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justfly

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About justfly

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  1. If I understand the explanation of Optional Practical Training on Wikipedia correctly, your statement doesn't seem to be entirely correct. M-1 students are also permitted to engage in post-completion OPT. They are entitled to one month of training for every four months of study, with a maximum length of six months. Also see: F Visa & M-1 Visa and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
  2. They're NOT airplanes! In some ways they are similar, but the seduction of complacency in that regard can kill you. You are sitting with similar controls for hands & feet (+collective), the same axes of rotation, looking at most of the same instruments, often the same view out the window, BUT, there are differences, CRITICAL differences. The more fixed-wing time you have, the MORE difficult it can be to avoid reacting in "fixed-wing ways". It isn't even necessarily conscious thought you'll be fighting, rather cerebellar programming and spinal cord reflexes. By time your cerebral cortex has time to "think", "ohh... that wasn't correct...", your 11,000 fixed-wing-hr programmed reflexes have doomed you! One small more-annoying-than-lethal example will be your feet in a climbing right turn. You'll want to unconsciously coordinate that turn with a little right pedal - good luck with that. For some real-world lethal examples, read SN-29 Airplane Pilots High Risk When Flying Helicopters, especially if you will be flying the R22! Remember, those Safety Notices are often issued following lessons paid for at a terrible cost. Instead of the relaxed demeanor that often pervades the single-engine fixed-wing cockpit, you'll want to adopt more of the spring-loaded, ready-to-respond manner you assume in the critical phases of multi-engine fixed-wing flight. "...if something bad has not happened it is about to." http://www.nixwebs.com/SearchK9/helitac/harryreasoner.htm Though Rick has given you some solid advice, I would look carefully at the seemingly harsh comments in Rotorrodent's reply. He too has given you sage advice. Tread respectfully and enjoy!!
  3. http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20100806X55641&key=1 NTSB Identification: ERA10FA403 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation Accident occurred Monday, August 02, 2010 in Blairsville, GA Aircraft: ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY R44 II, registration: N34JS Injuries: 2 Fatal. This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. On August 2, 2010 about 1900 eastern daylight time, a Robinson R44 helicopter, N34JS, was destroyed when it collided with terrain while maneuvering near Blood Mountain, Blairsville, Georgia. The certificated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight which departed Madison Municipal Airport (52A), Madison, Georgia, about 1830, and was destined for the Brasstown Valley Resort, Young Harris, Georgia. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from West Palm Beach, Florida, early on the morning of the accident. According to fuel receipts, fuel was purchased for the accident helicopter at 1809, at 52A. In a telephone interview, the airport manager said that the pilot purchased fuel, advised the resort by telephone of his pending arrival, boarded the helicopter and departed. When the helicopter did not arrive as expected, a search was initiated, and an Alert Notice (ALNOT) was issued on August 4, 2010. The wreckage was located from the air by the Civil Air Patrol on August 6, 2010. In a telephone interview, a friend of the pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to attend a motorcycle racing event in Georgia. The friend owned the Robinson Helicopter sales and service center where the pilot/owner of the accident helicopter purchased and maintained his helicopter. He said the pilot had asked him to go along on the trip, but he couldn't due to a prior commitment. According to the friend, "He asked me to go and I told him, 'You really need mountain experience before you go.' I gave him a few pointers, but there was no talking him out of it. He called me Monday morning (August 2, 2010) or Sunday and asked me a few more questions about flying through the mountains. He didn't give me the route of flight. I just knew he was going to the motocross nationals." In a telephone interview, a witness who lived about 8 miles south of the accident site stated that she heard a small helicopter approach her house and went outside to watch, as she "loved" airplanes and helicopters. She said she was unable to see the helicopter as it passed, because her view was blocked by trees. She said the helicopter passed by between 1800 and 1900, and that the sound of the helicopter was smooth and continuous. The pilot was issued a private pilot certificate with a rating for rotorcraft-helicopter on September 28, 2009. The pilot's logbook was not recovered and his total flight experience could not be determined. His most recent FAA second class medical certificate was issued in May 2009. