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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

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Two Types of Helo Pilots

I wanted to comment regarding Ed Van Winkle’s article, “Use of the Instrument Rating for Helicopter Pilots,” on page 58 of the February 2010 issue. I no longer hover and never have used my commercial license, but after 300-plus IA hours and working with hundreds of military rotary-wing aviators, I have reached the conclusion that there are two types of instrument helicopter pilots—comfortable with the clouds and not comfortable. The comfortable guys do what’s necessary to stay confident, while the other guys avoid the stress of training. The good IA pilots are good because of frequency, and frequency leads to comfort. For the most part, helicopters don’t have the range to fly planned IA flights. If you need an alternate you don’t have the range to find that level of weather. So commercially, I would think this is more of an emergency situation and just like every other emergency, training predicts outcome. The unconfident IA pilot caught in this environment would have real problems, especially since these pilots tend to avoid the stress of training. Of course this limits what’s possible with the machine.

James Cerniglia

“Why cut a few corners when it comes to your life and your passengers?”

A4/7 Information Assurance Manager

U.S. Air Force Logistics, Installations and Mission Support

Night Flight Over Water

As a new student helicopter pilot looking for a career change into commercial helicopter pilot, Dan Deutermann’s article (“Flying Into the Abyss,” March 2010, page 36) speaks of a reality that should actually be common sense. The phrase “better safe than sorry” comes to mind with both training and mission flying. Why cut a few corners (and yes I understand dollars for the additional training and timely practice) when it comes to your life and the life of your passengers? The above scenarios, whether imagined or not, speaks volumes!

Frank Gormley

NVGs in Night Ops

Although we acquired NVGs about 10 years ago, they are a godsend to safety for night ops. I have on more than one occasion found no horizon when heading out over the ocean. It is a great article and dead on about the mental preparation prior to finding oneself IMC.

Name Withheld

V-22 Osprey Crash

It was my wedding anniversary day when I heard about the crash of a V-22 Osprey and what the aircraft had done (see “Adapted From The Dream Machine: the Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey,” April 2010, page 30). The first thing out of my mouth to my wife was that the pilot got into a serious settling with power. I just read this Richard Whittle article, and I guess I was right on. The aircraft should have been given to the Army, not the Marines or the Air Force. Heck, we’re the helicopter experts, this would never have happened in the Army as much as we stress settling with power!

Tom Anderson

U.S. Army pilot (Ret.)

Lynn Tilton

I work for one of Lynn Tilton’s companies, and I could not be happier. (See “A Visit with Lynn Tilton,” February 2009, page 54.) I was around long before one of her companies acquired mine. We were not in distress, we were just up for sale, but nevertheless, we are a better place now. I make a point keep up with what she’s venturing in. I think she is awesome and I’m proud to work for an organization that is a “Lynn Tilton company.”

Name Withheld

Corrections

The graphics on page 27 of the May 2010 edition were incorrectly attributed to Rockwell Collins. The graphics were courtesy of Honeywell.

In the May issue on page 10 of the Rotorcraft Report section, the number of Pratt & Whitney PT6C deliveries to the AgustaWestland AW139 program was inaccurate. There have been 273 AW139s delivered through late April, and a total of 672 PT6C-67C engines for the program since 2002. We regret the errors.

ā–¶ R&W’s Question of the Month How will helicopter UAVs change the future landscape of military combat? Let us know, and look for your and others’ responses in a future issue. 
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