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Posts posted by Blackmac

  1. CAstrike;

    I hope you have been following the amount of accidents that happen in the hems industry?

    The scenario I set-up is, only to avail you off the BS you have to put up, with your own FAA and the operators you will be working for.

    It's all very nice to have your A&P licence, but remember when there is an accident, and you were the one to release the bird as airworthy, they usually blame the pilot first, mechanic next and the company last, because they were abiding by their Safety Management System, which most companies use for toilet paper. NO ENFORCEMENT by the so called regulators.

    Cars, trucks, etc are becoming more computerized and you can always blame it on the computer if the problem is not solved.

    Dream on, but you would probably make as much money and be at home, guaranteed


    Cheers, Don

  2. 17 hours ago, CAstrike said:

    Hello everyone....So I'm a newly minted helicopter mechanic over at Minuteman Aviation in Missoula Montana, I've been there just about five months now.  I could not be more excited to be a part of the rotorcraft community!  So during my quest for my A&P License I have and still am considering the HEMS world as my eventual career choice.  I do realize it takes a few years of experience to qualify for an aircraft mechanic job in that field but I'm thinking it will be a good rewarding path to shoot for.  I am curious however, and this is directed at anyone on here who has been involved or is currently involved in the HEMS world....I would like complete honesty, what are your experiences.....pros vs. cons, etc???  So far I have heard from two opposite ends of the spectrum...everything from the "worst maintained aircraft out there"  to the "best job I ever had."  Again I would like complete honesty from everyone but please keep it civil.  I'm just curious to hear from the actual folks on the front line if you will because I do realize this area of aviation can be a bit controversial.

    Thank you everyone!


    CA strike:

    You have opened up a can of worms that nobody has mentioned (stupid is as stupid was), the airlines who are members Of ICAO and IATA introduced the SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (SMS) that was supposed to cure all problems related to RISK MANAGEMENT and MAINTENANCE and operators were home free. 

    Well, the SMS was adopted by Transport Canada Aviation (TCA) and the FAA in North America and was regarded by both entities as a chance to download the inspection requirement to the operator, and they would only have inspect them infrequently, as the onus was delegated to the operator or manufacturer. The enforcement action within the companies was the responsibility of the owners or head honcho.

    FAA took advantage of the SMS to download signing authority to Boeing, for their own modifications.

    TCA took advantage of the, SMS to not inspect companies as required.

    Both the FAA and TCA complain about lack of resources. $$$$$$$

    I think all the aviation experts have to get their act together, as the body count is getting higher and higher.



    PS; the only original part of the fuselage on the 737 Max 8 is the cockpit, with so many modifications you would think a redesign would make sense.


    2 hours ago, DGP said:

    My first time flying in the dark happened out of Wpg some 30 yrs ago. Some CNR types show up at the hangar late in the afternoon...they have to get to a train derailment just east of Kenora...so I get the trip as i was in the hangar turning wrenches...I look at the time and tell boss man that there is no way I can get these guys guys there and get home before dark...I am told...don't worry there will be plenty of lights when you get close to the city...so I load them up and blast off in old jetbuggy....drop them off on the rail line and head west. I have a 30 knot tailwind blowing so I look at the gas and head for wpg... I hit the border and it is pitch black... can't see nothing but the instrument panel...luckily all the lights are working and I have an adf...no gps back in these days....I climbed up to a good height and watch the fuel guage...finally see the lights of the city...call final for the ramp and shut down...I am not impressed with management!

    I am not impressed with management???

    You keep making a decision like that, you are working your way to becoming a statistic. What was wrong with staying at Helair in Kenora, remember when you are in charge of an aircraft, you duh man, not management. Whats a couple of hundred bucks to Mid-West if you had stayed in Kenora.


    • Like 2

  4. All you gentlemen with the smart-*** answers should try a few tours in the arctic on the Polar Shelf contract or or any other survey carried out in that area. In some some area's you have to wash the leading edge of the rotor blades on a daily basis, because you are losing lift due to black fly and mosquitoes contamination. Imagine dear pilot what an engineer has to go thru doing major maintenance on the helicopter, bin there done that.

