Upper Limit Aviation Search and Rescue Pilots Sworn In

They will serve as Special Deputies for Iron County

This past weekend thirteen Upper Limit Aviation search and rescue pilots were sworn in as official “special deputies” with the Iron County Sheriff’s Department. As special deputies, the ULA pilots can now land and pick up accident victims in support of search and rescue missions for the county.

The formal title for the 13 pilots is “Iron County Special Deputy”. The newly deputized pilots who will fly missions for the sheriff’s office are commercial pilots. ULA students will not be used in Iron County search and rescue operations.

ULA Chief Flight Instructor and Director of Schools, Mike Mower, said that deputizing its pilots means ULA can now fully assist the Sheriff’s Department. Mower said they are now just waiting for that phone call asking for our assistance, “we are standing by ready to help.” ULA has assisted in 9 search and rescue missions on behalf of Iron County Sheriff Search and Rescue.

Iron County Sheriff’s Department, Lt Del Schlosser, says, “this addition is a big move for the county and a relief to the Sheriff’s Department to have more personnel. “We currently have 37 deputies on staff and with the addition of the ULA pilots it brings that number to 50.” Schlosser said, “It’s a huge relief to have them (ULA pilots) today. They’re working as volunteers, so it’s not a burden to the taxpayers. They are doing this of their own free will.”

ULA pilots have helped coordinate past rescue missions for Iron County and local law enforcement.

Several of the ULA pilots expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve in a special deputy capacity.

“In our continued efforts to be a support to this wonderful county, and the cities of Parowan and Cedar, we can’t tell you how appreciative we are,” said pilot Michael Mower. “This is going to be something that is going to increase our role and increase our level of support for the county.”

The new Iron County Special Deputies; Sean Reid, Mike Mower, Rich Cannon, Scott Banning, Greg Stine, Shae Mackie, Dan Laguna, Chris Laguna, Chelsea Tugaw, Mike Ballard, James Kofford, Ryan Dejong, and Kent Daniels.

To read the original KTUV article, click here, or click on Iron County Today – Upper Limit pilots deputized by Iron County Commission

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Edgley Optica: Will No One Save This One-Eyed Aircraft?

Designed and first flown in 1979 by British designer Edgley, the Edgley Optica is a beautiful but nearly extinct aircraft.  The Optica was produced in limited quantities in the 1980’s and targeted the gap in the aviation market for low cost, fixed-wing observation aircraft.  The idea was to replace helicopters in activities such as: aerial photography, pipeline patrol, search and rescue missions and policing areas where there is no need for hover and land capabilities.

As you can see the look of the Edgley Optica takes some getting used to, it has the appearance of an huge eyeball fixed to the end of a airplane.  There appears to be a giant fan behind the cockpit, which joins the helicopter-type cockpit to the rest of the aircraft and acts as a fuselage and main spar. This ducted fan design allows the engine thrust to be closer to the aerodynamic thrust line which gives better stability during power changes. In addition, it protects the propeller from ground strikes, it provides better performance at low speeds and it is quieter than conventional propeller planes.

Will the Aviation Market Allow this Aircraft to Get off the Ground

Despite its lofty ambitions and futuristic look and characteristics, the Edgley Optica aircraft has been sidelined and searching for backing for decades by John Edgley, its creator. The main reason the initial production and release failed is due to the fatal crash of the very first aircraft released to the Hamstead Police Department. Immediately, financial backing was withdrawn and due to more troubling events (e.g. a fire attributed to arson destroyed 8 completed aircraft) temporarily sidelined.

Although the design is unorthodox, the flight qualities are ordinary and the aircraft’s instrumentation is all standard. The flight controls are the normal stick and rudder. Handling is no different than any other aircraft.  The difficult adjustment to make is getting used to the panoramic view. Another aspect of the Optica is its slow cruise speed can fool some pilots inot thinking that they are flying too slowly.

Now once again in 2015 the Optica is in play at the Paris Air Show and its creator John Edgley is trying to position his aircraft back into production. He needs to find a large sponsor or a buyer with veryt deep pockets. Could this aircraft eventually replace the helicopter? Without a miracle or financial backing for the Optica, we may never know.

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Spatial Disorientation: How and When Does it Affect Pilots

Do you remember the fatal airplane wreck of John F Kennedy Jr.? In July of 1999, John F. Kennedy Jr, and two other passengers on board crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Massachusetts. The official NTSB report concluded that Kennedy experienced spatial disorientation while descending at night over water. He lost control of the aircraft and crashed. How often do pilots experience spatial disorientation?

Interesting is the fact that Kennedy did not hold an Instrument Rating and was only certified to fly under VFR (Visual Flight Rules). Although Kennedy’s ill-fated flight was legal (barely), it was not safe. This tragic event happens all to often to recreational pilots, but it is something that we call can learn from.

178 Seconds to Live – a Dramatic Video on Sensory Disorientation:

Obviously, spatial disorientation, something very important that all student pilots should know about before starting flight school. This article offers a lot more than just interesting tidbits, however by no means does it cover all the information related to spacial disorientation. It is only a brief introduction meant to compel student pilots to dig deeper.

This article will briefly discuss one of many spacial disorientation effects, specfically the “leans”. Our recommendation is that you do your homework and find out everything there is about spatial disorientation and the “leans”.

What are Spatial Disorientation, Spatial Illusion and the “Leans” Effect?

”Spatial Disorientation”, including what is known as the “leans”, is the cause of many airplane accidents. Good training, and pilot awareness is the key to preventing certain disaster associated with the “leans”. This article is only meant to bring awareness to the important concept of spatial disorientation created by the “leans” effect.

Do the best pilots fly by the seat of their pants? Do great pilots rely on “feel” and their “senses”? We think not.

Humans were not built to fly, and certainly not constructed to navigate flying through the air by our sensory organs alone. Our bodies, brains, and sensory systems are built to help us navigate on the ground while standing upright. To fly using our senses alone, is very dangerous and could cost us our lives.

