The following comments appeared on Rotor & Wing’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/rotorandwing
The following responses are to the question, “What more needs to be done to reduce helicopter accidents?”
More IFR training and IFR flights. In the helicopter world, IFR flights are a rare occurrence for most operators. Most guys don’t realize how easy it is and how much safer it is to file, get a clearance, and “punch in” versus scud running. I understand some operators aren’t equipped, but for those who are....
Dual-pilot requirement for EMS missions. Certainly for those during IFR and IMC.
Install a 44-oz. drink holder because with it between my legs it interferes with my cyclic. Also a CD player would be great because ATC gives me a headache so I take off my headset and all I hear is “whupwhupwhup”... and some Manilow would be welcome.
The majority of accidents come from human error. That being the case, you can train and train and train all you want, but in the end we are only human and will make mistakes whether we are 25 or 65 years old, have 1,000 hours or 25,000. We will never fix human error. Just like friendly fire; It will always happen.
Fly helicopters unmanned.
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Definitely more practice with 0/0 instrument takeoffs. Could have saved a bunch of guys when they browned out. More simulation time, too. The virtual red screen is a lot more forgiving than a real world one.
Emphasis on disciplined flying, report and ground the undisciplined pilots instead of looking the other way and allowing the “mishaps” to do the culling for us.
I+I+I (Inversion by operators plus Instruction of crews plus Innovation application).
Responses to the question, “If you had an unlimited budget to make a single upgrade to your company’s or unit’s helicopter (but could only pick one upgrade), what would it be and why?”
We are in the process of replacing our Garmin (Apollo) 480s with Garmin 430s. I wish we could ditch the 430s and separate transponders, and just go with a Garmin 530s. Or, the ultimate would be all glass.
Upgrading the BFT so it would not burn out the VHF-AM radio.
New avionics for sure; synthetic vision (moving map), more accurate navigation and improved IMC capability.
Night vision enhancements. Clarity and range.
A more comfortable seat.
Response to the question, “What’s on your mind regarding the helicopter industry? What has struck a chord with you lately, or been on your mind regarding a recent issue, broad or specific?”
What actions must a pilot take if he gets into some serious downdrafts? In this case, the helicopter is a Eurocopter Ecureuil AS350 BA.
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