Archive for July, 2013

Eighty Reasons to Learn to Fly in Texas

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Texas flight trainingBy 

If you’re considering learning to fly, but you don’t live in an area conducive to good flight training, you might consider traveling for your training. Traveling to another area for flight training may sound costly, but it may be just the ticket to help you not only build the right skills and knowledge efficiently, but also provide a job to help fund your training.

In our new article Texas Flight Training: Eighty Reasons to Attend Flight Training in Texas we run down several important factors that make Texas an attractive locale for learning to fly. The following is just a sample of the article, be sure to click through to read the whole thing:

The sheer size of Texas contributes to its varied geography, which includes desert, flat grasslands, forests, and a significant amount of coastline. Such a diverse geography provides a great number of learning opportunities that don’t often come up in other states. You could spend a week learning principles of over-water flight and follow it up by learning mountain flying without ever leaving the state…read more >>

Click here to locate flight training in Texas.

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Arizona Flight Training – Why AZ May Be Right For You
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California Flight Training – Climate, Geography Create Flight School Mecca

Four Funny Pilot Blunders

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

By Alan Carr

Just like with any job, there are always those moments where someone does something stupid and no one gets too hurt, but spleens are splitting open with laughter over it. Pilots are no different; whether it’s from communications with the tower, passengers, or just mechanical and technical blunders, we’ve seen our fair share of terrifying and hilarious mistakes made. So in honor of spreading the humor to those that handle similar aviation situations here are some of the top funny moments thanks to pilot blunders that have occurred around me or to some of my pilot friends.

4. The Pre-Flight Check List
We all are aware of the annoyances and mind-numbing moments from our pre-flight checklist, and also the importance of it, and so does a pilot friend of mine when they were flying an Apache in Afghanistan. Part of his pre-flight planning was opening the hydraulics panel and forgot to close it back down when he was done. Unfortunately the panel on an Apache is right behind and to the side of the engine, so when he eventually got down his checklist to testing the engines and turning them on, it caused a slight problem. He didnt see it until he finished his checks and got out of the aircraft and saw the opened panel charred entirely black. He had burned the panel so badly it had to be replaced before the next flight.

But that’s not the best part. The real shine was the repair crew pulled off the panel and gave it to an artist who painted an Afghanistan scene on the blackened panel with a picture of an apache in the corner, with a panel on fire. Then when their force met for formation and an awards ceremony, the pilot was called up and awarded the painted and burnt panel along with a ceremony certificate. Everyone had a great laugh over that and the pilot has still never been able to live that down. But at least he still keeps the painted panel as a reminder that paying attention to his checklist can be important, especially if you don’t want to become the joke of the entire platoon.

3. Solo Hand-Propping
This little issue of doing something solo that by the handbook is supposed to be done with at least two people comes up quite often, but the biggest known case would have to be attempting to hand prop your aircraft, either because its an older model or the electric starter just wasn’t working (dead battery). And this one isn’t just one case of hilariousness; there are quite a few, which luckily only resulted in property damage. One pilot had tied the tail with a rope to keep it in place while he started the engine. The rope broke after the engine started and the pilot was running after the plane, caught up but took a misstep and fell, but caught his foot at the top of the steps and was promptly dragged along the ramp until he finally hit another parked plane. He wasn’t hurt and luckily the owner of the other plane just laughed when he saw the guy dangling down the aircraft’s steps.

Another individual tried this, but without tying the aircraft down with a rope, so when the plane took off after he hand-propped he was actually chasing down the plane and was barely able to hang onto the plane’s strut as the craft actually took off into the air. He finally fell from the plane a few feet later before the craft smashed into not one, but three other planes and a chain link fence. The only major damage was to the pilots ego when he had to explain what happened to those other aircraft owners. But it goes to show, if there’s a regulation for something like hand-propping, you should probably keep to it.

2. Infrared Just Never Works
These two stories come courtesy of an Apache army mechanic who was stationed in Bosnia and were two separate incidents with different pilots.

Sometime in the winter, with a freezing chill, a pilot had called him up with the problem that he couldn’t see through the infrared. So the mechanic got there and asked the pilot to start the system up so they could see what was wrong. The mechanic stood in front and the pilot affirmed that he couldn’t see through the infrared. So the mechanic asked him if he could see the mechanic, without the infrared. The pilot looked around and said no. Thats when the mechanic informed the pilot that his window was frozen and frosted over, and the pilot wouldn’t be seeing anything until that was cleared up, told the pilot to have a nice day and walked off.

