Life as a Flight Instructor at a Large Part 141 Helicopter Flight School

My first pilot job, like many fresh pilots in the United States, was as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). Back when I was first hooked on flying helicopters, I did thorough research to find the steps I wanted to take to achieve my goal of making a career as a helicopter pilot. The end goal was to be either a utility pilot or emergency medical service pilot. Figuring out how to get there was the challenge.

Continue reading “Life as a Flight Instructor at a Large Part 141 Helicopter Flight School”

Traveling With One Bag: A Minimalist Helicopter Pilot

This blog is for helicopter pilots. Many helicopter pilot careers involve frequent travel: fire fighting, utility, and power line patrol to name a few. My last trip out-of-town was for two weeks of training, and I figured I’d show you how light I travel. In my life, I own less than 50 things, not to achieve that number as a goal, but to pay better attention to life itself. I will post an article about that later, but you’ll actually see much of what I own in this one photo.

Continue reading “Traveling With One Bag: A Minimalist Helicopter Pilot”

Temporary—Yet Basically Permanent—Notices To Airmen

The Notices To Airmen (NOTAM) Publication—updated every 28 days—contains NOTAMs that are not given during pilot briefings unless specifically requested by the pilot.1 As such, it is our responsibility to review these already published NOTAMs for applicable information for every flight, in addition to new NOTAMs. Some of these are easily forgotten or poorly reviewed in helicopter flight training, yet we are held responsible to comply with these notices: they are regulatory.

Continue reading “Temporary—Yet Basically Permanent—Notices To Airmen”

Quiz: The Robinson R44 Cadet in 44 Questions

What Are Known Icing Conditions?

You are about to go on a helicopter training flight at a local airport. There’s an Airmen’s Meteorological Information (AIRMET) Zulu posted for icing inclusive of your area of flight. Your helicopter has the following limitation written in the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM): “Flight into known icing conditions prohibited.” Can you fly?

Continue reading “What Are Known Icing Conditions?”