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Everything posted by avbug

  1. Just noticed that I wrote "Type 1 helicopters are important..." Relevant to the thread, I meant Type III. The saying in fire is "tools in the toolbox," and there's place for everything (and everyone) that gets used. There are more type III than anything else, and consequently as a class, see more use on fires than anything except the air attack ships. The argument may be made that they're some of the most valuable aircraft on the fire, and when someone's hurt or needs out in a hurry, there's a good chance that it's a Type II or III coming to get them.
  2. Government operations are full of bureaucrats, to be sure, and there are those in the air and on the ground who will knowingly and unknowingly try to get you to do things you ought not. The air attack is two components; one is the pilot, who won't normally talk to you, and the other is the ATGS, who is an experienced firefighter, but who is not an aviator. His interest is the fire. He's high above the fire and doesn't see the same perspectives that you will at low altitude, or that firefighters will on the ground. He won't know your requirements, limitations, or be in a position to experience what you're experiencing down low. Type 1 helicopters are important. They are not a throw-away asset. You don't need to be bucketing at 300' over the fire, and often buckets work very well for spot fires. Even with the little bit that you'll have left after repositioning from a dip site, be careful around ground troops; on steep terrain and poor footing, it doesn't take a lot of water to take someone off their feet or cause them to slip on a hillside. or to cause roll-out; material that can roll down and hurt personnel. The single biggest thing you have going for you on a fire is the ability to say "no." Use it. As noted, communicate. The USFS and CalFire in particular, are fanatical about talking. You may not put out a matchstick, but they'll care about talking. In California, they'll talk you to death. If you do work in California, know that it's more like a foreign country, and fire isn't fought that way anywhere else. You can become fatigued well before timing out. Again, "no" works. I've found very few places in aerial fire in which the safety card isn't respected. Say it isn't safe, and there shoudn't be much more discussion. Know when to say when. Extra fuel is better than stretching fuel, and by that I mean put in for a fuel cycle sooner than later. There is zero glory in pushing fuel. It may be tempting to do so if your truck is nearby. Be conservative. Be prepared to take breaks. You'll have to call it; nobody else will ask you if you need one. They'll assume you're ready to go until you say otherwise. You'd think that the government would have learned with storms, especially in recent years with the downing of a USAF C-130 being led by a government airplane, and the blow-up at Yarnell (I was there)...but they don't seem to grasp the concept. If you don't think conditions are right, or you sense danger, don't wait for someone to tell you to pull the plug. You do it. Take this for what it's worth. Many years ago I was at the biennial airtanker pilot convention in Reno. That year, CDF had lost an S-2, flown by Gary Nagel. During a large group meeting in which events and mishaps were discussed, a microphone was passed around for anyone to talk. To a. man, everyone who was on that fire said the same thing: they knew it was bad, they were hoping someone would stand up and call it, and everybody waited for the next guy to say something, until Gary got killed. Don't wait for the next guy if you know it's bad. You may feel pressure being new, but you have as much right as anyone. I have been asked to do things that were unsafe or outright dangerous, on more than a few occasions. Understand that there is a pervasive attitude that it's okay to ask, as you're the pilot in command and you're supposed to make the right call. Don't take a request for a drop or a flight as some kind of endorsement that it's legal or safe or right. It all comes back on your shoulders. When you're in the field with others, don't be afraid to pick their brains and get input. It's all on the job learning, so take advantage of soft learning without having to learn the hard way. Some of the best information I've received over the years has been from listening, and trying to learn that way without having to suffer the same mistakes. Carry extra snacks in a helmet bag, and drink more water than you think you should. When the tempo picks up, take the opportunity to do pre and postflight walk arounds every time you shut down and before you start up. As things start to run hot and heavy, you'll begin to feel "in the groove." When everything starts to click and you have a routine down, that's a good time to back off a little and give yourself some margin, because that's when complacency will set in, you'll start to miss things, drag things, etc. The government has a long history of not doing much with fire when it's laying down (morning, night), and then behaving as though the sky is falling when the "burn period" begins and things start to come uncorked. Nearly all fire fatalities have occurred under nearly identical conditions; same burn conditions, same time of day, etc. It's been true of the fatalities on every fire I've been on, too. This should be a constant reminder, yet it keep happening. It applies as much to you as it does to the guys on the ground. When the air attack or helittack or IC sets up a "virtual fence" to divide rotor and fixed wing traffic, respect it like it's electric. I've had a number of very near misses from people violating the fence. The government is neither swift, nor efficient. Don't try to fix it.
  3. Not necessarily. I field a lot of inquiries on various boards from people who are entering flying later in life; I've known quite a few who opened with "is it too late to start?" It's not too late.