Later on another pilot contacted about the same infrared system not working, but this time it just wasn’t swinging out when you activated it, so that it could be used. The mechanic got there, asked the pilot to turn it on, they went through the whole process then when it came to actually activating it the pilot has to press a button. As the pilot got to pressing the button, he hit it once, then twice immediately, then a third and fourth time over the course of a second. The mechanic was waving his hands and telling the guy to stop. Then he promptly informed the pilot that after pressing the button there is a delay of around ten seconds before the infrared system swings out and is ready for use. The mechanic went through the process, pressed the button once, and counted to ten. At ten, the system swung out and was useable. To this day the mechanic wasn’t sure how that pilot had ever been using that system before then.

1. Blackhawk Down Low
This one was a U.S. military milk run, where the pilot was making the flight solely for being able to have their pilot’s ratings for their license. They knew it would be an easy run and because of that, this pilot got it in his head that he could do a little showing off. It didnt help that a platoon from the Irish army was joining the flight since they needed to go where the pilot was flying. Because this was in a combat zone at the time, the aircraft had to fly lower, near the ground. But this pilot chose to fly far lower than they needed to and also started hotdogging, with fast turns and heavy weaving to essentially put on a show for the Irish army on board.

During all of this, the pilot realized that he missed a turn, so instead of slow turning to get back to the spot, he takes the plane right on its tail and goes into a near Immelmann maneuver to turn around. At this same time, all the Irishmen are cheering, while the co-pilot and pilot start freaking out because the caution panel on the Blackhawk started going off, halfway through the maneuver. The flight for the rest of the way is perfectly straight and normal, with no bizarre stunts. When they finally landed, one of the men had noticed the caution panel go off and asked what caused it. That was when the pilot revealed he had completely broken the electronic stabilizer mid-flight. This meant the pilot had to fly the plane almost entirely manually in terms of keeping the aircraft balanced. The platoon had a good laugh and even better was the story being used to keep others from deciding it would be a good idea to show off, because when you show off you better be ready to stabilize the consequences.

About the author – Alan Carr is an avid aviation aficionado learning about the aspects of the flying world from the business to the technical, while also frequently writing on what he finds. He currently works with globalair.com to provide resources on aircraft related information.

 

UAV Pilot Training: When Choosing A Program, Consider These Things

Monday, July 22nd, 2013
UAV pilot trainingBy 

If you’re considering a career as a UAV pilot, but you’re worried about selecting a good UAV pilot training program, we’ve got some tips to consider that should help you not only find a good UAV pilot training program, but also ensure you leverage your training to maximize your UAV pilot career potential.

In our new article UAV Pilot Training: Three Things To Consider When Choosing A Program we go over several factors to consider when choosing a UAV pilot training program, such as selecting a UAV pilot training program that blends research and flight training. The following is just a sample, click through to read the whole thing:

Status may not be the best word, but their are two things to consider. Firstly, the military is presently the most dominate source for UAV pilot training. Those pilots with military experience piloting UAVs, have a leg up on people with no experience. If you have this kind of experience, use it to your benefit contact schools and ask what opportunities are available to you.

Secondly, due to the unique situation with UAVs in the US, UAV pilot training in the US is only available to US citizens. This may seem strange considering the number of traditional flight schools that cater to international students, but it relates more to the state of development of the UAV market. Currently a great majority of UAV manufacturers have some type of military contract and they are also the largest source of jobs, so the military would prefer to keep things in the family, so to speak…read more >>

Click here to locate UAV pilot training near you.

Related Articles:

UAV Pilot Training – Three Reasons to Pursue a Civilian UAV Training Program
UAV Pilot Careers – How is the job outlook for UAV pilots?
UAV Pilot Salary – How much do UAV pilots make?

Taking to the Skies with the A20

Friday, July 19th, 2013

About the Author – Chris Oquist is a private pilot and web developer at Banyan Pilot Shop in South Florida. He is an avid blogger and article writer whose expertise includes aviation headsets and other aviation gear. As an aviation enthusiast, Chris is passionate about sharing his knowledge on all-things-aviation. Learn more about the Bose A20 at bose_a20_aviation_headsethttp://www.banyanpilotshop.net/.

Designed in 1938, the Douglas A-20 Havoc was the most widely produced attack plane during the Second World War. Not only was it used against the Japanese over the Pacific and against Nazi Germany over Europe, but the British, Australians, and Soviets heavily utilized the heavy fighter plane as well. The Havoc surely lived up to its namesake and was a key instrument for winning WWII, much like the Bose A20 Aviation headset. With a name like A20, this headset should live up to its lofty name. Like the A-20 Havoc the A20 headset is the top of the line, and the best aviation headset for serious pilots.

