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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
12
2017

Maintaining Helicopter Batteries

Posted by jhadmin

Maintenance of helicopters’ onboard batteries is a critical function and it is structured on the basis of their component maintenance manuals. However, the knowledge of industry practitioners on how to accomplish onboard batteries related maintenance tasks sometimes is limited only to what is available in maintenance manuals. To inform professionals involved in helicopter maintenance, we reached out to experts in the field and identified a few factors to consider when performing and managing maintenance on these critical components. [Read More...]

BatteryMaintenance_Bell505_Install_TrueBlueTB17_LithiumIon_Sidebar.jpg  BatteryMaintenance_Bell505.jpg  BatteryMaintenance_Concorde_BatteryCluster_01.jpg  BatteryMaintenance_ConcordeList_DesignElement.jpg  BatteryMaintenance_In_Helicopter.jpg  BatteryMaintenance_R44_Install_TrueBlueTB17_LithiumIon_Sidebar.jpg 

Tags: Helicopter Batteries Helicopter gel batteries Helicopter lead batteries Helicopter Maintenance helicopter nickel-cadmium batteries Helicopter performance
Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors



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
27
2017

From the Desk of the Editor - Three Hurricanes. Helicopters Respond. Lives Change.

Posted by jhadmin

In late August, the Rotorcraft Pro team was diligently working on the feature articles for this issue you are reading. Though every story involved helicopters, none had anything to do with hurricanes. Then storm history occurred on what seemed like a Biblical scale. I watched in shock from the safety of my Florida office the heart-breaking images coming out of the Houston, Texas, region in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Upon dumping a record 51 inches of rain on the area, massive flooding left tens of thousands of citizens trapped and in need of rescue. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Hurricane Rescues Helicopter Rescue Hurricane Recovery Helicopter
Categories: categoryHuman Interest categoryHelicopter Sectors



Nov
20
2017

Helicopters and Airports: Can We Land Anywhere?

Posted by jhadmin

I was talking to a local helicopter pilot that had recently obtained his private pilot helicopter certificate. We were chatting about his experience during his checkride. He said, “I was surprised that the DPE asked so many questions on airport signage when we’re able to land just about anywhere on the airport.” That comment caused me to to pause and consider: Is his perception of helicopter operations at airports accurate? [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter airport landings helicopter airport operations helicopters and runways Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining categoryRegulatory



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



Nov
07
2017

Hurricane Irma Can't Keep Bayflite Down

Posted by jhadmin

As with everything else in the Sunshine State, Hurricane Irma temporarily benched west-central Florida’s Bayflite air ambulance service. It wasn’t just the unflyable hurricane-force winds that grounded Bayflite’s three H135s. Irma’s unpredictable storm path also kept this air medical service (AMS) and its parent company Air Methods guessing as they tried to prepare for the storm. “Well in advance of Irma’s landfall, Air Methods set up an emergency operations/control flight center in Fort Myers (also in west-central Florida) at its LeeFlight base,” said Matt Turner, Air Methods’ area manager for Central Florida. Air Methods used the LeeFlight AMS base to stage resources brought in from outside of Florida, for deployment in the state pre-storm and post-storm. A fixed-wing Pilatus aircraft was also brought in to help transport patients before Irma hit. “Irma then turned west and was headed directly at us, so our regional leadership quickly decided to change direction even as we were in the middle of implementing our plan,” said Turner. “So we evacuated all our local assets, because no-one knew whether Irma was going to go up the east coast, west coast, or right up the middle of the state.” [Read More...]

Bayflite_BackofAmbulance.jpg  Bayflite_BayfrontHospitalPad.jpg  Bayflite_Cockpit.jpg  Bayflite_CrewLunchTable.jpg  Bayflite_LandingZone.jpg  Bayflite_OverDowntown2.jpg  Bayflite_SceneCall_Enroute.jpg  Bayflite_SceneCall_PatienTransfer.jpg  Bayflite_SpecialtyTeam_IsoletteLoad.jpg  Bayflite_SpecialtyTeam_Overhead.jpg  Bayflite_StJosephs_HospitalPad.jpg 

Tags: Air Medical Service Air Methods Bayflite Air Ambulance H135 Helicopters and Hurricane Irma
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles



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


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