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...]
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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
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...]