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Kick The Tires And Light The Fires!


Cole

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You know I dont know what to say to that besides I sincerely hope youre wrong.

 

The 1 mile comment was taken a bit out of context, when we took off we were in 4sm vis easily with light snow but after 30 minutes of working the area 3 miles away the vis fell to about 1.5 miles so I decided to head home and the pilot next to me thought it was a safe choice so we headed home. It isnt like we looked outside to see snow falling in buckets full and decided this was good weather to head off and sling in.

 

I do value my life and the machine and so does my instructor, who owns the helicopters and neither of us will compromise the well being of either my life or the helicopter.

 

I picked this school for its reputation among the 'peolpe who do the hiring' as I know a few and they all said the pilots from KVH were taught well.

 

I heard the story from the only student out of here that had an engine failure, and if it wasnt for the subtle things he learned in training he, and equally importantly the other passengers, would not have survived. The rest of the pilots he work with like to fly 500 feet lower then him and had he been doing that the story would be a lot less inspiring.

 

-

 

With all that in mind Ill go ahead and document todays flights.

 

Both flights today were solo water bucketing with a 150' line in the Jetranger. My first thought when I made the first pickup and drop of the day was that I couldn't believe how anyone can get really proficient and acurate with this.

 

First pickup was a bit sloppy and the drop was a huge miss, second pickup was alright drop was a light hit, third pickup was okay, lift out, something feels not great as I translate, I look down, theres now water haha. I thought that was odd so I put it back in and came back out with some... okay no problem so I returned to my new target, get over it... Click... nothing... CLICK... waters still in there so I decide that the bucket must be frozen. I ***** the situation, 4 miles from the base, lots of gas, a full water bucket I cant dump on the line, a wide open field to the West.

 

I decide It's in my intrest to land and check out the bucket so I check the field out, I already know the winds are calm and Ive been in the area befor so I do a recon to check for snags in the area and fly the bucket in. By this time Im really relaxed and comfortable with about 25 minutes or so into the flight so I notice I have good positive control of the load and that its not really swinging at all. I place the bucket right where I want it (still full) and it just sits upright as I lay down the line and bring the helicopter to ground idle (I mentioned the winds were completely calm) and I went to check the bucket. everything looked fine but it appeared the extension for the release may be a bit loose, after looking at everything else this seems like the most obvious snag so I tighten it even more and take the electrical tape out of my pocket and gave it a few more wraps.

 

I hop back into the machine, seatbelt on, grease on the throttle without exceeding 40% tq and remove the frictions. Pick it up, string the line, get over top of the load and pick it up... Click, Nothing, at this point I decide its in my best intrests to return to base so I hover back down to the ground (about 4 or 5 feet bucket height) and tip the water out.

 

I fly back to base and place the bucket next to the pad without any problems, lay the line down and touch down. Following the shutdown it seems as if the solonoid in the head is frozen thanks to the first pickup so I brought it into the hangar and let it thaw and dry and Wendell pulled the cover off to have a quick look and make sure everything was dry inside.

 

After lunch it was more of the same and once I really started to relax and let the helicopter do all the work everything came together really well, my last probably 20 drops or so were right on target and the pickups were being done with little to no drift. Landing the helicopter back at the hangar was an intresting challenge since there was a major tail wind. I brought the load in cross wind and turned the fuselage into wind with a bit to go and crept it into place with a bit of backing up. Placed it next to the pad no problem and landed the helicopter next to it befor rolling her in for the day.

 

After that I added the amendments to the flight manual for the jetranger that just arrived and then headed home.

 

Tomorrow were back to the airport now that its paved for some more emergencies in preparation for my fligh test which is now on the 28th or so.

 

Cheers.

Cole

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Wow, Two bits that was more like a buck fifty!

 

So here is my buck and a half.

 

As Cole's instructor I feel your comments about his over confidence are out of line. I make the decisions about when and what type of training my student’s receive. Therefor your opinions should be directed at me. When I put Cole in a situation in which he must make a decision he always uses the most conservative rule and makes the correct decision.