The Bose A20 improved over its predecessor, the Bose X, in a number of ways. The most notable of these changes is improved noise cancellation. The A20 cancels noise passively by creating a physical barrier to block high frequency sound waves. On the other hand active noise canceling refers to emitting sound waves that resemble the incoming sound waves, thus neutralizing the incoming sound. The A20s are created with a deeper layer of high density foam and overall more comfortable design. While the ear cups on the Bose X were not necessarily a problem, throw on the A20s and you can feel the difference. The ear cups are a tad larger and seem to fit just a bit better.

Even when flying the loudest of commercial jets or helicopters, the A20 neutralizes engine noise. The A20s boast about 30% greater noise reduction than the Bose X offered. Users who have not experienced the A20 will probably hold that statement in disbelief until they actually throw some A20s on to see for themselves.

Perhaps the biggest addition to the A20 over the Bose X is the addition of Bluetooth compatibility. It is a little more expensive ($100 or so) than the headphones without Bluetooth, but it is certainly worth it. You can easily stream music from your cell phone (assuming it has Bluetooth as well) to your headset or take hands-free calls without having to remove the headset. iPods or other Bluetooth enabled music devices are compatible with the A20 as well.

Now I have to say I was quite skeptical of the A20 when I first heard about it. I was in love with my X (which I guess can be said more often than not), but after breaking out of my shell and trying out the A20s I can say I’m a changed pilot. Do a simple test for yourself. The main thing for me is the comfort level and the ability to listen to music wirelessly over Bluetooth. Three years down the road, I can say the A20 is still my headset of choice and I never take off without it. While my opinion may sound like an advertisement, I can’t help but offer only my best statements of the A20. Like the A-20 Havoc, this headset is versatile, reliable, and performs very well under pressure.

A&P Mechanics Keep Helicopters Flying

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Contributed by Guidance Aviation

Helicopter at Guidance AviationThey make metal fly. Airframe and Powerplant technicians (A&P Mechanics) of the helicopter world are the unsung heroes of helicopter aviation.  Without them, helicopter pilots, crews, instructor pilots, and student pilots would never leave the pad or worse: drop like rocks while in flight.

How is it that so many flying hours are accomplished safely and so consistently in such complex machines? “The answer is found blowin’ in the wind” as Bob Dylan would say, or in this case, the wind made by our A&P’s skills, dedication to safe flight, and a love for machines and their disciplines. So, who are these “heavy metal rock stars” that not only make metal fly, but are willing to shoulder the enormous responsibility of ensuring the safety and lives of others?To answer these questions, let’s look at what it takes to become an aviation maintenance tech (A&P). According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.GOV), the basic requirements for a U.S. citizen to become an aircraft mechanic are:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be able to read, write, speak, and understand English.
  • You must get 18 months of practical experience with either power plants or airframes, or 30 months of practical experience working on both at the same time. As an alternative to this experience requirement, you can graduate from an FAA-Approved Aviation Maintenance Technician School.
  • You must pass three types of tests; a written examination; an oral test; a practical test

Test details:

  • To become an aircraft mechanic, you must take oral and practical tests as well as written tests. There is a fee for the test. A Designated Mechanic Examiner gives you the oral and practical test. You can get a list of these examiners at the local FAA office. The oral and practical tests cover 43 technical subjects. Typically tests for one certificate–airframe or power plant–takes about 8 hours.
  • To apply to take the written test, you must present your proof of experience to an FAA inspector at the local FAA office. There are separate tests for airframe and power plant mechanic certificates, as well as a general test covering both. If the inspector decides you meet the requirements to take one of the tests, you may make an appointment for testing at one of the many computer testing facilities (PDF) world-wide. You can get a list of sample general, airframe, and power plant test questions.
  • If you fail part of a test, you have to wait 30 days before you can take it again, unless you give a letter to the Examiner showing you’ve gotten additional training in the areas you failed.
  • You must pass all the tests within a 24-month period. The FAA will then issue you a certificate.
Airman Knowledge Test Questions (MECHANIC)
List of Worldwide Testing Facilities: HERE
Interested in learning more? Check out our list of A&P Mechanic Schools here
So, the next time you see a helicopter flying, instead of thinking, “Helicopter pilots are cool” maybe you’ll sing a “Heavy Metal Anthem” to the A&P’s, rockstars of helicopter aviation.

