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Wally last won the day on December 2 2019

Wally had the most liked content!

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About Wally

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  • Birthday 09/10/1949

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    Jefferson, GA
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    Reading's high on the list.

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  1. I'd like to know how you know this? "...the pilot kept flying after conditions deteriorated and bypassed two safe airfields before flying it into the ground." Do I believe that weather was a possible factor? I knew too many good pilots who fatally pushed weather to discard the possibility. But I don't know enough to fault this pilots judgement, this accident has all the signs of a fatal IIMC CFIT. Pushing weather will kill you, dead, amen, in an IFR aircraft with an IFR capable and current pilot. If this was a weather accident as it appears, this would be a perfect example of that. I spent a significant part of my career working with minimums of 300' ceilings and 2 mile vis for cross-country, off shore, and 300/1 on the beach or in the field. The routine single engine minimums at that time were 500/3 offshore cross-country. It can be done, and in aircraft significantly less capable than the accident aircraft and by pilots with significantly less experience than this pilot had. I have read other forum's posters say that a weather precautionary landing invites regulator attention. In 48 years of flying, uncounted weather precautionary landings and numerous recoveries of other pilots aircraft after weather landings- I never, ever heard of regulator investigation. Even an RON in the aircraft is better than waking up in a hospital.
  2. Googled grey nomex flight suit. Germany? My flight suit class (69-17) was issues grey cotton flight suits that had to be retreated periodically with a fire retardant. Big tub of something that one dunked the flight suit in, air dry.
  3. I've worn polarized sunglasses for the last 35 years of my career, the last 10 exclusively with Garmins in the panel. The Garmins are LED displays, very different than LCD displays. The only issues I ever had were long ago with an obscure nav that had the b&w lcd screen and another instance with an aircraft with a contracter-installed front windscreen that was stressed in the install resulting in 'rainbows' on the flex lines where the plexi/lexan had been forced into the frame. Why sunglasses with a visor? First, the helmets had only single visors, so I opted for clear and eye protection day and night. Next, I prefer a brown polarized lens with at least 20% transmissivity, last couple years with Oakly Bottle Rockets. The brown and polarized increase contrast while being useful in a more lighting situations than standard visors. Especially advantageous in precip. Not flown a lot of glass cockpits and no military in 50 years, so actual mileage may vary.
  4. What Nearly Retired said: Not everybody can do this; not everybody who can do it can make a living at it; and if you get there, become a professional helicopter pilot and are being paid for it- you will start by making very little and you will most likely work in 'the middle of nowhere', that's where and what helicopters do, mostly. You have to want it more than anything, period. Because it ain't really a logical financial decision for the first few years. Even without the $60,000 debt load or equivalent, there were very, very humble years. Yes, there are 'better' jobs after a couple years and a thousand, fifteen hundred hours (or more) but the first couple years are lean, at best. All that said- you are at the worst point of the training process, nearing but not yet soloed. It doesn't get any easier after the solo, at least for me, but the solo was an encouraging and significant point in the process. Everybody struggles with the book work, you're learning arcane regulatory, technical stuff. Have you tried a different instructor? Not every teacher hits the mark with every student. Could you change schools? Why would you want to stop at PPL if your goal is commercial? Interrupting the training process is almost always a problem. And, training won't get any cheaper in the future. P.S. It ain't 'cheaper or easier' to go the military route. It's extremely competitive, even when there was a war on. Then, Uncle Sam makes you dress funny and is real bossy, sending you to places where people don't like you.
  5. I enjoyed Bob Mason's 'Chickenhawk' a great deal. It gives a taste of that war, but that's a very very different Army Aviation than the modern professional Army. We were 'Soldiers Once' is also a good read, but less aviation. The best of the best is Mike Novosel's, I think it was "Dustoff"? An absolute classic narration of the life of an honest hero, who exemplified everything that Army aviators aspire to be.