  4. In the remarks section I'll include anything pertinent; who else I flew with when with a crew, the aircraft callsign, if assigned, field or approach conditions, type and identification of the instrument approach if applicable, and for utility operations, particulars. For example, if spraying a field with herbicide, I'll include the winds in case there's a drift claim later. If I'm flying the flight for a particular carrier or operator, I'll note that, too. If there was something abnormal, an emergency, or something noteworthy in that respect, I'll record it, which makes referring back to that flight easier later on if needed. When doing fires, I'll note the fire name or number, gallons carried, etc. Because I log the day and not each flight, I'll list the number of loads taken to the fire, and other relevant details. A logbook is a legal document. It's also a sort of journal. If there's something memorable or noteworthy about the day or the flight, include that. I've included notes if the wife or kids flew, or it was on a birthday or other event, just to mark the day. Checkrides and other events are also noted in the remarks, and if here's not enough room, I'll use the rest of the line in between the flight time in the column of the logbook to put in the details. Most flights aren't that noteworthy.
  5. The logbook is a legal document, hence the counsel to keep it need, avoid strike through's or scribble-outs, and initial any corrections you make. Pens in blue or black ink are generally preferred. There is no reason to keep it all in the same pen unless you really want to, in which case there's no reason not to. I've seen people who falsified six or seven logbooks, and tried to weather them by rubbing them on the concrete. All the scratch marks were in one direction, where they rubbed the logbooks back and forth. All the entries looked the same, as if the entries had been written by the same hand on the same day, far too repetitive. Usually log entries will vary day to day, maybe a little to the left or right, the writing a bit smaller or larger, a little more slant, more or less sloppy, etc. A series of entries written at the same time or same day are sometimes more distinctive, and similar. My logs are different pens, different colors. Some of the logs have taken over 10 years to fill, and as a result are falling apart; they've each got reinforcement at the binding, and the pages aren't clean, but have fingerprints and wear. They're not show pieces. There's nothing wrong with keeping them pristine and all in the same pen if you want, but there will come a point where you realize that it really doesn't matter. I log landings, instrument approaches, duration of flight. I quit logging cross country 30 years ago because it doesn't matter to me any more, and there's no legal need to log it. I'll never use it for another rating or certificate, and no employer asks, so there's no point. Just log what's needed and don't worry too much about what others think you should be putting in your log. Mine has business cards, photographs, and other things stuck in there. Each of my medicals gets glued in the back when the new one goes in the wallet. Do what works for you. Meet the legal requirements, but it's your logbook. Add categories if you want. I keep a column for time in whatever I'm flying at the time. Sometimes it's useful for insurance paperwork. I keep a column for ag/fire, and one for turbine. No legal requirement for those; it's just something to track. I haven't kept running totals of landings or instrument approaches; just logged to show currency, and that's it. If you want to use the same pen, then use it. Don't let anyone talk you out of it . If you don't have your favorite pen, then it won't hurt a thing if you change to another color, style, etc. It doesn't make any difference.
  6. It was operated by Erikson, but in Oz the state agencies like to put their names on the aircraft and claim them. "Ownership" by the "local agency" is akin to an exclusive use contract in the US.
  7. An Erikson skycrane crashed this morning in Gippsland, Victoria, working the Thompson Complex Catchment fires. Three on board, all got out and were able to swim to shore. The aircraft was substantially damaged. The crew are fine.
  8. Invest in a professional to help you with your resume. And some interview prep. It's a small price to pay for what you're seeking.
  9. Ms. MacPherson is well qualified with respect to regulatory issues, and is presently Regional Administrator for the Great Lakes region, FAA. https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/arc/key_officials/macpherson/
  10. https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/practice_areas/regulations/interpretations/data/interps/2007/lloyd%20-%20(2007)%20legal%20interpretation.pdf The Chief Legal Counsel letter of interpretation is still available and still clear on the subject. Still just as easy to find.
