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Feb
21
2017

WHAT IS AIRWORTHY?

Posted by jhadmin

Ever wonder how many times you signed your name and A&P number after the word “airworthy.” For me, it’s in the thousands. So, how does a mechanic define it? For some, the definition is rigid: the aircraft must be in like-new condition with a pristine record trail. For others, it’s a gray area of personal decision, defined by an aircraft’s use, age, and regulatory compliance. Regardless of interpretation, the airworthy condition of an aircraft is the core function of a mechanic. Yet, an official FAA definition of this fundamental word is lacking within our maintenance regulations and guidance material. Let’s try to find one. The Basics Numerous articles, papers, and FAA documents offer various descriptions of airworthy. The common accepted version today requires an aircraft to conform to its type design and to be in a condition for safe operation. Looking to the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), essential terms and their definitions are usually given at the beginning of a chapter, part, or section, along with an applicability clause. FAR Part 1, Definitions and Abbreviations, applies to “Subchapters A through K of this chapter,” so it seems it would be a logical place to find a definition for airworthy, since our Part 43 falls under Subchapter C. Unfortunately, the definition is not listed in FAR Part 1, or Part 43, or Part 65 for that matter. Given its significance, you would think airworthy, or airworthiness, would have its own part in the FARs. [Read More...]

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Tags: Helicopter Airworthiness Helicopter Maintenance Helicopter Mechanics
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety categoryRegulatory



Feb
13
2017

EXECUTIVE WATCH: Joe Braddock of Southeast Aerospace

Posted by jhadmin

Southeast Aerospace launched in 1993 in a one-room office in a strip shopping center. The four members of the Braddock family were the entire company. Marianne handled administrative duties; the Braddock boys sold. “We had a small repair station at the time with literally one bench,” Braddock recalls. “We’d peddle parts, take the profits, and reinvest them into the repair station until we built it up.” The family business built up indeed. Today, Southeast Aerospace has approximately 130 employees who work out of 100,000 square-foot facilities in Melbourne, Florida, as a middle-market company. Father Braddock retired in 2014. Older brother John ascended to president and CEO. Joe’s responsibilities as executive vice president include sales, marketing, and business development. While Southeast Aerospace’s impressive growth testifies to his success in these areas, his start wasn’t exactly auspicious. The young man would attend major exhibitions like Heli-Expo and NBAA, without always being properly equipped. “I was nervous. I didn’t know anyone, and nobody knew who I was. I’m not even sure if I had business cards back then,” he says with a trace of bemusement. Yet, even without an abundance of confidence—or cards—Braddock dug deep and persisted. “I forced myself to go up to people and ask them questions about their families, etc. It was nothing too personal, but I wanted to get people talking so that we could continue the conversation. I just threw myself into the fire. I don’t see a lot of people today who want to do that, because they don’t want to take risks. Something ‘bad’ might happen. So what? If someone’s a jerk, they’re going to be a jerk anyway. If someone’s nice, then they’re going to be nice.” [Read More...]



Tags: Executive Watch Southeast Aerospace
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles



Feb
06
2017

Meet a Rotorcraft Pro: Adam Hammond

Posted by jhadmin

RPMN: What is your current position? I am a utility pilot and safety officer for the Tennessee Valley Authority. We fly MD530F, EC120, EC145, and Bell 407 aircraft in support of serving the people of the Tennessee Valley and its 16,000-plus miles of powerlines. RPMN: Tell me about your first flight. My first flight in a helicopter was an introduction flight in an R22 at a flight school, Higher Ground Helicopters in my home state of Ohio. It was only a half-hour flight, but I was hooked. RPMN: How did you get your start in helicopters? Originally I was going to go through the U.S. Army flight school at Ft. Rucker, but I had a bad skydiving accident shortly after my Warrant Officer Candidate School graduation. The injuries I received disqualified me from being an Army pilot, but they did not keep me from following my dream. After seven years of Army service, I used my GI Bill and started the professional pilot course at Higher Ground Helicopters. RPMN: When and how did you choose to fly helicopters? Or did they choose you? I think it was a little bit of both. Growing up, my church pastor always spoke of his time as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, which sparked my interest. Also, my father was a volunteer fireman and I saw MedFlight of Ohio land at the local fire department for an LZ safety briefing. Being able to land vertically in a baseball field seemed much more interesting than landing on a runway. Those experiences were always in the front of my mind when it came time to choose a career. [Read More...]



