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Mention maintenance and helicopter in the same sentence and you get another “M” word - more money.  Well okay, make that two “M” words.  However, complying with your maintenance requirements doesn’t have to mean writing a blank check and hoping for the best.

There are hundreds of law enforcement helicopters operating in the US today and most fly traditional law enforcement missions. Naturally, you might be thinking, what is a traditional mission? Some might think it’s to take off from a dolly, fly little circles, patrol a highway, and then land back on the dolly. Well, in a general sense, if you throw in some pretty cool technology like..........

Since 1999, the WFF has provided emergency support services, including financial assistance and immediate and ongoing emotional support, to over 150 families of firefighters seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.  The WFF recognizes pilots and other aviation crews as wildland firefighters when they are involved with fire suppression and management duties.

Night Vision Goggles may conjure up thoughts of elite Special Forces units going into battle in the dead of night, but they also have found a use in nighttime helicopter operations. A number of fire departments and agencies have employed these devices to allow them to attack wildfires at night and to perform difficult night rescues that would be foolhardy otherwise.

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.

Since the first successful civilian helicopter rescue November 29, 1945 few fundamental changes have occurred in the way basic search and rescue is conducted.  There’s still a helicopter pilot, still someone maneuvering the hoist with the rescue “basket,” and either one or two rear crewmen aiding the victim and supporting the operation.

Beginning in 1987 with one helicopter, the company now employs more than 300 people in California, Oregon and Texas.  Privately owned and operated, REACH is known not only for its mission-driven patient care, but also by its distinctive red aircraft, innovative safety initiatives, employee- and customer-centricity tenets and industry leadership.

In the 1930s, a German engineer by the name of Heinrich Focke designed and built a cutting edge helicopter more practical and capable than anything previously developed.  This helicopter, the Fw 61, would shatter the existing helicopter world records and help set the standards of performance and control by which future helicopters would be measured.

The very first conference exclusively focused on Night Vision Systems was recently held in Dallas TX.  The event was exceptionally well attended by Night Vision Goggle (NVG) users, suppliers and government representatives.  The participation of every group that has anything to do with Night Vision operations made this conference different from most in the industry.

“In the wake of the wars, the (Iraqi) capability to launch and field helicopters was reduced to ashes,” said U.S. Army Col. Thomas J. Trossen, the former Chief of Army Aviation Division for U.S. Forces – Iraqi, Advising and Training Mission from July 2010 to July 2011. “It seems only fitting that the headquarters of the emerging Iraqi Army aviation force should be located at a place called Pheonix Base in the International Zone.”

CAMP TAJI, Iraq ‚Äì AH-64D Apache Longbow crew chiefs are proud of their aircraft. They're quick to tell you it's one of the most advanced pieces of equipment in the Army's arsenal. 

They boast that the 58 foot-long war-fighting machine travels up to 227 miles per hour and is armed with as many as 16 Hellfire rockets, up to 75 (2.75 inch) aerial rockets, and can carry 1,200 rounds for its 30 mm machine gun.

By Caterina Hessler, Philipp Jahnke - Due to environmental pollution and the dawning end of mineral oil as one of the main energy resources, clean ways to generate renewable energy gain more and more importance. One of the most important renewable energy sources is wind. Therefore giant wind farms are planned to be built in the Northern and Baltic Sea – but as the number and the size of those parks grow, new problems concerning the care for injured or ill workers arise.

By Caterina Hessler - The “Rega” is one of the most famous rescue institutions in Europe. It has influenced alpine rescue in Switzerland and worldwide, like no other. With more than 13,700 alerts in 2010, the crews of the “Rega” fly for people´s lives 24/7.

By Steve Goldsworthy - Sensory overload is all I can think of as I strap on a Gentex helmet, hook up my full body harness to a restraint hook, and sink into my seat as the giant Sikorsky H3H helicopter lifts off into the fog.

In seconds that big open sliding door reveals nothing but grey as we climb out IFR from KLGB. From my seat I can watch the pilots as they call out altitudes, turns and VOR headings. A few seconds later, we are on top, but since we are still on an IFR departure, we’re still flying on the gauges.

By Caterina Hessler - The state of Thuringia, the “green heart” of the Federal Republic of Germany is famous for its vast forests and the low mountain range of the “Rennsteig.” The capital Erfurt is the home of the state´s police helicopter squadron. The pilots there fight for law and order and sometimes for people´s lives, too.

Story by:  Spc. Amie J. McMillan

BAGHDAD – The recent arrival of three Bell T-407 training helicopters at Camp Taji will help to train qualified Iraqi Army pilots to operate and maintain the helicopters, as well as, rapidly accelerate the fielding and utilization of Iraqi Armed 407 Armed Scout Helicopters which are scheduled to be fielded by the end of 2011.

ARTICLE & VIDEO

GOMER - Flyin in the Gulf of Mexico: Part 3

In the previous two articles and video supplements I covered the required qualifications and training involved for pilots who wish to work in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM).  In this installment, my intent is to explore a few issues that impact the lifestyle of a pilot working in the GOM and some tips for adjusting to this unique work environment.

This is a preliminary report of a survey completed by 568 active helicopter EMS pilots in September and October of 2010. The solicitation to pilots to participate in this survey included the following introductory statement:

GOMER: Working in the Gulf of Mexico - Part 2
Article, Photos, & Video by Lyn Burks

Gomer VideoIn my experience, if you would like to see how serious a helicopter operator is about safety, then look no further than its new hire or recurrent pilot training programs. On one hand, there are programs which barely meet the FAA minimums, with their training program loosely packaged between the covers of Part 135 Operations Specifications. On the other, there are operators who go beyond the OpSpecs and fill the training “tool box” with innovative techniques and dedicated people.

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