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Everything posted by Spike

  1. AME’s can be shysters too….. Like, $200 for either a class 1 or 2……. Good deal eh? Second class, I paid roughly $130… My AME charges closer to $200 for a 1st class….
  2. Even though our organization doesn’t use Reliance Standard Insurance, I’m now going to look at my benefits package fine print with a high-powered microscope…..
  3. Moggy, sorry to hear about your situation and how your employer is screwing you; although I’m not surprised. I’d agree with the Lawyer suggestion. If anything, get a consultation to see where you stand. On a side note, where does the union stand on this? Or, is this another sore spot?
  4. I’d be very cautious about listening to anyone regarding ones chances of being selected into an air unit. Specifically, there are lots of layers of decision makers between those in the unit and the upper floors. Couple this with the required commitment to even be considered, it’s a monumental gamble, at best…. It’s been said before, LE management and aviation management have a hard time getting along. Therefore, when considering an LE gig, it’s better to think within the confines of LE, not aviation. With that, if this is what you seek, the best scenario is to join an agency with lots of aircraft as these units are cemented within the agency. This, and have an overwhelming desire to become an officer and be satisfied being in the street for years…. Simply put, for most departments, a senior officer with a commercial certificate and a couple hundred hours has a better chance of getting the next PIC seat than you would coming in, as a rookie, with 1900 hours….. And, there are a lot of officers, in every department with an aviation unit, who are posturing themselves to get that next seat….. It's the way it is.....
  5. In order to advance in this business, you’ll need to gain a Certified Flight Instructor Certificate with Instrument Instructor ratings (CFII). After that, you’ll need to get a job teaching in order to build the time, to get to the minimums Wally posted above. Ag minimums aren’t so high, but nonetheless, you’ll want to be competitive as an entry level pro-pilot and there is no better way to do that without the CFII and teaching. Don’t get the CFII and your chances of advancing, at any rate, are nearly zero. Talk to people who actually hold jobs, as in “working” EMS, Ag, ENG, Fire, Charter, Corporate -pilots and find out how they did it. If possible, face-to-face….. If anything, get someone to advocate for you….. If you do go back to flight school, beware, there are many folks who’ve lost thousands by listening to BS generated by the flight school(s). Just Google Silverstate Helicopters and, even though they are no-more, places like SSH still exist. Research flight schools and when you think you're done, research again…. Additionally, take what you learn on the internet with a grain of salt….. You’d be looking at approximately 65K to finish the training to CFII….. And no, flight schools do not train you for a specific job. Moreover, you must also learn about the helicopter business before focusing on the ultimate goal. Like EMS. Simply put, you’ll need to learn to crawl before you can walk, before you can jog, before you can run, before you can sprint, before you can fly……
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKwWu2w1gGk
  7. And yeah, we all know what parts were removed because we were all there….. Not… What we read and see on the internet and in advertising propaganda is always true… Not…. As previously mentioned, in 1972 the same manufacturer took a variant of an older machine to 40K ft… So therefore, Everest should be a piece of cake some 44 years later….. Yup… Straight-n-level, our B3 won’t do VNE…. Nor did any of the e models I’ve flown….. I like Chevys more than Fords but I drive a Toyota…… I guess some folks are easily impressed…. Maybe this conversation is a world’s record for the most nonsensical thread this site has ever had…… I’ll admit, the DVD of the event is cool…..
  8. While I don’t know the airworthiness standards in Napal, that machine would not have met FAA or CAA airworthiness standards because of those “removed” parts. If it’s “modified”, what does it matter how much it’s modified? In short, they “cheated” to perform the stunt. And, IMHO, a stunt is all it was…. Kinda like car commercials advertising their product can go from 0 to 60 in 2.3 seconds or has a top speed of 210mph which have dire consequences if you dive them in the same way out in the real world…..
  9. There are some complete bone-head people in this business…. With crappy attitudes…… So how did they get there? Having the right attitude is simple. Paying for and securing the certification to get a job is just as simple… Civi or ex-mil.... Not understanding how the business works is a job killer and THAT’S how the bone-heads and bad apples get in… They listen and learn about the business of flying helicopters -professionally.. But for whatever reason, others can’t seem to figure this out. They just keep this imaginary image in their heads of how this business works without ever realizing they’re not even close….. It’s reminiscent of youth…. That is, you have preschoolers who are eager to learn and they learn as they grow, like in flight school. As they get a little older (like a few hundred hours in the aviation world, employed or not) they stop listening because they know it all; like a teenager…. This is why the ones who falter or fail do so because they won’t listen to those who became before them… In the end, if you can’t find a job in this business, you have to ask the right questions starting with yourself…… After that, ask questions to those who've been there and done that......
