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Francis Meyrick

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Everything posted by Francis Meyrick

  1. Aeroscout has started sending regular input on the Tuna Safety Manual, and I have added his comments in as "Note 1" at the bottom. I think that's helpful, funny, and I would encourage anybody who feels like it, to send me an email with what you would like to see added, and where. Here's an example of his input: (see Note 1) SEE SAFETY MANUAL NOTE 1
  2. Galveston, TX Lake Charles, LA Cameron, LA Intercoastal City, LA Lafayette, LA Morgan City, LA Houma, LA Fourchon, LA, Boothville, LA thingumyjig town, MS Also Saudi Arabia, Africa, Antarctica. And then, they have EMS bases all over the USA. Just google Phiairmedical.com awesome company to work for, but then maybe I'm biased.
  3. Yo! I'm, with Aeroscuttle... I watched the unfolding of the British healthcare system, (the NHS) some decades ago, (Obama is just following along behind increasingly Socialist Europe) and today's inefficient, wasteful, borderline corrupt health debacle over there makes me think a couple of thunks. (Have you seen the photos of queues and queues of folk, around the block, to get signed up with a new Dentist?) For what it's worth, probably not-a-lot... 1) Since when can Big Government run ANYTHING properly? If you think that.... Are you kidding me? You must be selling Life Insurance as well? Second hand cars? Diet pills? If you truly believe Big Grab-a-Mint can run or fix anything... I'm in awe of you. Can I have your autograph? They couldn't make money when the Post Office had a virtual monopoly. Political Hacks and Porky Boys have shamelessly raided Social Security. The kitty is almost empty. But wait.... all is well! There's an I.O.U. left behind...! The Affordable Care Act isn't about health care. You believe the razzamatazz? The weepy appeal to Justice and Universal Health Access Fairness? Nonsense. It's about Votes. Power. Even the designers don't expect it to work. They expect it to keep them in Power, because of uninformed, gullible voters. If an Insurance Company pulled one hundredth of what the thieves in Washington have perpetrated, the howls of indignation from our elected elites would furiously compete in televised indignation, demanding heads on platters, prison sentences, and... of course... MORE Government "oversight". 2) The National Debt fascinates many of us. How are you going to cope, when your SOARING interest burden is remorselessly squeezing Federal spending on the military budget, Education, Entitlements, Medicare, etc, etc? What do we take away from this? My guess? (I want to be wrong, believe me.) Chaos down the road. HEMS flying seriously impacted. Harder than hell to get paid for anything. When people can't get a Dentist, or have to wait in line for months for surgery, and even VA hospitals are mired in scandal, I suspect helicopters transfers and EMS scene flights will be regarded by some politicians as frivolous, and unnecessary. And if these politicians aren't getting THEIRS, to placate their entitlement demanding voters, then I suspect appeals on behalf of EMS operations will fall on tuned out (deaf) ears. Beware the wild card. It's coming. Just like the events of 9-11 that almost nobody saw coming, and that fundamentally changed the USA, the chances are high that there is an event horizon marching our way, that will forever upset the apple cart. Terrorist attack? WMD? Or a fiscal attack? (rival reserve currency maybe). Stock market collapse? (Hard to imagine those stratospheric P/E ratios lasting). Federal Reserve revelations/scandal? We'll see. But when it comes to the inevitable harsh spending cuts, where will the guillotine drop first? On Loyal Democrat voter pleasing immediate benefits? Or on relatively esoteric (to most voters and their elected tyrants) air ambulance choppies? Hopefully, I'm laughably wrong, and some wise guru will take to the forum to explain how simple and challenged my tiny mind is. Quid erat non-demonstrandum. Anybody?
