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Darren Hughes

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Darren Hughes last won the day on November 23 2011

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About Darren Hughes

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  • Birthday 03/09/1981

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    Redding, CA
  1. I think Adele would be an easier target. She's always yapping about being single!!
  2. Part of the cost of doing business as a flight school is students doing dumb stuff. If they can't afford those costs, they can't afford to be in business. If schools want to promote a safe training environment, they need to promote honesty when it comes to situations like this. Otherwise, you'll have students and instructors alike not reporting overspeeds, hard landings, and the like. If a school is going to charge you $7,500+ for an overspeed, they are not promoting a safe incident reporting culture full stop, and they don't deserve your business, or to be in business. It's unfortunate for them, but that is the business they chose to be in. This extends into the rest of the industry, where we need companies to ensure there are no repercussions for employees pointing out possibly dangerous situations, or self reporting aircraft incidents. How much of your money are they currently holding? If they will not work with you to reduce your liability in this case, it's time to take your money elsewhere.
  3. I reckon it's just one more way for them to revoke an ATP. You know, if someone goes down for a felony, or fails a drug test, if the Feds get wind of it, that's their clause that they can use to do the revoking.
  4. I get that people lie on their resumes in many other industries to put themselves in a better position to get a job. Some people say they have five years experience instead of their actual three years to get that management position they've been gunning for. That's the same as a pilot adding 500 hours to their logbook for an aircraft they already have 1000 hours in, in order to bring themselves up to the 1500 hours required in that aircraft to qualify for an interview. In reality, they'll probably not be found out, but if they do, the ramifications for such dishonesty can be much steeper in this industry than it is in others. If someone is found out by a potential employer adding two years experience to their resume, they probably won't hire them, and that's as far as it will probably go. But, in this small aviation industry, if you get the name of being a pencil whipper, well that's a whole different kettle of fish. There is supposed to be a certain amount of honor in our chosen career, although it's hard to see it sometimes. But just look at one of the requirements to get your ATP, "Be of good moral character". There's not too many other careers that have that written down as one of their requirements.
  5. Indeed. It seems PHI see the benefit of making their work force feel valued. With that they've gained loyalty, and stability in their employees. Both of those things effectively bring overheads down in the long run, and make for a more profitable company.
  6. Silly article, I'm 33 and have been flying for just over 6 years and have just over 2800 hours. I've only flown 300 hours in the last 2.5 years in EMS, with a little offshore work. So by the time I had around 4 years in I had about 2500 hours, between school, instructing, and NYC tours. I racked up 960 hours in just over one year flying for Liberty Helicopters. It's not hard to rack up hours once you get the ball rolling. I have friends who started flying before they were 20, and are sitting with 6000+ hours now and they haven't even hit 30 years old yet. And then I've also had students who only started flying in their late 30s. Red flags should be raised if someone's flying skill, or knowledge of an aircraft they claim to know is not what their logbook says it should be. Age and logbook hours can vary greatly, so my advice to employers is to not even try to correlate the two, and spend their energy looking at the indivudual's back story closely, while corralating with the logbook, resume, and references. The problem is, employers don't always feel they have time to spend doing that kind of detective work.
  7. It's a lose-lose situation. I've been there. I worked for a small school in the Northeast for about a month after moving there with only 300 hours. It didn't take long for me to realize that the maintenance was below par. It took another short while for me to figure out that the maintenance record keeping was fraudulent and downright criminal. I really wanted to report this guy to the Feds, but after having a few quiet conversations with the other instructors there, it became obvious that the odds of proper justice being done in this situation were long at best, due to the owners local relationships. So, with great damage being done to my career before it even started, I was going to get no result worth speaking of. What was the point? I left the job, became unemployed for another year or so before working for a great school called Nassau Helicopters. Over the following year, I got my hours up enough to get the coveted first turbine job, and I've moved on further from that to a job I feel I could do for a very long time now. As I was leaving, I did warn all my students, and friends about what was going on there. Not one of them, that I can remember, decided not to fly there. That's how desperate people are at the start of their careers in this business; they'll risk their own lives just to get that "1000 hours".