  6. It doesn't matter how deep your pockets are or how significant your professional actions were, the pilot will be named and will have to respond legally, professional representation is a good idea. I have never heard of a pilot found liable by a default judgement in not contesting the suit, but I think that is a possibility.
  7. You got off easy, Butters. The pearl of wisdom in the industry is that "Every pilot will climb into the cockpit one last time. But not every pilot will know it." Gosh dern, I miss flying. Oh, to be 42 again!
  8. Without knowing what airframe the 'issue' occurs in, I'll say that some feedback, crossing controls is present but minimized by design in the 'mixing' mechanism. That's the assembly in which cyclic and collective adjustments are consolidated to affect change to the swashplate.
  9. Kinda off the topic, but fear of heights - acrophobia is common in the human population, even pilots. Perhaps especially pilots, I have heard that mentioned. I applaud NR's decision to decline to put you on the line, however. The hardest part of flying is the dedication to the stuff one could probably skip today... Preflight, planning, W&B, all that other bull. Especially on job so routine you could do it in your sleep. Then it's not just today that you skip something. And then you're skipping stuff routinely. And then you crash. That attitude is exactly why I retired. Forty-something years of flying and I was forcing myself out to check the aircraft, and in particular, dreading the next training session. I'm not a great stick and I know it, but I always prided myself on the work, all the work, the details, detail knowledge and my drive to do it each and every time the best that I could. When I started taking shortcuts, I realized, the job isn't as important as it once was to me. Time to quit before I embarrass myself. Or kill somebody. Attention to detail, devotion to the process in full made a shoddy stick acceptable for forty something years. Fear of heights, yessir! I got it. It scared the crap outta me offshore, frequently. The reality that I could land short and tip off, backwards or too far to the off-side from the pilot's seat... Or walking to the edge of the deck, a hundred feet or better off the water and then down the stairwell. I took guys new to off-shore and watched them crawl to the landing at the top of the stairs. You can beat it, but you have to work it out of your system, exposure to and tolerance of each situation. Never had a problem if I could grab and hold, etc., I used to climb. But I don't do high balconies, pedestrian suspension bridges, etc., even though I was thoroughly acclimated to the decks and ladders offshore... You just gotta want it more than you fear it.
  10. I'm kinda with Butters on this- do a HOGE to confirm your by-the-book calculations. The method I was taught- calculate your by the book numbers. Fly to the destination. High recon. While at altitude and wherever you are safe and comfortable decel to a zero airspeed, note power used to hold this hover and then resume safe airspeed. Adjust from the zero airspeed hover readings for added load and power to climb. Now you know, not just a swag, but a fair estimate of power available versus what you need. Example, in a AS350 (it's been decades since I flew anything else and longer since a recip)- Fly to the proposed LZ, say at 2000 MSL, I'm at 3000. Another disclaimer here- pretty much anything below 4000 MSL and 90° F and I don't need to adjust for altitude in a B2 or B3. Adjust for your aircraft and engine. Circle a couple times on a high recon and plan the approach, landing and departure. Approach leg into the wind over safest forced landing areas, I'll swing a little wide on the base leg, turn final and zero out airspeed, observe power readings and resume final approach leg. I don't add climb power at a zero HOGE... There are two critical numbers in an AS350- torque (TQ) and NG/N1- the rule of thumb is 70 lbs lift for 1% TQ (torque) available before the limit and/or 200 lbs for each 1% NG. If TQ and NG at the zero airspeed hover allow for planned load (and a fudge factor- cut yourself some slack when you can) and I have sufficient power for planned climb-out (another whole topic) then I'm good to go.