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the helicopter was manufactured in 2006. The helicopter's maintenance logbooks were not immediately recovered, but the friend/mechanic who maintained the helicopter "since it was new" estimated that it had accrued 300 total aircraft hours. It's most recent annual inspection was "3 to 4 months" prior to the accident. He further stated that he would conduct a search for the logbooks when he returned to his facility from a project out-of-state. At 1853, the weather conditions reported at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport (GVL), 31 miles south of the accident site, at 1,276 feet elevation, included scattered clouds at 1,600 feet and an overcast ceiling at 2,500 feet. The visibility was 5 miles in haze, the temperature was 26 degrees Celsius ©, the dewpoint 23 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 30.10 inches of mercury. The winds were from 120 degrees at 3 knots. The helicopter was examined at the site on August 7, 2010, and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The accident site was located on steep, mountainous, heavily wooded terrain, about 3,100 feet elevation, below the Peak of Blood Mountain, which rose to 4,436 feet elevation. The initial impact points were in trees that stood about 6 feet apart, and were perpendicular to the direction of flight. The scars on the trees were consistent with a 200-degree direction of flight, approximately parallel with the ridge. The downhill tree displayed a large, almost rectangular scar, about 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide. The uphill tree was scarred at the same elevation, with a deep, horizontal slash about the same dimension as the leading edge of a main rotor blade. The main rotor hub and blade assembly, with the swashplate and support assembly attached, was located at the base of the first trees struck. One rotor blade was intact but impact damaged. The other blade was fractured and separated about 5 feet outboard of the hub. The rotor blade fragments, including the tip with tip weight attached, were accounted for further down the wreckage path. The initial ground scar was about 30 feet beyond the first tree strikes on a rock slope of about 60 degrees. The fall line was oriented about 090 degrees. The remainder of the helicopter was scattered downslope over a distance of about 170 feet. The tail section, with the vertical fin, tail rotor gear box, tail rotor assembly, and tail rotor driveshaft were about 100 feet below the initial ground scar. These components were impact and fire damaged. One tail rotor blade appeared severely fire damaged. The skin was intact, but split along the trailing edge, and the core of the blade appeared consumed by fire. The main fuselage, with the engine, transmission, and tail boom attached, came to rest against a tree about 40 feet below the tail section. The components were heavily damaged by impact and post crash fire. Control continuity could not be established, but all breaks were consistent with overload or fire damage. All of the instruments located were either completely destroyed, or provided no useful information. A detailed examination of the wreckage could not be conducted at the site due to terrain, and was scheduled for a later date.
  4. ******************************************************************************** ** Report created 8/12/2010 Record 1 ** ******************************************************************************** IDENTIFICATION Regis#: 34JS Make/Model: R44 Description: R-44 Astro Date: 08/04/2010 Time: 0000 Event Type: Accident Highest Injury: Fatal Mid Air: N Missing: N Damage: Destroyed LOCATION City: BLAIRSVILLE State: GA Country: US DESCRIPTION N34JS ROBINSON R44 ROTORCRAFT CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, SUBJECT OF AN ALERT NOTICE ISSUED 8/4/10, WRECKAGE LOCATED 8/6/10, THE TWO PERSONS ON BOARD WERE FATALLY INJURED, 15 MILES FROM BLAIRSVILLE, GA INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 2 # Crew: 2 Fat: 2 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk: # Pass: 0 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk: # Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk: WEATHER: NOT REPORTED OTHER DATA Activity: Unknown Phase: Unknown Operation: OTHER FAA FSDO: COLLEGE PARK, GA (SO11) Entry date: 08/09/2010 #
  5. Who you callin' old? Look in the 2010 ASA FAR/AIM, AIM 1-1-4, f-2 where it tells you that, "...VOTs are published in the A/FD." (page 504 in mine - keep in mind they're republishing these constantly to try to keep up with the changes so yours could be different) To the right of that passage is a BOLD line in the margin, which it 'splains in the front of the book means updated text. mmm'kay... now flip back to the start of the AIM section to the page titled Explanation of Changes Since July 2008 (page 491 in mine). You'll see that 1-1-4 VOR Receiver Check says, "A/G voice communications panels are no longer depicted on the FAA IFR area chart and IFR enroute low altitude chart." Grab an OLD IFR Enroute Low Altitude chart (I'm looking at one here from waaay back in 2006) and you'll see the A/G VOICE COMMUNICATION panel. If you look at Order JO 7340.2A, Contractions, Chapter 2, Section 1, you'll see that A/G decodes as "air to ground". So it looks like answer "C" used to be correct, but no longer. It appears answer "B" is now the correct choice.
  6. Helicopters: -150,000 nuts'n'bolts flying in loose formation or -a heap of spinning metal fatigue surrounded by an oil leak on the way to a crash site Q: How do you know when you're on a blind date with a helicopter pilot? A: 'Cause after the first hour he says, "Well enough about me, let's talk about flying."
