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Tag: Randy Rowles




Apr
02
2018

Instrument Training - When Simulation Becomes Reality

Posted by jhadmin

On 17 October 2017, a flight instructor and commercially rated pilot were practicing instrument approaches at the Molokai Airport (Hawaii) when they were lost from radar. Debris from the helicopter was found floating on the water northwest of the shores of Molokai. Although they were operating on an IFR flight plan, the flight was being conducted under VFR as a Part 91 training flight. (NTSB Identification: WPR18LA010) Air Traffic Control had cleared the aircraft for a practice RNAV (GPS)-B instrument approach to the Molokai Airport. They were provided instructions for the missed approach procedure, which included a climb to 4,000 feet and a heading of 040 degrees. Following completion of the instrument approach, they reestablished radio contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC). They were then issued a clearance to PHNL (Honolulu International Airport) with instructions to fly a heading of 260 degrees, then 240 degrees and ascend to an altitude of 4,000 feet. They were to intercept the Victor 8 airway, which they confirmed with ATC. Shortly after, the controller noticed the flight had descended to 3,600 feet before radar and radio communication with the helicopter was lost. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Simulation Training helicopter training Randy Rowles
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining categorySafety



Jul
19
2017

Faulty Training = Faulty Checkride

Posted by jhadmin

Many of the helicopters utilized in today’s training market are equipped with an engine governor. The governor assists the pilot with managing and maintaining appropriate engine/rotor RPM to safely operate the helicopter. When conducting system failure training, the engine governor will be turned off and the pilot will be required to manipulate the throttle manually. In situations where the engine governor fails and mismanages engine/rotor RPM, the pilot may be required to isolate or turn off the governor. Adequate training and proficiency is critical in these situations. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Checkride Helicopter Instruction helicopter training Randy Rowles
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety



May
22
2017

Maximum Performance Takeoff…To Hover or Not to Hover?

Posted by jhadmin

Variations on the methods used to conduct a maneuver during a Checkride really isn’t that uncommon. However, lately one maneuver seems to have more variations than others, and in many cases, with the applicant not understanding why. The Maximum Performance Takeoff and Climb is seemingly a simple maneuver. It requires the pilot to perform a more vertical takeoff profile due to some obstacle that may be in the proposed takeoff path. Pre-takeoff planning is essential to include weight and balance, performance, and departure path; all critical to the safe, effective usage of this procedure. Each element is evaluated during the examination holistically so the Examiner may gain insight into the Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM), including Risk Assessment (RA) and Mitigation of the proposed departure. [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter Flight Training Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining



Mar
20
2017

Facebook Flyers - You thought texting was bad!

Posted by jhadmin

A few months ago, I was conducting a commercial pilot practical test for an applicant in the South Florida area. At the beginning of the exam, the applicant held up his copy of the FAA practical test standards (PTS) next to his face and took a selfie with his phone. He then proceeded to request I “hold on a minute” so that he could post the picture on Facebook. At the time, I didn’t really mind as this moment was significant to him. Maybe it was his way of calming his nerves: no harm, no foul. The ground portion of the exam was going well as we proceeded into the performance planning portion of the scenario. We were a little over an hour into the exam, so I offered the applicant an opportunity for a short break. He accepted and proceeded to step outside. After a few minutes, I decided to walk to the FBO for a cup of coffee. As I walked outside, the applicant was holding his phone up with a selfie stick to conduct a live video on social media about the exam. To my surprise, he decided it was a good idea to turn the camera in my direction and introduce me into his video efforts. I waved in the direction of the camera and kept walking. To be clear, I was now getting annoyed by this activity. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining



Jan
23
2017

Solo or No Solo? That is the question

Posted by jhadmin

The subject of solo requirements for the addition of a helicopter rating to an existing commercial pilot certificate, when the applicant does not hold a helicopter rating at any level, is a question not easily answered. To get the correct answer, you must look at more than just the experience requirements as stated in 14 CFR Part 61.129(c). Additionally, the method in which a pilot would log the pilot in command (PIC) flight time is confusing. In this article, we’ll attempt to provide some clarity on these subjects. An applicant for an added helicopter rating to an existing commercial pilot certificate will all too often arrive at their checkride and not have adequate experience to be eligible for the practical test. In these cases, the applicant may have spent thousands of dollars only to discover that they cannot use those hours toward the rating for which they are applying. This can be a devastating—and often career altering—revelation. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining



Mar
29
2016

I Certify ... I’m an Authorized Instructor

Posted by jhadmin

So you’ve provided all of the required training to your student. That’s it, they're ready to visit the FAA and apply for that sought after certificate or rating. However, there’s one last thing you have to do: You must certify to the federal government that as an authorized flight instructor you have provided the required ground and flight training, and found the applicant prepared to take the appropriate FAA practical test. So what defines an authorized instructor? The Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) define specific training requirements an instructor must meet to provide training for a certificate and/or rating. This definition is found within FAR 61.1: Applicability and Definitions. Most of the time, there is little confusion on this issue. However, over the last few years many regulatory changes and FAA Legal Interpretations are worthy of a closer look. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining



Feb
08
2016

Checkride Etiquette - Look Like a Rotorcraft Pro!

Posted by jhadmin

My wife and I recently went to see a movie starring Robert De Niro. I truly enjoy most of his movies, however I wasn’t really sure at first I would like his latest: The Intern. In it De Niro portrays 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker looking to come out of retirement to fill a void left by the passing of his wife. I wound up enjoying the movie and related to Whittaker’s journey and perspective on the ever-changing workplace. In the movie, Whittaker’s co-workers are much younger than him, thus their work culture is somewhat different. From Day One, his co-workers comment on the way he dresses while mocking his work ethic. I won’t spoil the ending, however this movie got me thinking: Are my expectations of our younger pilot population too out of touch? After much thought and reflection, my answer is: I don’t think so. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryCareer Development



Jan
11
2016

Fundamentals of Learning…What’s that?

Posted by jhadmin

Over the years, I have developed a few instructional techniques that I use when teaching students. One such technique has proven beneficial time after time, and begins at the first meeting with the student. Once a student is assigned to me, I’ll reach out to them to introduce myself, and schedule their first ground school session. I request they bring their spouse or significant other, and let them know that this first ground school session is on me…as in FREE! [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining categoryCareer Development



Nov
23
2015

Why I Stayed On As a HEMS Pilot

Posted by jhadmin

Flying a HEMS helicopter was one of the most dangerous jobs I’ve ever had. One might rightly ask: Why would I stay in a job when I knew it was so hazardous? I did it because the rewards of the job were many; even reaching far beyond knowing I’d played a part in saving a human life. Children often wanted to interview me or one of the other two Life Flight pilots for papers they were writing in school. Many times, it was hard to live up to the lofty image they had of you. But the adulation didn’t come from just kids. At least once a week someone would stop one of us in the U.C. San Diego Medical Center hallways or the hospital cafeteria and thank us for, in their words, “the wonderful job you’re doing,” or “the humane service you provide,” or most likely for our personal contribution for saving the life of their friend or loved one. [Read More...]



Tags: My Two Cents Randy Rowles
Categories: categoryOpinion-Editorial



Jul
25
2015

Flight Instructors: Know Thy Neighbors!

Posted by jhadmin

As a pilot examiner, I have the opportunity to work with many flight schools and instructors throughout my district. I sometimes take it for granted that my visits to flight schools are a rare benefit to me not often afforded to other flight schools in our local area. The ability to see varied procedures and techniques provides insights into how the average flight school conducts business. I often get to see curriculum development, local airport procedures, internal instructor training, and other aspects of day-to-day operations. [Read More...]



Tags: Randy Rowles
Categories: categoryTraining


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