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Bladestrike last won the day on September 6 2019

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About Bladestrike

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  • Birthday 07/18/1966

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    Guitar, blues, hunting, fishing and surfing

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  1. My friend Stephen Ryan, pilot for the Maryland Police, has an active helicopter blog some here may find interesting; The Rotor Break My Latest Entry
  2. I think I actually did 16 hours one day but don't have that logbook with me. I tend to remember things wrong, or so the wife tells me. I do recall doing 180 hours in 19 days back in the 80s, inertial nav survey. 180 was the limit in 30 days so I had to stop early.
  3. If pushing my book is allowed....I wrote a novel awhile back. Its done quite well with great reviews, about a pedantic pilot's first tour overseas. Give you an idea of the things you have to deal with. The Helicopter Pilot - A Novel Fictional, mostly...... Plus a recent article in Vertical Magazine; ferry trip from Gabon to Poland; Ferry Flight Article
  4. Highly recommended! Its quite the experience to make a living while exploring other cultures and seeing the world. There's good times and bad times, from armed compounds to five star resorts on the beach. I've flown in 32 different countries now, my favourites being Kenya and Gabon, and I'm now in Trinidad & Tobago and its a sweet gig. Best if you can get into the exploration end of things as you'll bounce around a lot more on short term contracts, as opposed to production where you could spend an entire career in one spot. Hot spots now are Ghana and Guyana. Mostly European companies with the contracts in Africa (my favourite continent) so without an EU passport or EASA ticket its difficult. I think Everett is looking in East Africa. And if you get into it, remember to explore! So many guys that tour stay at either the hotel or at work the entire tour. I figure you spend half your life away, best to enjoy it, hang out with locals, go hiking and mountain biking, fishing, etc see all there is to see.
  5. The custom fitted CEPs are worth it. They take some getting used to initially but I've got thousands of hours on 61s (not so bad) and Super Pumas (high pitched whine) with them in a Alpha Eagle helmet, also have used them in a pair of David Clarks. Never replaced them, still in good shape. Worth the investment in a noisy aircraft. Luckily I'm on AW139s now and noise cancelling Bose (supplied) work great. They sucked in the Pumas with the windows open.
  6. Having faced this repeatedly, and being considered a bit of a rogue, I tend to bite my tongue to get the job done, within reason. I tend to apply the following far too often; “Rules are for the guidance of wise men and for the obedience of fools - Douglas Bader” I believe common sense is sorely lacking these days, but you have to stick your neck out pretty far sometimes to apply it.
  7. Lucky Bugger. I miss flying. I'm writing operation manuals and training programs for a foreign government, with the odd demo flight for the CAA. Mostly meetings with the quality department and the sole CAA inspector (plus deep sea fishing and days at the beach), but I do get plenty of playing in the sim. Moving towards flying SAR and bucketing with a 139....can't wait! Thanks but I'm good with those 206 numbers. Lost a favourite hat bucketing without doors in the 80s.....
  8. Yup, had a CD out a few years back.... Sea level is fine.
  9. Maybe the numbers for a 205 as well if anyone has them
  10. About 1/3 done, here's a rough first draft of the prologue: Northern Quebec Autumn 2005 “Six dead. Went down in the trees coming off some mountain side in Columbia,” said Matt. “What were they doing?” asked another. Bored and sullen, the pilots lounge while the fog thickens in the morning sun. Faces glow blue and dead in the refracted glare of their phones. The trailer’s incandescent bulbs reveal water stains, spider nests and indifference to a trailer whose time had passed. Matt drops the paper on the table, pushes a fist into the small of his back and arches with a grunt, then shuffles across worn linoleum squares towards the window. His boots catch the raised corners of the remaining tiles and he punts the debris. His untied boots grate in the trodden sand. Despite the cold, the funk of mold permeates each breath, punctuated with the stench of stale cigarettes and body odour. “Who the f### knows?” said an engineer. “But sounds like a mechanical. I spoke with a buddy down there this morning. They suspect transmission failure.” Someone whistled. Heat flares in Jed’s ears and spreads to his face. He wonders if the others notice his blush and flushes hotter. He turns away and makes for the coffee pot. “Good ole Kilo Papa. You must have put a few hundred hours on that helo yourself Jed,” said Matt as he stares through the grime of the window at the indistinct shapes of the outside world, adrift in the fog. It’ll be some time before it lifts. “Are you sure it was Kilo Papa? That’s not the registration on the news clip,” said another. “Yeah, they reregistered it Columbian. I saw some of the paperwork. It was our old Kilo Papa. You had it on that drill contract just before we sold it, didn’t you Jed?” said the engineer. “Wasn’t Jacque flying on that Columbian gig?” interrupts another pilot. Jed looks up from his coffee. The heat swells in his face. His presence wavers. He drifts into a swirling void and grabs at the world again through the counter before him. He steadies himself with his hand on the worn and cracked linoleum as discretely as he’s able. He holds himself firmly and waits to reconnect. The earth flows from the counter into his hand, up his arm, and down through his body until his feet are firmly planted in the here and now once again, yet his bowels still float. “They sure were happy with you kid. Said they didn’t want anyone else. Said only you got the job done. Kept bragging you’d take loads no one else would,” said Matt to the window. “F###. I hope Jacques wasn’t involved.” He turns away from the window. The man watches Jed now. Other’s eyes avoid the pair. “Be something if it was that transmission, wouldn’t it?” Jed takes his coffee and stumbles out into the murk.
  11. Sorry guys, been researching online and it was giving me a headache, been almost 30 years since I bucketed with a 206. Writing novel number two and yes, there's some Jetranger bucketing in chapter 3.... Would appreciate Jetranger 206B; Empty? Max Gross? Max on the hook? Standard Bambi gallons? Range for going heavy too would be good....the pilot pushes in the story....
  12. I've got over 32 years in the industry and wouldn't leave unless I absolutely had to. Love love love the life. But I actually had to ask myself that question over a year ago when I was let go after twenty years with the same outfit, and a boatload of qualifications couldn't find me a job anywhere on the planet. Starting out was tough, mid-eighties in a recession, but I was doing dry-wall, running parts around, refuelling aircraft and babysitting the boss's kids, and they threw me the odd bone with a ferry flight here or there, and it grew from that. Never said no to any opportunity. I had no interest in the IFR market but eventually it found me. I had no interest in offshore but once again, it found me. Same goes for touring overseas...never would have done it if it hadn't been forced on me (company lost its only domestic contract). I don't regret a second of any of it. I just put my hand up for everything. SAR, sure why not...I'm a SAR TRE now. Manager, I've managed operations all over the globe after my first shaky introduction in the ME, sim instructor (various types), check pilot, writing manuals and training programs, etc etc...I just keep being the guy that said "Sure, why not." When I was laid off in the big lull, I seriously applied for every job on the planet. I couldn't see myself doing anything else. Fixed wing held no interest. I wrote a novel to keep myself busy. Had a line on a summer bucketing job with a 61 then fell into a government job in the Caribbean, right place at the right time. I'm here now writing under a mango tree. My only advice, and it's worked well for me, is step up at every opportunity.
  13. Thank you for Amazon review Brian! Much appreciated! Got another full length review today from the onlinebookclub.org; Online Book Club Review
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