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2 Bits Or A Buck Fifty? How About 5 Bucks


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The weathers down on the trees this Saturday morning, so I have some time (and a pot of coffee ) to kill.


After reading some of the recent posts, and hearing some of my students comment about it, I felt obliged to say my part. As you know, I tend to be a little long winded at times, so if you are in a hurry, maybe you should move on.


As I am sure every one knows, I run an FTU, we have been open for 2 years now, and I couldn't be happier with the way things are going. Our second machine just got its company colors, and will be on-line within a month. So far all of our graduates are working and PPC'd :up: I would like to thank everyone here for their support!


I just caught up on an ongoing thread that I find interesting, and was some what surprised to see the comments. For the life of me I can't figure it out. I read there is an instructor sending a " 50 " hr student out in a 206 with a 120' line and a bucket, in the hills, dipping into a river, at below 0 oat.! WOW


I also read from the same 50 hr pilot, and I quote


" I have autos in the jet ranger down to a science now and have no problem with stuck pedals".


"I have long lining down to a science,


Both flights today were solo water bucketing with a 150' line in the Jet ranger,


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 OK, lift out, something feels not great as I translate, I look down, theres no water ha ha. I thought that was odd so I put it back in and came back out with some... OK 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.


Placed it next to the pad no problem


The other student flew the 100' line first and then it was my turn, I picked it up with little trouble right from our confined little hangar


On the way home we put into one more that went really well, nice approach barely any swing to take care of, got it down into the area no problem.


Hone mountain skills until confident on anything.


Its good to see such dramatic improvement again, after you start going into confined areas and such the improvements are minor and not really all that noticeable so you don't get that feeling of accomplishment, but the difference between me now and me 3 days ago with an external load is unbelievable.


at 60.8 hours I can handle a jet ranger with a 130 foot line and place my drop with reasonable accuracy and place a load on target with everything up to a 200 foot line on the S300.


There are many many more examples for me to cut and past, but you get my point.



After reading Heli Jays post I must agree, Brazen and irresponsible is maybe not the phrase I would have used but, cocky, overconfident, and jack of all trades master of none comes to mind. I have recommended 50 pilots for their flight test now, so I do speak from some experience. We are entitled to our opinion and all of the above comments were posted for all members to read, so here's my input. Take it for what it's worth. Jay's comments seem to be posted out of genuine concern, yet now it seem that some think it's funny


If we study accident statistics it is easy to see that the driver is usually the problem. Sometimes its the machine, but more often then not we cause our own problems. And at the end of the day "WE" are all we have control of. Pilot decision making is taught by a student watching his/her instructor make decisions. Do as I say not as I do, doesn't work. Our industry has a horrible"cowboy image", which will never change until our crews become, as a whole, more professional. To hear a wet behind the ears 50 hr wannabe using the above cockiness scares me as much as it does my friend Mr. Heli Jay. Who is an ops manager, TC approved check pilot, and chief pilot.


I am reminded of my 18 year old son coming home with my car all smash up and saying, " I didn't know it would get away so fast"!! He still owes me 2 grand for the bumper.


I didn't come in here to point fingers, but I guess thats what I'm doing. Brazen and irresponsible, maybe. Only those involved know for sure. All I know for sure is I'm an 11,000 hr pilot and I can't remember the last time I said "NO PROBLEM". I fly with one thought in mind, " WHAT AM I GOING TO DO IF I'M WRONG"! My students are shown every day how a guy who's been around for a while now makes decisions, they get pissed sometime when I say no, but my job is not to entertain them, my job is give them a good solid foundation in skill, and for them to FULLY understand it's not out hands and feet that are the problem (given enough time I'm sure someone could teach a monkey to move the controls)it's the decisions we make that get us in trouble.


