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About dolphindriver

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  1. Spike, I am not new to the game, I have well over 25 years of experience. I am on this forum and I have to use risk assessments so I think I meet the criteria of who you are asking the question to in the discussion. I have to disagree with your presumptions because history just doesn't support it. You noted the following: "The pilot is good to go (IMSAFE), the machine is good to go, the pilot monitored the environment for which he or she going to operate in and have considered all of the possible scenarios. This was all done in their heads, based on their training and experience." "What’s going to get them is the unknown which cannot be forecasted in a RA matrix. We plan and prepare to the best of our abilities but as the statistics show, no matter what is done, people will still make the ultimate mistake and no matrix will prevent it." First, people are not getting into trouble because of the unknown. Most occur with things that are known before they take off. Second, if they considered all possible scenarios, nobody would ever crash unless they chose the scenario in which they crashed. Can you provide a recent helicopter crash that occurred due to something that couldn't have been forecast? You may not be able to predict an exact event at a specific time but you can forecast potential issues with a risk assessment if used correctly. If you just check boxes looking for a good number and then go, you are right, it is a waste of time. But if you use it as a tool as intended, then it can work well. Look at the HEMS crashes. Most of the crashes are flight into bad weather where they go IIMC and then crash. Was the weather unknown? Nope. They either knew and went anyway or never checked the weather. Why? You are right, if you hire good pilots you have a lower chance of having a major event but there are a lot of good, dead pilots so that isn't a foolproof plan. You may not be able to predict an exact event at a specific time but you can forecast things with a risk assessment but it has to be used correctly. If you just check boxes looking for a good number and then go, you are right, nothing is accomplished. But if you use it as a tool as intended, then it can work well. So, what is the ultimate risk assessment? Who knows. If I did I would be too busy counting my money to be on this site. But here is what I think it should contain how it should be used: Items that need to be addressed: 1. Physiological considerations 2. Proficiency considerations 3. Aircraft considerations 4. Environmental considerations Look at those four items and make sure they correlate the way they should. I make a personal assessment and realize I am tired since I didn't sleep well last night but I am still ok to fly. It is a risk but I will mitigate it by taking things a bit slower and double checking things as I go. I have flown 40 hours during the day this month, I feel proficient in flying but how proficient am I at night since I haven't flown at night in 45 days? That is a risk, I will fly a little higher, only accept a larger landing area, take things a bit slower. The risk assessment just helped. On that same flight, I see the weather is just above mins at the areas reporting weather in the area but where I am going there is no reporting source but I am familiar with the area so I make an educated guess the weather will be the same or higher. I am a VFR only pilot so what do I do to mitigate it? Perhaps I will review obstacles in the area just to make sure if I have to be a little lower than normal I can still safely fly. My risk assessment just helped. I mitigated my individual risks but now, I look back at my risk assessment. I wanted to fly higher because it was night and I didn't want to hit any obstacles. It was also bad weather so I realized I might have to fly lower, that might be an issue one way or the other. Since it is night time, I have a greater chance of inadvertently flying into a cloud and it will be much darker because of the cloud cover. Plus, since I am a bit tired and only fly VFR, if I go into the clouds I don't have a really good chance of getting out of that situation alive. Perhaps now would be a good time to take another look at the list of the hazards I noted and see if there is a better way to mitigate them collectively. If not, maybe I shouldn't go. Can a good pilot correlate all of that in their head? Sometimes, but not every time. If you have a risk assessment tool that lets you identify hazards and look at all of them collectively to make a better decision, that is a good thing. It doesn't have to give you license to go or not to go, it just lets you review your options and adjust as necessary.
  2. Having been a pilot for over 25 years, I have been in all types of organizations. Some required a risk assessment for a simple hover check and others didn't require it for even the highest risk operations one can do. I have been on the pilot side, the management side, the maintenance side, and have also tried to look at it from a different perspective as a safety guy. The answer to the best risk assessment tool question? Whatever someone will actually use. The truth is that a good risk assessment looks at things you would already consider. So why do one? Because our brain is great at identifying risk, but it is also great at compartmentalizing. Quick example. We can easily identify that scud running is a bad idea and people get killed doing it, but we still do it. Why? Because when we make the decision to do it we conveniently leave out other parts of the equation. When was the last time we flew instruments? When was the last time we flew at night? Will there be suitable landing areas if the weather comes down too low? What are the obstacles along my route? We could take every one of those questions and justify a way to mitigate a risk or two such as low clouds at night. But when we add in the next risk, we often drop the ball. Instead of noting all of the risks, we only use one or two of the risks to make our assessment. A flight that you may have made comfortably 100 times may not be so comfortable if one or two factors change. Will it be the same if it is night instead of day? What if you were up all night? What if you are stressed due to a divorce? We don't take all of the factors into consideration normally as we can only work with one or two variables at a time. That is what a risk assessment tool is for, to correlate a bunch of random factors into one complete review. Don't use the tool as a check off sheet to see if you can go or not, use it as a tool to identify factors that may affect your flight and figure out how to manage them. If you can manage them, you will be able to have a nice plan to make it work, If you can't, then don't go.