The video below describes the contributing factors which can lead to this condition and its many associated illusions.

Don’t Trust Your Sensory Organs

While flying, our sensory organs do not accurately reflect the movements of the aircraft in space. In effect, our sensory mechanisms do not properly read the 3-D environment around us, and can cause us to experience what is known as “sensory illusions”.

One very dangerous sensory illusion is the “leans”. The “leans” can be caused by level flight after a rapid roll of the aircraft. It’s where the process of the aircraft’s roll causes our body to lean in a direction that is contrary to the actual direction of the turn, and this effect can continue even after the aircraft roll is complete. In essence, our sensory readings coming from our sensory mechanisms send us faulty info.

When experiencing a “leans”, if our sensory mechanisms send us false readings, we may feel something that is not actually happening, and therefore react or respond inappropriately. While experiencing the “leans” effect, if we trust our faulty sensory readings, our physical reactions and responses will lead to our demise.

Spatial Orientation is our ability to maintain our bodies orientation to the ground. Again, humans are built to use our sensory mechanisms to maintain spatial orientation to the ground (our surroundings on the ground). When we get up in the air, we experience a three-dimensional world, which is totally unfamiliar to our sensory organs. This can cause sensory conflicts, and what we see and feel is not real. In this situation, we cannot rely on what we see, feel, or sense (gut).

How important is this? Well, statistics show that 5 to 10% of all general aviation accidents are caused by spatial disorientation affect, 90% of which are fatal.

When experiencing spatial disorientation, it can be difficult to correct. We can actually panic as the information on our instruments do not jive with how we feel (sensory input). Moreover, if we respond to our feelings, we can make things worse fast, causing more panic. If we do not correct quickly, in a very short period of time we can lose control of the aircraft and plummet into the ground.

Unless you have an instrument rating, and you are not legally able to fly unless you can see the horizon. You are only able to fly by Visual Flight Rules. A licensed instrument pilot can fly both VFR and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).

If you are not licensed to fly by instrument, you should never fly into a cloud (bad weather that diminishes your vision), nor should you fly after dark. Flying into a cloud can certainly cause spatial illusions and disorientation. Unless you can see the horizon, and see all around you, as a non-instrument rated pilot you are susceptible to spatial disorientation, including the “lean”.

When flying, our bodies sensory systems are actually doing what they were designed to do. It’s just that our sensory systems are not designed to navigate airspace while flying aircraft. When we experience sensory illusions our sensory systems are functioning just they way they were designed.

Our spatial orientation systems, which create the lean illusion, were designed to protect us. During the course of our lives we have come to trust our spatial orientation systems – making it very difficult for some pilots to accept that their orientation (feedback from their sensory mechanisms) is incorrect during flight. If this happens to you, as a pilot, you can make a bad situation worse while you think you are correcting the problem.

Supporting Sources for this article:

John F. Kennedy Jr. Plane Crash

The Leans

Sensory Illusions in Aviation

Visual Illusions

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Five Unique Ways of Paying for Flight Training

Secrets from Successful Pilots

Let’s face it, paying for flight training is very expensive. Airplane flight school is going to cost $35K to $70K for fixed wing training, and $90K to $150K for helicopter training. Unless you have a trust fund from your rich dad, the costs to become commercial pilots can seem to be an impassable mountain. But is it? Learn how people with dreams found a way to pay for flight school.

5. Get a job with a big flight school: The top flight schools hire people for all kinds of jobs. Start at the bottom if you have to, but have the ambition to move up the ladder to the higher paying jobs. Some flight schools offer their employees discounts when paying for flight training.

If you are an exceptional employee (highly valued) you might be able to negotiate a good trade with your employer. There are no guarantees, but employers look for ways to reward the top contributors.

4. Become a “hanger rat” and get a job with a small flight training school: I have known people who were known as “hangar rats”. These hangar rats are alway hanging around the hangar – willing to do anything and everything to help out. Hangar rats are sponges, always willing and wanting to learn.

Even if you have to sweep the floors, or take the trash out – whatever it takes. If you can find some way to impress a owner of the flight school (and flight instructor), you might be able to get a discount when it comes to paying for flight training.

Professional pilots love people who have total passion for flying – willing to do whatever it takes to get flight time. I have heard stories where student pilots paid for gas and the instructor discounted their fees. Its rare, but it does happen.

3. Become a Cadet with Civil Air Patrol (CAP): CAP does not advertise that they will provide flight training to their members. However many CAP members (CFI’s) have been known to discount their rates to members who have the drive, passion, and desire to become pilots.

If you have the right attitude, and are willing to “give back”, there maybe someone in the ranks that will match your desire and help you get your Private Pilot’s license. In the end, people without funding, need to network with as many aviation people as they can. And remember, once you become a commercial pilot, be willing to give back to the CAP – pay it forward!

2. Apply for every Scholarship Available: Make yourself exceptional. You have to take this seriously. Organizations are more than willing to choose exceptional people with scholarships. There are many aviation scholarships, but only the most exceptional people receive the awards. Research the foundations that offer scholarships and interview their people. Find out exactly what they are looking for, and position yourself to be the recipient of the awards.

1. Save Money and Earn a Perfect Credit Score: This is going to take some time to achieve, but you should do it even if you are not going to become a commercial pilot. If you are willing to live a certain low-cost lifestyle, one that will allow you to save a good chunk of money, you might be able to get a student/private loan to cover the remaining financial needs. This route will take longer, and your schedule will be full for several years, but many have take this route and succeeded. Of course you will have debt too! However, if it leads to landing the job of your dreams, it will be worth it.

Always keep in mind that thousands of aspiring pilots have found a way.

I know of a husband and wife team that where the pilot’s wife finished college and nursing school, and got a really good job as an Registered Nurse. Both the husband and wife worked and saved as much money as they could. The plan was for the husband (propsective pilot) to keep his job as long as he could after the couple saved enough money to pay for the Private Pilot certificate. Once the husband got the Private Pilot rating, he planned to continue to move forward to earn his Instrument, Commercial, and CFI as time and money allowed. Improving their credit score was also a part of the plan.

