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Wally last won the day on August 19

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About Wally

  • Birthday 09/10/1949

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    Jefferson, GA
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  1. I liked the LH250. It's not the lightest, but I guess I got used to it. I liked the way the ear cups are mounted, part of the helmet liner. Spread the hard-shell at the strap-mounts, don the helmet and release the tension and it closes around your head. And that brings me to what I don't like- the ear cups fray/wear with donning and doffing the padded edges fray/wear as well, need replacing every year or so. The actual liner comes out for washing so that funk doesn't get to overwhelming. The frickin' visors, cover is kind of a pain to remove and clean, replace. On a tangent- visors, like a base ball cap visor. Never jury rigged one that worked. It get's to be a pain to constantly put your hand up to block the sun so you can scan that part of the sky. (NO, the tinted panels don't help) I'd by a couple if somebody produced them...
  2. There are similarities helicopter to airplane operating airport to airport. But, that's not where helicopters are most useful. A helo is to go where there are no airports, perhaps no actual facility at all. Often, the destinations are ad hoc: okay, we need something, here, now; or this that the other thing or somebody needs to be somewhere. Unimproved, improvised destinations are also often far from weather reporting. You deal with the weather you see from the pilot seat, not the area/terminal forecast. These aspects of using a helicopter were why the US Army spent three-quarters of flight school time developing skills beyond stick wiggling before the candidate was a qualified aviator. (Old guy leans back, looks at ceiling and sighs) When you're between 500 and 1000 hours stick time you know enough to get in real deep, in situations you would have avoided before, and which you would learn how to deal with later- often that means not doing it the way you thought it would be done before you had thousands of hours. I know I did things very, very differently at 5000+ than I did before....
  3. A suggestion: Join the AOPA. Yeah, it's an airplane driver club, but they have an excellent section providing medical advice and assistance. Used it for decades to great benefit. The magazine is worth a read, as well.
  4. Instruct. Let the student pay for the flight time. Get Robbie qualified and teach, network and build some time. 1500 hours in your log book is pretty limited experience in the aviation world.
  5. I worked a job for 15 years in which I went back and forth, often daily, flying AS350 and any of the 206s, B's and L's. Not only were the Aerospat controls boosted, the main rotor turned in the opposite direction. It could be, uh- 'interesting' on the first lift. The first time you lift in the novel airframe, do it as slow as possible, then touchdown, also as slow as possible. Think the process through and critique and then plan the next exercise. Going back and forth between Aerospats and Bells, I tried to lift each skid toe, then the heels, get to the appropriate stable hover attitude before I lifted the last skid heel. And that's where the excitement happened on the first lift, not having enough roll angle to hold place.... But I digress- A couple repeats of the exercise was generally enough to start understanding the aircraft tendencies, give me an intellectual base. Knowing what's gonna happen next and starting the correction before the effect is obvious is the key. The Aerospats tail rotor seemed much stronger and quicker, and with the boosted pedals made it easier to overcontrol, so I worked with gradual anticipatory application, easier to remove an overcorrection than catch a mistake. The Bells were slower, seemed weaker and the pedals were heavier, but the same technique- anticipate and start the push before the yaw needs correction. Again, easier to minimize, slow the control input than to catch and correct. Never even sat in a Robbie, so a question that comes from my past- is there a change in pilot seating, R44 vs R22, especially seat height, distance to nose? That affected my perception of what the bird was doing, trends between each aircraft. Just something to think about if it's so. The Aerospats could trend away from desired more quickly than the Bells because I sat higher and had less nose in sight. Just wondering.
  6. Exactly correct and I can't emphasize the point enough. It's easy to learn "wrong" and hard to unlearn "wrong". Especially with as little applicable experience as you apparently have. I appreciate your wanting to learn, but procedures are best taught person to person and hands on the hardware. Unteaching is really, really hard in that scenario. You might think about why you asked experienced people here for information but felt it important to point out- Twice? I've got more experience than that crashing (more or less) helicopters. Some of the posters here shade that level of experience by magnitudes. Systems, limits, structures, dimensions, etc. can be usefully studied before seat time. If you have access to the aircraft, even better, the book data starts to be knowledge. If you have supervised access, you can have the thingamabob pointed out as part of the system. The very, very best way is a physical examination, first with a pilot and then with a mechanic, with panels open or removed. The two realms of knowledge are different... Never stop learning, never stop self critiques and accepting criticism. And never, ever skip anything.
  7. nothing to do with your getting an Army flight school seat, but.... Retired career pilot, Vietnam, IP/CFI, off-shore and then HEMS for the last 16 of 48 years. The last quarter century of my career I used corrective lenses having developed presbyopia, and did so until I retired. I thought what the heck, I wore protective lenses and sunglasses all the time anyhow, so... The year I retired my physical disclosed developing cataracts. So, I had the presbyopic lens exchange, with vision correcting refracting lenses implants. I kick myself for waiting until after my flying career to get my eyes fixed. Yeah, it was a thing and it scared the bejeesus out of me. No, I'm not 20/15 again, but I forgot how the world looked through my own eyes Do it now, if you want to fly. If nothing else, it's a pain carrying a spare pair of glasses, contacts, whatever. Losing a lens in flight single pilot, really, truly sucks. Don't go with the cheapest provider, even if you have to pay the whole tab. This is something you want the best of.
