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Francis Meyrick

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Everything posted by Francis Meyrick

  1. I flew International in Africa, some seven years ago. Angola and the Congo. Terrific experience. My employer kindly rewarded us for our additional tribulation with an extra $18,200 a year. That was on top of basic US pay. To my mind, it was a steal of a deal. I'd have done it for no extra pay, because it was such an eye popping experience to see a bit of Africa. I scribbled some scribbles about it, and here's a few links. Of helicopters and Humans (1) Living in a Cubicle Of helicopters and Humans (3) "A certain rich aroma" Of helicopters and Humans (13) "One Midnight in the Departure Hall" Of Helicopters and Humans (12) "African Near-Miss" and, on a more musing note: Red Dust (2) "in the shadow of the turtle, meditation" I know of guys who hate it over there (Nigeria jumps to mind), and i know of guys working a month on, a month off, flying 8-9 hours a day, putting up with constant dust, high density altitude operations, changing weather, frequent thunderstorms, and trifling little pesky things defined as "IED's" and "bullets". They earn every last dime they get paid, and it's a lot. And it's in a truly great cause, in my view. A bit of a forgotten war, it seems. With enormous stakes. The removal of the Kiowa Warrior umbrella leaves a hole that seems to be slowly getting bigger. Pity the front line grunts still out there. I'd take a job out there if I could find one. International flying is a tremendous experience. I also flew tuna boats for five years, so I saw PapuaNew Guinea, Solomon islands, Tarawa, etc. I scribbled a bunch about all that. Money tends to be better, sometimes awesomely so, but I would do it for the experience. I promise you that when Immigration at Houston or where ever says "Welcome home, Sir" you will have a whole new appreciation for the United States of America. Which I am proud to call "HOME".
  2. @ Avbug I don't have an issue at all with people adding qualifications or experience. I'm all for that part. Where I wonder is the part where a serious amount of fixed wing time (plus Commercial) qualifies an applicant for a vastly reduced flight hours requirement for his Commercial Helicopter License. If you read the story line, you'll see what I mean. A Blip on the Radar (Part 24A) "I have control!....JESUS!" (and Parts 24B, 24C, 24D, and 24 E) (See www.chopperstories.com) and again... (remember, this chappie had a COMMERCIAL helicopter license...) I'm serious... (PS: and I know you're gonna ask.... yes, his CFI was also his examiner...)
  3. "add on helicopter ratings..." The whole concept... makes me shudder. Next step, the commercial helicopter "add-on rating"... A really, really, good idea...? Or not? Well, I have (some) experience with the end results. Judge for yourself: The whole sad story about this particular proud holder of a brand spanking new Helicopter Commercial Add-on rating is available here: "I have control!...JESUS!"
  4. No, I feel very sympathetic. It is crucial that the helicopter community realize that we must "fly neighborly" and actively seek to foment goodwill and kindness towards our humble way of making a crust. You have a problem, and I feel a need to offer some creative, wholesome, serious suggestions. Carefully thought out. Here they are: 1) start a nudist colony. Hopefully, your neighbor will be shocked, scandalized, wholly taken aback, and you will never see him again. Problem solved. I realize this ingenious solution MIGHT conceivably backfire, and that it could attract a small (tiny) percentage of helicopter pilots, who are of a sadly depraved disposition. Should this happen, specialize the nudist colony. Insist that only lecherous, wrinkly nonagarian perverts are allowed in. Preferably morbidly obese. (you'll find plenty strutting around Walmart in leotards) Do provide plenty of free swings. And lotsa trampolines. Should work wonders for you. 2) start a homebuilt model rocket club. Advertise locally, and offer a cash prize for the first rocket to penetrate the Stratosphere. Make sure you NOTAM the site, and specify hours of operation 24 and 7. But, my favorite suggestion? 3) start a new charity: a clay pigeon shooting society for the visually impaired. You'll obviously need plus size XXX clay pigeons for the poor dears. Once word of that gets out, you won't EVER see a low flying helicopter again. Uh-huh. Sincerely
  5. Ok, ok. I'll fess up. It wasn't me, BUT... I bought his gas. I suggested stink bombs, but he just went with an appeal to the better judgment of our honorable elected politicians who have only OUR best interests at heart. Right?