  11. Interesting. I'd been to an aikido group with some kids earlier that day, and participated with them. there were several hard falls that I didn't think too much about that the time, but from which I felt off, the rest of the day. Just didn't feel right. In hindsight, I think that the perhaps the kidney stone was turned loose by the jarring, or something occurred to set off the chain of events. I've been a lot more careful about being slammed around since then. My particular stone was large, I forget the size, but big enough to completely block a ureter and cause sepsis. I spoke to an associate a few days ago who had an experience along those lines while he was in Mongolia. He wasn't able to travel, and had to be treated there, with surgery. He didn't think he'd survive, and we had an email from the Chief Pilot to that effect. I ran into him in Miami at a hotel this last month and we chatted. His was the worst experience I'd heard, but I could empathize. I was scheduled to operate the flight; commercial to San Juan, then operate to Cape Verde, then to Abuja. I'd have been unable to function, and aside from the obvious penalties of physical pain and hazard, there's an FAA cost as well; a pilot who is incapacitated in flight can face a long uphill battle that wouldn't be fought if the problem occurred elsewhere. Experiencing a problem that makes one unable to perform flight duties takes it to a new level, so far as the FAA is concerned. Somewhere I don't want to go. For your issues, the FAA should just need the doctor's release, and x-rays. You may be asked to provide additional data such as a 24 hour urine sample, and an analysis of the kidney stone (there are several types and causes: calcium oxalate, uric acid, calcium phosphate, and systine). There are also a number of foods to avoid, depending on the cause of the kidney stone. In my case oxalates. I was told to avoid dark sodas, dark green vegetables, nuts, salt, animal proteins, excess vitamin C, etc. The big thing is to drink a lot of water.
  12. I'd have never believed that a kidney stone could be so incapacitating. I was scheduled to be in Abuja, Nigeria the next day, and I can't imagine being treated there. A kidney stone is something one might think possible to work through, but looking back at it, I believe it would have been incapacitating in flight. I can see why the FAA takes the position that they do. Several years ago as we preflighted, following a briefing one morning in Nevada, for an active fire, one of the pilots complained of shortness of breath and some pain. First thought was a heart issue, but after talking with him for a few minutes, I suspected kidney stones. We got him to the local clinic; that was their diagnosis. He was sent to Reno, where he passed a large stone. Good chance they'd have had to divert on your flight to Singapore, or you'd have been stuck with that pain and possibly sepsis for the trip, then stuck being treated in a foreign country (which can be it's own adventure). It's good motivation to drink a lot more water. The pilot mentioned above still carries lemon drops and puts them in all his water, and he goes through a lot. He never wants to experience that again, and I can't blame him.
  13. I broke down year before last and got an Alpha Eagle, and couldn't be happier with it. All USFS/DOI work with the helmet, no issues. Comfortable, good avionics. I used the PACE in ear system with the helmet, really liked it. The previous helmet had been going for sixteen or seventeen years, and it was time to get a new one. I used Pro Flight Gear out of Marana, AZ. I'd use them again. http://www.proflightgear.com
  14. Several years ago I was in the middle of moving houses, and preparing for an early trip the next morning. Middle of the night, I began vomiting and shortly was in so much pain I couldn't remember my own name. My wife took me to the ER, and ended up with surgery for a kidney stone, and installation of a stent. I contacted the chief pilot who said "good luck, and let me know when you get your medical back." Whaaaaat? It's just a kidney stone. Not a chance. I ended up working through my own AME and a union AME, and it took about three months, three surgeries, and removal of the stent (which turned out to be the worst part). Your AME should have helped you resolve this. Don't ever use that AME again, and make sure you let others know not to use him, too. AME's like that do not deserve the business and should be avoided. Dump him. Like a hot rock. In 2015 the FAA authorized AME's to keep an airman in service even with retained kidney stones so long as the airman can be shown to not be expected to release any more stones. The simple breakdown is that if you had a kidney stone and can show that you it won't be a problem in the future, it's a matter of providing the FAA the documentation, and that should have been handled by your AME. If you have a recurrence of kidney stones, then it triggers a bigger problem; cross this bridge first, and that one when you come to it. There are services that can help. If you're an AOPA member, then member services helps in cases like this, and there's an assistance program for a few dollars a year that helps with medical, legal, and all kinds of things. Well worth it, even if you only use it once. AMAS, Aviation Medical Advisory Service, may be able to help. https://www.aviationmedicine.com. Several pilot unions retain their service. https://www.aviationmedicine.com/article/kidney-stones/ Pilot Medical Solutions (https://www.leftseat.com) specializes in assisting in cases like this, as well as special-issuance medicals and waivers. You might contact them and see how they can assist. https://www.leftseat.com/faa-medical-certification-nephrology-kidney-function/
  15. f**k no. No use for the aircraft, and the other guy is on the ignore list.
  16. No, we don't. You might not be concerned that someone can grab your pony tail from the backseat in your jetranger. Sure as sh*t they can put a bullet through your thick skull. Or a pool cue. Or like one hijacker, a ball peen hammer and a spear gun. The point is that you do whatever is necessary, bar nothing, to prevent anyone else from taking control of that aircraft. If you can land and get away, do that. If you can kill the person interfering, or disable them, do that. If you must destroy the aircraft, do that, but you do whatever is necessary, BAR NOTHING, to prevent its misuse. Hijackers use a variety of techniques, including holding someone else hostage. Your wife? A little girl? Who knows. Someone. Somehow. They do not simply ask you to go somewhere you don't intend, because they know you won't. Your go-to plan may be to cause butterflies in their stomach or give them the giggles by lowering the collective or shutting off fuel. People who hijack aircraft are usually far less concerned with their own lives than with their mission, whatever that may be. You say "we" train relentlessly to be master of all that can occur, but thus far every damn one of you has asserted that you've NEVER received any training in this matter. Which is it, bright spark? One of the two is a lie. Which one are you telling?