This couple chose to start the flight training process while keeping both of their jobs as long as they could, and continued to save money. They lived off the wife’s salary and saved the rest. They suffered a bit, but they were committed.

I also know of folks who have joined the Reserves (Army, Marines, Air Force, etc.) to help fund flight school. Their goal was to stay in college or keep working, save money, and earn partial VA Educational Benefits to be used later. Unfortunately, a few were called up for active duty and had to do tours in Afghanistan (this is the obvious risk). However, when they finished their duty they had earned partial funding for flight school (one particular gentlemen I know earned 60% funding). Once out of the military the got the best job they could (earning the highest income possible) and utilized student loans and scholarships to finance the shortfall that the VA educational benefits did not cover.

There are countless prospective pilots that have taken two and three jobs to save enough money to start paying for flight training. There are some that have bought fixer upper homes, fixed them up (working evenings and weekends) and flipped the homes for a profit (to be used paying for flight training). There are some pilots who have started a side business, such as an eCommerce website, to make extra cash. It is truly amazing to hear of all the ways people have found of paying for flight training. Each of these pilots had a dream, they developed a plan, and persevered until their dream was realized.

Start Your Training With or Without Funding

Start your journey with or without funding – take the steps you can afford, steps that you will have to do anyway. In doing so, you will be making progress toward your goal, giving you a better chance to realize your dream.

A. Get your Medical: Find an FAA approved Aviation Medical Examiner. The FAA has a “doctor locator” function on their website. Go to https://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/ and find the nearest AME. Get your medical done. At the very least, you will know whether or not you can pass a medical (peace of mind). Without the medical you can’t become a commercial pilot.

B. Enroll into Ground School Courses: At the very least you can watch Youtube videos online. Or, purchase flight manuals, DVD’s, or other related resource manuals. From there you can be brave and enroll into an affordable online ground school.

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You won’t be able to fly without completing ground school, AND you will learn everything you will need to know to pass future FAA exams. You’ll eventually have to do ground school anyway. However, by completing ground school courses you will know a whole lot more about flying – and by doing so you will know for sure that being a pilot is truly in your blood.

Essentially, we are recommending that you invest into the process; learn, study, and get involved with the information that you will eventually have to master to become a commercial pilot.

Ground school will teach you all about flight and aircraft operation, and aeronautical knowledge (weather, sectionals, cross country). Ground school will also help you to prepare to answer the FAA exam questions (“knowledge tests”).

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C. Find a Mentor(s): Find a pilot who has gone before you, an experienced commercial pilot who can guide you through the process acting as your coach. Find someone who has been in your shoes and understands your passion. Perhaps they can help you to discover options to overcome the financial obstacles. Your mentor (or mentors) needs to be someone who will inspire you when the going gets tough.

D. Get the best paying job you can and earn the best credit score you possibly can: Many of today’s commercial pilots found a good paying job and then saved a bunch of money. This is the long-term plan, but for those that took this route will tell you that they are glad they did.

Earn as much money as you can, live frugally, and save. Save enough to pay at least for your private pilot’s license. You can earn a private pilot’s license in 6 months easy (training early mornings, late afternoons, and weekends). And, keep your job while getting your private pilots license (you will need a good job to get a private loan, or to pay for the advanced courses).

Find a way to continue to work while knocking your private license certificate out of the way. Keep your job as long as you can. There will be a time when you need to leave your job and jump into flying with both feet. But the income from your job will help you to make the transition.

Once you have earned your private pilot’s license, you will know whether or not you continue to seek a commercial license (the BIG commitment). To become a commercial pilot you will have to get your Instrument, and Commercial Ratings done (helicopter pilots will need their CFI and maybe even their CFII as well). This requires a tremendous commitment.

But let’s say that you’re having second thoughts after getting your private pilot’s license? Let’s say you discover that flying is not what you wanted? As a licensed private pilot you have not wasted anything, because you can always fly recreationally. You’re a pilot, and you can enjoy flying. You just can’t get paid to fly. You can stop the journey right now without hindering your future financial situation.

E. Earn a Good Credit Score: Supplement your savings with good credit score you can supplement their savings with personal loans or even a student loan. Keep your job while getting your private pilots license. Find a way to continue to work while knocking your private license certificate out of the way.

F. Earn a Degree: There are several powerful reasons you should seek your degree through while getting your commercial pilot ratings. One, the flight hours you need to become a commercial pilot (paid pilot) will be less (especially for airplane pilots).

Two, you might be able to supplement your funds with FASFA or Pell Grants. You might be eligible for cheaper student loans as well. And, you might qualify for one or more scholarships. Any amount of money you can get will help lower the overall “out of pocket costs” of flight training.

The third powerful reason you should get a college degree while earning your flight certificates is to position yourself for the best jobs. Aviation employers will cherish your degree, and possibly put your resume on the top of the stack. Moreover, in the aviation world, there are more non-pilot jobs for professional people (good paying jobs) than there are pilot jobs.

The college degree is your back up plan. What if something goes wrong with your body, eyes, or hearing? Every year pilots have to pass a physical exam. If you fail, you can’t earn a living. So, the college degree is your insurance policy.

Furthermore, many pilots with 10 to 15 years of flying choose to transition into good paying aviation jobs in administration, sales, and marketing. Moreover, most aviation companies have been started by pilots. You never know what awesome opportunities will come way 10 to 20 years down the line, but you want to position yourself for the best opportunities from day one – get your degree.

