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Spike last won the day on October 23 2019

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About Spike

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  • Birthday 01/22/1961

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  1. For future reference, when lawyers sue, they sue everyone associated with the incident. EVERYONE. You, as PIC, would be at the top of that list. Therefore, anyone considering such an endeavor should, at minimum, consult with an attorney to protect your assets. Thats what I did...
  2. Pick a school that will provide you with the best chances of being hired as a CFI when you graduate. This usually means a school with high instructor turnover. IMHO, flight schools attached to a university is a waste of time and money. If you want a degree, attend a collage separate from your flight training.
  3. Thats what the investigators/lawyers will say; the pilot *knew* or *should have known* the dangers of a tail wind landing. The most basic level of training and experience includes why pilots should avoid such conditions. He made the decision to do what he did and paid the consequences.
  4. IMHO, this particular incident was poor ADM which resulted into LTE causing a crash. Fix the ADM, and the link in the accident chain is broken. During 206L check-rides at a former ENG employer, we were required hover OGE at 1500 feet, downwind, then start hovering backwards until the machine snapped around. Pilots were required to apply full left peddle and lower the collective and fly out of it, which we did, with a loss of about 150 feet at minimum, 300 feet at max. I can say, it didnt take much to get the machine to snap around. The lesson, dont attempt to hover downwind. Birds understand the importance of landing into the wind. If their tiny brains can grasp the significance of this concept, maybe we humans should do the same.
  5. You already may know some of this stuff but no one else provided any of this information so…. Dress appropriately (like a pro). Don’t be surprised if you get scoffed at if you show up on a helibase in skinny jeans, skate shoes, t-shirt and flat billed ball cap. As far as the sleeping in a tent or motel room goes, pack your clothing in ziplock bags to protect them from bedbugs/fleas. Also, get an insect repellant sleeping bag liner to use when sleeping in the bush or, in some hotels/motels….. Avoid placing your suitcase anywhere the bugs live ala, off the carpet/bed/ground. Places like on top of the table or dresser, bathroom countertop or hang it off the ground. Be picky when eating helibase food. When flying, carry a backpack with a survival kit, flashlight/headlamp, bug repellant, sunscreen and such. Some folks will carry a folding chair. Also, carry some food (energy bars) and water with you as sometimes you may not get a chance to eat while on a fire. And of course, a fire shelter. On the fires, communicate, communicate, communicate. Call off the dip/drop and visual contact with other aircraft. Go slow. In the daisy chain, if you feel pressure from behind, simply advise you’ll do a 360 left or right turn to provide some spacing. Do not let anyone put pressure on you to hurry up. Keep your head on a swivel. Do not get fixated on the fire. Even if you’re told there are no other aircraft on the fire, keep scanning. When you first arrive on scene, recon the dip site and area of the fire for hazards – wires. Once you establish a route in and out, maintain that route. If you need to change your route, high-recon it before you dive in. Remember this saying; “fools rush in”. Recon all landings I say again, RECON ALL LANDINGS. Advise all hazards you see to other arriving aircraft. If you don’t hear anyone (ATGS/Helco) brief arriving aircraft of known hazards, speak up. If you’re not comfortable doing something, don’t do it. If you get fatigued, stop flying and rest. I use a Bluetooth device to communicate via cell phone with my tender driver. It makes fuel stops quicker and more productive. The ATGS and Helco are there to coordinate aircraft and maintain separation, just like ATC. They are not there to force you to do things you don’t want to do. You are the PIC with emphasis in the “C”. If held, never lift without permission. If you have a crew, you should support them first. Do not go rogue and do your own thing. If the ATGS/Helco want you to go elsewhere, advise your crew and let the ATGS/Helco know exactly where your crew is. Cinch the bucket if you are operating in your margins. Like others said on the dark side, don’t be a hero. Simply drop the wet stuff on the hot stuff and repeat. If you miss, don’t worry about it, just go get more water and try again. Type ones can produce some heavy vortexes. Use caution when operating around them. If fighting fire in CA, understand the FTA and the script. Lastly, have fun!
