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Dec
05
2016

Trouble with autos.... Seriously?

Posted by jhadmin

Trouble with autos. Seriously? When I flew for the Royal Oman Police, the British, Scottish, and Australian pilots I had the pleasure to fly with had a lovely saying. Whenever they wanted to convey an idea, but wanted you to know that you may already know it, they would preface their statement by saying, “Now, I don’t want to teach Granny to suck eggs but….” Similarly, I certainly don’t want to tell you something you may already know, but to my great amazement it seems there is ‘some problem’ with how pilots execute autorotations, which to me is an easy but fundamental maneuver. So, at the risk of “teaching Granny to suck eggs,” please indulge me while I offer my 2 cents’ worth on the subject that has served me well over the years. At the same time, I apologize if you already practice autorotations in the way I will describe. [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categorySafety categoryTraining



Dec
05
2016

Post-Maintenance Preflight - Take a Closer Look

Posted by jhadmin

Prior to the flight portion of an FAA exam, the applicant will be tested on their knowledge and ability to conduct a preflight on the aircraft being tested. It is imperative that a pilot understand the systems of the aircraft they plan to operate. The ability to determine airworthiness can only be accomplished when the pilot has adequate knowledge of their aircraft and knows what to look for (normal vs. abnormal) during the preflight process. A few weeks ago, I was picking up an aircraft that had just completed a heavy maintenance inspection. Many of the aircraft’s flight components had been removed, overhauled, and reinstalled. Before I conduct an operational check flight (OCF), I like to establish a personal relationship with the maintenance staff working on the aircraft. Having conducted many post-maintenance OCFs, I’ve grown accustomed to the nuances of maintenance technicians and appreciate that each maintenance facility’s processes and procedures may differ. In the case of the aircraft in question, I did not know all of the mechanics. The main gearbox and rotorhead was completed by a mechanic new to the facility. Since this situation occurs often within our industry, it gave me no great concern; I had faith and trust in the quality assurance process of the system. [Read More...]



Tags: Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety



Nov
28
2016

PERSONAL PILOT LIABILITY INSURANCE: DON’T FLY WITHOUT IT

Posted by jhadmin

SkyWest pilot and designated pilot examiner (DPE) Tony Fizer remembers the costly hangar mishap as if it were yesterday. “A fellow pilot I knew was assigned to fly a Citation CJ3 business jet for a friend,” Fizer says. “Unfortunately, he struck the hangar door with a wingtip on the way out. Suddenly, there it was: $30,000 in damages to the door and wing, right in front of everyone there! My pilot friend said they were glancing around with looks that implied, OK, so who’s going to pay for this? Hearing about it afterward, I was not only glad that it wasn’t me, but also glad that I would have been covered, thanks to my personal pilot liability insurance, if I had been responsible.” As someone who frequently flies not just his own aircraft, but also many others for his clients, Fizer knows that things can go wrong. He protects himself by purchasing personal pilot liability insurance. (The insurance product he chooses is XINSURANCE, offered by Evolution Insurance Broker through Prime Insurance Company.) “I know that my insurance company has my back should I get into a situation where someone tries to hold me personally liable,” Fizer says. “Pilots need coverage in today’s litigious world, just in case.” [Read More...]



Tags: Pilot Liability Insurance
Categories: categoryRegulatory categoryOpinion-Editorial



Nov
20
2016

Meet A Rotorcraft Pro - Rick Guthery

Posted by jhadmin

RPMN: What is your current position? I’m currently the training and standardization commander at the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department Air Rescue Bureau. Additionally, I am a helicopter designated pilot examiner with the South Florida Flight Standards District Office. For the last 21 years, I’ve also operated my own business, Helicopter Partners Inc. RPMN: Tell me about your first flight. The first flight I remember with my hands on the controls was in the early 1970s in a Cessna 182. We flew from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas. I was not tall enough to see over the dashboard of the airplane, so my dad pointed to the altimeter and heading instruments and told me what numbers to look at and hold. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out so well. We were all over the sky and my mom and sister quickly got air sick. It was a short-lived flight attempt, but I was definitely hooked on flying. [Read More...]



Tags: meet a rotorcraft pro Rick Guthery
Categories: categoryHuman Interest



Nov
14
2016

HAA Operators Adding Autopilot to Light Single Turbines

Posted by jhadmin

In a bid to improve operational safety, helicopter air ambulance (HAA) operators Air Evac Lifeteam and Air Methods are incorporating two-axis autopilots into their light single-turbine helicopters. Air Evac Lifeteam is updating the Bell 206 Long Rangers and Bell 407 helicopters in their 150-plus helicopter fleet with Genesys Aerosystem (formerly Cobham) HeliSAS Autopilot and Stability Augmentation System (and Garmin 500H glass cockpits) by the end of 2017. Air Methods is focussing on including autopilots whenever it purchases new helicopters for its 400-plus fleet, including the 200 Bell 407GXPs it is purchasing between now and 2024. The Bell 407GXP comes with a Garmin G1000H glass panel avionics system integrated to a Bell-designed autopilot system for a cutting-edge combination that can also be retrofitted into the Bell 407GX. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Auto Pilot
Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors categorySafety