I know what Cole and Wendel are up to is none of my business, but unfortunately my students read his blog. AND THAT IS MY BUSINESS! They don't say it, but I know they wonder whats wrong with the school they go to when I wont send them out with a 150' line and a bucket that is sure to freeze up in the hills and hope it all goes well. If you read this guys, and I'm sure you will, when you MASTER EVERYTHING I HAVE TAUGHT YOU SO FAR WITH "NO PROBLEM",YOU CAN DO WHAT EVER YOU LIKE, until then get back to work, because this industry needs you to be a problem solver not a cowboy!! Oh and remember boys, I've been at this a long time now, and I still haven't found NO PROBLEM, because the problem is right around the next corner. So get ready for all the what ifs to come!! The problem is not how we fly the machine, it's where we fly it, when we fly it, how heavy we fly it, what weather we fly it in, etc. You haven't been in anywhere near enough situations to figure out half of what can go wrong!! And rest assured, if you fly long enough something will go wrong, and your job will be to make it right!!! It's all between the ears, not in the hands and feet.



Well I guess that turned into 5 bucks by now, go ahead let me have it, as I've said many times, the only thing worse than having an opinion is being to afraid to say it out loud, and this is mine!! I applaud Mr. Heli Jay for showing his concern for the future of our industry. Patting a wet behind the ears kid on the back for being cocky, as so many of you are doing, would only be ,Brazen an Irresponsible!





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when i saw the length of the post i thought...oh jeez...here he goes again :rolleyes:


i can't believe that i read it all........ :mellow:


i too have been reading coles entries but have been keeping my yap shut. first off, i agree with everything rob posted. now i ain't judging...just my opinion.....


when i started reading coles posts i was thinking, man, that kid has some talent to be progressing as he is. made me jealous he didn't come train with me :P


i gotta admit....the cockyness.....i've seen it before....it's kinda scary...........


again, i don't want to judge...i am a minor in the field of 10,000+ guys ;)


but one thing for sure that my 19 years and 8000+ hours have taught me:


that the day i have it down to a science, that i can handle everything with no problem and i can handle any stuck pedal with total ease ect ect.........


i'm gonna say *&%$ it and hang up my helmet


now cole, this is not meant to put you down in any way. everyone can see you have alot of talent and a pretty good attitude so i would just say this. build on that in a positive way and one day you'll be telling some up young pup the same thing ;)

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Interesting discussion!


I read Cole's comments as situationally specific: He had "no problem" at that particular time, with that particular exercise. I'm not clear about his perspective on translating his training experiences into operational flying.


If he's assuming that he's got all autos, longlining etc dialed for all time, then he's definitely cocky! If he realizes that he's got a lot of talent, some good, basic skills and has a world of learning ahead of him, then he's got more maturity than I did at 18!


So Cole, where are you at in terms of mastery vs learning? How are you going to avoid being overconfident and stay out of trouble?


A weakness is quite often an overused strength. Cole, is it possible that your talent could become a liability? How will you avoid that?





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Most of my comments can be taken out of context very easily, it doesn't take a genious to see this. For the most part I write my blog in about 5 minutes at the end of the day so providing every specific detail on every aspect of every flight is unrealistic.


"Jack of all trades master of none" I fail to see your point here, is this not the aim of a 100 hour course? I would much rather have Wendell show me how to use a longline and be able to handle one with BASIC reasonable skill, meaning well enough to accomplish the task at hand safely and efficiently yet still having many things to learn, than have to turn down work because I do not know how to do it.


If I'm wrong and the aim of the 100 hour course is simply to pass the flight test please let me know. It seems many people are willing to point out problems but aren't willing to inform me of what the remody is. I've said this befor and will say it again, any help or advice anyone is willing to give me will not fall on deaf ears.


I'll say this again, Wendell's course has always involved a 25 hour advanced section, I am simply doing my advanced training starting hours earlier because my flight test was pushed to the end of the month. I don't think I'm doing anything any 100 hour pilot isn't entirely capable of doing given the right circumstances and instructor.


I am not a special case, most of Wendell's students can fly, and more importantly think, to this level, most of them have done the same things I am. What sets me apart is that I'm filling you in play by play as this is something a friend suggested and a couple others have done befor. Im debating whether or not this was a good idea.


Dimit is right, Situationally Specific is precisely the term I was looking for, I used the term "down to a science" in referance to a day we spent two solid hours doing autorotations, after around 40 consecutive autorotations from various angles I had them to where they were all decent autorotations, the recognition, entry, range manipulation, flare, and touchdown stages were continuously working out for me so I was content with where I was with them for that particular day.