  4. Um. I have many failings, and an infernal curiosity to figure out the other guy is probably one of them. After ten years in the Gulf Oil Patch, plus North Sea before that, plus Africa, plus.... I can honestly say I had a bunch of good buddies out there. All over. Flying out or back, or merely chatting in the galley on an oil rig, I rarely lacked conversation and good company. Those guys were often funny as hell, once you got to know them. Everybody's got a story. From the welder to the cook, or the roustabout to the Company Man, the range of personalities and life's stories was inexhaustible. Now, here's a funny thing. The number of times I would get a warm welcome from the oncoming passengers, and some comment along the lines of: "It's Francis! Good to see ya, man! The pilot that talks to us!" And I would say: "Doesn't everybody?" And they would say: "No! A lot of pilots we get don't say Sh....! They just fly along, and totally ignore us!" And the next thing, we would be flying along, somebody's telling a funny story, or commenting how there's no Democrat voters (apparently) working in the Gulf, or we would be off debating the Great Mysteries of the Universe, (like women), and we would be having a rip roaring old time. Coming from that into Air Medical, sure, big change. Back to the drawing board, figuring things out. But from the git-go, there were crew members who were happy and willing to sit down and chat, and give help on the subject of promoting happiness in the cockpit. I'm thinking (occasionally) (it's hard work) that Life is like a one-armed bandit. You'll probably get out roughly in proportion to what you put in. Less a cut for the Casino of Life, of course. Just sayin'...
  5. Frisco Flight-for-Life crash So sad to hear about this. Words are wholly unable to convey meaning at a time like this, but we hope family members, colleagues and peers of the deceased and injured sense the warmth of our sympathy and love. Every member of the helicopter community grieves with you. Respectfully A Pilot
  6. Not being the brightest bulb in the pack (hell, I fly helicopters for a living) (what do you expect, eh?) I often have to meditate slowly and thoughtfully on the wise input I receive in this august forum. I think I can see my esteemed new friend Terminal Veto's point of view. I can also follow my old buddy Azhigher's wise council. So... I was just wonderin'... like.... do you honorable gentlemen think I could smarten up my struggling pro-fess-ion-al image a bit if I changed my avatar? What might you gents think of this one? Better? yes? No? Moggy's new avatar?
  7. Some memories still make me cringe... I had an honorable customer get stuck in the front door of a Bell 206. I mean: "STUCK". Um. For what it's worth (not-a-lot) here's the link: Of Helicopters and Humans (#31) - A mental Midget - "Moggy the Comforter"
  8. In fairness to employers... Bottom line... Balance sheet... Bean Counters... Bean Masters counting humble Bean Counters... you know, I can see the headaches and cost factor. Helmets like we wear in EMS are $$$$ expensive. The maintenance thereof... expensive. The logistics... the change of mental perspective... But... how much does ONE stupid CRASH cost? ONE Multi Million Dollar law suit? Times five passengers? How many scare-the-passenger helmets ("NO FEAR") could you have bought with the $$$$ involved in ONE Great White Shark feeding frenzy? (Yes, I speak of the genetic cousin of said species, the Great Greedy Attorney Shark.) Have you SEEN (I shudder at the recollection) the many photos of what that blessed bird will DO to an innocent helicopter, quietly bumbling along, peacefully, minding its own business at a sedate one-hunnered-an'-thirty knots?? Awe-some... I've seen 'em where it looked like the choppah (airplane/eggbeater/sexy ass killing machine, etc, etc - see another discussion on this august forum) afterwards looked like it had been downed by a SAM. Windscreens smashed, Fairings obliterated, landing lights dangling precariously by half a wire and two