    If more companies would investigate or look into the prospect of such an en-devour, you might find more engineers willing to do tours up there.

    Companies had better start looking after people or start training the investors (shareholders) in flying and maintenance or get out of the business totally. 

    • Like 2

  5. 14 minutes ago, Winnie said:

    I currently fart around in the 135 and love it, it has some peculiar vibrations but has lots of room in the cabin for an airframe that is as long as a Jetbox...

    The H145 (BK-117D2 and D3) will be better than previous iterations but the D2 with the 4 blades has some pretty severe vibrations and issues that cause airsickness amongst the people in the back. I know, who cares... But again, size IS a thing and this is simply not the machine needed.

    As far as the UH-1Y, the low cost was due to parts being used were from older airframes, UH-1N bodies, and Cobra tail booms, with the new 4 bladed rotor system and T-700 engines (CT-7).


    In Europe, they have very short distances to travel, and don't need much endurance, but Canada is HUGE and the distances are enormous as most of you already know. 2 hours+ reserve simply isn't enough. Wether the machine is assembled in Germany, or Texas matters little in the end. Capabilities count.

    I don't disagree with any of your observations, but, how many long distance do helicopters normally fly from there home base under a normal workday? Working from a base camp not very far, when moving drills, fire fighting, basically local work and as fuel is part of the all up weight, is normally kept it to a minimum. It basically comes down to what application you are using a helicopter for and what type is applicable for the job you are doing. e.i. putting an antenna on top of the CN Tower, using a B412, not good.

    The UH-1Y is a bastardized military aircraft and will never be certified under the FAA for commercial use.

    The Griffon B412), certified FAA, H145 FAA, AW139 FAA, S-92 FAA, and the list goes on. Most governments are purchasing helicopters that are primarily certified in the country of origin for civilian or military use with add-ons as required. One of the reasons for making the parts the same is to have a better resale value and eliminate the use of bogus parts. 


  6. 2 hours ago, DGP said:

    I have to say that I would love to see them get the 145. I personally would love to get a check out on the one with the tailrotor. I read that they will not be putting the 5 rotor unit on the one with the tailrotor as opposed to the fenestron one. Too bad! The five bladed one has blades attached directly to the mast as opposed to attaching to a head...very strange. But I am sure Bell will be happy to take the cash for whatever they come up with.

    DGP; for a guy that has been around for as long as you have, I would have thought you would you be glad to have a helicopter without an actual tail rotor. Does anybody have any idea how many people have been killed by tail rotors?? Personally, I have always hated them as an anti-torque device. I loved the Gazelle with the original fan, no stump problems.

    I also like the fact, with the original rotor head from the BO105, makes it a better machine for military maneuvers.

    If Hydro One had been flying an Airbus helicopter with a Fan at Tweed, four people would still be alive. Stupid is as Stupid was and still is.

    INMHO, twin-engined helicopters for working around powerlines, including power line patrol, and Cat 1 take-off, mandatory and NO tail rotor. Lives matter, not dollars when doing a risk assessment.     

    • Like 1

  7. https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/h145m-battlefield-support-helicopter/

    Here is some added info on the H145M and seems to be popular with the Germans and others militaries in the EU and elsewhere, with the five-bladed model it would be even better. The only problem it has, it's not American. 

    The rotor head is the same fixed torsion straps as on the BO105 that the Red Bulls Use in aerobatic maneuvers. 

  8. 1 hour ago, DGP said:

    I don't think those Chinook's they have were built in Canada. SAAB uses T700 engines in their fixwing...maybe they could retro fit engines into those 412's. Maybe even find some Canadians to do the work! Probably a nightmare waiting to happen. The UH-1Y empty weight is almost double what a 412 is....usefull internal is the same...6600 lbs. But they say that American built one with do 198kts redlined! You won't see a 412 doing that! If they have to buy Canadian built they are pretty much [email protected]#ed.