  7. yeah, when the WHOLE point of the phrase you're quoting is the order, you probably want to get that order right?! Good on ya to fess up there Carpenter, now go write on the board 100 times, AVIATE, NAVIGATE, then COMMUNICATE!! It's a good tool for quickly triaging a situation and managing priorities. Better yet, read this... Driven to Distraction As the article says, "The main thing is to take care of the main thing". FIRST - Aviate - keep the aircraft under control, or there wont be a next thing. SECOND - Navigate - figure out where you need to go. Is that staying on course, back out the way you came, to the nearest airport, or do you need to put it down in that last clear spot you picked out? (You are always looking out for the best place to put it, right?) THIRD - Communicate - if you have enough time and processor cycles left over after one & two, tell someone about your predicament. It's nice to know the cavalry is on the way! But don't drop the aircraft to fly the radio, don't quit flying the aircraft! Another old cliché is, "Flying the aircraft is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding it." Here's a bunch more: Great Aviation Quotes: Clichés. Some of those gems could save your life! Oh... and good luck on Monday V, you'll do fine!
  8. While I agree with much of what you said, and a 406 EPIRB is a great thing to have... The SPOT device is NOTa 406 EPIRB! It is a SEND (Satellite Emergency Notification Device). It uses the GPS satellite constellation to determine its position, then, IF the transmitter is facing the sky, transmits to the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) commercial sat-phone Globalstar satellite network a one-way transmission of all messages including location. The message is transmitted to the GEOS International Emergency Response Center in Montgomery, Texas (a private company) who then notifies the appropriate emergency agency for the region after first calling the user to ensure the transmission is not accidental. It is a neat-o device and fun to use to keep track of folks in the field or review your location tracks when you return. I think, while it has and will save lives, I WOULD NOT trust my life to it. It has some limitations, and ongoing costs, and IMHO is dangerously over-marketed for its life-saving functions. If your subscription lapses or the computer loses you, they won’t pass along your distress alert or messages. No money, or record of money, no rescue. Even if you're paid up there have been some glitches contacting the appropriate emergency agency. I think you would be much better to go with a true 406 EPIRB, supplemented with a sat-phone if you can justify the additional cost. Throw in a SPOT too if you want. Redundancy is good, and they're fun. see: Time to get a 406 MHz ELT for your aircraft and Using Commercial LEOSAT Comms to improve SARSAT Coverage links to USCG PowerPoint presentations While indeed you should have good sturdy supportive fire resistant footwear on (NOT flip-flops!), you should generally NOT be doing a lot of hiking, unless it's hiking out with your rescuers if that becomes necessary. Conventional aircraft crash survival doctrine says STAY WITH THE AIRCRAFT!!! "In almost all circumstances, your best bet for being found is to stay by your aircraft. Travel in wilderness areas, unless you are experienced, is fraught with hazards and danger. Don't travel unless you are absolutely positive about where you are going. Even if you saw a road or cabin just over the ridge on your way down, don't try to walk out unless you are sure you know how to get there, finding your way through possibly inhospitable terrain, and that your physical condition and equipment is good enough to ensure you can make it. Experience tells us that the odds are against you. Generally, the only reason to travel is if rescue is virtually inconceivable and unlikely and you have absolutely no other alternatives." (from Equipped To Survive, A Survival Primer) There have been too many instances of successful rescue of those who stayed with the aircraft, while those who left "to get help" have perished. see: Equipped To Survive, Aviation Survival
  9. To that point, Robinson's Safety Notice SN-29 Airplane Pilots High Risk When Flying Helicopters
  10. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it! - usually attributed to Goethe
  11. True.. but the ones who are really wondering what happened, his grieving friends and family, may, in their anguished search for answers look to a source like this. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to read uninformed comments that might cast a less-than-favorable light? What would help their healing; reminders of his strength & commitment to his passion, one that most of us share, or criticism of his performance?
  12. Wishing for a speedy recovery for the pilot! ...sorry for the thread creep, but... YIKES!!! Where did that space ship come from and what has become of the beautiful old stone Monte Rosa Hütte?? That looks a lot like Cabane du Vélan, is this the trend in the Alps?! uhhh... they might wanna look at this from FAA-H-8083-23 Seaplane, Skiplane, and Float/Ski Equipped Helicopter Operations Handbook "...glassy...flat,featureless surface makes it far more difficult to gauge altitude accurately, and reflections can create confusing optical illusions." They're talking about glassy water, but the effect is similar (worse?) and they go on to say the surface itself is invisible, and pilots may inadvertently judge distance by using features in the reflection as a reference, rather than the surface.
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