First CQ

Now, here’s the fun part that they tell students about in ground school, but you don’t see or understand until you see it through the front of the canopy. The ship is moving away from you AND the landing area is at 100  angle to the direction of travel of the ship. Theoretically, the captain of the ship has adjusted his course so the wind is down the angle. The reality is that as one rolls out behind the ship, one flies in a slip to keep the airplane aligned with the center of the landing area and to compensate for the forward motion of the ship.

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The Threat No One Wants to Discuss

The MANPADS threat is real. MANPADS are available on the black market and are cheap. Depending on the age of the weapon and its condition, some public sources say they can be bought for less than $10,000. The reality is that no government or airline wants to state publicly that MANPADs are a serious threat to civil aviation. They are afraid the danger will scare away potential passengers.

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The Myths of Autorotations

To pilots of the fixed wing community and to many civilians, they think if a helicopter has a serious mechanical problem, the pilot can autorotate to a safe landing. The…

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Joys of Drooping

In a helicopter, drooping is a term that refers to a slowing of rotor rpm below what is considered normal. In the Navy, we used percents, but in some helicopters,…

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HIFR Decisions

One of the joys of flying helicopters over the ocean is that one’s flight time can be extended indefinitely. Well not indefinitely becasue at some point one has to land,…

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The Bravest People in the World

The majority of my Naval Aviation career was spent flying search and rescue missions of all types. I’ve picked up people stranded on mountain sides, lifted flood victims off stranded…

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How I became a helicopter pilot

Like every Naval Aviator before me, I arrived in Pensacola to report to the training command in June, 1968 right after I earned my college degree. The instructors in what…

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