Important Links to Follow:

Tier 1 Helicopter Pilot Jobs – Your Career Path to becoming a successful Commercial Pilot

Landing a Tier 2 Helicopter Pilot Job – Career Development

The Top Jobs on the Planet – Types of Tier 3 Helicopter Pilot Jobs

Partial List of Available Aviation Scholarships

University Aviation Association (UAA) Aviation Scholarship Guide

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Flight Training Scholarship Program

Experimental Aircraft Association Scholarships

National Air Transportation Foundation Scholarships

National Business Aviation Association Scholarships

The Ninety-Nines Section and Chapter Scholarships

The Ninety-Nines Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships & Awards

AeroClub of New England’s Scholarship Program

Aircraft Electronics Association Scholarships

Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

Boeing Scholarships

Girls With Wings Scholarship

LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Scholarship

National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education (NCASE)

Women in Aviation International Scholarships

Whirly-Girls Scholarships

The Alaska Airmen’s Association Scholarships

Montana Aviation Scholarships

Minnesota Aviation Trades Association Grants/Scholarships

The Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship Fund

Fred Kacena Flight Training Scholarship (Tri-State Area)

AeroClub of New England (ACONE) Scholarships

Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) Scholarships

Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Scholarships

National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) Scholarships

Aviation Distributors and Manufacturers Association (ADMA) Scholarships

Upwind Summer Scholarship Program

Sennheiser’s “Live Your Dream” Scholarships

Lightspeed Aviation Foundation Scholarships

Helicentre Aviation’s Professional Pilot scholarships

Idaho Aviation Association scholarships

Flight training and aviation maintenance scholarships

NAAA/BASF Agricultural Aviation Scholarship

The Vicki Cruse Memorial Scholarship

Greg Koontz Aerobatic Instructor Scholarship

The Douglas Youst Memorial Aerobatic Scholarship

Southern California Aviation Association

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Volocopter: The Worlds First Green Helicopter

The VC 200 is the world’s first green helicopter. E-volo introduces the VC200 Velocopter– the first Volocopter able to carry two passengers while powered by batteries.

Exactly What is a Volocopter?

The Volocopter is a different type of aircraft, an no category to fill.  Although the Velocopter is very similar to several different types of aircraft, it really does not fit any particular category. Basically, a Volocopter is a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) manned aircraft that is currently without a specific classification. What’s more, theVolocopter is an electric battery powered Manned Aerial Vehicle (MAV). This is in contrast, but similar to, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

The VC 200 Velocopter looks like a helicopter, and acts somewhat like a helicopter. But the Velocopter differes because of all its propellers (18 propellers) and operation mechanisms. Helicopters have rotors, and the Volocopter has propellers. Helcopters have cyclics, foot pedals, and the collective. A Velocopter has a joystick. The e-volo company believes that propellers are an advantage over rotors because the mechanism that drives the propellers are a lot less complex.

Plus the VC 200 is designed to be safer than a helicopter. With the VC 200 there is a great deal of redundancy built in, which supposedly makes this aircraft safer than a helicopter. For example, if one or more of the propellers fail, the VC 200 is designed to land safely through two separate safety means.

The people behind the VC 200 e-volo project are Alexander Zosel (CEO and overall strategic coordinator), Stephan Wolf (CFO and Lead Software Developer), and Kathrin Mohr (Management Assistant). The aircraft is under development in Germany.

What Makes The VC 200 So Different?

The VC 200’s flight controls work through the “fly-by-wire” principles by the use of a joystick. The VC 200’s control system makes it vastly different from any other aircraft. Basically, flying the VC 200 is as as simple as it gets.

The VC 200 takes off and lands vertically. The pilot does not have to invest a great deal of energy or effort into the flight path angle, minimum speed, stall, mixture control, pitch adjustment and many other things which make helicopters difficult to fly.

The propellers generate the ascending force, and by means of a selective change in propeller speed it takes care of the steering. Different from helicopters, the VC 200’s mechanical pitch control of the propellers are not an issue at all.

Moreover, the position control and the directional control of the VC 200 takes place by means of several independent and mutually monitoring airborne computers which control the rotation speed of each separately.

Other Important Highlights of the Volocopter
  • Two passenger private aircraft.
  • Added pusher propeller enables an even faster flight.
  • Electric power plant – environmental friendly (green technology).
  • Up to an hour of flight powered by batteries (no fuel costs).
  • Hybrid combustion engine that powers batteries under develop (to extend flight range).
  • Improved safety – redundancy of all flight components and back up batteries>
  • Parachute attached in case of emergencies.
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Pilot Resume: This is Key to Your Career

In the aviation industry, a resume is much different – unique – and does not follow the traditional resume format that you will find within most industries. Building a pilot resume for a helicopter employer should be designed to fit the specific needs of the employer. Essentially, your resume will be all about YOU as it relates to the job offering. Sounds a little narcissistic, but it’s the truth. It should be noted, your resume should be about the AUTHENTIC you!. The following information was presented at HAI 2015 by Lyn Burkes, from Rotorcraft Pro.

What is the purpose of a resume? Simple, to gain the attention of the hiring authority which results in a phone call, email reply, and ultimately an interview. Your resume, along with some well-placed networking support, is the hook that will hopefully land you the job.

“Having a dream IS NOT a plan”, Randy Rowles – Helicopter Institute

Your resume is a key component to getting a face-to-face interview (initial interview). As a pilot, your goal is to get in front of the decision maker(s) and create dynamic interest. If you do it right, your resume will lead to an in-depth interview, a test flight, written exam, and then landing the JOB! You are competing against many other prospective pilots, including those with more experience. Your resume is one important part of getting an interview.