The Right Time to Consider Flight Training at ULA’s SUU Campus

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

The Right Time to Consider Flight Training at ULA’s SUU Campus

The Right Time to Consider Flight Training at ULA’s SUU CampusThere has always been a romantic idea about becoming a helicopter pilot. Flying a helicopter for a living is virtually synonymous with adventure and daring. Many men and women who leave military service feel born into this sort of work. Veterans often have a difficult time coming home and finding work. There is a big unemployment problem for veterans, and we feel that they deserve a chance to make up for lost time by seeking a career that will empower them to obtain the same chance at success that anyone deserves. Thankfully, the VA offers some fantastic benefits through the Post 9/11 GI Bill. If you are a member of the military and you’re seeking professional training to become a helicopter pilot, Upper Limit Aviation (1-855-HELIEDU) can provide superior flight training that will keep you moving toward a lifetime of achievement.

Veterans Are a Great Fit at ULA’s Southern Utah University Flight Training Campus

Serving your country can force you to make sacrifices in ways that many people don’t consider. The years that many people spend in college or starting out at their careers are often spent in a far off land, doing work that may not necessarily lead to a lifelong job for you. Aviation is a natural fit for many veterans. And flight school will often feel like an extension of your service, because many of your fellow students will be veterans or of a similar mindset. The atmosphere of camaraderie that exists between fellow helicopter flight training students is a big relief for many pilot students adjusting to being home. Our industry is experiencing a prolonged period of growth that promises to offer the potential for huge opportunities for anyone studying right now.

Southern Utah University has a long history of helping veterans achieve excellence. Upper Limit Aviation seeks all interested students, but has always gone out of its way to make the experience of obtaining a top notch flight training education as easy as possible for veterans who wish to become professional helicopter pilots. The growth seen in the industry is set to offer major rewards to all new pilots over the next five years at least. We would very much like for members of the armed services to be able to use their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits in order to get a leg up on success and achievement that could help them for the rest of their lives.

 

High-Altitude Flight Training Will Benefit Our Eurocopter A-Star Students

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

High-Altitude Flight Training Will Benefit Our Eurocopter A-Star Students

High-Altitude Flight Training Will Benefit Our Eurocopter A-Star StudentsOne of the most important attributes that a new helicopter pilot can bring to his job is to be well-rounded. The skills that pilots learn in training will form the basis of their skill set and will directly lead to the career options that are or are not available to them. The helicopter pilots that graduate from Upper Limit Aviation are uniformly excellent and fully capable in all areas of aviation. Aligning yourself with a flight training school that reflects your aviation goals is essential. If you choose a school that does things by half-measures, you will be half the pilot that you could be. By focusing on bare minimum requirements, many flight schools rob their students of the opportunity to achieve true excellence. Upper Limit Aviation (1-855-HELIEDU) can help you be the pilot you’ve always dreamed of becoming.

Flight Training Should Incorporate Essential Equipment and Important Techniques

One of the ways that Upper Limit Aviation has sought to make sure that its flight training program is as great an educational value as is possible is to make sure that we are keeping up with industry trends, and when possible, going far above and beyond the minimum requirements called for in the certification process. Teaching high-altitude training at our Cedar City, UT (SUU affiliated) campus and our Salt Lake City, UT (SLCC affiliated) campus will ensure that when employers evaluate your skills during the process of reviewing you for potential employment, they will reach the conclusion you want them to. With the right training and proactive approach to your skill acquisition, they will decide that you are the best pilot for the job.

Another essential component of ensuring that you receive the best flight training you can get is to make sure you are working with equipment that will be relevant to your potential careers. While you can always train and learn to do more, having a leg up when you start out will offer you some undeniable advantages. The Eurocopter A-Star is the shining star of the helicopter aviation industry. Its versatility and maneuverability reflect the best attributes of our pilot graduates. To learn how Upper Limit Aviation can offer you the best chance of success, incorporating high altitude flight training and the most essential equipment, like the A-Star, call 1-855-HELIEDU.

 

Southern Utah University ULA Students Use Eurocopter A-Star

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Southern Utah University ULA Students Use Eurocopter A-Star

Southern Utah University ULA Students Use Eurocopter A-StarAlthough aviation can sometimes seem to move at a glacial pace in terms of adopting changes — just look at how long a given model of aircraft can stay in service — when changes do emerge, they are often seismic in impact. We believe that as a flight school, that while it is possible to teach the fundamentals of flight training in a range of aircrafts, our students should have the opportunity to work on the best equipment. The equipment they use in training should prepare them for life as a professional helicopter pilot. That’s why Upper Limit Aviation has acquired a Eurocopter A-Star. The industry has been moving away from the Bell 206 toward the A-Star, and we felt the time was right to make a change. Upper Limit Aviation (1-855-HELIEDU) is proud to offer the industry standard A-Star for student training.

