Friday, December 19, 2008

New to the BK-117?

Don't be low, slow, and in a right turn (to look at an LZ). Cross controlling the cyclic and pedals will lead you to running out of cyclic travel to the left rear quadrant. At least one BK has been crashed for this. Top (left) pedal will get you out of this conundrum.

Don't forget to turn on your transfer pumps. The supply tanks do not get fed any other way. If you have the instrument lights turned on, you won't see the caution segments. (Using the checklist helps with this). More than one BK has been crashed for this.

Don't get anywhere near VNE. The rigid rotor system can suffer RBS all at once and when the old girl snaps up it will scare the ever-living-crap out of you. Rotors have struck empennages for this. It could easily turn into loss of control. Cruise at 60% torque vice top-of-the-green-arc and reduce power to descend. Don't push her over on her nose.

Per an industry expert, the reduction in VNE to RBS margin may be due to erosion on the leading edge of the rotor blades.

Don't fly in moderate or worse turbulence unless you want to induce vomiting in all pax and maybe a little white-knuckle in yourself. Turbulence can also contribute to RBS. The BK is a horrible IFR platform. The POS autopilot has no redundancy and will quit in turbulence.

Any time you change aircraft (BK to BK), do a complete thorough preflight and runup using the checklist, and checking every single switch, gadget, function etc. Most pilots don't use checklists, so some anomolies go un-noticed or un-documented for long periods of time. No two aircraft are set up the same. It's not good when the overspeed protection system isn't hooked up and no pilots notice this for several months. (Checking this is a daily function)

Do not ever try to do a power check on a dolly.

Smarter guys than me can tell you more....


Sunday, December 7, 2008

What does an EMS pilot do to kill time?

Some spend time on the "Just Helicopters" forum/message board.

After reading thru all the chaff this morning about who has the best jobs, I took literary license with an old airplane story and came up with....

A student pilot was soloing an R-22 in the practice area one fine morning, and heard a call on the radio....

"Flying Cloud tower, army copter 26386 is on final for runway 22, flying cloud." The youngster looked over toward the airport and observed a CH-47 Chinook on short final. He said to himself, wistfully, "Geez, I would love to fly one of those big complex bastards someday."

The Chinook pilot landed and taxied into the general aviation parking area. He planned on draining the local fuel tanks, and thought to himself that he had better be careful to avoid damaging any of the shiny little aircraft.

He noticed a trailer off to one side of the apron, with a flashy AirMedicalTransport sign. He then saw a brand new EC-145 with the Lifeflight logo shining brilliantly in the sun. This Chinook pilot thought to himself, "hmmm....someday.... someday I am going to get out of this smelly can of hydraulic fluid and fly something like that.

“What a great job that must be!”

The 145 pilot was in his room in the trailer, with the door closed so as to avoid any interaction with the flightnurse. He had had enough of the pushy bitch always asking questions. As if she actually knew anything about helicopters!

He was surfing the web, having just finished complaining about his lot-in-life on JustHelicopters. He noticed a link to a job offer, to fly for a power-company in Florida. He thought to himself, "Now that would be the life. Money....prestige.”

“I need to be flying corporate!"

The corporate job was available because its previous holder had been flying along one day, carrying 4 "suits" with huge egos and bad attitudes, and feeling sorry for himself. Halfway through his flight, he had decided - enough of this buttkissing job - screw the money. The execs didn't understand how hard he had worked to get himself into that seat. They didn’t care what he had done in the army, and were not impressed with his exceptional knowledge and skill. He thought back to the last time in his life that he had really felt pure joy in a helicopter. The realization came flooding through him like a beer being slammed.

It was when he was in training, caught up in the sheer pleasure of flight. That corporate S-76 pilot had decided then and there to give up his cushy gig and return to his roots. He would teach kids to fly R-22s, and maybe some of their joy would rub off on him.

Now he stood in the tower cab at the Flying Cloud airport, gazing through a pair of binoculars. He watched the tiny little helicopter go deliberately through its maneuvers. He was impressed and proud of his student – and himself.

Of course he was also penniless.