  10. By first appearances, you’d think it was an achievement. However, that 350 wasn’t your everyday 350… It was modified to perform the task…. Again, what’s the point? To sell helicopters, right? But not “that” helicopter. At least, not until they put some of the parts back on….. And, with the bucket on, 100 degrees Fahrenheit at 2000 ft DA, our B3 struggles. How does landing on Everest prove the B3 is a high altitude machine? Apparently, the 407 landing at 20K was an “off the line”, non-modified, machine. Okay, so Bell and AIRBUS seem to have a Johnson comparison contest going on…. So what.. I’d rather they concentrate on reducing the DOC’s of their machines, parts, products, training or whatever and not attempt to compete in a high altitude circus contest….
  11. Back In 2005, then Eurocopter test pilot Didier Delsalle landed an AS350 on top of Mt. Everest. Since that time, no AS350 has landed there again…. So what was the point? The helicopter can go where no one can take it? To land on Everest just because it was there? A dangerous way to prove a meaningless point. Yes, I understand it was a Marketing gimmick to sell helicopters, but, don’t you want to sell helicopters to people who are intelligent enough to understand the specifications of the machine without all the drama? And, BTW, the 350 I fly, can’t even meet those spec's so again, what was the point? In this case, while the product is innovative, technical information should’ve enough to generate interest in the invention. However, I’d suggest to those who need to increase the power of their Rotorway in order to carry 4 people, to simply purchase a more powerful 4 place helicopter….
  12. Not necessarily…. I’ve obtained quite a number of jobs without meeting the minimums… And, I agree, there is no magic number….. The true magic is actually, not having the time and still getting the job…..
  13. Yep..... Something simple to do turned into a big-f'n-deal..... Thank you for the info.... Mr. A....
  14. If a cop wants to talk to you, rest assured, his hand-signals won't be misinterpreted. Just assuming but if it were me, I’d make eye contact and probably do a finger point, as in to say “you” with an accompanying finer curl as to say “come here”. And, more-then-likely, mouthing the words at the same time…. Cops try to make their actions obvious so they are clear and, to create witnesses….. Conversely, bad guys tend to do the opposite….
  15. Therefore, you propose, a cop supposedly lied in your grandpa’s case, so therefore, all cops are liars…. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending which side you’re on, most US courts do not share your opinion….
  16. "According to the arrest report, upon Vorstman landing his helicopter on the pad, he refused to turn off the aircraft and exit in order to speak to deputies. He instead informed deputies that he could not exit the helicopter, and took off again with a group of passengers." Kinda sounds like he willfully ignored the deputy’s order. And, of course, as he had more important things to do; like a 5 minute tour….. Which led to his arrest and a night in jail and, no doubt, legal fees which he, as a former R44 tour pilot, can’t afford….. While I completely agree there is more to this story, it’s a story you wouldn’t want to be a part of….. With that, when a cops says he wants to talk to you, I suggest you go talk with him. And, when you do talk with him, don’t say things like; I had a “heavy load”…. A professional will always operate in a manner which leaves no question in the mind of the casual observer…. Basically, I always fly in a way I can successfully defend in court…. If I can’t, I don’t…
  17. Not sure about FL, but in CA, there is a “delaying” element coupled with the “resisting” law. 148. (a) (1) Every person who willfully resists, delays, or obstructs any public officer, peace officer, or an emergency medical technician, as defined in Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code, in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of his or her office or employment, when no other punishment is prescribed, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. The mere act of ignoring the lawful order constitutes resisting. Basically, if an officer believes a crime is afoot, he has the right to detain anyone associated with that crime. And, it’s not “detain” whenever the potential suspect feels like it. However, in today’s world, people don’t believe they need to follow cops orders.... At-all, regardless of the circumstances….. In the end, when a cops says he needs to talk to you now, it's not a request..... Ignore that order in any form-or-fashion and you'll suffer the consequences.. Like Tom....
  18. I can only assume…. “Deputies made numerous attempts to get Vorstman to meet with them, but he would not turn off the aircraft and, for safety concerns, they were not able to approach him. Instead, Vorstman advised he could not exit and left in the helicopter with a group of passengers. Approximately 5 minutes later, Vorstman returned and, after finishing his safety checks and exiting the aircraft he met with deputies.” The cops probably demanded to speak to him and he agreed but only when HE was ready to do so…… Bad decision….. And, while 5 minutes may not seem that long, it was 3 minutes longer than needed. On the surface, it appears Mr. Vorstman may have had a bad attitude towards the Po-po….. Again, bad decision…
  19. Let’s forget about the FAA’s suggested Risk Assessment or your company’s, or any other institutional method for that matter. If YOU had the opportunity to create the ultimate Risk Assessment, what would it be?
  20. I was once of the opinion, a proficient IFR pilot going IIMC was just another procedure. Then I got educated. No matter the man or machine, IIMC is an emergency procedure…… IFR helicopters are not the answer. IIMC avoidance through training, ADM and solid judgment will keep you from bumping into things…. That, and knowing your operating environment coupled with landing the dam helicopter. Simply put, pilots should be proactive to stay out of the soup. If they rely on being reactive, then they’re bound to get into trouble….
  21. Spike