Updated Equipment Finds Upper Limit Aviation Making the Shift to the Eurocopter A-Star 

Many people consider the A-Star to be the defining helicopter of our time. Its reputation as the best helicopter in its category is uncontested. The diminished workload it places on pilots as well as its more versatile maneuverability are appealing features to many pilots. When it comes to cost, safety, performance and many other measures, the Eurocopter A-Star is the helicopter to beat. One of the primary benefits of the A-Star is that it excels in some of the conditions that can give other helicopters trouble. It performs well in high heat and high altitude environments.

Southern Utah University is situated at nearly a mile up elevation-wise. From this height, we are able to provide optimal high altitude training conditions. The Upper Limit Aviation flight training program has paired with SUU in order to offer the best pilot training and allow our graduates to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. The partnership with SUU offers further enticements to prospective helicopter pilots due to the fact that we can offer a broader range of financial assistance programs to our private pay customers. Whether you’re a veteran using the Post 9/11 GI Bill or a civilian looking for an exciting career in aviation, our admissions officers can help you figure out the funding stream that works best for you.

 

Charter Helicopter Pilot Jobs

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Charter Helicopter Pilot Jobs

Charter Helicopter Pilot JobsThere is a huge number of pathways for the career-minded helicopter pilot. One of the options that is highly regarded by many pilots is to become a charter helicopter pilot. There are many reasons why this is an appealing option to current flight training graduates. Not everyone wants to work for a big company. Not everyone wants to fly the same route over and over and over again. In the past few years, the charter business took a little bit of a dive due to the recession. But for the most part this sector of employment has bounced back and the companies that survived have demonstrated their robustness through the slowdown. Upper Limit Aviation can help aviation students get the training they need to succeed in the pilot job of their choice.

 The Duties and Perks of Charter Helicopter Pilot Careers

Charter helicopter companies offer a service to many executives and others who need quick and personalized helicopter service. Some business operate on a timeshare or fractional ownership basis and others are per hour or per day type operations. Many pilots are owner-operators. The job is appealing to many pilots because it can be a very personal work experience where you know all of your colleagues and supervisors. Not everyone is made to work for a monolithic corporation. In many cases you will be able to fly the same helicopter everyday, work with the same time and fly many varied routes.

Many students want to know how they can get the competitive edge in the job market. Upper Limit Aviation has geared its entire program around providing the ability to make the most out of your flight training experience. Our three campuses, located in West Memphis, AR, Salt Lake City, UT and Cedar City, UT have all partnered with local colleges. Our Arkansas and SLC campuses have paired with community colleges (MSCC and SLCC respectively) that can offer an AAS (associates) Professional Pilot degree, while our Cedar City Campus has paired with Southern Utah University (SUU) and can offer a bachelor’s degree. The college degree program allows for enhanced funding opportunities as well as keep our graduates fiercely competitive as they enter the job market. Call 1-855-HELIEDU to learn how Upper Limit Aviation can help you achieve your best chance at success.

 

Multi Engine Time Building: What to Consider Before Choosing a Program

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013
multi engine time buildingBy 

If you’ve got some experience in your logbook, but you need more hours for a future rating or job, you might want to consider a multi engine time building course. These courses are great for gaining experience and a perfect way for future airline pilots to add a little boost to their resume.

In our new article Multi Engine Time Building: Three Things to Consider we discuss several things to think about when looking into multi-engine time building, including expense and aircraft complexity. The following is a sample of the article, click through to read the whole thing:

If your end goal is an airline career, you should run to the nearest flight school offering multi-engine time building course. When was the last time you saw a single-engine airliner? The fact is, no matter how small, most airliners are multi-engine affairs. Taking this into consideration, airlines are likely to show preference to candidates with a higher amount of multi-engine experience.

If you’re looking for time-building courses, chances are a multi-engine time building course is right up your alley. With the increased cost and complexity, multi-engine time building will boost your motivation to stay on top of your training and, for those seeking an airline career, there is no substitute for good multi-engine experience…read more >>

Click here to locate multi engine time building programs near you.

Related Articles:

Multi Engine Time Building – Information
Building Time in Multi-Engine Aircraft – Three Perks
Hour Building – Three Things To Consider