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Author: RandyRowles




Mar
19
2018

Air Taxi…What a Concept!

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RandyRowles

A couple months ago, an article in the newspaper caught my eye. The article was titled “The First Air Taxi Coming to Dallas”. Initially, I thought a new Part 135 helicopter operator popped up and this was an attempt to market themselves in the area. However, this was not the case. The article provided an overview of the relationship between Uber and Bell (formerly Bell Helicopter), and how their newly founded joint venture Uber Elevate would launch in Dallas around 2023. This got me thinking... [Read More...]



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Feb
25
2018

Instrument Training | When Simulation Becomes Reality

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RandyRowles

On 17 October 2017, a flight instructor and commercially rated pilot were practicing instrument approaches at the Molokai Airport (Hawaii) when they were lost from radar. Debris from the helicopter was found floating on the water northwest of the shores of Molokai. Although they were operating on an IFR flight plan, the flight was being conducted under VFR as a Part 91 training flight. (NTSB Identification: WPR18LA010) [Read More...]



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Jan
15
2018

180-Degree Autorotation: Stop the Carnage!

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RandyRowles

During the last quarter of 2017 (October 2017 – December 2017), there were three (3) helicopter accidents within the Instructional/Training segment. This represented 16% of the total accidents that occurred during that timeframe. Of those accidents, 1 was fatal. Although there has been a reduction in the number of helicopter training accidents, the maneuvers in which many of our accidents occur remain steady. Of those maneuvers, the 180-degree autorotation remains near the top of the list. [Read More...]



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Dec
18
2017

The Vuichard Recovery What’s all the hype?

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RandyRowles

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...]



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Nov
27
2017

Turbine vs Piston: Does It Really Matter?

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RandyRowles

Last week, I was speaking at a helicopter safety event when a young flight instructor asked me a question. His question began with a statement…”I was told that it was far safer to conduct operations requiring a hover in the Height/Velocity Diagram (HV Diagram) in a turbine engine helicopter instead of a piston engine helicopter”. The HV Diagram is a graph that provides the ability for a pilot to conduct pre-flight planning of a helicopter so if the engine fails in flight, the ability of the helicopter to complete an autorotation is known. The follow-up question was directed at me. “Which type of helicopter engine do you believe is safer and why”? he asked. [Read More...]



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Oct
16
2017

Helicopters and Airports: Can We Land Anywhere?

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RandyRowles

I was talking to a local helicopter pilot that had recently obtained his private pilot helicopter [Read More...]



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Sep
25
2017

FAA DPE Program Overhaul: Here’s a Thought!

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RandyRowles

The Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) program is a key component to the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) ability to administer pilot certification within our current system. The largest majority of FAA pilot examinations are conducted by DPEs, however the DPE pool is shallowing. There are a multitude of reasons why there are less DPEs available with the difficulty of being selected to fulfill the role being at the top of the list. Since the FAA is potentially making changes to the DPE program, I thought I would throw out a few recommendations. [Read More...]



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Aug
28
2017

Paperless Cockpit…A Slippery Slope for Instructors

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RandyRowles

During a recent Private Pilot examination, I asked the applicant to show me his planned cross-country route and associated planning documents. The applicant pulled out an iPad that was mounted to a kneeboard and said, “I’m ready!” As an opened-minded person, I was intrigued by the applicant’s quick study and preparedness for the task at hand. However, I was concerned the applicant hadn’t properly heard my request and restated that I desired to review all aspects of the pre-flight planning to include plotting the course, wind correction, etc. “Yes Sir” was the applicant’s reply. “I’m ready to go. It’s all right here” he said while holding up his iPad. The lack of materials the applicant had brought with him for the examination caught my attention. [Read More...]



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Jul
19
2017

Posting Helicopter Crash Videos…Training Benefit or Industry Dogma?

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RandyRowles

This past week, two videos were posted throughout the Internet regarding helicopter incidents that caught my attention. One was a fire fighting helicopter hitting wires while departing with a load of water, and the other of a wedding party flight which ended in a fatal crash after an Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Condition (IIMC) event. On the surface, the immediate value of visually experiencing the mistakes of our pilot peers seems priceless. The issue is the unknowing public believing each helicopter pilot is just one flight away from a video-recorded disaster! [Read More...]



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Jun
19
2017

Faulty Training = Failed Checkride

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RandyRowles

Many of the helicopters utilized in today’s training market are equipped with an engine governor. The governor assists the pilot with managing and maintaining appropriate engine/rotor RPM to safely operate the helicopter. When conducting system failure training, the engine governor will be turned off and the pilot will be required to manipulate the throttle manually. In situations where the engine governor fails and mismanages engine/rotor RPM, the pilot may be required to isolate or turn off the governor. Adequate training and proficiency is critical in these situations. [Read More...]



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Categories: categoryRotorcraft Checkride


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