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Doc B

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About Doc B

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  1. Hey, Mac, what model did you fly? Did it have the FastFin? Edit: Bad spelling (and on a one-line question yet).
  2. As long as the tooling has the part number on it, there is some value - both with the Bell and T53 tools.
  3. Well, Sudden, some people can tell 'em... I figure if you're in aviation maintenance, your whole job is the prevention of incidents: I'm an "shite-happens" preventer.
  4. Thanks, Harmonic, for the considered and thoughtful reply to my post. Next time I need to formulate an opinion during my next ten years working on Bell mediums, I'll call you first. Since the point of the post was that the 412 has typically underperformed versus a 212, why would Wildcat go and buy a bunch? Since the owners of Wildcat seem to be pretty switched-on at finding niches to get their machines hired into, perhaps they have some knowledge of the capacities of the aircraft that might overcome the break-even-at-best useful load, and sub-par performance. Or maybe they're sending them international to some faraway place where nobody knows about 212s, or 205s (+, ++, or otherwise), or maybe even fire. Maybe we'll just have to see what they do next? DB: Edited to remove extra snark.
  5. Hey Splitpin, don't p*ss on the parade here! Everyone else was tracking down a rumour and you had to spoil it with a legitimate question. It's people like you what cause unrest, I swear. But now that you mention it, I did scratch my head over the "disconnect" bit. I can't think of where you'd inadvertantly disconnect the fuel line to the oil-fuel heater - or where it could loosen without plenty of notice to the pilots and maintainers: you'd probably notice the raw fuel running over the cabin roof, from under the engine cowl, and out the belly drains. Heck, you'd think that was why the engineer does a leak-check on the first start. Quick survey: how many medium engineers do a first-start leak check?
  6. Engine operating costs for a -17 are $50/hr higher than a PT6-T, and a 205 A++ (-17 and 212 rotor) only outperforms the 212 at lower altitudes than normal ops in BC and western Alberta, and only then with external loads. No clear winner performance-wise there. The Eagle 212 "S" is a good combination of the types, but also underperforms at high density altitudes. Also suffers from a 9 pax limit in Canada (though this may be repealed as the FAA has certified at 14 seats). An incremental improvement at best. 412 has some advantages as a utility ship versus 205 and 212. Models after the "Classic" (SP, HP, and EP) have 2200# basic fuel load without losing a penalty box to an aux tank. Cruise speed is higher with similar fuel burn. Engine performance is equivalent to the HP 212, with slight advantages in the OEI charts (no 2.5 min limits on 412). 412 can have bigger engines (equivalent to the D/F for 212) but fuel burn is an issue for our customers, unless the OEI performance is a sticking point. Again, the 412 is offers incremental improvements - and now that the peculiarities of the main rotor system are well-know, the dispatch rate is as good as either of the preceeding forms of medium - with the added advantage of being current-production aircraft. Will the customers pay for such slight improvements? My guess will be yes and no: oil companies may buy off on the current production and improved safety arguments, but I wouldn't hold me breath for the forestry agencies to bite: they have budgets and marginal improvements may not win them over. All I can say is, Good luck Wildcat.
  7. End of an era for 212? I don't know about that - let's first see if there are any 205's still working, now that there is the 212 to displace them. FYI: there are about 65 on the civil register in Canada right now; some of them are bound to be on fires. Even if the 412 is successful in utility ops, it would need to be a real game-changer to justify the addditional DOC the customer would need to pay. So far, our utility customers wan to pay 206 rates for 212s, so I'm not holding my breath.
  8. Forestry across Canada is a difficult customer; Ontario adds another layer of "tough" since your customer is represented by a dues-paying SRO or forestry tech who may like to "look out" for the interests of the brothers and sisters flying the MNR machines. In my experience, if you're lucky enough to work with the same tech or crews for a while they'll get over your "only a contractor" status and you'll work together well. At this point, however, the SRO or his boss usually decides there are mosquitoes going hungry at some camp you couldn't find on the charts without Lat/Long. Also, our Forestry customers are bent on getting the best value for the taxpayer's money, which is bureaucrat-speak for finding new and creative ways to pencil aircrews/operators out of a livelihood. We might be bringing years of experience and millions of dollars of equipment to bear on the customer's needs, but dammit, helicopters are expensive to hire, and college kids will put out fires with a shovel for a lot less! Oh well, we get to travel, meet interesting people, and get paid to turn jet fuel into smoke and noise.
  9. Countdown to first noise complaint in: one, two, three...
  10. As long as the customers use whitewash in place of real, measureable standards for safety, we will always have to endure hazards caused by "lowest common denominator" companies. I have no faith that SMS will improve the industry, nor will the customers raise their standards; rather, I suspect the customer to reward poor contractor culture simply because they are cheaper to hire. Investments in training and retention of crew, a proper culture of safety, good maintenance, and modern equipment are expensive. What we get instead is good operators lowering standards across the board to compete for contracts against companies that care little for the consequences of their actions. In the aviation world, friends, we're still the red-headed stepchildren. By the way, I don't find ASRD any different from anywhere from BC to Ontario as far as their respect for the crews working on their behalf.
  11. I had 204/205 and both T53 and PT6T courses, and no problems from TC (in the west). Don't know of anyone doing a differences course but BHT Training does recognize your other medium experiencec as a qualification for admission to the 412 current-production course (essentially a differences course on the EP for techs familiar with previous models).
  12. The five-shot limit is only for self-loaders; doesn't apply to a manually operated action. Same sort of thing as the barrel length restriction: as long as it was manufactured with a shorter barrel, the firearm is legal at less than 18" as long as it can't be firedd in a configuration with an overall length under 23". SO, no folding stock on my Valtro.
  13. The Marlin .45/70 is a great tool: it's a lever action so it is very safe to carry and the .45/70 is a big cartridge with plenty of stopping power. An Alaskan company, Wild West Guns, makes a takedown version that packs very small, and as a bonus they'll rechamber it for a bigger casing (their own wildcat, with more muzzle energy) with the added bonus of being able to chamber .410 shotshells. That makes a spendy but very handy survival tool. http://www.wildwestguns.com/copilot.html Another good option is a 12ga pump made by an Italian company called Valtro: their PM-5 is a service (police/military) shotgun that feeds from an 8-shell box magazine. The advantage of that configuration is that it's easy to make safe when climbing into the machine, or entering camp, by simply pulling the magazine and cycling the action to prove the chamber - no repeated pumping to cycle each shell outta the tube mag under the barrel. Another benefit of the big mag is that the first shot can be a rubber bullet, so you can happily put that first shot into the bear and not dither over whether he's just bluffing, and let him know you're not. I carry one with a 14" barrel and I can attest to the persuasive power of that first shot - the bear left and I didn't need to convince a CO that I was really, really at risk. http://www.valtrousa.com/shotguns.html The biggest downside to the carry of any tool such as these is that you need to devote one hand to the firearm; if you're wrenching (I do) then it gets set on a drum "nearby" and I've had a couple scares both in the Artic as well as in the provinces, and I do like to keep a shotty nearby when I'm working alone. Another downside is the extra paperwork and (Air Canada, at least) $50 fee charged to pack a firearm in your checked baggage. All told, a pistol would be handier and safer, but try and convince Wendy Cukier of that.
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