    The CH-146 is actually a B412 FAA approved civilian helicopter of the shelf, modified for military use, the UH-1Y is an upgraded UH-1N for military use only. I am assuming that at present the 100 CH-146's are not all equipped with armament and most are for utilty transport. The cost of upgrading the CH-146's is rediculous, including trying to make an outdated aircraft any better. The CH-146 is high maintenece and that will not change with upgrades. DND is well known for under estimating the cost of their requirements and Bell is certainly not going to do it for nothing, and you are still going to have an outdated aircraft.

    The  AirBus H145 is being bought by the RCMP and Stars Helicopters and are up to date with all with all the toots and whistles, even has single pilot IFR. H145 models available on the same airframe, Utility, EMS and Military, which I beleive can all be used by the Military.

    Operating and Maitenance costs are less than anything that Bell has to offer and with the capability of being manufactured in Canada.

  9. DND recently stated that they awarded a contract to Bell Helicopters do a study, to enhance the capability of the Griffon, to last DND until sometime in the 2030s. The original UH-1N  (military certified with military parts) Bell-manufactured helicopters that were replaced by the Griffons (B412) ( FAA certified parts for civilian use) with updated power components and were bought to replace the outdated UH-1N.

    The UH-1N's were owned by the US State Department and returned.

    The Canadian Government bought civilian B412 FAA and TC approved helicopter from Bell Helicopter, of the shelf, added military equipment and called them Griffons.

    We also own Chinooks and the Griffons are supposed to protect the Chinooks, ha, ha. The Chinooks outpace the Griffons.

    Back in the days that we owned Chinooks, originally before the brainless people at DND decided to sell them to the Dutch, we only had the Griffons to send to Afganistan and whatever we could contract. We ended up borrowing Chinooks from the Dutch.

    NOW, they want to update a Vietnamese airframe that is already outdated.

    Airbus has been producing helicopters more suited to Canadian applications than Bell.

    The H145 is a more versatile helicopter suited to the Military with its adaptability to more configurations and fully modern capabilities, plus millions of proven flight hours.

    There is always the possibility that Airbus could build an assembly plant in North Grenville, just south of Ottawa on route 416, between Petawawa and Montreal.

    The Canadian Government is already giving grants to Stars Helicopters (EMS) and the RCMP just received their H145 for BC.

      DND, look before you leap and issue an ITB to the industry.



  10. Reaper, I agree with what you are saying, but understand that you are only a hired hand as is the chief pilot that hired you. The owner doesn't care, he is giving you a job, so what's the problem.

    If the owner really cared about his employees, he would put a clause in the contract that pilots and ame's will be rotated every XXX weeks at the contractor's expense.

    Most of the larger companies already have rotations set up and is included in the overhead of that particular contract. If you think you have to stay on a contract for XX# of months, go somewhere else.

  11. I don't agree or disagree with any of the comments, but please provide some basis to back them.

    In my own opinion, NO helicopter equipped for IFR should be a single engine in any commercial operation, including night. Another contentious issue is that the twin-engine helicopter is capable of single-engine operation to a destination under control and not just to the scene of the accident, in an emergency. It's amazing how only the French seem to manufacture twin-packs that are capable of performing on a single engine. Twin-Engine helicopters are manufactured, now, that is capable of single-engine performance. Educate the charterer and the company and apply Risk Management and not cost, to run 100% no accidents operation.

    There is no established cost to Human Lives.


  12. Technology and a shortage of pilots to fill the flight decks of tomorrow’s business jets and airliners are creating pressure to facilitate more single-pilot operations. Avionics manufacturers are developing technology for safe single-pilot operations, but pilots have been flying alone safely in light aircraft through Part 23 jets for many years. Learn about factors that are causing the flying landscape to shift toward more single-pilot operations, what kind of automation avionics manufacturers are developing for single-pilot operations and what we can learn from experienced pilots flying in single-pilot operations.

    Join AIN editor-in-chief Matt Thurber on April 24 at 1:30 p.m. EDT as he moderates the discussion with Tal Golan, manager, rotorcraft business development for Universal Avionics, and Charlie Precourt, former NASA astronaut, safety expert, and Citation owner. Sponsored by Universal Avionics

    Register for the free webinar.