  17. I just finished a two month groundschool, and the topic came up several days in a row, along with a number of other topics, including where in the aircraft to place an explosive device to minimize damage. This isn't "secret handshake." This is required training for any 135 or 121 operator, and it's considered operational security. It's discussed openly in the classroom and on the line; not so on a public board. This isn't really that complicated. This isn't an "upper class" issue. It's truly a wonder that anyone could be flying in a cockpit and be paid, and not know the purpose of 7500, 7600, or 7700 on the transponder, or the procedures to take in the event of an intercept, or the actions to take in the event of a hijacking. There is no higher priority than to prevent the aircraft from being used inappropriately, and that means doing whatever is necessary. If one can disable the aircraft and land, so be it. Whatever is necessary. Bar nothing. It needn't be made clearer than that on a public board, and if one doesn't understand that, or the implications, then one had best find out.
  18. Thanks for clarifying that. You really are that f*cking stupid. I thought so, but it's always best to check. Current doctrine, and has been since 09/11, is that the aircraft will not be surrendered or used for illicit purposes, regardless of what it takes to prevent that action. Up to and including destruction of the aircraft. There is no compliance, there is no surrendering of control of the aircraft, or capitulation to hijacker demands. If this is something of which you're not aware, then you've no business flying for a certificate holder, and your certificate holder has some explaining to do. 7500 is still the squawk, and it's spelled out clearly in the AIM. Doctrine and policy regarding pilot actions in the event of a hijacking, however, are not something that should be discussed on a public forum.
  19. You're not really that f*cking stupid. Are you?
  20. A bonanza is a bonanza, whether a V-35 or an A36. Not exactly rocket science, and they are forgiving aircraft. Approach speeds aren't much different. The Bonanza is like an old buick.
  21. Bingo. The regional airline world is making big adjustments right now, due to issues of supply and demand. Previously a sub-poverty paying job, new hires are starting about 70,000 in some cases. When a glut of 250 hour pilots was available, they were taking anyone and paying 16,000. Now the flow has been restricted to only those with ATP experience or qualifications, fewer are available, fewer are going, and fewer are willing to work for such low wages; they pay more and get a bit more experience. For an operator that can hire at a certain experience level, there's no reason to lower those standards.
  22. I can imagine a less stupid argument. Yours is non-sequitur. My new-hire class in the 747 had no pilots with previous 747 experience (except as noted below). Everyone, save two, had turbine experience however, and everyone (save two) had extensive PIC turbine experience in comparable operations, aircraft, etc, and everyone had multiple type ratings. Nobody was awarded a class date with nothing but piston time behind them. It's common today for many operators to seek pilots with turbine experience, and there are a LOT of jobs out there that require turbine experience. You're attempting to confuse the issue by alluding to a large, four engine turbine airplane, when the thread is about a turbine job that requires turbine experience. Apples and oranges. In that 747 class, incidentally, we had two flight engineers who were attempting to upgrade out of the FE seat. They had no turbine experience as pilots; each had low-time commercial experience as instructors in piston fixed wing aircraft, and fifteen or so years of experience as flight engineer on the 747. Neither made it. They came back and tried again later, after paying for some expensive 747 sim time to prep, but neither made it and were relegated to permanent FE seats. Both subsequently left the company several years later and found work in regional airlines. It was very unrealistic to make that leap, given their backgrounds. It's not the piston time, in that case, but the large airplane experience, and the instrument experience. The 747 is not a difficult aircraft to fly if you have the background and experience to transition to the airplane; it's well thought out, and more like a big 172 than anything. It's all about energy management, and it has a lot more going on in the cockpit than most aircraft. The Classic 747 (-100, -200) had over 1000 lights, gages, indications, alerts, alarms, warnings, etc, in the cockpit. It could be a busy place, especially in an emergency, and even the normal operation was not particularly automated, and required all three crew members. It shouldn't come as much surprise that operators required adequate experience to manage the airplane. Likewise, it shouldn't come as much surprise that an operator seeks pilots with turbine experience for a turbine helicopter. The operator is paying the cost of insuring those pilots; pilots with experience are easier to insure.
  23. You're surprised that a turbine operator requires pilots with turbine experience?
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