navigation, surveillance and search-and-rescue equipment for general aviation, air traffic control, law enforcement, and military operations throughout the world. “He took the company to that next level,” Gonzales said. [Read More...]
helicopter navigation systems
helicopter search and rescue
“Lyn, when making a decision to accept a flight, I want you to place no more value on the patient than you would a sack of crap.” My response, “Huh? Wait . . . what? Can you say that again?” [Read More...]
Rotorcraft Pro Editor's Letter
I gave a CRM class at a helicopter air medical flight program recently and something occurred that reminded me why it’s imperative that pilots know their aircraft.
The incident happened when I was given a tour of the hospital’s aircraft by the program director and one of the pilots on duty who was a former Black Hawk pilot in the Army. The aircraft looked brand new and I could see it had everything a pilot could ask for to help them while flying in VMC or IMC conditions. [Read More...]
My Two Cents Worth
Transitioning into the civilian world is stressful for everyone, and this stress causes apprehension and procrastination about preparing for your transition. While others may passively wait for change to happen, or actively avoid change until the last minute, the best strategy is to control your future, which will help reduce stress as a side effect. Feelings you may have about your transition are not yours alone, everyone that has transitioned before you, myself included, have had these feelings. Everyone feels stress during transition; even those that have everything lined up for them feel some sort of stress. Some of the most obvious causes of stress are loss of identity and loss of structure. [Read More...]
Mil2Civ Helicopter Group
Military to Civilian Transition
Given all the attention being paid to drones these days, one might think that they are all that is happening in law enforcement rotorcraft aviation.
This isn’t the case. Yes, drones are a big trend in law enforcement aviation, but they aren’t the only trend. Here’s what else is going on, based on what law enforcement aviation officers, and equipment suppliers are telling us. [Read More...]
Enhanced Vision System
Helicopter Glass Cockpits
Law Enforcement Aviation
Night Vision Goggles
“Screw Plan B!” exclaims HAA pilot Markus Siebert.
Those are not words commonly uttered by a pilot who must have backup contingencies in mind for the unexpected. But Siebert is no common pilot. In addition to being an HAA pilot in Berlin, he’s also the managing director and founder of HeliEFB, a 21st century technology startup that helps helicopter pilots and operators cut through 20th century paperwork, by using an intuitive iPad app as an electronic flight bag.
First, let’s quickly put his ‘screwy’ quote in context before one gets the mistaken impression that the thoughtful German entrepreneur is an aggressive “Red Baron” von Richthofen. Siebert wasn’t referring to flying, but rather giving sound advice. “If I was going to give someone career advice, it would be that you should find your passion and try to work in that area. Your chance of succeeding will be much greater if you’re doing something that you’re passionate about. It should be your sole focus. Arnold Schwarzenegger once said that when you start developing a Plan B for when you don’t succeed, you’re losing focus on your first priority. You should not do that. It’s costing you time and energy. Screw Plan B! Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a Plan B, if something goes wrong in the cockpit, but when you’re trying to find a career, then go for it! Don’t say, “Well, I can also become this or that. No, you can’t; you’ll lose focus. If you want to become a pilot, then focus on being a pilot.” [Read More...]
Electronic flight bag
Helicopter Electronic flight bag
meet a rotorcraft pro
RPMN: What is your current position?
I’m senior pilot and company owner at Helivision LLC.
RPMN: Tell me about your first flight.
My first flight in a helicopter was 1969 in a U.S. Army TH-55 trainer at Fort Wolters, Texas.
RPMN: How did you get your start in helicopters?
It began when I joined the Army in 1968. I qualified for the Warrant Officer Helicopter Pilot program. It was the first time I knew what I wanted to do: Fly. My parents were supportive as any good parents would be. Up to then, my schooling was preparing me to become a pharmacist, like my father. With their support and blessing, my path to becoming a pilot began. After basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, I traveled to the U.S. Army’s primary helicopter pilot training facility at Fort Wolters. [Read More...]
meet a rotorcraft pro