Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Training :: Ratings

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September 1, 2006
Change is the watchword. For decades, perhaps since it was incorporated in 1939, Schweizer Aircraft has been about change. It started out building gliders. Then it worked on some of the earliest versions of unmanned aircraft, then reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft, agricultural aircraft, light commercial helicopters, a new generation of recon and surveillance aircraft and a new generation of...
July 1, 2006
R&W's Question of the Month: How is the job market in your outfit or region? Is there a shortage of pilots, mechanics and other workers? Let us know, and look for your and others' responses in a future issue. Tell us what you think at rotorandwing@accessintel.com. "Watch This" I want to thank Tim McAdams for a very good article ("Watch This," April 2006, page 62). Those words coming...
July 1, 2006
Sikorsky Taps Schweizer Again, Now to Speed Production Sikorsky Aircraft is turning to its Schweizer Aircraft subsidiary to help it speed military aircraft production lines as it prepares to deliver more than 1,700 H-60 Black Hawk and Naval Hawk variants to the U.S. military alone in coming years. The move comes as the Stratford, Conn. helicopter maker is struggling to overcome the effects of a six-week...
June 1, 2006
Sikorsky, FlightSafety Expand Training Programs, Planning Three New Sims FlightSafety International and Sikorsky Aircraft are undertaking what the companies said is a significant expansion of their comprehensive customer training program with the addition of one S-92 simulator and two S-76C+/C++ convertible simulators. "We are making this additional investment to support the large number of Sikorsky...
May 1, 2006
With the exception of Frank Robinson, a common refrain at Heli-Expo was "I could sell every helicopter I can build. I just can't build them fast enough." Not that anyone's really complaining. Heli-Expo 2006 in some ways felt more like an NBAA Show than the annual rotorcraft gathering. The exhibit floor was packed with attendees and most exhibitors reported a steady stream of high-quality visitors...
May 1, 2006
Manufacturers of enhanced vision systems take on night-vision goggles, and each other. Flight safety issues in the emergency medical services (EMS) community are spawning a heated battle between two complementary technologies, enhanced vision systems (EVS) and night-vision goggles (NVGs), as many operators move to equip their fleets with one or the other. The targets of the competition are the operators of...
May 1, 2006
What's on Your Mind? There's plenty on your minds, readers. Of that I'm certain. What with everyone from aviation regulators to major customers around the world pushing safety initiatives, with the pace of all kinds of operations seemingly on the rise, with new aircraft sales booming and the used market nearly dried up by high demand, if you build, own or fly a helicopter your mind just has to be racing...
April 1, 2006
Flight instructors offer insight on the most common mistakes that hold back flying careers. We each have our own way of learning skills and techniques like those required to fly. It's fairly certain that learning to fly a helicopter will expose the best and the worst of these idiosyncrasies. Aside from each of our individual flaws, pilots share common shortcomings that may be most apparent when an...
April 1, 2006
MD Adding Safety Features to Fleet, Training As part of her plans to revitalize MD Helicopters, Inc., the new owner plans to make the company "the poster child" for a new international effort to slash helicopter accident rates. That includes fully embracing FAA and other recommendations for improvements to safety-related equipment on its aircraft and flight training. "As part of the promise...
April 1, 2006
Vortex Helicopters Recovers, Relocates Its battering by Hurricane Katrina last year helped convince Vortex Helicopters to relocate from Long Beach, Miss. to New Iberia, La. The flight school's decision was made easier by tax breaks and other incentives from New Iberia's economic development agency, which had been wooing owners Joe and Mary Sheeran, and by the new site's collocation with Air Logistics...
April 1, 2006
Calling MD Supply Chain a Shambles, New Owner Vows to Rebuild Whatever Lynn Tilton invested to get control of MD Helicopters--and the sum could be growing by the month--she certainly got more than she bargained for. After she bought MD in July 2005, the head of the New York distressed-debt investment firm Patriarch Partners said she figured the Mesa, Ariz. helicopter maker would start showing signs of a...
April 1, 2006
  Just Like Riding a Bike? Just shy of his solo flight, Simon Roper's helicopter training was derailed by a motorbike accident. After a lengthy recovery, he resumes that training in this, the third installment of his account of the pursuit of a commercial pilot's license (helicopter)--CPL (H). The previous installment appeared in February on page T8--The Editor. "It's just like riding a...
March 1, 2006
The question remains: When will we learn? Two weeks shy of the fourth anniversary of terrorist attacks that had U.S. politicians of every ilk clamoring for greater domestic defense against threats manmade and natural, little more than a year after an emergency-management simulation essentially predicted massive flooding of New Orleans in the wake of a Category 4 hurricane, just eight months after an Indian...
March 1, 2006
Why Use the Autopilot? I'm surprised to have to write this article at all. My flight instructors used to tell me I was definitely a minimum-skill- level kind of guy, and it took me a long time to get the hang of instrument flying. So when the opportunity to use an autopilot to make life easier came along, I was delighted and used it even when VFR. It just made things easier, and the more I used it, the...
February 1, 2006
Student View--Me, Too! I have just read the first installment of Simon Roper's "Student View" chronicles. I was particularly interested because it is almost exactly the same thing that I have done. I graduated with a bachelor of science degree in computer science and electronics and started working immediately for IBM in the United Kingdom. Around 13 years later, in April 2003, I found myself out...
February 1, 2006
Compiled by the R&W Staff Enstrom, Sharkey's Offer "Back-to-Basics" Course Enstrom Helicopter Corp., with Sharkey's Helicopters, Inc., will hold a human-factors class at HAI's Heli-Expo in Dallas this month as a part of its continuing safety enhancement efforts. The "Back-to-Basics, the Human Factor" class is part of a developing program to explore physiological factors and their...
February 1, 2006
Low RPM Rotor Stall By Johan Nurmi It was a warm summer day in late July on the East Coast. A high-time, fixed-wing and helicopter pilot was out on a business trip. He and his friend were two heavyset guys, not really made for the Robinson they were flying. When the low rpm warning horn and light came on at 97 percent, the pilot pulled the collective, pushed the cyclic forward and instantly stalled the...
February 1, 2006
  Smooth Sailing–Until the Crash By Simon Roper Having relocated from London to Becker Helicopters in Queensland, Australia, Simon Roper begins his pursuit of a commercial pilot license (helicopter)--CPL (H). This is the second installment of his account of that pursuit. The first appeared in September 2005 on page T10--The Editor. After introductions and handshakes at Becker's, I headed off to...
February 1, 2006
Lessons learned from the rise and fall of heliports in the United States. In the movie "Field Of Dreams," a mysterious voice tells an Iowa corn farmer, "If you build it, he will come." The farmer plows under part of his crop, builds a baseball field in its place, lights and all, and is considered a lunatic. But one of the strangers this voice brings into his life assures the farmer that...
September 1, 2005
This industry needs a new approach to training--at least as far as insurers are concerned. And they should know. Have you ever watched a figure-skating champion twirl, jump and soar, then land on that slippery surface and wonder how he does that flawlessly and apparently effortlessly? As they say in the old joke about how you get to Carnegie Hall, the answer is practice, practice, practice. Assessing how...
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