These articles by Jack H. Schonely and Mark Bolanos in Vertical Magazine are worth a read!
This March I had the pleasure of being the pilot for a research expedition to the ice just east of Greenland, led by the Institute of Marine Research.
We landed onboard the Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker KV Svalbard in Tromsø, then steamed west for roughly 750nm to the West Ice. We were close enough to the coast of Greenland to see land in the distance most of the time.
Our objective was threefold.
1. Locate Harp and Hooded seal breeding patches.
2. Place GPS markers around the patches. This would make it easier for the fixed-wing asset responsible for aerial photography to locate the seals. The pictures from that is used to count the seal pups.
3. Staging. Flying transects through the patch where the researchers note the age of the pups. This is possible due to how fast the seals grow over a limited period of time. Harp pups are left to fend for themselves after 12 days, and Hood pups after 5.
We only had 6 days in the ice, so we were quite busy when the weather was on our side. Unfortunately the last round of staging had to be cancelled due to extremely poor visibility and low ceiling.
Though a short trip, it was a really nice experience, and I would like to thank all those who participated.
Article in Aug/Sept 2018 issue of Vertical Magazine: Into the Ice
I’m frequently asked about how I’m able to capture some of my pictures when I’m flying. In this post I’ll try to explain how, and the considerations I take to do so safely. First of all I want to make it clear that one should always follow company procedures and policies and any regulation that may apply. However if no such guidelines are in place in your company, or you are flying recreationally, these are some basic principles that I adhere to. I’ll admit when I started out in this game I wasn’t as disciplined as I am now, but that is also why I have denied requests from various helicopter media sources to have pictures published that are not in line with what I stand for now. Continue reading
In episode 6 of Ultimate Processes by Insight TV you get a behind the scenes look at the making of one of the SAR AW101s being made for Norway. This series aircraft will be the most advanced rescue helicopters in the world when completed. The show also sheds some light on the basic principles of helicopter flight. Click the image to be forwarded to the episode.
A few weeks back I had the honor being interviewed by Enjoy Flying in their new “Pilot of the Week” segment. Since then two additional pilots have been featured, and it is a great read, so head over there and check them out. Click the picture below to be forwarded to my interview.
Wire strikes by helicopters happen often, and too frequently result in fatalities. The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team found that approximately 16% of all rotary-wing accidents involve wire or obstacle strikes. Meanwhile, anstudy of wire-strike accidents between 1994 and 2004 found 41 of 124 of those involving civil helicopters were fatal. Combined, the accidents resulted in 65 fatalities, 45 serious injuries and 42 minor injuries.
These accidents included helicopters striking a power line, static wire, telephone wire, cable or a supporting structure such as a tower. Notably, 86% of the fatal accidents occurred in clear weather with good visibility.
Continue reading the article at the Business & Commercial Aviation website here.
I started looking into the Vuichard Recovery Technique a few months back and quickly realized the potential it has in making a recovery from Vortex Ring State at low height. Mr. Vuichard was most helpful in explaining the maneuver and the dynamics of it to me over the phone. Here is a link to a Rotor & Wing article about the phenomenon that is VRS and the Vuichard Recovery Technique.
If you, like me, have wondered how the K-Max flies from a pilot’s perspective, look no further. Elan Head of Vertical has written a great article about this odd looking aircraft which gives you a very good insight into its quirkiness. Being a longline pilot, this is a helicopter I’d love to get my hands on, but they are a rare breed, so reading about it is a close as most of us will ever get to flying it. For those of you not previously familiar with it, I guarantee that you’ll find this helicopter to be even weirder than it looks.
…The K-MAX is unique not only for its intermeshing rotor system, but also for how that rotor system is controlled. In conventional helicopters, pilot control inputs change the pitch of the main rotor blades at their root. In helicopters made by Kaman — which, in addition to the civilian K-MAX, include the H-43 Huskie and SH-2 Seasprite — the pilot is instead controlling smaller airfoils called servo flaps that are attached to the trailing edge of the main rotor blades, around three-quarters of the way toward their tips….
Read about Elan’s comprehensive look into this amazing helicopter here.
This is a great piece by the WinningCulture Blog
Introduction included, for the whole article click here.
A lot of smart, highly experienced helicopter people are frustrated. Since its inception in 2006, a lot of work has been done for the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) with the goal of preventing accidents, but helicopters are still crashing from entirely preventable causes. Some IHST supporters have asked, “How do we fix stupid?” Others ask, “How can we reach the people who own and operate their own helicopters and don’t come to our safety conferences?” Psychology, neuroscience and a simple analogy about riding elephants may hold the key.
Here is why you need to know something about this potential key to preventing more accidents. Helicopters save lives and enable work that would be difficult or impossible by other means. Despite their vital role in society, the public perception of helicopters is not as positive as it might be if the industry could improve its safety record. Despite recent progress, there are still far too many accidents occurring for all-too-familiar reasons. These accidents can be prevented!
Continue reading here.