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Tag: Randy Mains




Aug
05
2019

Know Your Aircraft - My Two Cents Worth

Posted by jhadmin

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...]



Tags: crm My Two Cents Worth Randy Mains
Categories: categoryTraining



Aug
06
2018

Best Unit in the World - My Two Worth - Randy Mains

Posted by jhadmin

A gentleman on my professional Facebook page, claimed a certain unit was “the best aviation unit in the world.” While we pilots often make strong claims, I got to thinking: What criteria would qualify a unit to be considered one of the best in the world? Naturally, I immediately thought about the unit I served with in Vietnam from October 1968 to October 1969. We were the Black Widows of Charlie Company assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. I was Black Widow 25. When I arrived we were based at LZ Sally, 7 kilometers northwest of Hue. Several months later we moved to the air base at Hue Phu Bai. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Crews Helicopter Safety Helicopter Units My Two Cents Worth Randy Mains
Categories: categoryHuman Interest categoryOpinion-Editorial



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



Sep
19
2017

Are You A Good Role Model - My Two Cents - Randy Mains

Posted by jhadmin

About a year ago a pilot attending one of my 5-day CRM Instructor courses asked me, “Have you seen this?” He played a YouTube clip that made my blood turn to ice. Michael Farikh, a highly respected Russian pilot who accomplished many great things for civilian helicopter aviation in his country, posted it. One article published just after his death called Farikh “The godfather of Russian helicopter aviation.” The clip the person showed me was entitled “Pilot Flies Helicopter into Clouds.” Farikh posted several similar clips, “Whiteout—What’s That?” and “Human Limitations—IMC Auto,” all equally chilling to me. In the initial clip, “Pilot Flies Helicopter into Clouds,” Farikh purposefully enters IMC conditions in a Robinson then covers up some of his flight instruments until he’s flying on partial panel. I witnessed very experienced ATP pilots lose spatial orientation in similar conditions in the Level-D simulator I operated in Dubai. That is why while watching Farikh’s videos I could not suppress a deep sense of dark foreboding. [Read More...]



Tags: Crew Resource Management Helicopter Safety Training My Two Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety



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



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



Jan
30
2017

Sully, Welcome to our World

Posted by jhadmin

A 15 September 2016 article in The New York Times titled “‘Miracle on the Hudson’ Safety Advice Not Carried Out,” had these sobering words: In the seven years since an airline pilot saved 155 lives by ditching his crippled airliner in the Hudson River, there's been enough time to write a book and make a movie, but apparently not enough to carry out most of the safety recommendations stemming from the accident. Of the 35 recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board in response to the incident involving US Airways Flight 1549, only six have been heeded.” The airline pilot referred to is, of course, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who recently sounded a similar refrain on his Facebook page: “I’m very disappointed so many of the important safety recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board after Flight 1549 have not yet been mandated by the FAA. Unless the FAA mandates safety improvements, airlines historically will not adopt them. We owe it to everyone who flies to act on what is learned from accidents, often at great cost in lives lost, instead of just filing it away to gather dust while we await the next accident.” [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categorySafety categoryTraining



Dec
05
2016

Trouble with autos.... Seriously?

Posted by jhadmin

Trouble with autos. Seriously? When I flew for the Royal Oman Police, the British, Scottish, and Australian pilots I had the pleasure to fly with had a lovely saying. Whenever they wanted to convey an idea, but wanted you to know that you may already know it, they would preface their statement by saying, “Now, I don’t want to teach Granny to suck eggs but….” Similarly, I certainly don’t want to tell you something you may already know, but to my great amazement it seems there is ‘some problem’ with how pilots execute autorotations, which to me is an easy but fundamental maneuver. So, at the risk of “teaching Granny to suck eggs,” please indulge me while I offer my 2 cents’ worth on the subject that has served me well over the years. At the same time, I apologize if you already practice autorotations in the way I will describe. [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categorySafety categoryTraining



May
16
2016

My Two Cents - Voice for the Voiceless

Posted by jhadmin

It certainly wasn’t my intention to be on drugs when I addressed FAA regulators at the “Meet the FAA Regulators” session at HAI Heli-Expo 2014. Two hours prior to that talk, I literally couldn’t walk. My back suddenly went out causing excruciating lower back pain, something that occurs every three years or so due to years of competitive tennis and decades in the cockpit. Still, I needed to tell the regulators that they missed a real opportunity to draft meaningful new rules to stop the unacceptable HEMS accident rate. Throwing a mix of over-the-counter painkillers down my throat, I gingerly made my way to the convention center. [Read More...]



Tags: ems Randy Mains
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categorySafety



Jan
04
2016

My Two Cents - Electronic Flight Bag...Yeah, in My Dreams

Posted by jhadmin

Occasionally fate (sometimes luck) steps in to break a link in an error chain, serving to protect us from ourselves. That’s what happened to me in August 1974 while ferrying a Hughes 300C 300 miles, from McArthur River Cattle Station in the Northern Territory of Australia to Mt. Isa, for the aircraft’s scheduled 100-hour inspection. I’d been flying over parched, featureless landscape for 30 minutes; each minute becoming more and more perplexed because nothing I saw outside fit my woefully inadequate map. [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest


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