 

Cole flies the aircraft with the understated confidence and skill of a much higher time pilot. When he graduates from flight school you should give him a check ride. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised with the skills and maturity a young man like this can possess. He will quickly become an asset to any company that hires him, as have all my student’s.

 

You are right about one thing though, having long line experience will not GET you that first job. But becoming confident and proficient with all aspects flying a long line will certainly affect how quickly you advance after you start flying. Just ask my former students who are heli-logging with Sky-crane's, S61”s and Kamov’s or flying seismic with 212’s, 205,s , a-star’s, and 500’s if they should have spent more time flying circuits at the airport after they had become proficient at it.

 

If we increase the flight time requirement to 200 hours as you suggest we would move the price of flight training out of reach for most student’s and deny them of a very rewarding career.

 

In the US they have a 150 hour requirement and I don’t think there low time pilots are any better than ours.

 

When I send Cole out solo with my JetRanger, a 120’ spectron line and a BRAND NEW bambi bucket I have a lot more at stake than your average chief pilot with a fleet of helicopters at his disposal. I take the responsibility of that decision very seriously and I have nothing but confidence that Cole will bring himself and my helicopter back in one piece.

 

It is my philosophy that a student should complete flight school having experienced what is acceptable and legal operational flying. It is irresponsible to have students fly only in good weather at flight school then send them out to work in low visibility conditions and expect them to make good decisions about flying conditions they have never experienced.

 

I guess that was more like a buck seventy five http://www.verticalmag.com/forums/style_em...fault/blink.gif

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If I can add my 2¢...

 

I just wish I'd had the kind of ops training Cole is getting when I was in flight school !

 

I think one of the ways the shortage of pilots in this industry could be reduced is through better quality training. Just because 80% of students aren't able to handle a long line at 60 hours doesn't mean the 20% who can should be held back. Remember, at most 20% of new pilots will ever get a job as a commercial helicopter pilot in the first place, so might as well let the best shine through.

 

I have so many un-fond memories of doing circuits, circuits and more circuits just to burn hours when I was at 50 odd hours, and having instructors say "ok, we have to burn some dual hours, so lets go to the lake and spot the girls sunbathing..." :down: .

 

The requirement for a private helicopter pilot is 45 hours. At 45 hours, a private pilot should have the skills to fly a helicopter in a non-commercial role (that includes circuits, x-country and wx pdm). If commercial students were trained to such an acceptable level in 45 hours, that would leave 55 hours for perfecting the basics to commercial flight test standards and ops training. Why don't most flight schools take this approach ? I'll let you in on a dirty little secret:

 

Flight shools are in the business of selling hours. The more hours per student they sell, the more money they make.

 

Usually, a commercial student will sign on for 100 hours to do the license. This can be split to include an endorsement on another machine, typically 60/40, 75/25, 80/20 or 90/10. After that, they can sign on for "advanced" training, like long-lining, bambi bucketing, floats, mountain, etc. or other endorsements. Basically, a flight school sells hours; as many hours as possible to each student. So, it isn't to the school's advantage for a student to do anything but the basic commercial license within the 100 hours. You want them to burn those hundred hours, and if they want more training after that, you sell them more hours.

 

I don't know Wendell Maki, but his reputation seems to be first-rate. I think we'd be better off as an industry if there were more schools operating as his does...

 

Keep it up Cole ! Trust your instructor, trust yourself. I just hope you won't be getting a big fat swollen head when you get your wings ;)

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Ahaha h56, its the first thing he asked this morning!

 

Today Mr.Maki and myself headed to the airport with the jetranger and shot autos from pretty much every angle possible at all sorts of altitudes and attitudes. In the hover, in the recce, departure etc.

 

I think in all we did upwards of 25 autos among other varieties of emergencies over the course of the 2 hour flight we flew in the break in the weather this afternoon.

 

Tomorrow its back out for stuck pedals etc and only Mr.Maki knows what else may happen haha.

 

Cheers gentlemen!

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