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crashresidue
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I'm on contract - AGAIN.

 

I started this crazy life 40 years ago, my helicopter is 38 years old. My mechanic is "Viet Nam era", my fuel truck driver is a pre-VietNam Vet. My bird has 4,000 more hours than I do - WTF?

 

We are in the "winter" of our lives - professional and personal.

 

What is this industry going to do after we're gone?

 

Who among you has the talent to take over when we go?

 

I've trained one - ONE - "robbie driver" that had what it takes to make the transition into "utility"! Who's going to follow him?

 

I'm scared!!!! I've made friends with people who will have to fly with you after I'm done. Who among you has the guts to say "NO" when the owner comes out with a really stupid mission and tells you that YOU have to "make it work"?

 

Are you going to be as STUPID as I was, way back when - and go out and TRY to do this "stupid" mission? Or are you going to have the balls to go "Not just NO - F*CK NO" I quit!!!!

 

Operators haven't changed - they look for the money and they expect YOU to "make it work" - as the pilot.

 

It's NOT "pt" - it's the ability to evaluate the propossed mission and go "BULL SH*T! I'm NOT doing that!" And stand by your decision.

 

I'm scared guys - DON'T make the same mistakes I made!!! If I leave anything to you "followers" - I hope it's the sense to say "NO!" and stand by it.

 

Don't let an operator kill you just to make him money.

 

MY guide-line has always been "If me knuckles are white, I'm out'a here!" Make this one of your decision markers.

 

gentle winds

cr

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I'm on contract - AGAIN.

 

I started this crazy life 40 years ago, my helicopter is 38 years old. My mechanic is "Viet Nam era", my fuel truck driver is a pre-VietNam Vet. My bird has 4,000 more hours than I do - WTF?

 

We are in the "winter" of our lives - professional and personal.

 

What is this industry going to do after we're gone?

 

Who among you has the talent to take over when we go?

 

I've trained one - ONE - "robbie driver" that had what it takes to make the transition into "utility"! Who's going to follow him?

 

I'm scared!!!! I've made friends with people who will have to fly with you after I'm done. Who among you has the guts to say "NO" when the owner comes out with a really stupid mission and tells you that YOU have to "make it work"?

 

Are you going to be as STUPID as I was, way back when - and go out and TRY to do this "stupid" mission? Or are you going to have the balls to go "Not just NO - F*CK NO" I quit!!!!

 

Operators haven't changed - they look for the money and they expect YOU to "make it work" - as the pilot.

 

It's NOT "pt" - it's the ability to evaluate the propossed mission and go "BULL SH*T! I'm NOT doing that!" And stand by your decision.

 

I'm scared guys - DON'T make the same mistakes I made!!! If I leave anything to you "followers" - I hope it's the sense to say "NO!" and stand by it.

 

Don't let an operator kill you just to make him money.

 

MY guide-line has always been "If me knuckles are white, I'm out'a here!" Make this one of your decision markers.

 

gentle winds

cr

 

 

Do you work for Tommy H.?

 

Respect! I hear you, got fired for not being stupid, actually made it all over the news in HI. (in a good sense).

Anyway, i will always appreciate what some of the old timers took time to pass along to me. I would not be here today if some of there tricks of the trade were not passed down.

I hope to have some more years of utility flying left in me, then its time to return to HI.

 

Take care.

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I'm hoping the helicopter operators realize that WE are the foundation that makes their company run. Without us they are just people with big, expensive toys. I'm watching helicopter operators make mistakes that will cost them employees in the future. WE are getting to be a smaller and smaller group.

 

Some operators are realizing that to keep their helicopter workers they need to start treating them like people who are important to their company. It has been a long road of working for someone because you are happy to be flying versus working for someone because it puts food on the table, pays for our kids school, puts a roof over our heads... We work for a living and we are professionals so we should be treated as such.

 

The pilot shortage is going to open a lot of eyes in the helicopter world. The shortage is just starting.

 

Helicopter Pilot Shortage Article

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Thanks for the encouragement CR some people need to realize that the final decision is in there hands. You always have the right to say NO.