Keys to Presenting a Successful Pilot Resume

  • Format counts – present vital info how they want to see it
  • Realize and understand that aircraft experience is KING
  • Understand how hiring authorities read resumes
  • Gain positive attention by being creative and different
  • Little experience? Then highlight your experience as it relates to the position
  • Keep your resume to 1 page
  • Do not add a picture to your resume
  • Follow the employer’s instructions
  • Use a WORD doc with KEYWORD list
  • BE and sound interesting when sending the resume via email
  • Always customize your resume for the position that is being applied for

Resume Mistakes to Avoid

  • Spelling errors – poor grammar
  • Long-winded paragraphs
  • More than one-page resume
  • Funky format
  • Flight hours not broken down or too vague
  • Lists helicopter flown but fail to list flight hours in each aircraft
  • Only listing the last job you held
  • No schools listed
  • Does not match up resume with the job description
  • Fail to get the company name correct
  • Poorly written cover letter
  • Contact info incorrect or not listed

Proper Format of an Pilot Resume

  • Name, Address, Phone Number, Email Address
  • Summary of Qualifications
  • List of Qualifications – Professional Pilot Skills
  • Flight Time – Aircraft Type
  • Related Aviation Training
  • Education
  • Employment History
  • Personal Statement

More Resources for Pilots

Resume Writing for Pilots

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Knowing Simple Aerodynamics Helps Your Aviation Career

When it comes to teaching someone about aerodynamics, it is possible to teach simple aerodynamics in a way that doesn’t require a physics course as a prerequisite. I am a firm believer that as your flight career progresses, so should your knowledge. However, we need to take a simple to complex, known to unknown approach. If you are a Flight Instructor, you know this is a key fundamental of instruction. Take ‘Lift’ for example; at what point should someone be expected to know the Coefficient of Lift (CL)? Here’s what NASA says regarding the lift coefficient:

“The lift coefficient is a number that aerodynamicists use to model all of the complex dependencies of shape, inclination, and some flow conditions on lift. This equation is simply a rearrangement of the lift equation where we solve for the lift coefficient in terms of the other variables.

The lift coefficient Cl is equal to the lift L divided by the quantity: density r times half the velocity V squared times the wing area A. Cl = L / (A * .5 * r * V^2)

The quantity one half the density times the velocity squared is called the dynamic pressure q. So Cl = L / (q * A)

The lift coefficient then expresses the ratio of the lift force to the force produced by the dynamic pressure times the area.”

Above, NASA states this equation is “simply a rearrangement of the lift equation”.  Perhaps if you have a PHD and work for NASA this equation is simple. Why is this complex lift equation shown to brand new student pilots across the Country? If we know that a key fundamental principle of instruction is to go from simple to complex, known to unknown; why would we ever introduce a complex physics equation to a new student? Instead, when introducing lift, ask your student a few simple questions:

“Have you ever been driving down the highway with your hand out the window? Have you noticed that if your raise your hand up slightly, your whole arm wants to shoot up like you’re waving to oncoming cars? That is lift…simple”

When learning simple aerodynamics, where should one start?

The first thing I have my students learn, are the basic definitions of helicopter aerodynamic terms. I focus on their rote memorization of bullet point definitions. Once they have these memorized, I then focus on their understanding and application. I present aerodynamic terms to my students in a question / answer format. Before a Student Pilot is ready to take their Private Pilot exam, they will need to be able to describe aerodynamics much more in depth. However, if you’re new to aerodynamics, I recommend you start by memorizing the key definitions below. Writing these questions / answers down on index cards is a good idea to aid in your memorization of these key aerodynamic terms.

What are the forces of flight?

A. Lift, Weight, Thrust and Drag

How is lift developed?

A. LIft is developed by creating an area of positive pressure beneath the airfoil and negative pressure above the airfoil.

What is Bernoulli’s Principle?

A. Bernoulli’s Principle states that as velocity increases, pressure decreases. This is also known as the Venturi Effect.

What is Newton’s Third Law?

A. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

What is Angle of Attack?

A. The angle between the chord line and relative wind.

What are the three types of drag?

A. Profile, Parasite and Induced drag.

What is Profile Drag?

A. Drag caused by the frictional resistance of the blades moving through the air. Composed of Form Drag and Skin Friction.

What is Parasite Drag?

A. Drag caused from all Non-Lifting surfaces of the aircraft.

What is Induced Drag?

A. Drag that is a result of developing lift. Also known as Vortex Drag.

What is Coriolis Effect?

A. As the center of mass moves closer to the axis of rotation, the blades have a tendency to accelerate.

What are the two external factors that cause Coriolis Effect?

A. Coning and Blade Flapping.

What is Coning?

A. Coning is the result of two forces acting at the same time; Centrifugal Force and Lift.

Why do helicopter blades Flap?

A. Helicopter Blades are allowed to Flap to compensate for Dissymmetry of Lift.

What is Dissymmetry of Lift?

A. Unequal lift between the advancing and retreating halves of the rotor disc.

What is Retreating Blade Stale?

A. Due to Dissymmetry of Lift, at high forward airspeeds the retreating blade exceeds its critical angle of attack causing the blade to stall.

What is Translating Tendency?

A. The tendency of the helicopter to drift in the direction of tail rotor thrust.

What is Translational Lift?

A. Improved rotor efficiency resulting from directional flight or surface winds.

What is Effective Translational Lift (ETL)?

A. ETL occurs at approximately 16-24 knots when the rotor system completely outruns the recirculation of old vortices.

What is Transverse Flow Effect?

A. Occurs at speeds just below ETL. Induced flow drops to near zero at the forward disc area and increases at the aft disc area.

What is Gyroscopic Precession?

A. Gyroscopic Precession states that when an outside force is applied to a rotating body, the result of the outside force will occur 90 degrees later in the plane of rotation.

Begin introducing the “Why?”

450px-Clear_light_bulbOnce you have memorized some of these key definitions, it will be time to start asking “Why?” The short list above is exactly that…short. Notice I did not include aerodynamics of autorotations, conservation of angular momentum or other complex aerodynamic principles. There is a lot more to learn, but building a foundation of key definitions is where we should start. Once you have the definitions memorized, the next step is to gain an understanding of what is actually happening. Helicopter Aerodynamics can be made simple and enjoyable to learn. Start with the basics and develop a good foundation to build on. This is my approach to teaching aerodynamics to a brand new student. There are other good approaches that Instructors use and they are successful in their teaching. With a goodFlight School you will be surrounded by a large amount of Flight Instructors ensuring that your individual learning needs will be met.