  8. In the olden days, like 40 years ago, I met a fair few working professional pilots who did not do the CFI/CFII thing to build hours- they started their own helicopter businesses. A couple examples that I can recall that were notable- one bought and sold aircraft; the other developed a specialized use for the aircraft, and I won't say more about that lest I violate a proprietary system he's still selling. The military is the best way to get your ticket and the hours, but it's kind of a crap shoot as to how much time you'll build while serving- you are a soldier first, last and always- if they don't need you flying you'll still be soldiering/sailing/Marine-ing and Air Forceing. And I believe it's competitive as heck- if you ain't well 'above average' (just below Superman)? Don't even bother. I agree with hand granade's post- overseas guys come here to learn to fly because they have a job back home. Do tuna boats still fly? Other than that, teach and scrounge hours until you can give rides, tours and qualify for something else.
  9. As much off-airport operation as you can get, especially nights. Especially nights, and enough unaided night that night vision goggles are an aid, not a crutch. I thought my instructional experience a benefit, I could explain and narrate the plan, which went a long way to keeping the crew not only comfortable and in the loop, but useful, too.
  10. I don't know about now, but I enlisted in the Vietnam era Army with a guaranteed WORWAC slot and at least one tour in Vietnam certain after that. I intended an Army career, but the reality was not what I expected of the Army. That's my excuse for being a poor officer but a pretty good pilot. My impression of the current military, at least the Army, is of a far more professional officer corps and an extremely professional, competent force as a whole. Perhaps this is the difference between the time of my service, a service that had been wrung out in budget war, immediately post-peak Vietnam War, with a large segment of draftees cycling through, draining assets with repetitious training only to have most exit after their obligatory active service. I don't think that entirely explains the qualitative difference, however. The best of my cohort were a match for anybody serving now, but the median quality is much, much higher in the present force, aviators and 'straight legs'.
  11. A couple decades ago I had a lot of loitering in an AS355 (whatever they're called these days) so I experimented a bit with cross controlling. That a/c had no force trim, only friction. A couple fundamentals I believe are true of helicopters: In forward flight, they have some yaw stability according to power, airspeed, the tail will try to stay behind the nose; Next they have some pitch stability, and will return to the same disc angle of attack, more or less; And almost no roll stability., Established at a cruise, friction the cyclic and collective, hold pedals. The 355 usually gradually rolled off the right and pitch down, oscillating nose up and down, but increasing the bank. If I induced a roll to the left, with pedals or a power reduction, my memory is that the aircraft would start the same process, increasing roll, pitching down but would eventually roll level, pitch up and then start the start the right roll, nose down process in the paragraph above. Never tried this experiment in a 2-blade Bell and never flown a Robbie, but Bells seem to have more airspeed/pitch stability than the 350/355. Their rotors turn in opposite directions, so your right bank is equivalent to the left in the 350/355, which did return to a wings level but nose up, before they diverged to the right. I think that trend is part of the trim stability of each design, and the Bell/Robbie is more stable in the airspeed pitch trim and will diverge over a longer period, to the left.
  12. Thoghts- any charter operator must train you on their airframe, give you a checkride. Having some time in it is a plus in the hiring process but they still have to train you, 10 hours or 10,000 hours. Same for twin engine, nvg. A new pilot should avoid HEMS like an STD. Start a HEMS job with 1500 hours and retire after 40 years with 7500 hours flying the same stick (or worse than) you hired on with. You will never have 'pushed weather", done a lot of stupid stuff that teaches you not to do that! Wait until at least 3000 hours and a job next door to go HEMS.
  13. 1500-2000 hours is a more reliable standard for being widely employable. With an IFR ticket and some IFR experience, night time. A year, give or take to get your basic ratings. 4-5 hours a week through your private, then you can pick up the pace to an hour plus a day. Weather, aircraft availability are always a factor adding delay. There's a fair bit of book time required to learn the rules, regs, take the tests, etc. I've seen some really good small schools and some really good big schools. And vice versa. A big school will offer you options when an aircraft is down or your progress plateaus. That will happen. The instructor-student relationship is what you're looking for. Sometimes a really good instructor can't find the key to understand your issues in the process and teach you through it A favorable local climate is a plus, more flying days means more efficient instruction. You should be willing to move to get these things. You should be willing to travel to find these things. After your first 5-10 hours, you'll have a better idea whether this is what you want to do. It's not flying around listening to tunes and sight-seeing- it's work. As far as I know, there are three paths to the door to the career: The military; Pay your own way, all the way. I know pilots who have done this, live stark, work hard, save money between ratings, and then buy time until they find a job. Another way I've seen this done: start a helicopter company; Instruct, build a network in the industry. Even with a busy school, it can take years to get to 1500-2000. Variation- fly tours as soon as you can get a job. The money seems to be more regular in tours and you can fly a lot with some tour jobs. You are going to move at least a couple times in the process. To the school, to the instructing/tour job, to the next and the next. Even when you get the long term employer, the positions move around. Money? minimum wage up to $100k.
  14. The reality is somewhere between 2-5 years after you start training before you're going to be generally employable. The low side is if you're picked up by a flight school, fly a lot of students and establish a useful aviation network. The high side is where the persistent finally find work and the rest drop out. $100k, 2-5 years, and then 50-60 hours a week on the job in Bumscrabble nowhere, moving the family every year or so?
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