 

 

As for that pilot shortage in the offshore, do you think they are desperate enough to take a 100 hour guy? I'll fax a resume and see what they say...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello everyone my name is Byron I have had a passion for flying as long as I can remember. I am only 26 but would like any help or advise you fine gentlemen can give me. I have no training as of yet except for MFS 2004 its my life. I would like some details on how to fly for a career. God bless all of you

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  • 3 months later...

I get crap for turning down stupid flights. Other pilots think I am a wimp, but I don't care. I intend to retire. Deep down I know that I am right and they are the ones I read about in the NTSB reports. The problem is all the stupid pilots being pumped out of alot of these new fight schools, they have no common sense and think they are a lot better then they really are. Thank you, old timers, for sharing your experience with us newbies. Your info is priceless.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I started this crazy life 40 years ago, my helicopter is 38 years old. My mechanic is "Viet Nam era", my fuel truck driver is a pre-VietNam Vet. My bird has 4,000 more hours than I do - WTF?

 

 

 

Man you cracked me up with that! But I have to add, in all seriousness, your absolutely right. Case and point. I got a job doing ag-work and everything seemed pretty cool. After several flights there were a few sqwauks I picked up on the aircraft - which by the way had served faithfully in Vietnam, with old scars to prove it under a great paint job. So, there was I, pleased with my new job........then along came the stupid di#*head running the show, upset at the "sqwauks" I'd presented. Short version - mechanic (I use that word loosley otherwise it would be a kick in the balls of all the great guys out there who really are one), signed off the logs as being satisfactorily completed - (que drum roll....) - wihtout even getting out of his truck???

 

One thing led to another and following an arguement I actually did just what you said; I walked. It was a costly price in respect of finance for me to get home again - from one side of the states' to the other, I did n't know how things were going to pan out for me in terms of getting another job, but in terms of REAL cost, as in my life, wife and family waiting for me - there's no price could ever match that. Even if your a single dude - chalk it up as experience and do what you know is the right thing. Better to sink a few beers' than pushing up daisies', then get your ass out there and get on with the next job.

 

On the brighter side, I ended up getting a job with a family owned/operated company that are great people who I love working for. Sure there's ups and downs - but the owner would NEVER scrimp or try to save money when it comes to maintenance, he's also a good pilot, honest and the best employer I've ever worked for. Plus, the door is always open should I need to grumble or just chat horses#*t stories about this or that. So, I guess I'm lucky in some respects' - but I don't take it for granted, I appreciate it pretty much every day. Especially when I hear some guys most unhappy in Louisiana, in 'roach infested motels, paying the local cops salaries because the only way in there is by bike or car!!

 

Bottom line: Yeah I agree with you totally, I love talking and even more than that - listening or flying with you old Goats of the sky. Believe me, we're following in your footsteps and the straight talking and thinking ones of us will do a good job.

 

Lastely, I too wish there was a lot more respect out there in the industry where all helo pilots are treated and respected as professionals' on a level playing field. Good luck to the guys at PHI and there actions - if they suceed it can only benefit EVERYONE in the long run.

 

Keep it out the trees. ;)

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Cheers,

 

With the crash of "Heli-tanker" 742, I think I need to modify an "emergency respose" sequence that I was taught YEARS ago: "Identify, Verify, Rectify" Now, I believe it should read: "Stabalize, Identify, Verify, Rectify"

 

I was not there when the crash happened, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn -- oops, wrong commercial. I was told, by pilots that were, that the left seater got his snorkle hooked in the retardent tank - and then attempted to "horse-power" out of the situation.

 

It's a serious temptation in the majority of utility situations that have gone sour. I know I've been tempted - Hell, I even tried it one time. The fact that I wasn't killed was just blind luck, nothing to do with pilot ability.

 

I did "heavy lift" in the Chicago area for 3 1/2 years, in a round-motored S-58 (H-34) setting sh*t on the roofs of high-rise buildings.

 

We were pulling down old micro-wave horns, and in Detroit, we contracted to pull some that had been "beautified" by having false fronts hiding them. First horn - rigged wrong or the position wasn't compatable with helicopter extraction. Anyway, the damned thing jammed in the tunnel - AND my electric release failed. In the old model "58's", to dump the load manually, you basicaly lost control of the a/c because you had to take your right leg up into your cyclic control area to activate the manual release (spike).

 

Instead of stabalizing the a/c and thinking it all through, I ginned her up and started "snatching" at the horn - it finally got free - after I terrified the tower crew to the point that they all abandoned the tower.

