RPMN: In your view, what is the greatest challenge for the helicopter industry at this moment in time?
The helicopter industry doesn’t seem to face pilot shortages in the same way as commercial airlines do but we did experience a drop in the number of people coming through during the 2008-9 recession. There was a five-year gap with not much training going on, and because of that there is a massive skills gap and it’s difficult to find pilots with the right level of experience.
Additionally, there is a huge gap in training between PPL to Instructor and single-engine flying charter. It’s difficult for new pilots to build their hours to be considered for employment.
At Castle Air we wouldn’t employ anyone with fewer than 1,000 hours, but how do new pilots go from 185 (CPL level) to 1,000 hours? It’s difficult for us to fund training up to 1,000 hours and furthermore there are not enough smaller helicopters around to build experience. We’re trying to have more two-seater aircraft at Castle Air to help alleviate the issue and provide some training, but without a robust training regime the gap is going to remain. [Read More...]
Captain Michael Jupp
meet a rotorcraft pro
It was a no-brainer for Boeing Global Services Senior Manager of Helicopter Operations Ty Genteman to get into the aviation industry—or more accurately—it was a no-brainer for him to get out of the blistering desert heat. He was pulling cable in his telecom construction business when a friend called with a simple proposition. Genteman clearly recalls the 1986 conversation that changed his life. His friend, Eric Witters, made his pitch, “It’s July in Arizona and you’re working in 118 degrees; how would you like to come to Aviall and get out of the heat?” [Read More...]
The number of pilots in the United States has grown slightly over the last few years. In 2016, there were approximately 584,000 pilots; in 2018, that number reached 633,320. Today, the demand for well-trained pilots is increasing, especially at the regional airport level.
While aviation can be an exciting career path, it carries with it considerable risk, particularly for those pilots flying non-owned aircraft. Whether flying an A-Star helicopter or a Cessna 550 Citation, or training a future aviator, a pilot can be at risk in the event of an accident. It’s interesting to note that private planes have a substantially higher crash rate than that of commercial aviation. That can be attributed to pilot skill, looser regulations for private planes, and lack of safety and backup systems. Financially speaking, however, a general aviation crash or damaging an aircraft can potentially put a huge dent in a pilot’s wallet and career. [Read More...]
Aviation Liability Insurance
Pilot Liability Insurance
With its new high-tech expansion in Mesa, Arizona, Able Aerospace Services is ready and willing to take on a wider variety of component repairs – so more customers can save more money with repaired parts instead of buying new ones.
The motto on its website says it all: “Save money. Save time. Keep flying. That’s the Able way.” Across more than three decades, Able has repaired millions of components without a single in-service failure. And its tradition of success continues to grow.
This year, Able added 60,000 square feet to now boast a 260,000 square-foot campus at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. The $9 million investment includes $3 million in futuristic robots and digital equipment, such as a Hermle C 52 machining center that allows Able to repair larger-scale components at a new level of sophistication and complete the work in hours versus days. [Read More...]
FAA Approved Repair Station
FAA Approved Service Center
Troubleshooting an intermittent yaw caution light with the autopilot and FCDS installed can be a pain sometimes. Since both the yaw SAS SEMA and the yaw autopilot SEMA are mounted on the same control tube at the Fenestron, the yaw SEMA 1 can influence yaw SEMA 2, or vice versa. The trick is to separate the systems by turning off the autopilot and pulling into hover; if the yaw light indication returns, it should be the yaw SEMA 2. If not, it should be yaw SEMA 1. [Read More...]
SEMA yaw autopilot
What is now Airbus Helicopters came to life in North America 50 years ago.
Perhaps they didn’t realize how big a deal they would become, because at the time, there were only 17 Airbus helicopters operating on this continent, and the new company had just 43 employees. To put it mildly, the company was not much of a force.
How things have changed: Today, there are over 3,100 Airbus helicopters flying in North America; 2,600 of them are commercial and the rest are military. Airbus Helicopters has also grown to become the predominant player in the North American commercial/utility (65% market share), corporate/VIP (86%), EMS (71%), and parapublic (62%) markets. [Read More...]
Vought Helicopters Inc
Thailand in Southeast Asia is known for many things, but mostly for it’s beautiful tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. Oh, and let’s not forget the food!
The Kingdom of Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is composed of 76 provinces. At 198,120 square miles and over 68 million people, it is the world's 50th-largest country in total area and the 21st-most-populous country.
However, it is less known for the oil and gas fields that lie just off its shores in the Gulf of Thailand to the east and the Andaman Sea to the west. Even though Thailand imports the majority of its oil and gas for energy generation, it does have a robust industry that helicopters play an integral part in supporting. [Read More...]
Offshore Helicopter Operators
Offshore Oil and Gas Helicopters
Thai Aviation Services
Rotorcraft Pro highlights industry leaders who have contributed to help better the helicopter community in 2019 in our Best of Safety, Best of Education, Best of People and the Best of Legacy series. [Read More...]
Rotorcraft Pro Best of 2019
US Helicopter Safety Team
10. Be humble. So, you’re a military helicopter pilot with combat time – that’s nice. Do not assume you know anything about commercial flying; there’s a lot to learn and people much younger than you may be showing you the ropes. Be respectful of their time and energy getting you up to speed. Be humble, this is a very small industry. Make a name for yourself right away and be sure it’s a good one; it will likely stick with you for a very long time. [Read More...]
Aviation Military to Civilian Transition
Helicopter Career Development
Military to Civilian Transition
I love the word “juxtaposition.” Merriam-Webster says it means an instance of placing two or more things side by side often to compare or contrast. It’s not a word I often use, but typically at the end of every year, I find myself juxtaposing two periods of time: the past and the present.
Although I love change and technology, every once in a while I enjoy reflecting on the helicopter industry and contrasting the past to the present to reflect on how far we’ve come.
2019 is a special year for Rotorcraft Pro. We are celebrating our 10-year anniversary working on the magazine side of our media company. [Read More...]
Airbus Helicopters 50th Anniversary
Airbus Lakota Helicopters
American Helicopter Magazine
Rotorcraft Pro Magazine