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Tag: Rotorcraft Checkride




Dec
04
2018

U.S. Flight Training Offers Opportunities For The World

Posted by jhadmin

I’ve been privileged to fly in different countries around the world. You gain a perspective on the good, bad, and ugly of our aviation system here in the United States. With that said, I haven’t been anywhere outside of the U.S. where opportunity for all citizens to experience aviation is more available than here in the States. You are not excluded from aviation, because of your gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or any other differentiating factor. Additionally, many physically challenged persons find themselves successful in aviation as well. [Read More...]



Tags: helicopter training Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining



Jul
30
2018

FAA Inspector Wanted: Experience Required, but Rarely Utilized!

Posted by jhadmin

Periodically, I have the privilege of assisting Part 135 operators with temporary management and training position services. My role may include providing instructor and/or check-pilot services for their Part 135 operating certificate. In many cases, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) inability to support an operator training and checking program is driven by their FAA inspector’s lack of experience and/or currency in the aircraft operated by the Part 135 certificate holder. A few weeks ago, I was working with an operator to become their Part 135 instructor and check pilot. Following the guidance provided within FAA Order 8900.1, we requested an initial cadre approval and set the process to move forward. That letter was crafted and submitted in October 2017. Once our principal operations inspector (POI) received the request, we were notified that the office did not have adequate staff to conduct pilot proficiency checks in the requested aircraft make and model, so an FAA inspector from another office would conduct the checks. [Read More...]



Tags: FAA FAA Inspectors Federal Aviation Administration Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryRegulatory categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryTraining



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



May
22
2017

Maximum Performance Takeoff…To Hover or Not to Hover?

Posted by jhadmin

Variations on the methods used to conduct a maneuver during a Checkride really isn’t that uncommon. However, lately one maneuver seems to have more variations than others, and in many cases, with the applicant not understanding why. The Maximum Performance Takeoff and Climb is seemingly a simple maneuver. It requires the pilot to perform a more vertical takeoff profile due to some obstacle that may be in the proposed takeoff path. Pre-takeoff planning is essential to include weight and balance, performance, and departure path; all critical to the safe, effective usage of this procedure. Each element is evaluated during the examination holistically so the Examiner may gain insight into the Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM), including Risk Assessment (RA) and Mitigation of the proposed departure. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Flight Training Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining



Jan
23
2017

Solo or No Solo? That is the question

Posted by jhadmin

The subject of solo requirements for the addition of a helicopter rating to an existing commercial pilot certificate, when the applicant does not hold a helicopter rating at any level, is a question not easily answered. To get the correct answer, you must look at more than just the experience requirements as stated in 14 CFR Part 61.129(c). Additionally, the method in which a pilot would log the pilot in command (PIC) flight time is confusing. In this article, we’ll attempt to provide some clarity on these subjects. An applicant for an added helicopter rating to an existing commercial pilot certificate will all too often arrive at their checkride and not have adequate experience to be eligible for the practical test. In these cases, the applicant may have spent thousands of dollars only to discover that they cannot use those hours toward the rating for which they are applying. This can be a devastating—and often career altering—revelation. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining



Dec
05
2016

Post-Maintenance Preflight - Take a Closer Look

Posted by jhadmin

Prior to the flight portion of an FAA exam, the applicant will be tested on their knowledge and ability to conduct a preflight on the aircraft being tested. It is imperative that a pilot understand the systems of the aircraft they plan to operate. The ability to determine airworthiness can only be accomplished when the pilot has adequate knowledge of their aircraft and knows what to look for (normal vs. abnormal) during the preflight process. A few weeks ago, I was picking up an aircraft that had just completed a heavy maintenance inspection. Many of the aircraft’s flight components had been removed, overhauled, and reinstalled. Before I conduct an operational check flight (OCF), I like to establish a personal relationship with the maintenance staff working on the aircraft. Having conducted many post-maintenance OCFs, I’ve grown accustomed to the nuances of maintenance technicians and appreciate that each maintenance facility’s processes and procedures may differ. In the case of the aircraft in question, I did not know all of the mechanics. The main gearbox and rotorhead was completed by a mechanic new to the facility. Since this situation occurs often within our industry, it gave me no great concern; I had faith and trust in the quality assurance process of the system. [Read More...]



Tags: Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety



Sep
26
2016

Maximum Performance Takeoff — Into IMC?

Posted by jhadmin

A few months ago I was visiting a large helicopter flight school. While touring the school, I had the opportunity to sit in on a ground school class. The students were training toward their helicopter instrument rating, so the material being presented was on that topic. My initial impression was very positive. I thought: Wow, these young aviators are getting a great education in a highly standardized, quality-based training environment. The portion of the course I was observing was covering takeoff considerations during IMC conditions and the regulatory requirements identified in Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 91.175. All was going well ... and then I heard these words: “An instrument takeoff (ITO) is nothing more than a maximum performance takeoff into IMC.” Initially I thought I misheard the instructor, but it became quickly apparent that I had indeed heard correctly. [Read More...]



Tags: Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining categorySafety categoryRegulatory



May
23
2016

The Coin Toss - The Instructor’s Cardinal Sin

Posted by jhadmin

We’ve all been there. Flying with our student during the test prep phase of the training lifecycle, confirming what we set out to do so many hours before. That is, to present the FAA a qualified, proficient pilot applicant who is capable of exceeding all test standards set before them. You’ve done this many times before; it’s just a walk in the park. So you walk through your FAA exam checklist to verify nothing has been missed: Training records complete? ✔ Logbook endorsements complete? ✔ FAA Examiner scheduled? ✔ Complete confidence your student is ready to take this checkride? Well … not so much. During test prep, you notice that the student isn’t consistent with each maneuver or task you present. Although your student’s flying is OK, there’s this little voice in your ear and a knot in your gut that’s making you uncomfortable: They’re just not ready for this checkride! Then your student completes a picture-perfect autorotation and you ignore what you believed to be true just a few moments earlier. [Read More...]



Tags: Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining



Mar
29
2016

I Certify ... I’m an Authorized Instructor

Posted by jhadmin

So you’ve provided all of the required training to your student. That’s it, they're ready to visit the FAA and apply for that sought after certificate or rating. However, there’s one last thing you have to do: You must certify to the federal government that as an authorized flight instructor you have provided the required ground and flight training, and found the applicant prepared to take the appropriate FAA practical test. So what defines an authorized instructor? The Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) define specific training requirements an instructor must meet to provide training for a certificate and/or rating. This definition is found within FAR 61.1: Applicability and Definitions. Most of the time, there is little confusion on this issue. However, over the last few years many regulatory changes and FAA Legal Interpretations are worthy of a closer look. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining



Feb
08
2016

Checkride Etiquette - Look Like a Rotorcraft Pro!

Posted by jhadmin

My wife and I recently went to see a movie starring Robert De Niro. I truly enjoy most of his movies, however I wasn’t really sure at first I would like his latest: The Intern. In it De Niro portrays 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker looking to come out of retirement to fill a void left by the passing of his wife. I wound up enjoying the movie and related to Whittaker’s journey and perspective on the ever-changing workplace. In the movie, Whittaker’s co-workers are much younger than him, thus their work culture is somewhat different. From Day One, his co-workers comment on the way he dresses while mocking his work ethic. I won’t spoil the ending, however this movie got me thinking: Are my expectations of our younger pilot population too out of touch? After much thought and reflection, my answer is: I don’t think so. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryCareer Development


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