stubborn rivets... Seeing is believing, but the destructive forces of an errant bird (say, what? Errant? They were there long before the egg beaters) has to be seen up close to be truly appreciated for the unscheduled structural modification it represents. As I shut my eyes, in a quiet reverie, (not unusual) (I'm a dreamer) I can think back to a number of "HolyJehosophat" moments where I wished (for a moment) that I HAD maybe considered that librarian job. I was minding my own business one day, over the Gulf of Mexico, just leaving 3,000 feet to commence the descent to an Oil platform. Happy I was. Ho-hum. All of a sudden... Seagull at eleven o'clock high. Seagull at twelve o'clock high. Seagull at one o'clock high. Seagull at two o'clock high... And of course... they dived. But no straight dive. An erratic, wildly swooping left-right-left seagull emergency descent. I jinked past one. Past another one. My mouth opened... my eyes opened even wider... KA-BOOM - SPLAT! Right in the pilot's windscreen. Ka-dunk! Giving the fact that I was motoring fortissimo, I'm awesomely impressed with the Bell design engineers, because my windscreen HELD. Exploded Seagull (blood, guts and feathers) all over the place, ice cool laconic pilot (like hell) uttering strange high pitched yelping sounds, but no windscreen penetration. But the strangest thing is this: I swear... that perspex has a degree of elasticity designed in. I'm positive (you're welcome to laugh at me) (I'm not sensitive) (much)... I'm POSITIVE the windscreen BOWED INWARDS and then popped back out again. No, they told me, that can't happen. Well, maybe it can't happen, but I saw, in that split second, what I saw. The windscreen BOWED bloody well IN. And popped back out again. And to further prove my point, afterwards there was a distinct area in the windscreen that remained slightly BOWED IN. The whole base came and looked at it. Every mechanic came and looked at it. It went all the way up the hokey-pokey maintenance command chain. The windscreen was VERY carefully inspected, and at length the decision was made to leave it in. I was fine with that decision, and for a week I carried around an interesting souvenir of my meet with good old Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. AFTER a week... you couldn't see it anymore. Somehow the perspex had resumed its original shape! My point here is that the windscreen as designed by Mr Bell is capable of withstanding hell's bells on steroids. But the kinetic energy involved is ballistic. Had that windscreen succumbed (and I think it was tested to Olympic limits) I would have met Jonathan face-to-face. No helmet. Spectacles. Tinted...? Now I'll add this: that was a Sea Gull. Have you ever met a stubborn PELICAN?? Never mind a whole gaggling line of stubborn Pelicans? Those critters, in their mind, are the biggest, baddest, meanest kids on the block. They've been around for tens of thousands of years, and they ain't budging for NOBODY. They just fly along, unswerving, and throw you this disgusted look: "Hey, Big Noisy Bird! Get lost! Hump off...!" And one of those porkeys through the windscreen... I'd recommend a helmet. Without the "NO FEAR" sticker. Or a librarian's job...
  9. 1) PHI are a huge employer of A&P's, and they must be happy, because they all stay for decades and decades, despite being surrounded by those pesky pilot types, who keep @#!!grrrxxx breaking stuff as fast as the poor mechanics can fix 'em. 2) on the pay scale, as far as I know, they make very similar pay to pilots. Speaking as a Pilot who holds an A&P, and who has worked as a pilot-mechanic, but who knows his wrenching limitations... I think the PHI grease monkeys deserve every cent they make. It takes longer to train a good mechanic than a half decent pilot-type stick! A new hire mechanic at PHI serves a long training apprentice ship if you like, stretching over many years. They now wish to be known as Aircraft Maintenance Technicians. That's what we all call 'em. We don't say "Grease Monkeys" anymore. Much.