    • Haha 1

  13. What goes around comes around, as one of the oldest members on this site, you had the chance to form an association and Blew it. 

    I don't feel sorry for any of you as you are your own worst enemy, continue to moan and groan and as you can see things won't change until you get rid of H-A-C and the owners club, who couldn't care less about your problems. Remember who calls the shot$$$$.

    I had no problem in the industry, and wouldn't have changed it until HAC came along and for some unknown reason was accepted as representing the whole Helicopter Industry, which was only concerned with the operators and continued to kowtow to the customers for the almighty buck.

    The airlines are regulated by ICAO and supposedly Transport Canada Aviation, why aren't the rest of the peons in the industry regulated with actual Tariffs. ??

    • Like 2

  14. Canada TSB Begins Special Study of Air-taxi Safety

     - March 18, 2019, 9:37 AM

    Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has launched a special study of air-taxi operations following its collection of data that shows over the last 15 years, the segment has seen 813 accidents resulting in 242 fatalities (an average of 16.1 annually) and 162 serious injuries. These deaths represent 62 percent of all commercial aviation fatalities.

    In Canada, air taxis are regulated under Part 703 and cover piston- and turboprop-powered airplanes and helicopters only. Jet-powered aircraft cannot be operated as air taxis. As such, they are not included in Canada’s air-taxi accident statistics. On-demand charter operations in Canada are operated under Part 704 commuter regulations.

    The TSB said its investigation reports have repeatedly drawn attention to critical safety issues that contribute to air-taxi accidents. “In spite of this, the air-taxi sector continues to have the highest number of commercial aviation accidents and fatalities.” To identify and communicate the underlying systemic safety issues that need to be addressed, the TSB has launched a special investigation into the industry. TSB statistics show that of the 183 airplane fatalities, 48 occurred in turboprop accidents and 135 in accidents involving reciprocating-engine aircraft. In total, turboprops suffered 133 accidents and recips 411 mishaps.

    Because there are four times as many air-taxi turboshaft rotorcraft as recips (1,306 versus 329), the accident fatalities are skewed more heavily toward turboshafts. The TSB reported that over the last 15 years, there were five fatalities and 29 total accidents involving recips, compared with 54 fatalities and 240 total accidents of turboshaft helicopters.

    “If we uncover serious safety deficiencies during the course of our investigation, we will not wait until the public report to make them known,” the TSB said. “We will inform industry and the regulator, as well as the public, as quickly as possible.”


  15. Boy are we ever having fun, the whole story is totally out of context.

    The only time any Canadian government should be taking work away from the private sector is when it's established that the private sector is unable to provide the service, after due diligence, on the part of the government procurement section,  having produced a statement of requirement issued by whatever department.

    A request for proposal always (RFP) makes a requirement, competitive.

    Government Departments have to be realistic in their statement of work and not asking for something that is unattainable, by the private sector.

    My understanding of the procurement process for both the AW139 and the AS350 was sole-sourced to the manufacturers of said helicopters.

    When you are dealing on a sole-source basis for a purchase of that magnitude, it invites corruption and has to be approved at the highest levels of government.

    I personally prefer capitalism over socialism, it gives all parties a chance and saves the taxpayer money.

    Just my two cents and however it goes, so be it.

    My beef is not with individuals, it's with corrupt people in the government and taking taxpayers for a ride.

  16. Without prejudice, you should stick to your pastime, Location: Thunder Bay, ON  Interests: Adventure racing Snowboarding  Mountain Biking.

    At present HydroOne has contracts with an excellent commercial operator out of Tbay doing power line work and at one time another company doing the same thing out of Rabbit Lake (Kenora). For all practical purposes if HydroOne is doing such a great job for the whole province, why don't they cover the whole province in power line/maintenance work????

    A commercial operator had one fatal accident in power line patrol out of Tbay that I am aware of. The cause was placed on, both the company and Hydro for lack of training.