  6. you guys don't have to love each other, but you might try liking one another just a little bit...? Brother pilots...?
  7. @ R22 margarine I've got a funny-quirky-scary-petrifying story to go write up one day about a super intelligent bank clerk. Super nice guy. But he answered "no", "no" and "no" to the three Magic Questions (any CFI should ask) I mention above. Sure enough, trouble. BIG trouble. (shivers) His problem? "Captaincy". Seriously. Most fixed wing dudes I got off onto a good solo (never a rush, or you start cutting corners) after about 12 to 13 hours dual. Helicopters, about an average of 20. For a good, well prepared first solo. One-eighty auto's to a good standard, the lot. It's NOT a race. This dude.... 20 hours, and I was still getting: "Will I turn downwind?" And I would say: "What do YOU think?" And he would go into a cold sweat. A few minutes later.... "Will I turn base here...? Will I put the flaps down now...?" And I would say: "I dunno. What do YOU think...?" And he would go into a cold sweat. Well.... I did send him solo, finally, at about 23 hours TT. In a Piper Warrior PA 28. Some instinct make me hold him back. I was right. Damn... right. What happened on that first solo is indelibly burned into my tiny mind. And that of several dozen flabbergasted (to this day, I'm sure) onlookers. The issue was some kind of student meltdown. A "Captaincy" and "taking charge" issue. Something of an issue that a good old, gritty, tanned, tobacco chewing trucker, gun toting, God fearing, constitution loving, Liberal BS hating, 20 ton of frozen boxed chickens, 500 miles to Philadelphia, round the Walmart and back of Best Buy, ain't EVER going to have. I promise, I'll write it up. One day. It's one of a million yarns that's been nibbling at my frontal lobe. Like: Write me, sumb##ch! Like when my cat looks at me, all disgusted: "Feed me! Moron! NOW!" Truckers are cool people. Of course, I was one. And a bar tender, ditch digger, toilet cleaner, existing sewer extender... etc, etc. All excellent preparation to be a... helicopter jockey!
  8. I tried to do both. But I've always said all input is welcome. If you or anybody wants to add/comment to anything I've documented, feel free. Warmly encouraged.
  9. I was (am) kind of innocent, wide eyed newbie, and I dreamed up all sorts of novel entertainment involving old hairplanes, heli-whoppers, para-shoots and motorsickles. . And GIRLS. Usually stuff I thought was a REAL GOOD idea. At the time. Beforehand. Uh-huh. With the benefit of forty years plus flying and matrimonial hindsight, I just shiver. Stiff drink, and pretend it never happened. Wasn't me. I is a pro-pro-prolapticeeee-proFESSIONAL. (Sigh...) It takes a lot of time (2-fingered) to write 'em all down, so I reckon I've fessed up to maybe 15% of young&dumb. So that should leave me plenty of material writing/scribbling up 'till I'm ninety-nine. (from the growing list on www.chopperstories.com....) Here's one awesome memory... of being a dual rated CHIEF FLYING INSTRUCTOR....and setting a suitably Prolapeeee 'fessional Tone... Of Helicopters and Humans (Part 24)