  10. Absolutely. We humble rickshaw pullers are wholly customer orientated, and it's whatever pleases them. Sometimes however, the alternate uniforms do cause problems. I had a helluva time with the head gear requirement on one of my gigs. But I just sucked it up, and did my best. Here's a link with a photo of my alternate uniform. That's me, doing my best to please my customer. My alternate uniform
  11. Strange subject... I wore a helmet for many, many years, poking around waves herding tuna, and then L.E. poking around mountains hunting bad guys, weed, and stolen cars. And then EMS poking around picking up warm bodies off cold, hard roads. Frequently, motorcyclists who were macho, and who didn't bother with helmets. (I learned that it's actually hard to be macho when you're slurring your speech, and being pushed around in a wheelchair, with a severe case of brain damage.) I got very comfortable wearing my helmet. It was like putting your pants on. You felt ridiculous without it. Exposed, like. Those pink Long Johns... undignified. So then, I ended up in the Gulf of Mexico in 2004. Back then, nobody wore helmets. Innocently, I asked the Area Manager, (one tier below next-to-God) if It was okay for me to wear my helmet. I remember we were in the crew room at the old Cameron base. The old one, before it got washed away in hurricane (duh! can't remember) and replaced by the present wooden Robinson Crusoe fort-palisade. I asked very innocently, and the effect was... startling. Everybody looked at me. Conversations stopped. Expressions froze. Say, what? The Area Manager (retired, now, I wonder if he ever got over me) seemed quite nonplussed. He sort of opened and closed his mouth a few times. Then he asked why I wanted to wear a helmet. It was my turn to be speechless. Why did I want to wear a helmet? It seemed an extraordinary question. Why the F@#k do you THINK I want to wear a helmet?? As a fashion statement? So I could stick a sticker on it? "NO FEAR", maybe? I stammered something weakly about being used to it. There were incredulous looks. (What did the new guy just ask for? To wear his HELMET?? WHO IS THIS GUY??) The upshot was that I was told, no, junior, you can NOT wear your helmet. Verboten. Nein. Nichts. Fat chance. No way, Josay... The reason? That stuck in my mind. The reason? "You might scare the passengers". Oh. Now, many years later, after a well publicized traumatic S76 accident, and at the insistence of some very important (very important) honorable customers, some two crew ships, DO have their pilots wear helmets. At the insistence of the customer. So now the top-of-the-line flag ships, two crew, fully coupled what-you-call-it fourteen axis spatial gyroscopic tri-attitude rubber duck S-92's and all that... THEY wear helmets. The lower caste, the single pilot, single engine, limited brain cell, rickshaw pullers, plying their daily trek stepping carefully around the Holy Cow Poops... THEY do NOT wear helmets. "Because we don't want to scare the customers." Hmmm.... Smile sweetly, think of the pay check, and carry on, Moriarty!
  12. @ Terminal veto I say, Termy old boy, that's awfully sporting of you. I'm bumbled, I'm sure. Humbled, I mean. And just to prove to you that a) there's no hard feelings and I can also write very seriously about matters pertaining to the seriousness of business, herewith your very own, personal, blog spam hyperlink: Thank you. I hope you enjoy it. For Terminal Veto, from the Mog. Sincerely
  13. This one didn't go "Klunk!", but it did go "Splash!" But I think it could really have gone really, really badly "KLUNK!". I think I was lucky. Dropping a Missile
  14. All good points. Nobody has mentioned one thing: where you live. An applicant, any applicant, represents $$$ training costs. It's expensive to train people. Any employer has to hope... that you stay. At my interview at PHI, some 11 years ago, I was asked where I intended to live. As it happened, I lived in Arizona, but I was already on the prowl for a house in Louisiana or Texas. I made no secret of the fact that I was looking to move down, and make a commitment. Which, once hired, I did. PHI paid 100% for the move! What impact that had on the hiring process, I don't know. But I'm sure, in retrospect, it didn't hurt. The turnover is high, high, high. People who make a commitment, and move on down, have got to be seen as more likely... to stay the course. Other thing I would say: don't buy in Louisiana. In retrospect, I wish I'd bought in East Texas from the git go. Much nicer. PHI is an excellent company to work for. The company culture is seriously "Destination Zero". No accidents. A lot of us have a fierce loyalty to PHI. Through thick and thin. Glad to be here, and we bottom-of-the-totem-pole grunts hope... it shows. Good luck with your endeavors.