    There is a good possibility that maybe you should re-read your SMS manual, the person responsible is the owner of the company or in this case, the Ontario Government or read taxpayer.


  17.  A committee should be set up to analyze the complete air operations of the Ontario Government and the actual air operations required by each Ministry, that can be turned over to the private sector on long term contracts.

    Depending on the way the contracts are negotiated, the liability for performance rests with the contractor. The government is self -insured by the taxpayer, no problem, whereas the contractor has an insurance auditor on his back and is responsible for his contracted obligation. Should the contractor have his insurance revoked due to many mishaps, he loses his operating certificate and livelihood.

    Should the Government Ministry screw up due to the above scenario, the onus is on the taxpayer to pick-up the cost. Due to unions nobody within the government is ever fired, there is no accountability.


    HydroOne: Tweed accident.

    The day after the accident I called up the Director of Safety and asked him what oversite his department was doing on the Hydro flight department and his answer was NON.

    The flight department has a Chief PIlot who is responsible for the actions of his pilots, needless to say, he missed one. 

    The department also has a Safety Management System in place that was not adhered to in conjunction with that operation.  

     Of course, TCCA does not do any oversite, they just call in TSB after an accident.

    It's funny after all these years in operation, HydroOne in October 2018 appointed a Manager of Flight Operation.

    Always after the fact.      Who picks up the cost, the taxpayer, one way or the other!!!!!!

    • Confused 1

  18. As an observer and Taxpayer, if a proper analysis was done prior, to the procurement of the of the AW139 and the PC12 by people that had an actual logistical background in transportation, in conjunction with the scope of the requirement from the Medical Branch there would have been a different outcome

    From a procurement point of view, the request for (RFP) proposal must be fair to the public, achievable and by more than one entity.

    If the procurement is slated around one supplier, it becomes a sole source contract.

    I would love to see a copy of the RFP and subsequent evaluation.

    Normally, prior to issuing an actual RFP, a letter of interest is posted on Merx to see what is available on the market.

    From the list of responses from the suppliers, an actual RFP is formulated. 

    As taxpayers, we all know that the previous government played games with our revenue like it was a monopoly game.

    It gives you second thought on how honest are Public Servants are.

    Politics are one thing Corruption is another.


  19. BI:  Believe me, I can still see that you are still in there, aren't they going to let you out for asinine behavior???

    Someday when you are bacon inbound a big fist is going to come when you're on final and punch you in the face, it's people like you, that give this magazine a bad name. Try and argue facts instead of hearsay.


    Have Great Day and don't be so arrogant, even though you haven't earned it. 


  20. On 3/2/2019 at 8:55 AM, Three_Per said:

    We have people turning down jobs because the pay isn’t enough. I reject your notion that the frontline AMEs and pilots are paid more than their private sector equivalents.  Add at least 15% to the cost of benifits.

    Why don’t I go back to private? Quality of life is greatly improved. You can’t put a $$ value on that.

    You just did, and were do you get this FRONTLINE BS, we are not in a war zone.

    AIN Webinar: Safe and Efficient Single-pilot Operations.  This for OUTBOUND BACON on a go around. 

    Technology and a shortage of pilots to fill the flight decks of tomorrow’s business jets and airliners are creating pressure to facilitate more single-pilot operations. Avionics manufacturers are developing technology for safe single-pilot operations, but pilots have been flying alone safely in light aircraft through Part 23 jets for many years. Learn about factors that are causing the flying landscape to shift toward more single-pilot operations, what kind of automation avionics manufacturers are developing for single-pilot operations and what we can learn from experienced pilots flying in single-pilot operations.

    Join AIN editor-in-chief Matt Thurber on April 24 at 1:30 p.m. EDT as he moderates the discussion with Tal Golan, manager, rotorcraft business development for Universal Avionics, and Charlie Precourt, former NASA astronaut, safety expert, and Citation owner. Sponsored by Universal Avionics.

    CARS can be changed and will be changed, unless rocket man acts as cojo on every flight.



    Maybe some of you should quit reading or watching Marvel and face reality.



