RPMN: What is your current position?
I’m senior pilot and company owner at Helivision LLC.
RPMN: Tell me about your first flight.
My first flight in a helicopter was 1969 in a U.S. Army TH-55 trainer at Fort Wolters, Texas.
RPMN: How did you get your start in helicopters?
It began when I joined the Army in 1968. I qualified for the Warrant Officer Helicopter Pilot program. It was the first time I knew what I wanted to do: Fly. My parents were supportive as any good parents would be. Up to then, my schooling was preparing me to become a pharmacist, like my father. With their support and blessing, my path to becoming a pilot began. After basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, I traveled to the U.S. Army’s primary helicopter pilot training facility at Fort Wolters. [Read More...]
meet a rotorcraft pro
An important part of the sheriff's office is its Air Support Unit that went operational in 1997 with two new MD-500E Helicopters with the call sign EAGLE 1 and EAGLE 2. The unit has hangar and office facilities at the Fresno-Yosemite Airport, a convenient location in the center of the county. [Read More...]
Allison 250 420hp engines
Rolls Royce 250R 450hp engines
Rolls Royce 650hp Rolls Royce 250-C30 engine
Ever get all torqued up reading a helicopter maintenance manual because you couldn’t remember the difference between a re-torque and a torque check? I did, until I had their definitions tattooed on my — well, that’s another story.
In the meantime, let’s work out their definitions here. Because not understanding the difference between a “re-torque” and a “torque check” can lead to potentially disastrous consequences. [Read More...]
helicopter maintenance re-torque
helicopter maintenance torque check
It’s no surprise that U.S. Customs and Border Protection is involved in protecting our nation’s borders and rescuing people from natural disasters. Probably fewer people know that CBP’s varied duties also include enforcing Temporary Flight Restrictions at NFL Super Bowls and other major events.
While TFR enforcement duties are similar no matter what the national security special event – from a Republican National Convention to a NATO Conference – there’s nothing quite like the annual Super Bowl that attracts more than one million people to the game and related events throughout the week. [Read More...]
Customs and Superbowl
Temporary Flight Restriction
UH-60 Black Hawks
US Customs and Border Protection
"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." - George S. Patton
I served in the U.S. Marines. Additionally, I did 15 years in fire-rescue and flew EMS long before it was HAA (helicopter air ambulance). In the last five years, I have done several mission trips to countries like Haiti and Costa Rica in the service of others. Honestly, it’s not a conscious philosophy I chose. I didn’t plan it. Service just seems to be something I gravitate toward. [Read More...]
Airborne Law Enforcement
Police Aviation Units
Sheriff Aviation Units
Make no mistake, our industry is going through changes of such magnitude that if ignored, unquestioned, and misinterpreted, will have severe and far reaching consequences for all helicopter industry businesses and affiliated organizations. While some of us may not be feeling the consequences as much as others right now, that is not cause for relief—it is a cause for awareness, planning, and change. As inevitably as the sun rises, we will all feel the effects of this seismic shift in the years to come and those who do not prepare will have an uncertain future. [Read More...]
helicopter flight schools
helicopter pilot funding
helicopter pilot job market
helicopter pilot license holders
Helicopter Pilot Shortage
As a child, the value of the risk we would incur doing an activity was often measured by the spectators involved. Jumping a bicycle over a ditch brought a certain amount of fear, however the broken arm received as a result of such an attempt was looked upon as a badge of honor. Even as children, we justified risk through our belief that we could do what others could not or would not do.
Today we assess flight risk through Flight Risk Assessment Tools (FRAT) and other various risk-based systems to aid our decision-making to determine whether the risk incurred during a flight is acceptable or not. In many cases, the risk assessment scoring mechanism will reflect a color-coded or numeric based indicator of the risk involved. [Read More...]
Flight Risk Assessment Tools (FRAT)
Many employers receive over 200 résumés for a single job opening. They typically scan a résumé for about 4 to 6 seconds before deciding if an applicant is worth a further look; here’s how to make those seconds count! [Read More...]
Helicopter Pilot Resumes
MUM-T: Helicopter pilots need to get familiar with this acronym, because it represents the future of the industry and their potential career paths.
MUM-T stands for “Manned/Unmanned Teaming.” It is what you get when mission planners team a manned helicopter with one or more unmanned rotorcraft; the latter is controlled either from the manned platform or from the ground.
The MUM-T concept is currently being explored by Airbus, Bell, Leonardo, and Sikorsky. We’ll tell you all about it, in the sections below.
The good news for pilots: MUM-T does not mean the diminishment of manned helicopter flight and unemployment for humans. Not at all. With a team of drones at their disposal, helicopter pilots can vastly ramp up their search-and-rescue surveillance over a target area, their ability to locate and report hot spots in fire zones, and the ability to detect leaks during pipeline maintenance flights. In a sense, a pilot will be like a queen bee directing a hive of worker bees. He or she will be vastly more capable than when flying a manned helicopter on its own and will truly multitask. [Read More...]
FVL Future Vertical Lift Helicopters
Manned/Unammned Helicopter Teaming
String-aligning Bell 206 M/R blades can be a bit tedious. To help see the string better, fabricate a couple stringing mirrors. You can use pieces from a broken mirror or buy a couple small rectangular mirrors that will sit across the top of the M/R blade bolt. [Read More...]
Rolls Royce C20B FCU
String-aligning Bell 206 M/R blades