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After reviewing the new FAA rules unveiled this past February, I can’t help thinking the agency missed a golden opportunity to include a rule that would have significantly reduced the appalling accident rate seen over the past 35 years in our helicopter air ambulance industry

Advanced Tactics Inc., a small aerospace company, recently released details about its AT Transformer vehicle technology and announced that a full-scale technology demonstrator has completed its first driving and flight tests.

RPMN: What is your current position?

I’m the Director of Operations for the 129th Rescue Squadron, HH-60G Division, although I’ll soon be retired.

RPMN: Tell me about your first flight?

My first helicopter flight was in training at Fort Rucker, flying the Jet Ranger TH-67 as an Air Force student with the Army training cadre.  There was pressure to be cool about it, but I had a hard time hiding my excitement.  Actually, I was like a little kid.  Just hovering ten feet in the infield was by far the most exciting and challenging flight I have ever done.  I knew right away that flying helicopters was going to be my future.

My Two Cents Worth (April 2014 Issue)

by Randy Mains

I love aviation humor.  I love it because I’ve found it always carries an element of truth.  Consider the following homework assignment purported to have been written by a fifth grade student at Jefferson School, Beaufort, SC. entitled:

Why I want to be a Pilot

 When I grow up I want to be a pilot because it's a fun job and easy to do. That's why there are so many pilots flying around these days. Pilots don't need much school.

The Less the Merrier: The Perils of Additional Insured

Written by Jeff Fleming, Leading Edge Insurance Agency

As a helicopter owner, especially a non-commercial owner, you may have been asked by the county or city that owns the airport where you park or hangar your aircraft to be added to your insurance as an "additional insured." You probably said, "Sure, why not?" Then you contacted your agent to get the additional party added, and the agent subsequently went to the insurance underwriter to complete the request. But exactly what was the airport/city/county really asking for?

Whether it’s something routine, like overhauling one of its many starter generators, or a more urgent need, like replacing an N1 tach indicator that just quit on a helicopter stuck out in the field, when All American Aviation needs a part they contact Precision HeliParts (PHP).

There is a tongue-in-cheek saying that “A helicopter is 5,000 moving parts all trying to do you bodily harm!” Of course, I strongly disagree with the latter part of that statement. However, since every helicopter is indeed made up of thousands of parts, the scenarios above play out hundreds of times every day in a variety of ways all over the world. Fortunately, for thousands of operators in over 60 countries, PHP is part of their solution.

RPMN: What is your current position?

 I am a full-time flight nurse with the University of Cincinnati Medical Center’s Air Care & Mobile Care (ACMC).  I am also the Staff Development & Education Committee Chair, act as a primary preceptor to new staff, and serve as a coordinator for ACMC’s STEMI (a type of heart attack) program and Ride-Along program.

Article and Photos by Tim Pruitt

MRO Services
All American Aviation is an up and coming player in the aerospace maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) industry.  As an FAA certified repair station, their certified service technicians provide complete support and services for avionics and components on both rotorcraft and fix-wing aircraft.

My Two Cents Worth

by Randy Mains

Here’s a question for you:  What’s the difference between a $14 million full-motion, level D flight simulator and a $500 couch?  As I was to find out, the answer to that question is … not a lot.

In the January 2014 issue of Rotorcraft Pro, there were several very well written and informative articles about flight simulators.  Lyn Burks, the editor-in-chief of Rotorcraft Pro, had written an article about his experience flying a S76 C+ flight sim at the CAE training center in Whippany, New Jersey.  Ryan Mason wrote an insightful article entitled “Trends in Helicopter Simulation.”  Reading those two articles reminded me of the couch, and what a wonderful training tool it is.

Personal Protective Equipment (Part Two)

By Dr. Dudley Crosson

This is the concluding part of our article on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) / Aviation Life Support Equipment (ALSE).  Last month we looked at the helmet.  Now I would like to consider all other components of what a flight crew should wear.

By Dr. Dudley Crosson

It doesn’t matter what you call it – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or Aviation Life Support Equipment (ALSE) – it is all the same.  It is the equipment that the flight crew should be using to protect them from conditions that may occur during an accident.  It is common practice to utilize ALSE in the public safety and HEMS communities, but it is obvious that not all do so.