    Catch 22,...?

    Yes, I agree, fatigue is an issue. However, who is in the best position to determine this? Specifically, in the Denver Pletcher IIMC video, the AIRBUS CP says “the pilot is often, not often but always, the least qualified person to assess his or her ability to fly the machine safely”. I do not in agree with this statement. Moreover, by Federal Law, it is a pilot’s responsibility to assess the level of flight safety on every flight. This is an example of how the safety industry is eroding the level of judgment required for safe flight in addition to constant evaluation and practice of ADM. Simply put, others believe they are the ones who need to make the decision, not the pilot who is in the cockpit, in the environment. Historically, this is how our military has lost battles in war and we as a society haven’t learned anything from it….. In any case, currently, our RA has a number of questions, per crewmember, evaluating the level of fatigue. We are required to question each crewmember in order to determine how much sleep they’ve had and their work history over a time period (yes, I’m being vague) in addition to duty time requirements. Conversely, because of what we do, at times, we put people onboard our aircraft for various reasons. That is, complete strangers with no questions whatsoever. And, I’m not talking about RA questions. I’m talking about under the influence of alcohol or drugs or, level mental capacity questions. We call these folks “passengers” and they, by policy, do not increase our risk one-itoa….. Makes no sense….. With regards to fatigue, I tend to simplify it. If you are not 100% fit for duty, it’s a no-go… Period. Otherwise, the individual who is 80% (for whatever reason) has unnecessarily elevated the risk of the entire operation which, by the way, is 100% preventable. You only slept 3 hours? You’re done. Oh, you say you only slept 5 hours? Nope, you’re done. You’ve worked 15 straight days between two jobs? You’re done…. Basically we are required to relieve ourselves from duty at the first indication of fatigue…. Mind you, for us, this isn’t an operational safety issue. It’s a policy & procedure issue….. In the end, it’s up to us to come up with a better way to assess the level of risk. An RA that makes sense and has value. Not the Fed’s, company management or the safety industry……
  22. Spike

    Catch 22,...?

    You have no idea…… You, as an amateur, renter, SFH or whatever, have the freedom to operate as you’ve been trained, go wherever you want and do whatever you wish without needing to answer one question. Me, with years of experience and thousands of hours need to fill out a questionnaire of 70 or so questions, many are of which you mentioned, before I can hit the igniter…….. If the score goes above a certain number, I have to call a non-aviator manager to get approval to fly. The thing is, when I have to do that, I tell the manager, I’m not going, simply because his involvement creates willful ignorance situation elevating the risk beyond sensibility…… For me, the pilot is not the crazy one. It’s the commercial industry and self-serving safety industry selling propaganda in order to put fear in operators… And, they have succeeded 10 fold…….
  23. Off the top of my head, Cromen, Siller Brothers and Helicopter Transport Services operate the 61’s. From there, most of the major utility operators will have wide range of Type II helicopters. PJ’s and Rogers come to mind. PJ’s now have a couple Blackhawks so maybe they’d be a good place to start. As for the fire season, we’re already in it and most positions are filled. However, qualified mechanics are always needed….. Good luck!
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