  6. You actually have two problems…. As mentioned, one financial and the other is your weight. Your weight will directly affect your financial. That is, heavier students require training in more expensive helicopters. This is a fact. Based on your other posts, this means you’ll need to borrow a significant amount of money well beyond 80K. I’ll speculate upwards around 100K. I suggest you speak to your wife about going into debt for a substantial amount of money with ZERO guarantee of a job. Again, by your posts, you seem to have a great deal of interest. Therefore, if you can get to around 200lbs, this would making a decision about this endeavor a little easier. Also, go talk to working pilots, face-to-face, about what it takes before you jump in, ala, take what you read here with a huge grain of salt. No one here is a friend with your best interest in mind. Lastly, as a trucker, maybe look into driving for a helicopter company which required a fuel truck to follow the helicopter around. As such, you’ll get a gist of what of takes to succeed in this business. Good luck.
  7. Copy that... I'm not an accountant... Just a pilot.. In my world, "K" means thousands... In that case, the only choice is a 44.... Or, switch to a STOL airplane with tundra tires...
  8. Depends on your purchase and long term operating budget..... You say 500M? Should I assume that is five million and not five hundered million? IMO, out of your list, the Bell 206BIII would be the best choice or better yet, only choice.... Easy to fly, maintain, store, etc, not to mention its safety record is unmached. Bell customer service is top notch as well.... The rest on your list, not so much.... You mention long distances and speed being considerations so I'd add the Bell 407 to your choices. Fast,140 kts all day every day and smooth.... If I remember correcly, it burns 46ish gal per hour and air conditioning wouldn't decrease the performance for what you want to use it for... Needless to say,the 407 would be my #1 pick to tour the country in.... Any flight school with either of the above products could assist you with training, including the factory (Bell). Lastly, after years-n-years in multiple seats, I haven't found any seat I'd describe as "comfortable"......
  9. While your question doesn’t provide any context regarding the circumstance surrounding your question, I’ll ask the following; did you utilize the checklist or, miss that specific item during your start-up? Regardless, anytime a situation such as this occurs, inform your maintenance personnel and get their input. While the responses here have provided some good information, don’t think your employer will have the same opinion. Fess up, no matter how minor the error and learn from your mistake…..
  10. If the reports are accurate, especially with the AS350, maybe simply restrict what passengers are allowed to bring into the cockpit environment would prevent such incidents…. If so, discussing the related issues with HUET, harnesses and floats essentially become moot …. The initial “links of the chain” of an accident are usually apparent and thus should be easily mitigated. Failing to recognize this, for whatever reason, can contribute to further “links” contributing to an unfortunate end result. With more than a few hours in an AS350, if you fly one, guard the center floor controls like your life depends on it -because it does. If flying tours, in cruise, cover the center controls with your left hand and arm at all times. Simply hook a finger into the left seat bucket edge and rest your arm across the center control area. This will afford you a level of protection and, be instantly readily available to lower the collective in case of engine failure. In short, every machine has one or more “Achilles Heel”. Understanding what they are may save your life and the passengers lives you’re responsible for…..
  11. DBCOOP, Yes, it’s possible to have 2 jobs (or more) while instructing. Life is about choices. This statement is especially true for the helicopter business. Most importantly, at the end of a helicopter career, you only have yourself to blame for the choices you made along the way. Good, bad or otherwise. Be informed and research to no end. Additionally, don’t get too wrapped up with the nonsense you’ll read on the internet. I’d gravitate toward jobs where their respective website ends with “.gov”. These jobs tend to be stable with decent pay and benefits. If you have any other questions, please feel free to PM me.
  12. I will say, if you love your job, you should keep your job. Specifically, I believe, loving your job is a blessing and I say this after having a lifetime of jobs in various fields…. Therefore, you should really think about why you would consider leaving a job you love in order to ‘attempt’ to enter the aviation business or the military….. In fact, this endeavor sounds to me to be a little foolish…… Moreover, seeking advice of this level of importance (life changing) on the internet is more than a little risky…… Maybe consider discussing this with someone close to you who is a shareholder in your best interest….. Lastly, if you straighten out your personal life, you may feel differently about what you are inquiring about….
  13. Helistream in Costa Mesa. Top notch school. Western is good too, but chances of being hired are slim. Very slim.
  14. Again, I appreciate your input. However, I didn’t pose the question to debate, or preach, the usefulness of a RA. I simply asked for suggestions in ways to improve and/or create an RA that will actually make a difference in accident reduction. Not to hear the same old story why we need to use one. Crashes still happen and RA’s will have little to no effect on this fact. Once the statistics show this over time, then maybe someone else will make another attempt to build the better mousetrap….. Thank you and have a great day.
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