  8. Liberty was 4 days on, 4 days off. I think it still is. Plan on working a lot more than that during the summer though.
  9. From a point of view of trying to maintain a marriage, I'd say NYC would be a better option than Alaska. Expect to be living pretty frugally though.
  10. While I wouldn't normally use such strong language to describe an employer online, due to this being such a small community, I can safely say that BH206L3 is fairly accurate in his description of the owner of NYH. Actually I'd say he's not even as useful as a Scumbag. A better description might be to compare him to the stuff that drips out of the bottom of the bag!!! I agree that the Gulf has better working conditions than most entry level turbine jobs in NYC. However, my time there was good experience, it just wasn't A good experience. If you can handle NYC airspace, you can handle pretty much any airspace. Monitoring and talking on up to 3 frequencies at once, while giving a narrated tour of NYC, and dodging airplanes in the exclusion is quite the experience. I'm definitely glad I did it, and I've made some good friends out of it too. So you used to park right next to NYH there at Linden. The "River Time" description is a loose way of describing time spent operating in those 3 airspaces, while also bouncing in and out of the Hudson River Exclusion. Having worked for BoatPix, I'm sure you have plenty of time out on Long Island also(I remember seeing them out there a few times), which is a nice selling point for all the operators in NYC, as a huge chunk of their work during the summer months is charter flights out to East Hampton, and the other surrounding airports and helipads. Put that on your resume, along side where you note your local area experience.
  11. What Trans said, but about 2-3 years ago HFS went off their usual higher hiring minimums and took on a few non turbine guys. They may still be doing that. It's not a bad company to work for, I still have friends there and they're happy. Liberty just laid off 3 pilots for a few months until it gets busy again. They have a habit of doing that. You might have a chance of hiring on there, if some of the lay offs end up with employment elsewhere before Liberty take them back on the payroll. I worked for them, and it was pretty ok for the most part. It's going to be difficult to get hired by any of them without either local area experience(River time), or turbine time, but it is possible. Only work for New York Helicopters if you absolutely positively need to buy food or some life saving medication without which you would die a horrible and painful death. Living off food stamps and in a cardboard box, or even flight instructing for another 20 years would be preferable to working there, for that guy. I've seen first hand how he treats and talks about his pilots.
  12. My company has a rule that we keep the edge of our rotor disk at least 13ft away from any obstacle taller than 4ft. It tends to leave us ruling out a lot of LZs but by following that rule it should keep us from ever having a main rotor strike. I'm not a huge fan of extra rules but this one saves me from my own (possible) inability to judge distances properly!! My comment below is relating to the above quote, It is not a commentary on the accident that took place, I'm just responding to Aaron; That's exactly right Aaron, I was just doing a safety brief with my crew on this very topic yesterday. Pilots and crews tend to relax a little more while operating in an airport or heliport environment, compared to when they're operating at an unprepared landing site. We're all guilty of it. At those wild sites everyone is super focused on watching out for possible hazards and very much on their game.We're talking to each other about power lines, lamp posts, sign posts, buildings we're landing beside, etc, etc. When you go to a nice flat airport ramp people tend to forget that there are fuel hoses, grounding cables, tie down ropes, heliport & taxiway lights, and many other things that we can catch our skids on. Even something as simple as a joint in a concrete ramp can potentially cause a rollover accident. I guess the safest way to fly is to be terrified of every move you're ever gonna make in an aircraft. Not really but you get what I'm saying.
  13. After leaving a job at my school in Fresno CA with 300 hours, to move to New York, I got hired by 3 different schools. My girlfriend at the time had gotten her 1000 hours and wanted to move on, which is how we ended up on the other side of the country. I got hired by a school in Islip on Long Island, and left less than a month later due to major concerns about their maintenance, or lack thereof! The manager of another school in Linden NJ hired me over the phone, and wanted me to fly with students before he gave me an interview flight. That set off alarm bells with me so I decided to let that one be. That manager is no longer at that school, for obvious reasons. The last and final school I got hired at less than a week later was Nassau Helicopters in Princeton NJ. I was very happy there for the rest of my instructing career, and I felt very lucky to work for the owner, John.
  14. It's more about who you know at this point than how many hours you have. I've gotten the vibe that they mainly go by personal recommendations from within the company. That's for the VFR positions. If you have a ton of twin time then that'll go a long way to getting an interview for the IFR positions.
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