  10. Yummy. Wait for it... wait for it... somebody is gonna rise to this bait... I'm thinking... ??
  11. no.... nein.... njet.... no way, Jose.... fat chance, Moriarty.... here's why. At 170 hrs TT, you don't need to concern yourself yet with turbine time, you need TT. And experience. Raw Stick time. $5,000 is a hefty chunk of change. I'd be on the hunt for a way to maximize my flight hours. Build ratings and piston helicopter time. Don't worry about turbine time. Later. That comes later. Frankly, the whole turbine time issue is borderline silly. They are mostly way easier to fly. Lots more oomph, and a good R-22 stick is usually flabbergasted when he gets to play with a turbine. If you can proficiently manage an R-22, two up, full fuel, on a hot day, over the trees and around Sugarloaf mountain, your stick skills and power management are good. Flying a turbine is easier in many ways, more power, but -CAUTION- the flip side is that you can do a whole lot more expensive $$$ damage, very quickly. So insurers and interviewers like to see turbine time, because they worry about you costing them money. It's interesting in the Gulf, how R-22 guys promoted up to a Bell 206, are in hog heaven, with big smiles, empowered by lots of grunt and extra horse power. By and large, these guys (and gals) do very well. Put these guys in a Bell 407, and they are insufferably happy, singing in the shower and kissing old ladies. (and the girls kissing old men - hell, maybe there is hope for me yet) But take a 2,000 hour former Military stick, who has only flown Blackhawks, and put HIM in a Bell 206, and listen to him griping about that under-powered heap of old technology scrap. He'll over torque it in a heart beat, if he's not very careful. And he will have to learn to "fly"/handle the 206. These Blackhawk guys have other (valuable) skill sets, often in high demand, and many employers will be happy to place these guys straight into an S76. I've never talked to a 2,000 Blackhawk jockey who casually changed to instructing in an R-22. But I bet he'd entertain me over a beer. At your stage, 170 hrs TT, all those games & excitement are yet to come. Patience. Don't worry yet about turbine. It's just a big old, noisy, metal rubbish barrel, tipped over on its side, into which we squirt lots of Jet A fuel and compressed air, (and then light it.... ) and there's no big mystery about it. Far more important is to work on getting every rating you can get, and bang up your TT. Doesn't matter if it's an un-sexy old piston bird, paint peeling off, seats torn, pigeon sh*t on the windscreen, and duct tape on the toaster, just FLY that puppy like you stole it. 170 TT is a super time to be at. Lots of dreams, and lots of excitement still to come. When I had 170 TT, what the hell was I doing? Um. Somewhere around there I was calling Rotterdam International Airport, (from London, UK) asking for permission to come in. In an old asthmatic Starduster biplane, open cockpit two-holer. With patches on the fabric. "No problem", they said. You call us on frequency XXX.zzzz" "I can't", I said. "I don't have a radio." "Why you do not have radio?" said the nice Dutch Tower Controller, in surprise. "Because I can't afford one!" "Oh", he said. "No problem! We give you light signals!" And so it came that one happy trainee neophyte dreamer with puppy eyes flew himself across the channel, (map & compass) (teeth chattering.... f@#k it was cold) arriving at Rotterdam International between 12.50 and 13.10 as appointed, received a fusillade of green rockets, and happily touched down ahead of the patiently waiting airliners. My point: all is possible to the time-building enthusiast....
  12. Funnily enough, when I was instructing fixed wing and helicopters, I found myself asking new students the following question: "Have you ever driven a truck, a motorcycle, or ridden a horse?" Most people had done at least one of the three. Some had done none, and almost invariably, those students struggled the most. Now, here's the rub: If a student told me that they had driven trucks, invariably... they made great handling pilots. Airplane or helicopter. Some struggled with exams and academic knowledge, and had to be helped along, but invariably, the truckers were excellent, natural born "flying machine" handlers. Plus fun to teach. When you think of it, truckers have great experience with eye to hand coordination. They are not frightened of taking charge ("Captaincy"), and generally are eager and willing. I would hugely encourage your proposed venture into helicopters. I'm sure you would enjoy it.
  13. You know, I've heard of it numerous times, but I've never gotten my hands on a copy. A few people who I spoke with who have read it, liked it. It's long out of print. Anybody got a copy to sell me? people also say there is far more information and scuttlebut available on www.chopperstories.com However true that may or may not be, it shouldn't take away from the fact that Goshen was the first person to try and address the sky high tuna helicopter accident and fatality rates, by writing about his experiences. I followed along behind, plus it should be noted much of my stuff originally drew heavily on input from more experienced Tuna Heads. Several of whom unselfishly read and encouraged the various drafts I was producing, whilst bouncing around on the Pacific Waves. I like to say "Moggy's Tunaboat Helicopter Manual" just continued an established tradition: the unselfish passing along of information and safety tips to newcomers....