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He Absolutely Loved Serving in the Air Force

One Man’s Story of Being Driven by Love

Growing up in a small town; Mike Mower quickly realized that he, perhaps more than most of his peers, had a deep love for his Country. As a young teenager, Mike knew he was going to dedicate himself to serving in the Military. Ultimately, Mike Mower joined the United States Air Force. He left home and was shipped off to Lackland Air Force Base for basic training. There, Mike quickly learned the Air Force Core Values: Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do. These weren’t just statements Mike needed to memorize as a new recruit. These core values would become a moral footprint that would carry him throughout his life. Mike knew, before he ever signed up for active duty, that he loved his Country. It wouldn’t take him long to realize that he absolutely loved serving in the Air Force.

Mike’s serving in the Air Force took him from his primary career field in Cryogenics to the prestigious United States Air Force Honor Guard. Mike was a Flight Sergeant in the Honor Guard responsible for the training of all subordinate Airmen under him. He himself was trained to the highest standards by the men and women who came before him at the Arlington Cemetery. You see, Mike not only loved his Country and serving in the Air Force, Mike had a brotherly love for all those he served with. To him, the Honor Guard was perhaps the most important mission he ever accepted. For someone motivated in life by love, honoring his fallen brothers and sisters was something Mike would not take lightly. This passion was not merely something he felt inside; it resonated outwardly in his performance. Mike was quickly recognized as the United States Air Force Airman of The Year. This tremendous accomplishment earned him a flight in an F-16 Fighter Jet. Although it would take nearly a decade to fully manifest itself; another love was silently and subtly engrained in his heart that day…a love for flying.

Mike’s Love for Country, Is Not the Only Love of His Life.

Shortly after finishing his initial training Mike found another love entering into his life; that of his future wife. Julie was from the same town and Mike was actually friends with her brother. Being friends with Julie’s brother, Mike and Julie would frequently cross paths. It wasn’t long before they both saw something very special in one another. Mike and Julie were married soon after and have two children together. Anyone who  has met Mike and Julie can quickly see that as a couple, there is something that radiates from them. They are not only Husband and Wife; they are best friends, loving parents and true IMG_1521_smpartners in everything that they do. As Mike drew a close to his Air Force career in 2002; he didn’t start his next chapter alone, Julie was right there by his side.

Together, Mike and Julie ran their own Research and Development Company for nearly 8 years. They found great success as entrepreneurs and even hold a few patents. The R&D Industry; like many other industries, saw a decline during the recession our Country is still facing to this day. It was at this moment, that the love Mike felt in an F-16 Fighting Falcon began to take flight. Mike made the decision to become a Helicopter Pilot and has not looked back since. Together, Mike and Julie have endured military deployments, the Terrible-2’s of two children, the stresses of running your own business and the pressures of pursuing a helicopter flight career. Love has been the key motivating factor which drove them down the roads they’ve traveled and love is their guiding sail leading them into tomorrow.

Mike Mower Today, After Serving in the Air Force

Today, Mike is the Chief Helicopter Flight Instructor for Upper Limit Aviation in Cedar City, Utah. Julie is still his best friend and partner. In fact, Julie also plays an integral role in the day to day operations of Upper Limit Aviation as their Human Resource Manager. By summer of 2014, Mike will be responsible for over 200 flight students, over 30 Flight Instructors and  roughly 10 office personnel. Early in life, Mike learned key core values from serving in the Air Force. As a small business owner, he learned quickly to empower people to do their jobs. Being a Chief Instructor Pilot has reinforced what he considers “non-negotiable” when it comes to core values. These core values stand out quickly when asking Mike what makes a good pilot:

Safety 1st, Quality and Attitude. It takes someone who understands that learning never stops. Just as important; you have to Love what you’re doing. Loving what you do and doing what you love is paramount. This profession is way too fast paced and task driven. If you don’t absolutely love flying, the stress and operational tempo of the job will get away from you.

A good pilot also needs to learn from their mistakes. This is a tuff environment and corrective action needs to be quick and decisive; people’s lives are at stake. However, we all make mistakes. You need to learn from them; correct the behavior or the action, pick your head up and drive on. Do not mope on past failures, learn from them. This is a huge pet peeve of mine.

At the end of the day it has to do with attitude, attitude and attitude. If I have a student or even an Instructor struggling academically or when it comes to flight proficiency; I can easily fix those issues if they have a positive attitude. I cannot however, fix a poor attitude. In my experience, this is often times what separates people. If you’re a good pilot with a positive attitude, I can develop you into a great pilot.

“Loving What You Do and Doing What You Love is Paramount”

This statement echoes a deeper level of profound truth than one may realize. Mike states that “Relationships are the #1 measure of success”. In any environment, not just an environment as complex as flying a helicopter, one should love what they do. Many people work jobs they do not enjoy so that they can provide for their family. This makes what Mike said so very important; attitude, attitude, attitude! If you are motivated by the love of your family; how can you not love providing for them? It may not be the intricate aspects of your job that you love; it is your family that you love. Working a hard job to provide for them is not burdensome, it is a joy. This is what Mike was trying to convey regarding the importance of having the right attitude and this is what Mike is looking for when he hires his instructors.

When looking to hire a new Flight Instructor, I look a little deeper into their attitude. I want to see their effort. Will this person take a personal interest in their students and will they want to see their students succeed? Those are two questions I am trying to get the answer to. They must take personal pride and ownership in order to be one of my instructors.

A really neat thing about my job as a Chief Instructor is the fact that most of my Instructors today were once my students. I take great pride in seeing my students progress from never having flown to teaching new students how to fly. I know that great instructors will put the effort in and take ownership of their work…and their work is their students.

Get Started With Your Flight Training Today

You can get started today by filling out our online application. If you would like more information, you can call us at (844) 435-9338, or click here to start a live chat with us.

Crosswind Landing: Learning The Basics in Small Aircraft

Crosswind conditions increase the risk of the landing, and as a student pilot, it is imperative that you become very comfortable with a crosswind landing. You never know when the wind will become greater than expected, and you need to be prepared for all circumstances.

“A crosswind landing is a landing maneuver in which a significant component of the prevailing wind is perpendicular to the runway center line.”