  15. @ Terminal Veto I have a confession to make. Damned if I knew what "SEO" stood for. I initially assumed it was a Sexually Enabled Or... you know. But following diligent research, I now understand. I post a hyperlink, and the search engines count the hyperlink, and that raises www.chopperstories.com in rank from #3,456,784 to # 3,456,783, and that fact bugs the arse off you. Thank you for contributing to my much needed heducation. I promise I will meditate most severely on your SEO. Meanwhile, I have written you a poem. I didn't hyperlink it, so it won't stir/elevate my SEO. (Still sounds obscene, when you say it like that... ) Terminal Veto on the prowl Terminal Veto wears a scowl Terminal Veto truly thinks Evil flows from hyperlinks. "SEO" is on his mind the scourge of honest humankind Death and pestilence to the Blog! Hang and Quarter the scurvy Mog! "SEO", the Joker submits shouldn't get right on your t..... a harmless quirk you ought to know that honestly merits far below the wrath of Terminal's severe "MO". The definition of HIS curse for better or for ever worse? respectfully, I suggest below... (*) Humbly Yours Moggy (*) = TVMO Terminal Veto's Mild Obsession...?
  16. Ummm.... Our German brothers call it a "VERDAMMTE HUBSCHRAUBER". If you say it out loud, it sounds blasphemous. Or wildly obscene. I can't decide which. The Chinese call it a "ZSU-SIN-CHEE". Which, I'll admit, doesn't roll of the tongue quite like "Choppah". Then again, the Chinese, wishing to indicate their displeasure to me, (frequently) would say "POOH HOW!" which I think sounds pretty expressive. The Dutch, being boring, too many dykes and fingers stuck in them, I guess, call it a "HELIKOPTER". Wow. But you can always rely on the Irish to save the day. They call it (in between Guinness and Bailey's) an "EGGBEATER". Some pretty humongous eggs, I guess. But then, you've got to make allowance for the Irish. Uh-huh.
  17. With friends, allies, encouragement, support, comrades, spiritual sustenance.... like that... WHO THE FRICK NEEDS A CYNIC...?? Poor fish newbie poster. Okay, let me provide the ammo. I'll sacrifice myself. I'll make myself the butt of jokes. How about: Awesome! Congrats! Good luck! May the air flow around your blades smoothly and for many decades! May you father many happy little tip vortices! May you contribute mightily to the depletion of the Ozone layer! May you too support fossil fuels! I wish you many dollars spent on occupying a loose and temporary formation of well abused rotating parts! See, guys? See? Just a simple little support for a new guy. It's not that hard. Uh-huh.
  18. That's harsh. That's like suggesting Elvis is dead. You're gonna upset people.
  19. @ terminal veto I'm SO wounded. Straight to the quick. Blog Spam. I'm mortified. Not sure if I'll ever get over this. You still sore about that, eh? Poor fish. Funnily enough, the kind folk at Just Helicopters (owners of this site) generously pay ME, sweetheart. See the mighty Blog on JH front page.. What you think the hyperlinks are for? Strange person... Hummm.... peace. PS: are you somebody I once fired? You're not the dude with the hammer, are you? Thou protesteth in a familiar manner.
  20. You poor, poor fish. Hooked, eh? Ah, your life is changing before your very eyes. Here's the rub: if you DON'T DO IT, you will for-ever wonder... what it would have been like. A bit like losing your virginity. Not that I would know about these things. Being raised an altar boy. Enjoy! Good luck! Full speed ahead, Moriarty! And don't spare the horses! May your wishes come true. First time I ever auto-rotated to the water (in a Bell 206 with floats, nick-named Big Foot) I giggled like a school boy watching his first porn. Awesome...
  21. when you have finished enjoying the technical stuff, and deciphering LIFT= 1/2 rho times V-squared times Coefficient of Lift times Surface Area... and when you are getting bored... come and visit www.chopperstories.com And see how the lower caste live. Puling rickshaws. Past the Holy Cow Poops. Uh-huh.
  22. Oh, easy... for the same reason that the army refers to their finest people, their best, their brightest, the foundation of everything "ARMY", in the highest possible accolades. They call these fine folk, these unsung heroes, by the descriptive, flattering label: GRUNTS Uh-huh. So, a fine flying machine, the helicopter, is similarly referred to as a mere "airplane". Which is better than "egg-beater", or "a loose and temporary gaggle of junk flying in approximate formation" That's the Army for you. We love 'em all.
  23. @ hokey be good now. Or I'll write you another poem... Peace is good.
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