Monday, November 24, 2014

Action Team Trip...Dinner With Friends...

We just returned from Dallas after attending  the third set of "action team" (FAA term) meetings to advise a working group that will advise an aviation-rule-making committee on new rules for Helicopter Air Ambulance (FAA term) pilots training. Still with me? It is a real eye-opener getting to see how rules get made, and pretty cool being here for the National EMS Pilot's Association representing the guys and gals on the front line. And straight-up I have to say that there is a lot of good "face-time" with chiefs and directors of operations (and Terry Palmer who directs training for Metro and is an Omniflight graduate!) I volunteered for this duty and have given up about a week of my time, but it has been a learning experience. Pilots - I recommend you join NEMSPA, get involved, volunteer to take on a project, and have fun with it. To a man (and women) every person on this team is totally decent, respectful, and (I believe) appreciative that us pilots want to be better trained, more professional...
More safe.
Last night at dinner, Kevin (Bell instructor) and Dennis (Air Methods DO) got into a discussion about 206s and engine failures. Apparently in 80% of the engine failures in a 206, the engine would relight if given the chance. So a technique is - if the motor quits - to mash on the start button with the throttle WIDE OPEN. At 60 knots the airflow will prevent an overtemp - and honestly if there is an overtemp followed by a safe landing - who cares.
Dennis told us that - after losing a friend to an engine failure fighting fires, he would, when dropping water, just hold the start button on during his final run-in. This momentarily fails the generator (with a light) but ensures that if the engine would restart it does.
I think conversations like this (and there were lots more!) are a big reason pilot training should be in a group environment, with time to interact, socialize, tell stories, and...

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