As a student pilot, crosswind landings are very important to learn, so do not avoid crosswinds landings. A good instructor will take advantage of crosswind conditions to teach his or her student the proper techniques. Practice makes perfect, therefore as a student your instructor should be looking for opportunities to train you in the techniques of crosswind landings. There is no other way to become comfortable than to make landings in crosswinds.

“A crosswind landing starts with proper alignment of the aircraft with the runaway.”

As the aircraft approaches the ground, the pilot should be prepared to make needed corrections (alignment with the runway) depending upon the strength of the opposing winds.

There are two ways to perform crosswind landings. The first technique is the “crab landing”. Crabbing is a technique used to head the nose of the aircraft into the wind while keeping the track of the aircraft aligned with the runway. During the crab, the heading of the aircraft will not be aligned with the runway (aircraft nose will point into the wind), but the direction of the aircraft will be in alignment with the runway.

A quick strong force (side-load) imposed on the landing gear during a crosswind landing could cause damage to the landing gear and result in the loss of the control of the aircraft. It is not wise to land (touch down) the aircraft sideways (pointing into the wind while tracking with the runway) without landing gear capable of pivoting to align with the runway.

Therefore it is necessary for the pilot to align the aircraft with the direction of runway (landing the plane in straight alignment with the runway) prior to touchdown.

The other popular crosswind landing method is the “slip”, which requires greater skill compared to the crab. During a slip the pilot uses the rudder, to align the nose of the aircraft with the center of the runway, and using the aileron to correct the airplane’s drift to align with the runway center line.

The amount of aileron and rudder required will be dependent upon the strength and change of the wind. There could be a lot of adjustments as you approach touchdown. After landing the student pilot will continue to use the ailerons into the wind and keep working the rudders to maintain a straight track down the runway.

Light Aircraft in Strong Crosswind Landings HD

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Lois and Sean Reid are Finalists for Utah Entrepreneur Of The Year

Salt Lake City, UT, April 10th, 2014Ernst and Young today announced that Lois and Sean Reid of Upper Limit Aviation are finalists for the EY Utah Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Award.

The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Upper Limit Aviation was selected as a finalist by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on May 29, 2014, at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Upper Limit Aviation is known for producing skilled, knowledgeable helicopter and fixed-wing pilots equipped to support the needs of the aviation industry.

Utah Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist Lois Reid

Lois Reid, ULA co-founder and CEO stated, “We are more than honored to be selected as a finalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2014. There are several other accomplished entrepreneurs across a wide range of industries on the finalist list, and we are grateful to be recognized in such fine company. The truth is that we owe a great deal of our success to our partner schools, employees, flight instructors, and students.  We thrive because of our culture of service toward our students.”

Sean Reid, ULA co-founder and President stated, “We are proud of our team, and to be recognized by EY as an ‘electrifying company with dynamic leadership’ is humbling.”

About the EY Utah Entrepreneur of the Year Award

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is a prestigious, worldwide business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership, and achievement. Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates dynamic entrepreneurs through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

For more information about our EY, please visit ey.com.

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Preparing For Your First Commercial Helicopter Pilot Job Interview

Do you want to land a commercial helicopter pilot job with a top company? Do you want to make good money while working for a great helicopter company? Then be prepared to follow this advice… The purpose of this article is to teach new commercial pilots how to conduct an interview with a prospective employer AND LAND THE JOB!.

Our first recommendation is to refrain from pursuing a commercial helicopter pilot job (scheduling an interview) until you’ve done ALL of your homework on the prospective employer(s). To be successful (which means you are offered a job) you need to be totally prepared for the interview. You have to “kill it!”

You Need to Know the Company, and Know People within the Company – Be Strategic

The first step to a successful interview is to get an interview scheduled. There is an art to scheduling an interview. For the best advice in setting up an interview with a Tier 1 helicopter employer.

If you have already networked with industry leaders and you have the necessary flight hours to compete for a job, your next step is visit the company (the interview). In the best scenario, you already know someone who works for the company, or someone who once worked at the company. It’s always helpful to know someone in the company (insider leverage) who will make an introduction and a recommendation on your behalf.

If you have not networked, or you do not know anyone within your company of choice, read “Helicopter Pilots: Landing a Good Job Includes Networking“. Again, there is an art to getting an interview, just as their is an art to landing the job through the interview. They are both connected to each other. There are no short cuts.

Become Known and Make a Positive Memorable Impression

If you do not know someone who currently works, or worked, for the company, be prepared to make your own memorable introduction (but please, do not attempt before you know everything about the company).

Although it may seem awkward, you have to get to know someone within the company of your choice. At the very least, be brave enough to call someone within the company and ask the right questions. Follow the company’s Social Media Accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram…). “Friend” employees of the company (especially pilots). “Like”, “Comment” and “Share” their posts (be supportive and postive, but be geniune).

Take your time building relationships through Social Meda, and don’t be pushy. If you do “friend” people within the company, make sure your Social Media account are 110% professional. Thier first impression of you might come from your Facebook news stream. An inappropriate meme (politically charged) or an image of a drunken escapade will not help your chances.

After building “professional relationships” through Social Media look for opportunities to schedule an informal visit. Let your intentions be known, but always be appropriate in your engagement with staff and employees. And, most importantly, if you do schedule an informal visit (“just dropping by to introduce myself in person”) make sure you are ready for an impromptu interview on the spot (you just might get one).

BIG WARNING: Find out all that you can about a company before you submit a resume and fill out an application – the goal is to get an interview. But if the employer does don’t know your keen interest in their company you are just a resume on a stack of many resumes.

In addition, before you submit your resume and complete an application, make sure the targeted company knows the resume is coming. If the company is lookin forward to receiving your resume, you have won half the battle. Then, we highly recommend that you “get prepared” for the interview. Don’t wait! You might get a call for hastily scheduled interview (“can you come in for an interview tomorrow?”). Be ready for anything.