  11. Jed- Everybody flying professionally started with zero flight time. Everybody flying professionally went through a vigorous process of elimination, even after getting all the certificates necessary to work at it. It's possible, but it is a long and difficult process. Most, if not the great, vast majority who start will not make a career out of it. The real cull is after you get your license- a 200 hour new commercial pilot is almost unemployable- teach others or hustle, scrounge for flight time over 2-5 years. An emphasis on safety and precision is more than important, it's a matter of survival. I am biased as I am a solitary person, I enjoy solitude. I also enjoy working with people, I like people. Important as a professional pilot, most of your work will be relating to people. Even the flying involves determining what exactly does this next flight require of me? You'll have to be able to determine that by interacting with people, who really don't know what they're asking you to do. If I were going to quibble, it would be with this: 'As for pay, it seems the wages exponentially with experience and most are near my income while working half the hours.' Perhaps you're confusing seven days on seven days off, a common schedule, as only half the hours? Those are usually 14 hour days and sometimes longer. I don't think I ever had a 40 hour work week flying, my average over the year was the equivalent of a 60 hour week. Not flying, my highest annual flight time was 1100 hours, just time on the job. I worked the Gulf of Mexico for 14 years just after that phase of the industry peaked. The average pilot in my company flew 4-500 hours a year out of 2600 hours on the job annually. One would spend a little bit more than an hour of other work for every hour one flew, there, then. A lot of time watching TV (at best) or sitting in the helo waiting... There are jobs that fly much, much less- I also did 14 years of HEMS, averaging 150 hours a year. At that rate, I dd approximately 2 hours of work related to aviation for every hour I flew. I got my training and basic qualifications in the Army- high school, flight school and VIetnam. The military will train you and pay you. They also make you dress funny and boss you around a lot. Compensation is increasing for pilots as the number of jobs decrease. Not a great deal of improvement at the beginner's end of the scale, but later as a journeyman professional. Automation, UAVs will take a lot of jobs from in-the-seat pilots. ALL helicopter pilot jobs are essentially free-lance, traveling jobs. Even with a union contract and at an established HEMS program, almost three-quarters of the bases and attached pilot jobs closed or moved. And that was the most stable pilot job I ever had, I took that seat to be ome every night. Mostly I was. I'd be happy to communicate directly, but I retired two years ago and have been out of the job market since my last interview for HEMS...
  12. I can't fly a helicopter sim either. I've done different company 'cockpit procedures training devices' or whatever the legalistic term is for non-loggable simulators. I've done a couple 'full motion' simulators, too., and I can't land or lift in them, and can only approximate a hover in them, so don't feel bad. I have more than a hundred thousand helicopter landings in my log and the worst of them was better than the best I ever did in a sim. I can fly a sim like an airplane, but that's entirely different than a helicopter. I fly real helicopters like I walk- I see what's happening and I change it to what I want. Sometimes the dials and gauges affect how that's done but mostly it's visual and proprioceptive, I feel those changes just like walking, except I react with the controls.
  13. Pick a school that you can and will attend for more than a day at a time over at least 8 month total period. The more days in a row you can show, the quicker that will go. Pick a school with the airframe you'll be most likely flying after you get your certificate. If that type is in broad use, you start your career with time in type whether you instruct next or not -I recommend instructing, you'll learn a lot if you teach and the better you teach the more you'll learn. Instructing is not for everyone. Look at the maintenance and availability where ever. It doesn't have to be a big fleet if the maintenance department is good. Look for depth in the instructors available, try to find the one that has a successful record with people like you. I wouldn't rule out brand new a CFI/I as primary with a good chief instructor and, perhaps other instructors as options. One all that is nailed down, it doesn't really matter how the school's name is spelled. The hard part comes after that last flight test ride and your certificate- getting the hours while keeping body and soul together.
  14. I've had real jobs over my 50+ working years where I didn't fly for a decade once, and then for 4 years. I had 1400 hours when I left the seat the first time, it took 20 hours or so to get back up to teaching speed again. The 4 year break came 8000 hours and an ATP later. That break only cost 5 hours ro feel good. A side note- an instructor/check airman at PHI told me that they'd fly with aviators who'd been out of the seat for 10, 15 or more years on their initial intrview/evaluations and could identify those who'd padded their logbooks or probably weren't up to the the course. Pick the best, most experiencd CFI you can find for your first hop and then pick his brain. If you get an accptable estimate from that...
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