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Recent Articles

 Is now a good time to become a Helicopter Pilot? by Lyn Burks

On the supply side there is a trend occurring that is beginning to create a shortage of qualified helicopter pilots. There are many factors that are influencing that trend. One of the factors is that over the last decade the rate at which new pilots are being trained has been steadily decreasing.


Instrument Instruction Required for the Commercial Helicopter Pilot Certificate by Randy Rowles

Can the Instrument Instruction required for the Commercial Pilot Helicopter certificate by given by a CFI that DOES NOT hold an Instrument Rating on their CFI certificate?


IA - Initial Attack! by Ken Carlton

I.A. means initial attack, that’s what I do with a helicopter. The Viet Nam Vets who are honest will tell you that they miss the adrenaline rush they got from flying helicopters. There is something about being shot at and missed that has a way of focusing your attention. Flying the helicopter well under combat conditions is the very best part of flying...if you can't do that then there's I.A.


How to Operate a Helicopter Mechanic by William C. Dykes

A long, long time ago, back in the days of iron men and wooden rotor blades, a ritual began. It takes place when a helicopter pilot approaches a mechanic to report some difficulty with his aircraft. All mechanics seem to be aware of it, which leads to the conclusion that it's included somewhere in their training, and most are diligent in practicing it.



Helicopter pilots are just better than fixed wing pilots...by John Jones

This has been a serious debate for quite some time with battle lines well drawn and the debate field hot, furious, and emotional. Obviously, the heat of the debate and the surety of the participants are directly proportional to the amount of liquid intelligence that has been consumed. Nevertheless, this humble observer will present the evidence that clearly proves helicopter pilots are, as a matter of fact, the most superior pilots in the aviation community.


Helicopter Industry Flying Descriptions by Author Unknown

GrandCanyon Tour:
get up at 430am, drive 90 miles to the ditch, have 5th cup of coffee,preflight,pee,get in start up,load up the midwestern beefeaters,fly for 30 minutes,fly for 30 minutes,fly for 30 minutes,fly for an hour,fly for 30 minutes,fly for an hour,Can I have a break? no ok,fly for 30 minutes,fly for 30 minutes,fly for 30 minutes,fly for 30 minutes,fly for 30 minutes,fly for 30 minutes,fly for an hour,get out tie down,PEE, drive 90 miles home, eat sleep repeat.

Fuel Planning,Endurance and Fuel Problems...by Cem Kurkcu

Fuel,it is essential for any sort of machine to work. However, it really means more than that to pilots, especially for helo pilots who fly over different regions, terrain and water. There is no excuse for fuel problems. Whatever goes wrong with fuel, eventually the helicopter loses substantial power, because piston or turbine engine runs inefficently, the worst situation is an unexpected engine flame out at an unexpetd time,over an unexpected place. This combination is intimidating.


Does it really benefit a pilot to obtain the ATP certificate? by Randy Rowles

The answer depends on your perspective of need. The ATP itself is only needed for select types of flight operations, i.e. scheduled air carrier, etc.



Combat Versus Fire Fighting by Ken Carlton

Several people have asked me lately if flying on fires is "pretty tame" after flying a helicopter in combat operations in Viet Nam. I've thought about it a bit, and I have to say, "It's incredibly similar!" Ever present in both is the excitement, the danger, and the adrenaline rushes everything, I suppose, except the shooting. And if you REALLY miss the shooting, you can always amend that by flying "low and slow" over someone's marijuana garden, and someone is bound to fire a few rounds at you just to make sure you don't miss Viet Nam TOO much. The similarities abound, and as I've done both with a helicopter, I thought I'd point out a few of them.


All accidents are not preventable by Anonymous

The cry of helicopter Aviation Safety and Management seems to suggest that all accidents are preventable. While I applaud and support the efforts to reduce accidents within our community and hope serious calamities are minimized, I'm not willing to concede that the concept of Zero Defects is, in the long run, practical or even beneficial. I posit that the very existence of accidents is demonstrative of the predisposition of the human condition, namely our own imperfections. Furthermore, it is the positive response to accidents which is the seed for our greatest improvements and achievements (a case I should not have to make).

