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
What is your current position?
I am the chief instructor for the Robinson Helicopter Company. We have taught the pilot safety course at the factory since the mid-1980s with over 21,000 pilots completing the training. In addition, I have conducted 120 foreign safety courses, in 57 cities and 30 countries. I am an FAA helicopter designated pilot examiner for private through ATP certificates, not only in Robinson’s three models but also 11 other make & models and in the last 35 years have conducted 8,000 practical tests. [Read More...]
Robinson Pilot Safety Course
One pictures the CEO of a large international aviation corporation sitting at the conference table in a mahogany boardroom, not at the wheel of a volunteer ambulance racing to give someone in Italy a second chance. After hearing his story, it’s not too surprising to find Mecaer Aviation Group CEO Bruno Spagnolini driving that ambulance. He often speaks in rich Italian tones about the importance of serving one’s community. And the former CEO of AgustaWestland knows firsthand that one does not have to be in the back of an ambulance to appreciate a second chance. Mecaer Aviation Group both took and gave a second chance to Spagnolini. The result: the company and CEO seem to be on a honeymoon flight. [Read More...]
helicopter landing gear
Rotorcraft Pro’s annual U.S. Pilot Salary & Benefits Survey was initially launched in an effort to monitor and report trends on the salaries of pilots in the industry. Traditionally, surveys were sent directly to employers via snail mail in ballot form, then collected and tabulated. This old method did provide interesting results, but because employers are reluctant to reveal the exact salaries and benefits they provide, the sampling could be rather small and probably wasn’t always representative of the larger whole. [Read More...]
2018-2019 Helicopter Pilot Salary Survey Report
It’s not easy for a power company to chalk up a 99.999 percent electricity reliability rating, but the Tennessee Valley Authority has been doing it for the last 19 years straight. Helicopter pilots and linemen are an integral part of this achievement.
People outside the industry sometimes envision these pilots and linemen as a bit loony, and for good reason. The Tyler benches attached to the outside of helicopters commonly touch 500,000-volt electricity lines while linemen transfer themselves from the benches onto towers that stand as high as 300 feet in the air. While the lines are de-energized, their proximity to the helicopters and their spinning rotor blades is hair-raising to the uninitiated.
Ask TVA Helicopter Operations Manager Adam Hammond whether the pilot or lineman is loonier, and he’ll quickly point to the other guy.
“Definitely the lineman,” Hammond said. “They’re out there operating in all kinds of weather to get the power back on.” When rain grounds the helicopters, the linemen have to climb the towers instead. [Read More...]
MD Utility Helicopters
Tennessee Valley Authority Helicopter Utilities
Over the last four years there has been a significant increase in median pay for most helicopter pilots across the board. Good news right? Interestingly though, the industry is struggling to attract and retain experienced pilots. Why? [Read More...]
If you’ve ever had the desire to travel further, faster, and higher your time is here. I’ve flown helicopters commercially for 13 years. As a civilian, I attended a small flight school in Florida where I obtained all my training from Private through CFII where I used my GI Bill benefits.
Until recently, most Part 121 air carriers did not count helicopter flight hours towards their hiring minimums. In recent years, this trend is on the decline. If you are an experienced helicopter pilot and have ever wanted to fly for the airlines, opportunity may be on the horizon. With as little as 250 hours of airplane PIC time and a commercial multi-engine land add-on certificate you can be eligible for hire at a regional airline that may provide a stepping stone to the mainline carriers. [Read More...]
Helicopters to Airlines
Rotor Transition Programs
I attended the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) HAI Symposium held at Heli-Expo in Louisville entitled “Safety and the Bottom Line” and learned that in the team’s accident analysis it was revealed that 84% of accidents included a Standard Problem Statement of “Pilot Judgment & Actions.” Good crew resource management practices seemingly would ‘cure’ that malady. So why haven’t they? The answer lies in Plato’s Cave. [Read More...]
Crew Resource Management
Is a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) a major or minor alteration? This is one of those questions that can easily disappear down the aviation rabbit hole. However, with some basic knowledge on aircraft alterations and certifications, it can also number among the easiest to answer.
A majority (pun intended) of people believe all STCs are major alterations simply due to its name. Another group believes that if a part comes with STC paperwork, it always requires completing a Form 337.
Fortunately for us, from a maintenance point of view, STCs and aircraft alterations are as close to an apple-to-orange comparison as we have in aviation. [Read More...]
Helicopter Supplemental Type Certificate
Last year when one of my best friends was preparing to retire from the military, he expressed to me that one of the greatest challenges for him in the transition process was his difficulty imagining civilian employment could ever provide him with the same sense of purpose and fulfillment that he had experienced as a member of the military. For many of us who have served, defending the American way of life and serving in the country’s most trusted profession makes pay and earnings seem like an almost secondary motivation. For my friend, the thought of working at a job where—he imagined—salary and benefits was the sole reason to get up and go to work every day sounded like a rather unhappy way to live life. Fortunately, I had transitioned from the military two years prior and had already found my new purpose, which provided me with a few insights that I was able to pass along to him. Don’t get me wrong: redefining your life’s purpose after so many years of living with “duty, honor, country” as the default is not easy. It’s not easy at all. [Read More...]
Military to Civilian Helicopters
Military to Civilian Transition Aviation