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Entries for March 2012

When I left the military in pursuit of my first civilian flying job, I assumed Part 135 was a common component on several different Bell 206 models.  My first helicopter job was with a small company that had difficulty making payroll and cut corners on maintenance and training.  My priority after this experience was to seek out a large and stable company that adhered to the regulations and preferably had direct deposit.

On May 20 1969 I flew a routine mission that turned into a living nightmare. That's how combat flying is. It shifts from the mundane to the horrendous most often when you least expect it. This particular memory has become part of me. I have relived the mission hundreds of times in my mind. It is as clear to me now as if it had happened yesterday.

Whether they belong to the Army, Air Force, Navy or Marines, military helicopters are aging fast. Many models are expected to reach the end of their operational lives in the 2030 to 2040 timeframe. As it stands, none of the services have concrete plans for what to do when their various fleets become obsolete.

When Rotorcraft Professional asked me to write a piece on how regulation influenced the simulator marketplace, I truly believed that it would be a relatively straightforward task. However, as I began to review the history, I found there was virtually nothing written until the 1960’s.

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