For advice on writing a solid commercial helicopter pilot job resume, click here.

How Do You Get The Interview?

How do you get an interview with a Tier 1 helicopter company? There seems to be some “magic” to it. The more you are invested into the process, and the more you know the prospective employer, the higher your chances are of setting up an interview. It’s weird, but the truth is that when you are prepared, you are more likely to be bold. The more bold you are, the more likely you will find unique opportunities that others miss.

To be successful in landing an interview with a helicopter company, you must first be willing to invest in yourself.  Be prepared for an interview by investing into the process, as if you already have the job (at least in your heart and mind).

For example, be thoroughly prepared to slam dunk the interview before it is even scheduled. For instance, be willing to go so far as to seek out people who have gone through the interview process with the company and actually landed a commercial helicopter pilot job with them. Know what to expect and be ready to successfully navigate the employers unique interview process.

The more you are invested, the better you will show up (but don’t be cocky). The employer will see your heart and your good intentions (the employer will see you as a potential loyal and committed employee… his or her impression of you will be positive, as you increase your chances of being the one they choose to hire, over all the rest).

Second, invest in yourself and your future. Remember, this will be your first aviation interview, but not your last. If you are a good pilot and career-minded, there will be many more interviews in your future as you advance your career – so be prepared to learn from the experience and become a “professional interviewer”. Those that show up the best in interviews tend to get the job, even if they have less qualifications and experience than other interviewees.

Finally, to become an experienced pilot whose career has advanced up the employment ladder, he/she has viewed the interview as being a part of the job. These pilots have taken the interview process seriously and have developed a positive attitude about it. They found a way to “like the chase” between the employer and the employee, and they got good at doing it. It’s almost like dating. To get the best “girl” or “guy”, you got to know how to play the dating game. If you hate/loath/fear the interview process, your career will be stifled. I recommend that you change your attitude now, and find a way to like/love the interview process.

How to invest in yourself in constant preparation for the next interview:
  • Do your homework on prospective employers and know everything about them.
  • Know yourself.
  • Know your personal mission – be able to articulate it.
  • Know your personal brand – know your values and career plan.
  • Know your weaknesses and how you plan to address them.
  • Find out what these employers are looking for in their pilots.
  • Let your mentors know your career path.
  • Continuously keep in contact with industry references (friends and colleagues) and previous employers.
  • Attend industry events and network with influencers.
  • Share your professional pathway and vision with people who like you and believe in you.
  • Visit the prospective employers (always schedule an appoinment).
  • Always be patient – never be pushy.
  • Be diplomatically persistent and always show continued interest.
  • Keep your one-page “aviation” resume updated with relevant info only – ready to send out at anytime.
  • Know your strengths and continue to work on them.
  • Keep educating yourself.
  • Take leadership and communication courses.
  • Take “people skills” courses.
  • Mentor others.
  • Have positive and professional Social Media accounts – employers will check you out.
  • Don’t be involved in negative posts in industry forums.
  • Don’t get arrested for domestic violence, drunk driving, or drug use.
Once I get an interview, how do I prepare?

Be prepared to demonstrate, answer, convey, and articulate the following (practice makes perfect):

  • Know everything about the company who is interviewing you.
  • Stand out from other candidates because you know the company intimately.
  • Know the company’s mission, vision, and culture.
  • Know their interview process.
  • Know what they are looking for in pilots through the interview.
  • Know the top people in the company and their experience.
  • Know what strengths you bring. Have a plan to work on your weaknesses.
  • In everything you do communicate how your personal brand message matches the company’s brand message.
  • Show how you are committed to “safety”.
  • Know the company values and be able to articulate how you will represent them.
  • Outline your best attributes (but do not brag).
  • Be ready to describe how you handle pressure or adversity.
  • Be ready to describe your experience working with the public.
  • Be ready to describe how you are a team player without bragging.
  • How are you willing to improve your communication and people skills?
  • How do you deal with any transition (i.e., be willing to relocate)?
  • Receive employer training with eagerness.
  • Arrive early.
  • Be ready to describe why the employer should hire you over others.
  • MOST IMPORTANT: Be ready for the test flight and any other exam.
What is my Personal Brand?

Be prepared to demonstrate, answer, convey, and articulate the following (practice makes perfect):

  • Your values.
  • Your attributes.
  • Your attitude.
  • Qualities that make you trustworthy.
  • Qualities that make you memorable.
  • Your legacy – who did you train with and why that matters.
  • Your career goals.
  • Your career plan.
Sins of the Interview Process

Avoid the following:

  • Failing to do your homework on a company.
  • Not knowing the history of the company.
  • Not knowing the experience and credentials of the key players within the company.
  • Bragging.
  • Exaggerating your flight experience.
  • Certificates not signed.
  • Medical not updated or not signed.
  • Log book in disarray or inaccurate.
  • Failing to be prepped for the test.
  • Bashing present or former employers.
  • Dressed inappropriately.

In summary, if you follow these guidelines you will have a much better chance of success in landing your next job as you advance your career.

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Cessna 172 Skyhawk

Cessna 172 Skyhawk

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk Is a high wing, single-engine aircraft that seats four. The first 172 was flown in 1955. More Cessna 172s have been built than any other aircraft. The Cessna 172 is considered the most successful aircraft in history. as of 2012 more than 60,000 172s have been produced. the Cessna 172 is Typically powered by 1 × Lycoming IO-360-L2A four cylinder, horizontally opposed aircraft engine, 160 hp. The 172 has a range of 881 Miles.

With more than 43,000 aircraft made, the Skyhawk is the best-selling, most-flown plane ever built. It also enjoys a distinguished reputation as the safest general aviation aircraft available. The Skyhawk is a top performer, showcasing the agility, stability, and durable strength that Cessna is famous for.

Range, payload, and versatility that you’d expect from a larger aircraft. Ergonomics that keep a pilot alert and focused for the duration of a long flight. Advanced avionics technology (glass cockpit with Garmin navigation) for ease of operation and enhanced safety.

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