By Ken Carlton -  A Noodle in a Wildcat's Ass

The other day I flew a long line mission. Forest Service smoke jumpers had jumped on one of our fires and had put the fire out. Now they had to hike out six or seven miles to the nearest road. They notified us that we needed a 150-foot line to reach down in the tall trees on the side of a steep hill. They also said they had 650 pounds of equipment that needed to be slung out.


By Dana Raaz - 

A DAY IN THE LIFE.....a deep-water pilot in the Gulf of Mexico

The 4:00 AM beeping of the alarm clock signals the start of another day for Jayne Brodie, a helicopter pilot assigned as an SIC (second-in-command) on a PHI Bell 412SP based in Morgan City, Louisiana. Like most of the 1,000 + Gulf Coast helicopter pilots, Jayne works a 7 day on, 7 day off schedule and stays in company-supplied housing while at work. She makes the weekly commute from her home in Pensacola, Florida on Thursday afternoon and starts her work hitch with a 5:30 AM Friday morning briefing. Since Jayne’s customer wants the first flight to depart the heliport at 6:00 AM she and her PIC (pilot-in-command) have already done the preflight, checked the weather and filed their IFR flight plans before the 5:30 briefing begins.

By Paul Huston - A story written by a female heli pilot when she received her CFI license.

I am a certified flight instructor! Believe me it feels fabulous!

The ground started at about 9:00am. There were lots of questions about endorsements, training techniques and some really tough aerodynamics. I had a moment of panic when my brain checked out for a few minutes and I misinterpreted an airspace requirement. I took a minute to collect my thoughts and then told the examiner that I had answered the question completely wrong. He agreed wholeheartedly, which didn't make me feel much better but the brain kicked on again and I had the correct answer. Then after about two and a half hours of oral questioning I presented a ground lesson to five other students. Two of the students were fixed wing students so they asked great questions ...

By Klank - Hot Start – A humorous (fictitious) account of a hot start from the perspective of a male EMS Pilot. Men are pigs. A modulated start can be a very simple procedure or royal pain in the ass; on one fine day it was the latter. Having gotten a different aircraft at the base due to maintenance issues was not an uncommon accordance and all our aircraft are pretty much the same. I complete my preflight and am satisfied with the machine I have been assigned.

By Paul Heuts - A 3 blade rotor chopping 1 meter above your head, a small screaming engine under your seat and rock solid ground 1000 feet below you. Oh, and because it is hot we left the doors off the helicopter so each time we bank the little Schweizer 300CB to the right I get the feeling I’m going to drop out.

By Larry K. Clark - As with all the different missions that helicopters can perform, the ENG segment has many different types of flying for pilots that want to work in this part of our industry. ENG encompasses traffic reporting, covering live breaking news and shooting background video for TV commercials or movies. The common element is a gyro-stabilized camera mounted on a helicopter.

By Sgt. Steve Lindley - Flying Law Enforcement helicopters can be a very rewarding and exciting career. It is, however, sometimes a tough field to get into. I speak from a standpoint of a pilot in a small/medium sized division with a few unique features and this does not represent the industry as a whole. There are many departments of many sizes and shapes and everyone does things just a little differently. That being said, my viewpoint does not represent every possible situation.

By Dwaine Parker - I believe that this question has been the most asked of me. I never mind answering it and I use to respond back with lengthy emails trying not to forget the slightest detail. I then realized it would be easier to cover the information with a simple phone call. But that required several emails coordinating times and numbers. So I have finally decided to put everything I know all together in one thread. Hopefully anyone who wants the information will be able to find it and review it at anytime…sorry for the length and I hope you find the information beneficial.

By Tony Fonze - Becoming a US ARMY Helicopter Pilot, You are in the Army Now! Army pilots are, by definition, soldiers first, officers second, and then aviators. Consequently, applicants for the aviation program must first meet the requirements for acceptance into the military, acceptance into the Warrant Officer program, and finally, admission into the aviation training program.

Are you searching for information on how to become a helicopter pilot? Search no more!
We here at Justhelicopters.com have produced a comprehensive downloadable EBook titled “Everything you ever wanted to know about becoming a helicopter pilot”. This EBook is offered by TheHelicopterStore.com.

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