  3. You will have to contact the Naval avaition Safety Center in Pensacola, FL. Even then it will be tough as you will have to fill out a FOIA request and you will not get the complete report. If you get anything it will be only the releaseable data which is not much more than a brief synopsis of the incident. Good luck.
  4. Because technically, they are. We don't even need FAA certification but most of us have them anyway. With that said, military pilots are required to follow FARs because the services say they will. I knowingly break FAA regs and ICAO regs just about every day because I have to for the missions I fly. Totally above board and legal. I am not defending the actions of these pilots, just pointing out some facts. No matter how you slice it, what they did was absolutely stupid and may indeed have busted FAA regs. I am not current on what Tahoe is designated as so they may have broken many or no rules. I simply don't know.
  5. Actually, The Coast Guard has the best gig. We have a great lifestyle, and the mission is excellent. Plus most pilots will continue to fly up to and often including O-6. However, most will have one staff tour during that time.
  6. Wyatt, If your school meets the Blue 21 requirements (25% minority or more) that is your best bet to secure a flight slot. However that program is closing up so it is off again, on again. Besides, it is harder to get into OCS than it is to get into flight school. Once you get into OCS, you will compete against other classmates for any flight positions that become available. If you don't get selected, you will go to a unit doing any array of interesting jobs. You can then apply to flight school boards about twice a year for four years until you make LT. Now, to your question. You will, of course, need your Bachelor's degree. Do well in school while doing that which means getting great grades. Your private pilot's license will help you when competing for flight training but won't necessarily help you in the selection process. What will help you is being able to stand out from other candidates. The best way is to be able to provide leadership examples. If you just go to school and don't work, engage in school activities, or play sports, you will have a really tough time trying to say you are a good leader since you won't have any experience to draw on. When you get to the OCS interview board, act professionally. I have had people come in and slouch in their chairs, mumble, and look like they just came from the club. None of which endears you to the board especially questions of what leadership challenges were faced have been answered with statements along the line of "Its all kind of a blur but I am a very strong leader." Have definite answers. Good luck.
  7. I've seen the women who sit in 47s at air shows. The reason they sit in those aircraft is because it is the only helicopter they will fit in. The good looking women go to the CG helicopter.
  8. Mymm, I learned the awesomeness of being an Apache pilot in 1991 right after completing flight school and flew them until 1997 when I left the Army. Now all I get to do is watch my gunner shoot. Watching someone else shoot from your helicopter is like watching someone else make out with a beautiful woman. It's fun for a bit but not nearly as fun as doing it yourself.
  9. Yes. The proper response to emphasize that you want to fly 47's would be "Since I do not believe I could handle the awesomeness of being an Apache pilot trained to rain down death from above, I would prefer to fly Chinooks if at all possible."
  10. OCS process is simple from the candidate's point of view. You complete your paperwork, go in front of a panel of officers for an interview and your whole package is sent to headquarters where a selection board ranks you on your accomplishments and the results of the interview. If you make the cut you are accepted to OCS. You can apply for flight training while you are in OCS and for about 4 years afterwords.
  11. Not quite yet is hasn't. I am conducting a blue 21 board in September so they must still be doing it. I have heard that it will end at the end of the calender year though.
  12. Sorry, there isn't a program similar to WOFT. You would have to get a commission and go through flight school.
  13. Linc, You don't have to call me sir we are on the internet. I am enjoyed my time in the Army as well and I am glad you are enjoying it as well. Since you brought it up, I have to ask, how old are you and how much time in service do you have? As for the college, I have a few friends who also came in as DCAs and still don't have degrees as O-4s and O-5s. I am certainly not trying to talk you into switching over to the dark side, I am just curious.
  14. Zach, Congrats and look forward to seeing you in the fleet.
  15. Linc, I can certainly understand your concerns and I completely agree. However, there are ways around it. You do not have to be completely ETS'd to apply for the program. In fact it is better for you if you are not. What you do need is something that either says the Army will let you out if you get picked up for the program. Although I haven't seen one of those for years. Or you need something that states when your ETS will be. I know I had a letter 1 year out that stated the date I would be released from the Army on a specific date. If you have either of those, you can submit a selection packet. If you are only going to get out if you get that job then it becomes a bit more complicated. I will tell you that being a CG pilot was worth every bit of hassle it took for me to get in. I pin on O-4 in a month or two and I have enjoyed every minute. Good luck. If you do decide to go this route and need any assistance in the process let me know.
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