It was 20 years ago that I reported to Fort Rucker, Alabama, as a newly minted instructor pilot, and little did I know that would be the fork in the road that changed the way I would forever see, communicate, and train pilots and people over my lifetime. Many of us took Psychology 101 in college where we received rudimentary information on personality types and cognitive functions. I was unaware at the time how theory would turn into concrete reality, and how observable and quantifiable that theory would be.
The Fort Rucker syllabus was typical of any flight training, and the schoolhouse provided a constant flow of students in an environment akin to a laboratory, replete with controls and structure. I had the opportunity to observe multiple students completing the same actions in a controlled environment; it took less than six months before I began to see the patterns. At first, I had no idea what I stumbled upon, it’s significance, and how it would change my teaching. Furthermore, it would solidify in my mind the scientific nature of personality type.
His commanding officer asked Travis Coil, a 4-year air defense artillery Army veteran, what he needed to do in order to convince him to re-enlist. Travis answered, “A $2 million re-enlistment bonus and a two week vacation in Hawaii.” Fourteen years of civilian life later, Travis is now an outstanding and highly qualified A&P mechanic who has worked in a variety of fields within the helicopter industry.
AMT to A&P
military aviation maintenance training
Started as a philanthropic project by venture capitalist Michael Goguen and an innovative group of pilots, Two Bear Air Rescue is a unique air support service bridging the gap between local law enforcement and helicopter air ambulance (HAA) operators. Covering an area larger than 120,000 square miles, their operations provide a critical lifeline to the millions of tourists who visit the breathtaking outdoor scenery from Yellowstone to Glacier National Park. Primarily performing search and rescue (SAR), they are an invaluable asset to local law enforcement.
On the north end of Glacier Park International Airport, sits an unassuming hangar with an American flag flying out front. Inside lies the operations hub for Two Bear Air Rescue. The team is quite small for the impact that they have in the region. Consisting of a dispatcher, director of maintenance, three pilots, two full-time rescue specialists, and nine volunteer rescuers, they are all united by a common goal: saving lives. “As Mike would say, if we can save one life, then all of this is worth it,” says Flathead County Sheriff and Rescue Specialist Brian Heino. That attitude shows in the mindset of every team member. [Read More...]
Bell 429 Rescue Helicopter
Flathead County Sheriff’s Office
helicopter search and rescue
L3 WESCAM MX-10 camera
Recco locator devices
Two Bear Air Rescue
RPMN: What is your current position?
I am the regulatory compliance manager at Coptersafety in Helsinki, Finland, which means that I manage and direct all aspects of Coptersafety’s FAA training programs as well as our FAA Level D full-flight simulator qualifications. We operate H125, H145, AW139, and AW169 full flight simulators. Coptersafety is the largest independent simulator training center in the world. We provide helicopter specific initial training and type ratings, recurrent training, and specialty tailored training programs in our simulators for customers around the world. My family and I moved to Finland about three years ago from Canada after I left my previous position of nine-plus years with Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation where I held positions as a maintenance test pilot, site manager, and field service representative. [Read More...]
meet a rotorcraft pro
USHST August 2020 Monthly Safety Report [Read More...]
USHST Safety Report
COVID-19 has proven to be tremendously challenging for the helicopter industry. The demands of social distancing, sourcing/wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), and working from home don’t exactly align with the lives of pilots, technicians, and air medical personnel. In fact, their jobs are all about being up-close-and-personal in small spaces!
To put COVID-19's impact on the helicopter industry in perspective, Rotorcraft Pro contacted people involved in various aspects of the industry to learn how COVID-19 affected them and how they are coping with it. Here’s what we found... [Read More...]
Helicopter and COVID
Helicopter Industry Impacts from COVID
Let’s Get to 2021—Already!
I was watching the news a couple weeks ago and the coverage was regarding Hurricane Douglas, a Category 4 hurricane which was bearing down on the Hawaiian Islands. The video footage was of business owners boarding up the windows of their shops. Spray-painted across one business front were the words “2020 Sucks!” I laughed out loud at the sight of it, and thought to myself: “Yep, that pretty much sums it up.”
The helicopter industry is still trying to adjust to this “new normal” that the coronavirus has left in its wake. Very few sectors of the industry have been unscathed. Even essential services such as law enforcement, firefighting, and air ambulance have been negatively impacted by the spillover effects the virus has had on federal, state, and local economies. Inside this issue, James Careless highlights how helicopter industry businesses have been impacted by the virus and what adjustments they are making to continue providing products and/or services. [Read More...]
Editor Lyn Burks
On any given day, an Air and Marine Operations pilot with U.S. Customs and Border Protection could be conducting surveillance for narcotics over the waters surrounding Puerto Rico, utilizing an AStar's advanced camera system to help the DEA safely serve a "buy bust" warrant in New Orleans, helping the Border Patrol in Laredo locate people trying to cross the U.S. border illegally, flying over New York City in support of NYPD operations, or patrolling a national security event such as a Super Bowl or U.N. General Assembly gathering.
"We want people that can come in and don't need to be told what to do – you see stuff that needs to be done and you go after it," related Jamie St. Dennis, an Air and Marine Operations (AMO) supervisory Air Interdiction Agent who has been helping with recruiting for about a year now. "And I love that part of the job. You have so much freedom and autonomy here." [Read More...]
US CBP Salary Rate
US Custom and Border Protection
US CZBP Air and Marine Operations
TracPlus, headquartered in New Zealand, coordinates collaboration and communication between first responders on a shared platform that has now logged 6,500,000 flight hours, which seems to approximate how many academic credit hours the technology company’s CEO, Trevor McIntyre, has accumulated. The executive has a bachelor’s degree and postgraduate degrees from Rhodes University in his native land of South Africa, as well as a further postgraduate degree from the University of Natal, and a Master’s Degree (with first class honors) from the National College of Ireland. Then there are his two professional charters as well. He’s a Chartered Accountant through his fellowship in the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. That’s impressive book-cracking. However, you’d be mistaken if you deemed McIntyre an ivory tower student detached from the real business world. Most of those degrees were earned in night classes while he pursued his career in the light of day day with Big Four accounting consulting firms, like KPMG and PWC, helping companies recognize their strengths and find their sometimes hidden flaws. “Studying that way (at night) taught me how to manage my time effectively and that you can fit more into your life than you believe that you can. I believe that education is a key part of constantly striving to improve yourself. My parents were both teachers and really emphasized the importance of lifelong learning to my brothers and I. It is a key part of what I try to embed into my teams.” says McIntyre. [Read More...]
Once upon a time, the world of law enforcement (LE) helicopters was a relatively simple place. LE pilots flew surveillance and pursuit missions in aid of their respective police departments, using basic helicopters that were aerial observation platforms and little else.
Times have changed: Today’s LE helicopters and LE pilots are affected by trends such as a move to multiple-role missions, advanced cockpit technology, and unmanned aerial systems (aka drones); among others. [Read More...]
Aviation Law Enforcement
Helicopter Avionics Advances
Helicopter Multiple Role
primary flight display
Unmanned Aerial Aircraft