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May
23
2016

Wishy Washy

Posted by RandyMains        0 Comments
RandyMains

Of the ten aircraft commanders in my platoon in Vietnam it was generally agreed upon by the other peter pilots that Bernie Nivens was the most difficult aircraft commander to fly, mainly due to the fact that he’d been in Vietnam five months and shot down twice giving rise to his nickname “Magnate Ass”. [Read More...]



Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Apr
25
2016

Voice for the Voiceless

Posted by RandyMains        0 Comments
RandyMains

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: Helicopter Safety Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Apr
25
2016

The Coin Toss

Posted by RandyRowles        0 Comments
RandyRowles

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: [Read More...]



Tags: Flight Training Randy Rowles
Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride



Apr
25
2016

Auto-tribulations

Posted by FrancisMeyrick        0 Comments
FrancisMeyrick

This time I turned up with a very different attitude. Gone were the doubts. In their place was a lot more confidence. Confidence in the helicopter. Confidence in me. Oh, there were still doubts. And still, a certain amount of fear. I didn't like autorotations. MY instructor told me I would end up loving them. Maybe. But I didn't right then. Looking back on it, I think my understanding of the aerodynamic principles of autorotation was not matched by my confidence in the blessed principle working. It sounds so simple. In powered flight, all normal, the engine powers the rotor system, via the transmission. Airflow is "induced" down through the rotor disc. Okay, happy-happy. Now, gremlins. What happens if the engine goes tiddley-up AWOL? As in Kaputt, seized, broke, busted, knackered? We simulate that in autorotation training. We lower the collective lever, that looks like a really old fashioned vintage hand brake, and roll the throttle off. Sadistic instructors enjoy doing this to petrified students. I'm sure they torture kittens as well. [Read More...]



Tags: Francis Meyrick Moggy's Musings
Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Apr
25
2016

ROTORwrench…Tips, Tricks, and Info - April 2016

Posted by ScottSkola        0 Comments
ScottSkola

Looks like the old B model…well, not exactly old…nor a true B…but at least it has a 206 M/R on it…any hoots…the Bell 505 looks to close in on 400 total orders this year. I guess you can say it’s pretty in its own way. I wish them luck. Truth be told, when they stopped production on the Bell 206B, I did shed a tear or two. I had cut my rotorwing teeth on a B model. The good old days of cable operated rotorbrakes, and pan floats you could pack in your sleep. But, then again I also liked the SA315B, BO-105 and triple deuce. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Maintenance ROTORwrench Scott Skola
Categories: categoryROTORwrench



Mar
25
2016

Another All Too Familiar Headline

Posted by RandyMains        0 Comments
RandyMains

On the 1st of January every year since 1980, exactly one-year after I began flying helicopter air ambulance from the rooftop helipad at Hermann Hospital in Houston, I created a folder on my computer entitled, EMS CRASHES. When a HEMS crash occurred that year I would add the details. I developed this practice each year because I could see very early-on in my helicopter air ambulance career how dangerous flying an air medical helicopter was. Here’s the sad part: In 36 years I have NEVER had an empty folder at the end of a year. Does that shock you? It should. In fact I hope it enrages you. Sadly 2016 will be no different because on March 26th I woke up to the following headline: [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Mar
25
2016

"Oh, oh, oops...! Sorry...!"

Posted by FrancisMeyrick        0 Comments
FrancisMeyrick

I arrived overhead, looked down. Yep. That's the heli-terminal. Rows and rows of shiny little helicopters, parked in neat, white circles. Down I went. Nice approach. Noticed this funny, rather high barbed wire fence all around the heli-terminal. Strict security, eh? Hey-ho. Hop over the fence. Land in a nice, big circle beside a big shiny fellow. Great! Hey-hum. Don't want to shut down just yet. Having too much fun. I'm in circle number twenty. I see. Well, let's do some practice. Hop over to circle number eighteen. Lift up, hover checks, across we go. Settle down in the hover, DOWN we settle, BINGO! [Read More...]



Tags: Francis Meyrick
Categories: categoryMoggy's Musings



Mar
25
2016

ROTORwrench…Tips, Tricks, and Info - March 2016

Posted by ScottSkola        0 Comments
ScottSkola

Well, I hope everyone who went, survived the showy…snowy…Heli-Expo this year. Then again, there’s not much “survival” required anymore. Seemed to be a lot of hoopla over this year’s location in Louisville. No dancing girls like Vegas, sunny beaches like Orlando, or big city delights like Dallas or Houston. For me, I never went for the location. All night parties and a ton of freebies made the day go by. Navigating the CCR show at Big B’s shindig, hacking invitations at the bus pick-up, and staying vertical the day after on the exhibit floor…now those were the survival skills of Expos past. Ha! [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Maintenance Scott Skola
Categories: categoryROTORwrench



Feb
22
2016

Risk Resource Management—The Not-so-New CRM

Posted by RandyMains        0 Comments
RandyMains

I’m going to give you a simple mental tool to keep you safe: Risk Resource Management (RRM). It’s a tool Chesley Sullenberger used for 14 years before he famously landed his Airbus A320 in the Hudson River. It’s also a tool he instructed his students to use when he taught crew resource management at US Airways. It’s a tool you can use in your helicopter to make better decisions, whether you’re flying single-pilot or multicrew. [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents Worth Randy Mains
Categories: categoryMy Two Cents Worth



Feb
22
2016

I Certify ... I’m an Authorized Instructor

Posted by RandyRowles        0 Comments
RandyRowles

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: Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride


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