  14. it sucks. Just a scribble gone wild. Challenging the comfortably accepted norms & status quo. Rattling smug cages. Kind of fun in a mischievous way. Caution - small man rhyming Red Dust (2) - In the Shadow of the turtle - meditation
  15. Firstly, I think technically (and morally) it IS wrong. They were representing "CFI on a variety of students experience" they did not actually have. Secondly: Next thing is that an examination of the logbook would show ONE (very slow?) student? (Boy, that guy sure was struggling with straight and level flying. Here he goes from Orlando to Albuquerque, and he STILL needs instruction on S&L flying??) Thirdly: Most potential employers are going to fly with you. And pretend to be a sloppy student. Okay, TEACH ME... I think most experienced interviewer CFII's will spot a "raw" CFI pretty quickly. Some things only come with time and experience. I understand the hurt to get employed, I almost admire the enterprise, but that's not the way to go. I also agree with what Spike says above.
  16. When I was interviewing candidates, many moons ago, when I was young and innocent, I found myself looking suspiciously at "dual given" on people's resumes. The reason being some remarkably dubious hours claimed! The classic case involved two Swiss gentlemen, both applying for a position, who, amazingly, had the same TT of dual instruction given! I asked for their logbooks, and went digging. Well... what these chappies had done was gotten their Commercial and CFI ratings, then gone out and split the costs of hiring an R-22, flown 150+ hours all around the great USA, and... each logged those hours as dual given to the other... They didn't get the job.
  17. Better Link is this one: www.chopperstories.com And scroll down the page to "Moggy's Tunaboat Helicopter Manual"
  18. I fly a Bell 407. My girl. I answered 'no' and 99% of the time, that's the truth. Now, here's an oddball feature. I always use the provided lumbar support pillow. Never a problem. I never take it out of my regular bird. Take it for granted. Then, once in a blue moon, there I am, flying along, and all of a sudden I'm thinking: "Sum-of-an-unmarried-LADY...!" "My BACK...!!" "Hurts....!!" Invariably, upon investigation, it turns out that the bird was flown previous day by a spare pilot, somebody filling in, and they REMOVED the lumbar support pillow. And left it out. Sometimes I've had to go and hunt high and low for it. Lying in the crew room, for Goodness' sake. Re-insert. Happiness. Uh-huh. (no blue-rated comments, please...) (waiting for Aeroscout...) So I wonder if I'm unusual in that regard, or not. My spine goes from 100% (even after 5 to 7 hours in a day) to within an hour of flying WITHOUT lumbar support. I've met pilotswho have to sit on a blow-up pillow. Always looks like a kiddy potty training aid to me. But they are happy, and won't fly without potty. Seems that you just have to figure out what demands your spine and butt places upon you, figure out the solution, and stick to the formula. Like a baby. Reminds me of a story. I don't know why. My diseased mind, probably. Fly safe, have fun. Up to your a.... in alligators
  19. Oh! I thought you meant "identifying" the "identity" of the head contained in said helmet. I was thinking decals. Stickers. To wit: "NO FEAR", for instance... identifies... a person with an advanced lack of understanding of the terminal nature of aberrant flight conditions potentially encountered whilst exercising the privileges of his or her unnatural departure from Terra Firma based on the innocent assumption of repetitive normalistic returning thereto. I'm sure Aeroscuttle can add/clarify to said identification. Hope this helps. Uh-huh.
  20. Nope. No way. Nein. Keine Chance. Forgettit. I know a dumb ass pilot who was cruising along quite happily, in an R-22, humming to himself, when ATC called him. To say: "we just got a phone call you still got your wheels attached!" And said dufus (a CFII) quit humming, looked out the side windows... and, sure enough... (and no zip ties, either) Arrrghhh...! It IS true... said dufus was humming an Irish rebel song. Uh-huh...
  21. Outstanding! Way to go! Give 'em hell...! Take no prisoners! Attaboy...!
  22. Jim was a very soft spoken person, and always very helpful in my experience. A true gentleman.
  23. Confession: I was a high time fixed wing driver, and the only reason I went for a helicopter trial lesson was that I wanted to prove how "easy it was". I got seduced... I just wanted to learn to hover, and walk away. Well, it wasn't. That infuriated me. Hang on, I'm an ace pilot. I can fly all kinds of stuff. I can't fly a helicopter...? So I got suckered in. Fascinated. Hooked. Zero regrets. I enjoy 'em both. I know, pitiful.
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