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Tag: Helicopter Safety




Oct
02
2018

Question for helicopter pilots: Why not fly higher?

Posted by jhadmin

Question for helicopter pilots: Why not fly higher? Every few years, I use this platform to push for change. One of my pet peeves and favorite topics to kick around involves the altitudes at which we fly our helicopters. The fiction writer, Tamara Cohen, once wrote: “People don't change. The world carries on spinning inexorably around but people don't spin with it. They dig their heels into the shifting sand and cling on for dear life.” I feel like we as an industry are sometimes incapable of changing our behavior. We continue to do the same things over and over that cause us problems. This really applies to helicopter altitudes. I travel monthly to South Florida to fly an AW109E as a contract helicopter pilot. I stay at the home of a family member. Almost daily, helicopters fly over the house at 500 feet or below. The culprits range from light single-engine training helicopters to medium-twin engine IFR helicopters. Because I am a helicopter pilot, many of the neighbors ask me, “Do they have to fly over us that low?” My answer is always a resounding NO! [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter altitudes helicopter flying altitudes Helicopter Safety
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categorySafety



Oct
01
2018

USHST - An Open Letter to the U.S. Helicopter Community

Posted by jhadmin

Our U.S. helicopter community just went through the worst short-term surge in fatal accidents we’ve experienced within the past six years. With four fatal accidents within a 10-day span, the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team feels that there is a benefit to informing our broader community of this information. We also feel that it is appropriate timing for some straightforward reminders that can contribute to safe flying. We would appreciate your help in communicating this important message to our community. We invite you to tailor it accordingly as you think would be most effective. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Accidents Helicopter Safety USHST
Categories: categorySafety



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



Jun
12
2018

8 Ways to Enhance Helicopter Training and Reduce Fatal Accidents

Posted by jhadmin

8 Ways to Enhance Helicopter Training and Reduce Fatal Accidents Many fatal helicopter accidents involve causes from actions or non-actions that may have occurred months or years before during initial or recurrent instruction sessions. The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (www.USHST.org) has determined that these training initiatives could improve safety and potentially save lives. Promote the Teaching of Threat and Error Management – Traditional decision-making models focus largely on reactive and proactive means of flight crew situation management. Threat and Error Management (TEM), however, focuses on a predictive process to eliminate threats and errors before, during, and after each flight. Since its inception and introduction to airline operations, TEM has, as part of larger safety efforts, drastically reduced total accidents within the worldwide airline community. Although TEM generally is taught in conjunction with Cockpit Resources Management (CRM), TEM is actually the latest evolution/iteration of the CRM concept: It is defined as “the process of detecting and responding to threats and errors to ensure that the ensuing outcome is inconsequential, i.e., the outcome is not an error, further error, or an undesired aircraft state.” [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Safety Helicopter Safety Training IHST USHST
Categories: categorySafety



Apr
30
2018

Simulation Scenario Building

Posted by jhadmin

An old flight training adage recites, “Train as you fly, fly as you train.” Helicopter simulation training is not immune from it, and indeed the adage should be the primary consideration for effective use of simulation. In response to the growing complexity of helicopter operations, more sophisticated automation, and generally increased scrutiny of rotary-wing safety, simulation training is seeing its standard continuously rise. This is making the training organizations ever more sophisticated at setting up helicopter simulation scenarios. [Read More...]

SimulationScenario_00_OPENER_FRASCA_AS350_Aero_Asahi-Night.jpg  SimulationScenario_01_FlightSafety_HelicopterSimulators.jpg  SimulationScenario_02_FlightSafety_Sikorsky_S-76D_simulator.jpg  SimulationScenario_03_FRASCA_H125-Cockpit-v2.jpg  SimulationScenario_04_CAE_Rotorsim_AW139_Exterior.JPG  SimulationScenario_05_FlightSafety_Bell412_Simulator.jpg  SimulationScenario_06_FRASCA_Bell429_Cockpit.jpg  SimulationScenario_07_CAE_AW139_CockpitProceduresTrainer.JPG  SimulationScenario_08_FlightSafety_Leonardo_AW139_simulator.jpg 

Tags: Helicopter Evidence Based Training EBT Helicopter Safety Helicopter Scenario Based Training SBT Helicopter Simulation
Categories: categorySafety



Mar
26
2018

My Two Cents - Why I do what I do?

Posted by jhadmin

“Why do you do what you do?” That’s a question Rick Weatherford, copy editor and staff writer for Rotorcraft Pro, asked me recently. Rick casts a discerning editorial eye over everything I write for the magazine, so I suppose he became curious about what motivates me. When I asked him exactly what he meant he made his query more specific: “Randy, what fuels your burning passion for promoting rotorcraft safety? Is it statistics, or your personal experiences? Do you believe helicopter safety is generally being addressed in the wrong way and you think you have a solution that’s been overlooked? Or is it some combination of all these issues as well as others that I didn't allude to?” I vividly remember the exact date and time I decided I needed to return to the USA to deliver a life-saving message. The date was August 31, 2010; the time: 10:00 PM. That’s when I learned of yet another air medical crash; a Bell Jet Ranger in Arkansas went into the clouds and came out the bottom in pieces killing the pilot and the two-person medical crew who had entrusted their lives to him. [Read More...]



Tags: Crew Resource Management Helicopter Safety Helicopter Safety Management Systems
Categories: categorySafety 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



Jan
29
2018

6 Ways That Helicopter Instructors Can Save Lives

Posted by jhadmin

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...]



Tags: Competency Based Training Helicopter Autorotations Helicopter Safety Helicopter Safety Studies Helicopter Spatial Disorentation IHST Pre-Flight Risk Asssessment US Helicopter Safety Team USHST
Categories: categorySafety categoryTraining



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


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