 

I was scared to start with - a major hospital was just across a 3 lane road from where I was pulling (my "crash site"), I was 15 stories up, and I had a "contrary" wind - up my skirt! I ended up with about a 30 degree angle on the long-line when the load finally let go. So, I got free, had to catch a swinging load that was now in front of me and make it look 'professional" for all the TV news crews.

 

I put tha a/c in the parking lot, broke at LEAST a dozen cigarettes trying to light one, and swore - "NEVER AGAIN!"

 

Twice I've managed to resist the temptation - both of which would have killed not only myself, but a bunch of other people who's only sin was to have been "danger close".

 

Helicopters are DANGEROUS, external loads multipy that danger by a factor of 10 - at LEAST.

 

If/when you get in trouble - and you WILL - THINK!!! STABALIZE the aircraft - it'll give you the time to: "Identify, Verify, Rectify ."

 

"Living on horse-power" isn't all it cracked up to be - trust me, I stayed at a --oops, wrong commercial again.

 

Gentle winds,

cr

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Good to see you alive and well CR... and entertaining as always:)

 

Yesterday was another "day of toe-ins" in the wet snow for me. I started the day off with 4 heating unit sets on top of a building with the "always stable in a hover" Astar. I will use your Stabilize, Identify, Verify, Rectify... Emerg. Rsponse. I think I may need it soon.

 

I thought winters were suppose to be slow?

 

 

Helicopters are DANGEROUS, external loads multipy that danger by a factor of 10 - at LEAST.

 

...maybe by 1,000? ...for me anyway.

 

-Rey

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Pagosa Springs and Frosty The Snowman.

 

Cheers all,

 

Years ago, I got tasked with a "heli-torch" mission down in Pagosa Springs, CO. Bell 47G3B1.

 

This was the old style "drip torch". NOT a pingpong ball machine!

 

It's a 55 gallon drum of napalm that's mounted on a jetisonable frame. Slung directly below the aircraft. Drum, pump motor, igniter, and sump valve. To test this device, you turned off the valve to the napalm, tested the igniter, then turned off the igniter and tested the napalm pump. After the test, you buried the "dog pile" .

 

Well, these people were being SOOO safe that they were dangerous! I picked up the first drum and looked around. I was surrounded by a wall of people with fire extinguisers. Thanks guys - now I have NO where I can crash without taking out people.

 

I expend the first barrel and land to have another drum loaded on the frame. Ground tests are good, so I spool up and as I started to lift, the centering bracket tips over and drags a cable over my front "off" skid. I get almost to a hover and the ship starts to list to the right. Rather than try to "horse power" out of it, I land and they pull the cable off my right skid toe.

 

Expend that drum, land and THIS time, the "ground test" goes to sh*t!

 

They pull off the empty drum, replace it with a full one, and then do the safety check assbackwards! Test the pump first, then the igniter - guess what happened next? We now have a burning pile of napalm in front of and below the helitorch - with 55 gallons of napalm sitting right there getting hotter by the minute.

 

Numb Nuts jumps up and stamps out the nape - only to find that his boot is now on fire. He then lifts up said boot and tries to swat the fire out with his gloves. Get the picture?

 

I'm sitting in a running aircraft, no more than 6 feet away from this circus. I'm at idle, I don't dare to spool up because everything within my rotor disk is going to sh*t in a REAL hurry.

 

It gets better! With both gloves and one boot on fire, he looks up at me and tries to smile. He's standing on one leg, the other one is burning, both gloves burning, and he grins at me! About this time the "circle of protection" gets it's ass-in-gear and run in to spray him dowm with CO2.

 

When the cloud clears, all I can see is "Frosty The Snowman" standing one one leg in front of my helicopter, covered in white frost.

 

I lost it! I just rolled the throttle off and yelled "We're done for the day".

 

*sigh*

 

Some times it just don't pay to get up!

 

Gentle winds,

cr

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Good anecdotes! I just hope some old timers are still around to mentor me when I start flying commercial. No better way to learn decision making skills than from someone who has had to make the decisions and face the consequences. It's got to be tough to stand up and decide not to take a mission when you know you might be fired. On the flip side who wants to work for someone who would fire you for being safety conscious.

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