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
Night Flight Concepts (NFC), based out of Waco, Texas, brings night vision training and technology from the military to the civilian masses who need to safely fly when the sun goes down. The company is known for cleverly marketing their night vision products and services under acronyms like L.E.A.S.E (Law Enforcement Air Support Entity) and S.O.A.R. (Special Operations Aviation Resources). With approx. 300 global customers, approx. 1,450 students trained, and approx. 3,500 NVGs inspected and repaired since 2006, another catchy acronym for NFC would be F.L.I.G.H.T. (Forward Looking Industrious Group Has Tenacity).
NFC began as a vision, and early side-hustle, that its co-founder and president, Adam Aldous, had while serving in Iraq as an Army Chinook pilot. (Aldous still hustles; if he doesn’t wake up earlier, his 5-year-old daughter gets him up every morning by 6:00—without fail.) When we caught up with him in early January, he was working on NFC’s 2019 marketing plans, but he graciously found the time to share his fascinating story. [Read More...]
night flight concepts
Night Vision Goggles
RPMN: What is your current position?
I currently work for Air Evac Lifeteam as a base pilot supervisor and flight instructor. Essentially, I'm one of four pilots at an EMS base with the added responsibilities of scheduling and pilot oversight. I also help out the training department with new hires and recurrent flight training as needed. [Read More...]
Air Evac Lifeteam
meet a rotorcraft pro
THE 2019 ROTORCRAFT PRO OEM OUTLOOK [Read More...]
No, despite the above title, I’m not trying to move some product on the street. Rather, when was the last time you looked over your aircraft’s Empty Weight & Balance Record (EWBR) and Equipment List (EL)? My what? [Read More...]
Weight and Balance
Pura Vida translated from spanish means “pure life.” The phrase is to Costa Ricans as Malhalo is to Hawaiians.
Answering the phone: “Pura Vida.”
“How’s your day going?”
Reply: “Pura vida, my friend.”
Fly a helicopter across a ridge line, in which a breath-taking view unfolds and a spectacular volcano is revealed before your eyes. Suddenly, you get the urge to shout something out of pure guttural excitement: “Pura vida!”
Costa Rica, translated literally, means "Rich Coast.” Located in Central America, the country is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador is to the south of Cocos Island. This beautiful country has a population of approximately 5 million in a land area of 51,060 square kilometers (19,714 square miles). An estimated 2 million people live in the metro area of the capital city San José. With its healthy agriculture and eco-tourism markets, Costa Rica is one of the most stable countries in the region, both fiscally and geopolitically.
Additionally, it’s also home to one of the highest educated populations in Central America, especially in healthcare. San Jose is well known for its cost-competitive, highly-trained, cutting-edge medical industry that attracts international clients from around the globe for a variety of procedures. [Read More...]
AENSA Services Costa Rica Helicopter Maintenance
AeroTour Costa Rica
Costa Rica Helicopter Flight Training AENSA
Costa Rica Helicopter Tours
On 21 October 2016, shortly after my 32nd birthday I was given tragic news that would forever change my life: I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and my career as a professional helicopter pilot was over. My family doctor; a man that has known me my entire life; who subsequently, understands my passion for flying—the same passion many you must share—was the one who broke the news to me. I understood what the diagnosis meant and I am not ashamed to admit, I was crying like a baby in the arms of my girlfriend. She being a clinical pharmacist, was a voice of reason and the rock of stability I needed for our coming tribulations. In between my tears, I remember my physician recalling his morning conversation with his wife. “I will have to end a pilot’s career later today,” he’d told her. He also had a tear in his eye because he knew what the lab results meant. [Read More...]
Type 1 Diabetes FAA Medical