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Transitioning from the military to college can be challenging, at least it was for me. After completing my military service, I struggled with getting started on the next step toward fulfilling my education goals. I first enrolled in an online program, but the courses did not really interest me. I soon discovered that without excitement about the subject matter there was no motivation to continue. The only thing I was certain about is that I didn’t want to become one of those statistics about military veterans who don’t use their GI Bill benefits.

Electrical utilities are constantly trying to keep up with ever increasing United States demand.  Currently there are about 160,000 miles of electrical transmission lines 110Kv and above on the nation’s expanding grid.

Three huge Nigerians rushed forward and mobbed Dave. A sack was pulled over his head and he was bundled quickly away from the bar and into a waiting minivan. One of the Nigerians began wildly firing his AK above the heads of the others as a warning to stay back and Dave found out later that the guard outside the bar had been held at gunpoint while they made their abduction. The whole thing was over in less than a minute and Dave was now being driven at speed away from the township, and was getting a few punches and kicks from his captors as they showed they meant business. 

My very first flight was in a fixed-wing, a J-3 Cub, as a 13-year old Civil Air Patrol cadet.  My first helicopter flight was in a Hiller OH-23 Raven as a 19-year old Army Warrant Officer Candidate at Fort Wolters, Texas.  Although both flights were unbelievably exciting, the more memorable was the Hiller OH-23, mostly due to my inability to maintain any level of control over the aircraft.

Nothing brings a productive day to a screeching halt quicker than a broken aircraft. At the very core of getting the anomaly identified and corrected is that initial interaction between the mechanic and pilot.

By following a few simple suggestions you can fine tune these early communications, improve troubleshooting efficiency, and get the aircraft back online sooner.

Want to hear something shocking?  According to the American Journal of Clinical Medicine (Winter 2009 issue) after assessing past statistics then projecting them forward, they predicted that if you fly in a HEMS helicopter and do that job for twenty years, you face a 40 percent chance of losing your life.

The doctor, nurse and I would stand by the helicopter in our matching custom-made University of California San Diego Life Flight blue flight suits looking as sharp as any flight crew on the Navy Blue Angels precision-flying team, (well kind of anyway) and after we gave our spiel someone would invariably approach me personally and ask, “Are you medically qualified, or are you JUST the pilot?”

GY: I do remember my first flight!  I was eight years old when my uncle flew my mom and me from New Mexico to our home in Texas.  It was a bit cramped in that J-3 Cub, but I can still see the view from the cockpit today.  I had two uncles with J-3 cubs, so I think they spilled avgas in my veins.  My first helicopter flight was in a Bell model 47 at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington, Texas—and that was the hook that could only be satisfied by learning to fly!

Many helicopter operators ask themselves these questions, and many others, when the conversation with a peer or competitor turns to the subject of an outside audit. Questions are a natural reaction, and each organization needs answers before they embark on an outside safety audit.

Did you wake up today and think to yourself, “I will go to work and crash my helicopter?” Writing it looks absolutely ridiculous and I am sure that it reads equally ridiculous. Although no one plans an accident, I am confident that we can all agree that accidents do happen. Given that several occur each month, we can also agree that they occur on a regular basis.

The problem is that none of us, including me, has an impending feeling that it will actually happen to us.

It is no secret the civil NVG industry was born from military utilization of night vision technology. The acceptance and eventual proliferation of Night Vision Goggles (“NVG”s) into the civil aviation industry is not without bumps and bruises. The path to acceptance by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and civil industry operators alike, has required education, patience, and compromise. Today, nearly fifteen years after the first civil operator was approved by the FAA to utilize NVGs, the civil industry continues to be plagued with issues related to regulatory oversight. In this article, we will discuss: past efforts to standardize the civil industry; how those efforts support today’s NVG industry; and efforts taking place today to ensure a safe, healthy, and prosperous future for NVG operators and regulators.

How’s this for an observation? On a global scale the USA is not a role model for HEMS even though the commercial concept of a helicopter air ambulance began right here in America.  Does that shock you?  It shouldn’t if you’ve watched over the years as I have the appalling accident rate the industry has suffered over a third of a century.

The helicopter pilot works in an amazing, ever-changing environment. The skills necessary to accomplish the task at hand for most commercial or even private helicopter flight operations require a high level of concentration, ability and finesse just to name a few. (social skills excluded)

I’m not sure I remember my first flight, I grew up flying with my father who was a pilot for Ford Motor Company. We flew fast freight out of Detroit in the mid-60’s and early 70’s with one of his friend’s cargo companies, so he was able to share his love of aviation with my brother and me.  My first Army helicopter flight in training was an interesting exercise made up of two components.  One, how much of a huge field I could try to crash in while, two, at the same time trying to keep the shiny side up.

It was getting late in the afternoon and I had just finished a days flying in Key West, Florida. It had been one of those strange, hazy gray, overcast, blustery days, with the wind steady out of the east at 15 – 20 knots. It looked like it wanted to storm any minute, but never really did with the exception of an occasional spit of rain here and there.

My Two Cents Worth - The Importance of Attitude By Randy Mains A story highlighting the importance of attitude was told to more than 100 flight instructors, of which I was one, working for Bell He...

Rotorcraft Pro: How did you get your start in helicopters?

In the US Army, I started in 1964 in Vietnam. But my dad was a pilot for Eastern Airlines, and we lived in Connecticut near Bradley field which is where some of the early Sikorsky and Kaman helicopter test facilities were located. I grew up watching those helicopters being tested.

“Careful!  Easy now!”  The voice of the anxious shop foreman called out as he directed the crane operator loading a Bell 222B onto a flatbed trailer for the start of a long journey from Phoenix, Arizona to Johannesburg, South Africa.

Birds are a severe danger for pilots. Especially when flying at low altitudes with high speed – a profile that is typical for helicopter flights.. What can be done to prevent strikes and to save lives and costs?

Three years ago, I wrote an article entitled “The State of the Used Robinson Helicopter Market.”  At that time, the factory was laying off workers and holding a huge inventory of cancelled orders, and the used market was severely depressed.  Anyone who has lived through a recession knows that the economy is cyclical.  However, at that time, it was very difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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