Tags: Adam Hammond meet a rotorcraft pro
Categories: categoryHuman Interest



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



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



Jan
17
2017

Glory Over The Horizon - Colombian Army Aviation

Posted by jhadmin

It’s Sunrise, but the sun is not seen; it only feels like the day is starting. The jungle, humidity, and mosquitos do their work, and walking is almost impossible. The clouds and the bad weather are all around, while the rain hampers visibility. Gunfire is heard in heavy fighting between the Army and the guerrillas they battle. The result is wounded soldiers. Next, helicopters are heard. It seems like we are revisiting the Vietnam War, but instead we are in the Western Hemisphere, covering armed conflict in Colombia. The combat search and rescue (C-SAR) team of the Ejército Nacional de Colombia (Colombian National Army) is called into the war zone to airlift soldiers that have been wounded while confronting insurgent groups. Flying this particular mission is an UH-60 Black Hawk escorted by a Huey II. The soldiers on the ground say that those flying to the rescue are “God’s crew on Earth.” The Huey II takes a “hunter position” to provide cover for the UH-60 as it descends into the extraction zone. As the UH-60 lowers, enemy fire commences and its pilot-in-command is injured. The helicopter’s rescue mission now turns into an emergency mission to save its own pilot’s life. [Read More...]

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Tags: Black Hawk Colombian Army Huey UH-1N UH-60
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryHuman Interest



Jan
09
2017

Meet a Rotorcraft Pro: Simon Whitely

Posted by jhadmin

RPMN: Have you ever had an “Oh, crap!” moment in a helicopter? Can you summarize what happened? One of my “moments” was during my first instrument training flight aboard an RN Westland Wessex Mk 5. We’d just departed the air station and were flying in IMC at 2,000 feet on the dials. Suddenly, there was a loud bang! The aircraft made an uncommanded yaw of about 50 degrees to the right. Having recovered with all indications normal, my instructor and I made a precautionary landing to a field. Once on the ground, we learned that a Royal Navy Sea Harrier jet had just suffered a mid-air collision with a helicopter and had also made a successful emergency landing. The impact broke 6 inches off the top of the jet’s vertical fin. Our Wessex seemed fine, but upon inspection it was found to be 3 inches out of alignment along the tail cone and had to be trucked back to the airfield. Another interesting day at the office! [Read More...]



Tags: meet a rotorcraft pro
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest



Jan
02
2017

Helinet Aviation Charts Many Markets

Posted by jhadmin

Over the last 10 years, the vehicles on Southern California’s roads have multiplied like rabbits. Unsurprisingly, there’s been increasing demand for helicopter charter services to fly over the traffic jams. Helinet Aviation, in business since 1987, answers this need by providing unparalleled helicopter services for multiple markets. Their VIP charter division has seen a significant increase in clientele over the past few years as they have become the top choice for clients who fly above it all. “Anyone who lives in Southern California understands the freeway system is a gridlock nightmare,” says Brady Bowers, manager of Helinet Aviation’s charter division. “Corporate executives do not have time to waste sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. That travel agony has really encouraged an increase in clientele for VIP charter." [Read More...]

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Tags: Helinet Aviation
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHelicopter Sectors



Dec
26
2016

EXECUTIVE WATCH: KURT ROBINSON

Posted by jhadmin

When doing a profile on Kurt Robinson, plan on an early interview—as in 7:00 a.m. early. That’s when he’ll be taking your call. Of course, the chairman and president of Robinson Helicopter Company will have already been in his office about an hour, reading the Wall Street Journal, answering emails, and talking to contacts in Europe. Still, he understands that some people just start late. Robinson is motivated to work early so that he can get home early. “I like to leave the office by 5:00 so that I can spend time with my family,” he says. “We always try to eat dinner together. Sometimes I get out of here at 6:00, but that’s generally a bad thing. I guard my time away from work as much as I can. I don’t really have a lot of time off, so when I do it’s really important to spend time with my wife and two kids.” And therein lies an insight into Robinson: The name is synonymous with both a pioneering aviation business and a proud family. [Read More...]



Tags: Kurt Robinson Robinson Helicopters
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryHuman Interest



Dec
20
2016

2016 Best of Industry

Posted by jhadmin

We at Rotorcraft Pro reflect on some of our industry’s best as 2016 comes to an end. This special feature focuses on four areas: innovative products, safety efforts, people (living and deceased) who left a legacy, and operators who made an exceptional difference through their work. Best of Industry @ Innovation: Our 2016 innovators contest and social media vote-off spotlights some of the most innovative products in our industry. The winner of this contest receives $5,000 in free Rotorcraft Pro advertising. The second- and third-place finishers are presented prestigious glass awards. Best of Industry @ Safety: Here we recognize the efforts the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team undertook to reduce accidents and increase safety. Best of Industry @ Legacy: We pay tribute to two exceptional people who left a lasting legacy with helicopters. Best of Industry @ Work: We applaud operators who, through readiness and fortitude, performed extraordinarily beneficial work during natural disasters. [Read More...]



Tags: Best of Helicopter Industry Rotorcraft Pro
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial


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