Nov
07
2016

Executive Watch - Paul Daigle of AAL USA/Blackhall Aerospace

Posted by jhadmin

Now a platoon leader and air mission commander, his first combat tour was eight months. “Combat is 90 percent boring, just flying in circles, and 10 percent of the worst that could ever happen, but I had the opportunity to fight in some cool places (including the Battle of Fallujah). Being an air mission commander of a team of Apaches is probably the coolest thing that anyone could ever do.” He also gained knowledge that would later serve him well in his future civilian career. “I was very tied into aircraft maintenance. I’d go fly with my warrant officers for up to eight hours, and then I’d go spend the rest of the day on the flightline. I valued my maintenance guys and I developed a very sound understanding of maintenance operations.” [Read More...]



Tags: AAL Blackhall Aerospace Paul Daigle
Categories: categoryHuman Interest categoryCompany Profiles



Oct
31
2016

Dī´vʉrs´ - Chatham County Mosquito Control Air Unit’s Differing Services

Posted by jhadmin

If I mention Chatham County, Georgia, you might well ask, “Where’s that?” If I say Savannah, you most likely know the location. The coastal city is well known for its Southern charm and rich American history that draw tourists from all over the world—who often go searching for Forrest Gump’s famous bench. Savannah and surrounding Chatham County is a community on the water. Not only does the Savannah River run through the county, but the Atlantic Ocean abuts its eastern shore, while swamps and tidal estuaries abound. All this H2O creates a unique problem for the county, its visitors, and residents. It’s the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos—lots and lots of them. As you will see, the team at Chatham County Mosquito Control (CCMC) takes its job of controlling that pesky population very seriously. I was surprised at how the science of insect control intersects with helicopter operations. Furthermore, CCMC’s diverse aviation operations go well beyond mosquitoes, as they serve county residents and tourists in many valuable and cost-effective ways. [Read More...]

MosquitoControl_1_Opener-b.jpg  MosquitoControl_3_LoadingLarvacide.jpg  MosquitoControl_4_SpreadingLarvacide.jpg  MosquitoControl_5_MechanicsLoadSprayer_Adulticide.jpg  MosquitoControl_6_Cockpit.jpg  MosquitoControl_7_PickupDivers.jpg  MosquitoControl_8_DeployDivers.jpg  MosquitoControl_9_ShorthaulVictims.jpg  MosquitoControl_Diver_training.jpg 

Tags: Chatham County Mosquito Control
Categories: categoryCompany Profiles categoryTraining



Oct
24
2016

2016 OEM Aircraft Users Survey

Posted by jhadmin

For the second year in a row, we took our OEM users survey to the streets where hundreds of helicopter owners, operators, pilots, mechanics, and crew members lended us their perspective about the aircraft they operate. The over-arching goal of our OEM aircraft user survey was to accomplish three things: Create a survey that is NOT a competition with pronounced winners and losers, but present the data. Covers a much broader range of criteria than single-issue topics like “customer support,” or topics only targeted towards purchasers of aircraft. Covers criteria that are not only important to owner/operators, but also important to those who actually work in the day-to-day operations of helicopters: pilots, mechanics, and managers. The 35 question operator / user survey evaluated the overall experience they have with the OEM aircraft and services utilized in the course of doing business. [Read More...]



Tags: OEM Survey
Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryOpinion-Editorial



Oct
17
2016

MX BY THE BOOK – Part 2

Posted by jhadmin

Though inspection is part of the FAA definition of maintenance, I kept it separate for three reasons: One, inspections have their own set of performance rules in Part 43. Two, in the course of aircraft maintenance, other than inspection, the mechanic selects the reference. In the case of an inspection program, the owner/operator selects the reference under authority in Part 91. And three, once an inspection program/reference has been selected, the mechanic is required by regulation to follow that reference. I’m sure everyone agrees the inspection process is an expensive recurring cost in maintaining an aircraft. And although it would be unwise for an owner/operator not to consult with a mechanic prior to selecting an inspection program, it happens. Even though a mechanic may know a more efficient program to follow, Part 43.15 mandates the mechanic to follow the selected inspection program. [Read More...]



Tags: Aircraft Inspections Helicopter Maintenance
Categories: categoryRegulatory categoryTraining



Oct
10
2016

Fatigue – The New Drunk Driving

Posted by jhadmin

I’d been awake for 17 hours when the phone rang at 12:45 a.m. The communications specialist said, “There’s a scene call on Palomar Mountain. Will you be able to take the flight?” “Well, I’ve only had one shot of Tequila, but let me check the weather and I’ll get right back to you.” Sound implausible? The shocking truth is that it’s not—not when you consider a study published in the British Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, where researchers in Australia and New Zealand determined that from 16 percent up to 60 percent of road accidents involve sleep deprivation. This reflects some of the same hazardous effects as being drunk. Although I had never actually had a drink that night, my cognitive thinking, my body, and reflexes were as adversely affected as if I had. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Accidents Helicopter Pilot Fatigue Helicopter Safety
Categories: categoryHelicopter Sectors categorySafety


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