Obviously just because we spent 2 hours doing them doesn't mean were done them, or for that matter, anyone will ever be done them. FAR from it for that matter. We don't have a dual flight that goes by in either helicopter that doesnt include one, or several autorotations. Now they come whenever and wherever we are.


I had "no problem" putting the load where I wanted it after hours of approaches and training to do so but I know there is future challenges to come, and I look forward to them. Again I feel I can always make everything better.


Since I started operating machinery that could kill me, my moto has been "If I ever feel I have stopped learning, I will quit." From my first solo in a Cessna 172 to riding my first motorcycle to buying my first streetbike thats been the way it is and it's not about to change. It's obvious companies would rather have someone whos always wanting to learn more than someone that thinks they have it all figured out.


I try to find fault in everything, every approach can be better, every touchdown softer, every radio transmission could be clearer and more concise. This is my plan to avoid being overconfident in the future, if I'm always hard on myself about the way I fly and seek the advice of others I think it will keep me out of trouble.


I don't really see the way I fly as a talent Dimit but basically I feel the way to avoid that would be the same as above, never settle for the knowledge you already have and never stop learning.


It seems as if my writing isn't quite descriptive enough so I will try to spend some more time explaining details.


Thank you for your concern, its good to see that theres people out there not just simply concerned about making money but for the well being of the future pilots as a whole.


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Hey Cole,


Thanks for your answers.


Who the heck do I think I am, asking those questions so pointedly? They might be good, rhetorical queries, but I have no right to interrogate you! Sorry buddy...


I just finished a mtn flying course and feel pretty humble. There's just SOOOO much to learn about being a good driver! Many thanks to Andy Roe at Chinook Helicopters for sharing some of his experience and wisdom. As when I finished my ab initio training and each of my various endorsements, I feel that I've been given another part of the foundation for my "house of learning".


Having started flying in my 40s, I was, and am still, pretty cautious. This is a strength, but also stands in the way of my learning techniques that require a bit more boldness. I remember the boldness that I brought to mountaineering in my teens, and thank my lucky stars that I'm alive today!!


That's enuf from me.



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I really like learning new things, theres a satisfaction that comes with learning a new skill and thats one thing I love about flying, theres always new things to learn, and more important then that, tonnes of people that are willing to help you learn.

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Okay.....I am going to add my 2cents worth....feel free to give change if you want :rolleyes:


Rob, Rob, and D!ck (and yes, you to Cole), all raise valid points.


One thing I have learned from this kind of media is, it can be taken out of context, literal, and/or be mis-interpreted.

I do not know Cole , but I do know Wendell, and one thing is for sure.....he is not an easy person to please. What I mean specifically is, I know for sure he will not cut Cole any slack.....no matter how well Cole may do an exercise. In W.M's eyes, he will find fault(s), and Cole will hear about it. I also never assumed that a lot of those advanced excercises Cole was talking about were done solo.


But having said that, Rob's (and other Rob's) points are (and should be), very well taken, especially given his (their) quality level (and solid reputation) of instruction given at Premier.


Cole......have you learned something here today (these posts/thread)??????? If you have, it will help build and shape your character/attitude...... but, not your flying skills.


That comes with much, much time (and effort).


Read carefully what D!ck posted, there is wisdom in it.


Keep positive and forward thinking........the learning curve in this industry "never ends", until the day we leave.



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I have in fact learned some things by all of this, and I can see some of the validity behind Rob and Rob's posts.


I've talked to D!ck a few times now and know he has alot of good points.


Thanks again gents.


Rotorheadrob, I refered a gentlemen to you the other day I met out at the airport here in penticton, it seems he'll be buying two J models and is looking for a type endorsement.




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SOME of the validity? Perhaps you could word it that you see validity in their posts...


Having spent the better part of my life eating crow and being in shyte I have learned it is more honorable to admit to being wrong and accept the shyte than to try and explain that it is not crow but a blackened chicken and that its not shyte but recyled grain.... :rolleyes:


humble pie is also a nice dish to have as dessert after the crow and your so excellent coffee :shock: .

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