Meet a Rotorcraft Pro – Anthony Burson

RPMN: What is your current position?
I am the Chief Pilot of UTFlight, the flight department of United Technologies.  I am responsible for helicopter and fixed winged operations, both domestic and international. We have 36 pilots that operate a fleet of ten aircraft with bases in Hartford, Conn. and Charlotte, N.C. 

RPMN: Tell me about your first flight.
My first flight was in a Piper Super Cub that was owned by a family friend. I was ten years old and remember that I could not see out the front wind screen. The flight was only about 20 minutes long but I knew then that flying was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. 

My first helicopter flight was in a Hughes 500 at the age of 23. I was working as an A&P mechanic and had just been trained on how to do rotor track and balance. I was so excited in that first ride that I had a hard time concentrating on what I was doing.

A poem by helicopter pilot Marshall Murdock

The best among us are not among us,
You will not find them here;
They stand on distant lands and shores,
For freedom’s cause so dear.

CS3 - Raising the Bar on Customer Support:
How Airbus Does It!
Article, Photos & Video by Lyn Burks

No one likes a helicopter that is a “hangar pig”—a helicopter that seemingly sits in the hangar broken more often than flying.  As a person who has owned several helicopters as a part of my business, I can testify that downtime equals lost dollars.

Perceptions of Safety
By Scott Skola

    Safety, safety, safety … with the full court press on safety these days, you would think that the rotorcraft industry would be at that much-revered “zero incidents and accidents” goal by now.  Unfortunately, we’re not.
    When you get down to it, what is safety?  Is it just an analytical state of mind, with a bunch of numbers and ratios proving its success?  Or does it also have a philosophical side, where perception and beliefs play a part in safety success?  The short answer—it’s both.  So, if a company wants no incidents and accidents—and every employee goes to work with the intention of not causing an incident or accident—why do we continue to come up short? 

My Two Cents Worth (Rotorcraft Pro February 2014 Issue) by Randy Mains

What does it mean to you to be a professional?  With that thought in mind, do you possess the attributes of a professional?  What do you think are essential qualities of a true professional?  Conversely, what qualities would you consider to be found in someone who is not a professional?  Considering what it takes to be professional – and unprofessional – will make you aware of what we all strive to be: a true professional in our chosen occupation.

Meet a Rotorcraft Pro – Henrik Bjorklund

RPMN: What is your current position?
I’m a saw pilot at Rotor Blade.

RPMN: What does Rotor Blade do?
We perform aerial sidewall trimming of utility line rights-of-way.  This is done with a ten-bladed saw that’s suspended below the aircraft.

RPMN: Tell me about your first flight.
It was my very first flight lesson at Bristow Academy in Florida.  I absolutely loved how the helicopter maneuvered through the air and the sensation of hovering; hanging motionless in the air was absolutely fantastic.  I had never been in a helicopter before I left Sweden and came to Bristow Academy, not even on the ground.  So, when my instructor asked if I wanted to do an autorotation I simply said, “Yeah, sure,” and was wondering what he was talking about.  I was in for a surprise.

By Ryan Mason By all indications, the helicopter simulation industry is booming.  With the steady introduction of new helicopter models from several manufacturers, the simulation equivalents o...

VA Benefits & Helicopter Training
By Heidi McBride

Having the opportunity to use our VA benefits to pay for professional helicopter flight training is, for many of us Veterans, an incomprehensible dream come true. Using the Post-9/11 GI Bill can genuinely pay for 100% of your fight training, pay for your books and supplies, and provide a reasonable housing stipend. There are, however, many crucial factors to consider before you blindly pick a flight school and jump in feet first. More than one veteran has chosen too hastily and regretted their choice of school once they became aware of all the options available to them.

The Leading Edge of Training Technology –The CAE Experience
Article, photos & video by Lyn Burks

Offshore 100 miles, atop an 80-foot oilrig helideck I perform a pre-takeoff check: fuel levers in direct, both throttles in fly, fire t-handles are forward.  Scanning down the instrument panel I see that my temps and pressures are in the green and there are no warnings or caution lights blinking at me.  Moving across the center console, I ensure that my stick trims and autopilots are on, and there are no DECU (digital engine control unit) faults.  Next, I pull the Sikorsky S76C+ into a stable hover, turn the nose into the wind, and do a power check.  The torque gage reads 68 percent — life is good.

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