  21. 2 hours ago, GrayHorizons said:

    Ornge got new ground ambulances because they turned a profit and had to spend the money somehow.





    Smart-***, are you trying to replace to the ground ambulances just because I recommended Chinooks as airborne ER's.

    You should also be aware that "ORNGE" is a non-profit entity, so the TAXPAYER is the next goto for bucks. Don't worry, it's only a small increase of x% of the overall budget of x% of the budget of MOH. The X% value indicates that money has no value, just do whatever you want and the taxpayer is OK with that analogy, that's why they get paid the big bucks, more so than the equivalent nonunionized workers in the private sector doing the same job on a competitive basis.

    I don't believe in unions within the government as all they provide is a way to hold the public hostage, there should be a way that the public (taxpayer) who pays their salaries, should also be able to go on strike and quit paying taxes, as we don't seem to be able to get thru all the corruption that is going on with any political party that we elect. 


  22. If the originator (expert) of ORANGE living in Thunder Bay had his way, with his ego and helicopter knowledge, it is a wonder that he couldn't convince the government to buy Chinooks like the Air Force has, and bring a complete ER unit on board.

    Granted the AW139 has a flat belly, but how are you going to get the powered stretcher on and off in the snow or tall grass??? 

    I am not disagreeing with your analogy, but sitting on the snow without the wheels touching the ground, makes the helicopter insecure and the blades much closer to peoples head, totally unsafe.

    The AW139's can be sold by the government and a Procurement Process initiated for the private Commercial Operators.

    The H145 can replace both the AW139 (Orange) and Astars operated by Hydro and OMNR. These can be equipped for medical purposes and or utility purposes.

    With the advent of the Pilot shortage, single pilot IFR is available with the Helionix autopilot system.

    Long term contract can be negotiated to make it worthwhile for a commercial operator and the banks. 

    Once the new assembly plant is built for the H145 in Kemptville and with the DND H145M order there will be plenty of spare parts to go around.


  23. The AW139 on wheels can't land off the road in winter (snow) or the summer (high grass) and will only get worse when the NEW powered stretcher is installed, it is so heavy that it has to be motorized. Just imagine trying to carry one of those things. The EMT's with trucks can load with two people doing the job.

    The whole medical system is so screwed, by incompetent people, it's a wonder that more people don't die. 

    If a proper analysis was done in conjunction with the actual medical branch and transportation department and not people trying to build up their own empire, privatizing the whole the aviation branches of Orange, HydroOne, and OMNR.

    The Government Procurement Department should be investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police, for bribery and accepting paid holidays to France.

    If you don't believe me, ask the manufacturers

    What about the new revelation involving THE PHARMACIES AND OHIP.

    When the **** is the government going to get it's act together.??????


  24. https://www.thesudburystar.com/news/local-news/sudbury-column-time-to-reprivatize-ornge?  copied from Skies

    This article is basically a reprint of what I wrote in Vertical in previous threads, but at the time I was including Hydro One Helicopters.

    I have written letters to my local MP, the Premier including the Toronto Star, all to no avail. 

    It would be nice if a few more people got involved and stated their opinion and maybe we would be saving the taxpayer a few dollars and providing jobs to the private sector.

    As Dougie says "Get Involved".😋

  25. Sorry for the confusion I seem to have created, I guess I should read my SMS manual again.

    Maufacturers are responsible and can be held responsible for what ever they provide and sign in writing.

    After you crash and the TSB finds out it was due to the wrong oil in the main or tail rotor gear box, your Insurance Company is going to be very unhappy and I beleive you will be also.

    File an emergency A.O.G. to TCCA and a copy to the Manufacturer.

    If you believe that you are going to get a consensus of opion on this site you are really dreaming, you are probably the first person to beleive this is a learning site, welcome.

    You should call AirBus in Fort Erie and ask to speak to the CEO and not the support staff. Put exactlly what you said originally in your post and a copy to your Insurance Company and explain to the CEO that you are in violation of ICAO and TCCA regulations for not adherring to the RFM. 

    Advise the CEO that you will be seeking compensation for lost revenue.

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