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...]
Helicopter Confined Area operations
helicopter lateral recovery technique
Helicopter Vuichard Recovery
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...]
Competency Based Training
Helicopter Safety Studies
Helicopter Spatial Disorentation
Pre-Flight Risk Asssessment
US Helicopter Safety Team
At the tender age of five Patric Wells was moving milk and pop bottles from his father’s Stratford, Ontario retail food store to a nearby storage building for 5 cents an hour. That’s quite a young age to join the business world, but it provided the foundation for his success today. “I guess it gives a kid a good work ethic, because I still work hard every day,” Wells relates.
Wells doesn’t have to prove his continuing work ethic; knowing that he operates four businesses simultaneously is enough. Combined, they offer a full range of services to customers seeking to buy or lease a helicopter and mold it to fit their precise needs.
East West Helicopter Inc. (EWH) based in Harrison, Ohio has supported the helicopter industry for more than four decades, providing maintenance, parts sales, helicopter sales and leasing. Panterra Heli Support Ltd (PHSL) based in Beamsville, Ontario, provides MRO, heavy maintenance, avionics integration, engineering, custom paint and other customizations, completions, one-off configurations, and field support for existing leases. NS Air Leasing and Borderline Air expand upon the sales and leasing aspect of the group, especially the Airbus product line. [Read More...]
East West Helicopter
Panterra Heli Support
Airbus Helicopters Inc. based in Grand Prairie, Texas, is the U.S. division of a global company that has adopted an effective way to ride out the current downturn in helicopter sales: Revamp everything to put customers first.
In doing so, Airbus Helicopters Inc. is aiming to be the rotorcraft company that customers think of first, because they like the way their needs are courteously and quickly addressed by Airbus Helicopters Inc.: Every. Single.Time.
Putting Airbus Helicopters Inc. first in customers’ minds is a smart strategy, given how competitive the last few years have been for new helicopter sales. Slumping oil prices and other economic factors have substantially reduced the demand for new helicopter purchases. Meanwhile, the contraction of the oil & gas sector has resulted in affordable used helicopters flooding the market.
Future prospects for new helicopter sales are not encouraging, according to Honeywell. In its 19th annual "Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook" that was released in March 2017, Honeywell predicted that 3,900 to 4,400 civilian-use helicopters will be delivered from 2017 to 2021—roughly 400 helicopters lower than in its 2016 5-year forecast. [Read More...]
Airbus HCare Customer Support
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...]
Best of Helicopter Industry
“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...]
Air Evac Lifeteam
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...]
Helicopter gel batteries
Helicopter lead batteries
helicopter nickel-cadmium batteries
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...]
Law Enforcement Pilots
meet a rotorcraft pro
Professional Helicopter Pilots
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...]
Helicopter Hurricane Rescues
Hurricane Recovery Helicopter
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...]
Helicopter airport landings
helicopter airport operations
helicopters and runways