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nightsta1ker last won the day on July 12 2019

nightsta1ker had the most liked content!

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  1. Not sure they are entry level. Of course, every company is entry level if they can't get experienced people to fill the seats. It's a pretty good time to be a helo pilot.
  2. I know the history of Paraclete and I have been curious about them. They obviously didn't want to reinvent the wheel, as the SPH-5 is a tried and true design used all over with great success, but it does have some issues that annoy the piss out of me. I only know one person who has one of the higher end ones and he loves it. Everyone I have talked to so far who has one issued from Air Methods hates them because they have the same issues as the SPH-5. The visor system is identical, and I have had huge issues with that. And I have heard the build quality, paint, etc, is garbage. AAAAAND they are ridiculously expensive considering it's basically an SPH-5 shell with a new retention system and liner inside. They should just sell the retention liner and kits as a retrofit for the existing SPH-5 shell and allow us to save some $$. I'm just not convinced it's worth it. It's also possible that the Aegis (the one they are selling as a company-wide affordable helmet solution for companies like Air Methods) is significantly worse quality than the Aspida, which is the high end version of the helmet.
  3. I agree. And it's heavy. Way heavier than my SPH-5 or my coworker's Gallet, even though they advertised it as lighter than the Gallet. Also, the NVG retention has failed on me twice now, and the battery back retention either won't lock the pack in place, or if it does lock, I have to use a knife to get it off again. I'd rather have hook/loop honestly... As swoopy an idea as that thing was, it was poorly executed with the angle the coms cable comes out of it. Anyone who has had an Alpha? I wish there were more places where one could actually try these things out. I can't fly all over the country to try on helmets.
  4. I have been through this for different reasons. Was down for 2.5 years and spent close to 100k on medical testing to satisfy the FAA that I am fit to fly after a near loss of consciousness that was chalked up by my doctors as being due to chronic dehydration. I am back to flying with a special issuance and the bottom line is, you have a class II medical. You are eligible to fly commercially. That's all your employer should care about. There are a lot of pilots out there flying commercially on special issuance medicals due to various reasons, whether it be previous alcoholism, heart issues, or other problems that need to be monitored, treated, or mitigated and require extra surveillance by the FAA to verify you are still safe for flight. TLDR: You jumped through the hoops and got the paper. You are good to go. But I wouldn't advertise it. Better to keep it to yourself unless someone specifically asks.
  5. Hey everyone. Been a while since I graced you all with my presence on these forums. Hope everyone is well after all this pandemic mess. I'll get straight to the point though: I currently am running an EVO 252 with bose installed. It's a lot better than my issued SPH-6, but I am wishing I had gone with the Gallet LH250. Now that I am looking around, I am seeing several different options out there and looking for anyone who has used any of these and has opinions. Gallet LH250 and LH350: Particularly curious about the 350. People don't seem to like them for some reason. Paraclete Aspida and or Aegis. I read somewhere that Air Methods is now issuing these to their pilots. Anyone running one? And what are your thoughts? Northwall. Anyone have one of these? Alpha Eagle. People either seem to love them or hate them. Any opinions welcome.
  6. The only way to fly helicopter simulators on anything close to a real level you need usb helicopter controls. There are several companies that make them. None of them are cheap.
  7. There are a remarkable number of terrible people on the internet. Some of them might even be actual helicopter pilots. I avoid social media like the plague after some innocuous comments got taken way out of hand. Deleted myself from all the facebook pilot groups. I keep it pretty light and un-opinionated these days and just try to keep a low profile. I feel like this industry has been so oversaturated with pilots for so long people legitimately want to see others fail, rather than help each other be better. At least, that's how it seems online. In real life I have had the extreme pleasure of working with scores of amazing and professional men and women and made many life-long friends in this industry. Med-crew on the other hand...
  8. They wont let you use the LOA unless you are a signatory. As long as you are familiar with roads and landmarks they can give you routing info. I suggest you call McCarran tower ahead of time and let them know when you will be there and what you would like to do.
  9. I passed one in 2013 and was on a Speciall Issuance for 3 years. Needed to get a 24 hour urine collection and x-rays as well as written diagnosis from a urologist prior to my annual class 2 physical. Finally after 3 years being stone free, they dropped it. Avbug gave me good advice then too and I appreciate it. I agree with him about that AME. Find another one. Another thing that helped me expedite the reinstatement of my medical was AOPA pilot protection. Worth every penny and literally a phone call away from getting immediate action taken on my file. I got an email with my special issuance 3 days after calling AOPA pilot protection.
  10. I'm kinda confused about the expected progression here. What kind of work prepares you for EMS? Flying tours and the gulf doesn't. Flying Utility maybe has some parallels but as far as making weather decisions and flying at night with NVG's etc, not really. I would say the only thing that really prepares you for EMS is flying EMS. Not even the military seems to prepare you for the EMS industry (sure you may have loads of goggle time but how much time do you have flying as a solo PIC coming out of the military? Chances are that's a big fat zero). How do you get that experience without doing it? Also, EMS companies cannot keep staffed right now. And I don't think its a matter of not paying well enough (although I certainly wish they would pay better). I can't imagine that there is a load of qualified pilots out there waiting for an EMS operator to start paying what they are willing to work for. There just aren't enough "qualified" pilots anymore. There's a shortage. But that shortage is really only a matter of perspective. I think there are plenty of qualified pilots capable of doing EMS. And they aren't in the twilight of their careers either. Many of them just don't meet all of the requirements to get the jobs. I went into EMS right out of tours with a little less than 3000 hours TT (1500 Turbine). EMS is pretty straight forward with good training and a company that doesn't push you to take flights. You have to have your head on straight and be thorough though. And in my short time as an EMS pilot, I can say that the best ones I know are coming from the tour industry, while a lot of the old, high time guys are lazy and barely competent. That's a personal anecdote, so mileage may vary, not available in all states, yada yada. I'm not trying to make a blanket statement. I have just found that there are lots of low to mid time pilots that definitely have what it takes to be safe and successful EMS pilots, and there is a need for them so companies cannot afford to be too picky about high time guys. My biggest gripe with this industry is and always has been that every operator out there wants turn-key pilots who have experience doing that particular job. No one wants to have to invest in their people, and the ones that do make the pilot "earn it" by paying a **** wage while they get the experience they need to move on to a better paying operator. I am hoping the current trends in staffing force some change, but I would be willing to bet that the industry will simply shrink before that happens.
  11. Someone needs a nice tall glass of chilltheFout. I've never gotten a thousand dollar tip, but I've made $1000 in tips in a day flying the canyon. That was an unusually good day, but it happens occasionally. I believe your story Eric. Haterz gonna hate.
  12. Don't worry. It doesn't get any better anywhere else in this industry.
  13. This kind of critique is exactly why I don't post videos anymore. You just open yourself up to every pilot who thinks they "know better" and nitpick every little thing you do.
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