The Cicare CH-12 Helicopter

The CICARE CH-12, is the latest offering from the Cicaré company. It is a two-seat light helicopter for civilian use that is sold as a kit. This product summarizes the experience of Augusto Cicaré and the creativity of an avant-garde design team.

The result is an aesthetically stunning helicopter for both exterior and interior lines, an unprecedented design in this type of aircraft. One of the most important design premises were the interior comfort, so that we can say that our cabine is one of the most comfortable of the segment.

The CICARE CH-12 is made entirely of aerospace materials and the blades are made of composite materials with useful life on condition. The CH-12 is presented as a new option and it sums up many technical solutions provided for the creativity and experience of Augusto Cicaré. The power plant used is Lycoming O-360, which gives us the greatest safety as regards one of the most important components in a helicopter.

About Cicaré Helicopters

  • Cicare has 14 different models of helicopters, and the Helicopter Flight Trainer Cicaré SVH-4, which positions them as worldwide Research and Development leaders in the Aerospace sector.
  • Throughout their developments they have researched and tested different technologies. As for rotors: (two-bladed, three-bladed and four blades, rigid, semi-rigid and articulated, conventional and contrarrotantes). As for different engines (piston and turbine), and different sizes (from 115 kgs cars a two-seater of 1400 kgs), so that the solutions that we are using in their products today are the result of experience.
  • Cicaré technical manager, Mr. Augusto Cicaré has an important track record. Among his main achievements there are: in 1958 flew his first helicopter, the CH-1, becoming the first to do so in Latin America; he was the world pioneered of ultralight helicopter.
  • Cicaré built the CICARE CH-4 in 1980, one of the world’s first ultra-light, then the CH-6 CH-7 model, recognized for its innovative command system.
  • In 1996 he invented the Simulator / Trainer Helicopter Flight Cicaré SVH-3, which was awarded with gold medal for best invention of the world in the aerospace category in the Geneva Motor Show in 1999.
  • Cicare S.A. have a professional team that have been working with Augusto Cicare for years, and a variety of developments that allow us to offer models and configurations that will cover the needs and tastes of different markets. They are currently producing the Simulator / Trainer Helicopter Flight CICARE SVH-3, the one seat helicopter CH-7B and the first pre-serie of the two-seater helicopter CICARE CH-12.
  • Cicaré is also in the final stage of development of the tandem two-seater helicopter powered turbine CICARE CH-14.
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Certified Flight Instructor Training Pays Off for ULA Graduate

Jeff Vogel, Certified Flight Instructor with Upper Limit Aviation is “Living the Dream”. Jeff instructs student pilots at ULA’s Cedar City campus. If your dream is to fly helicopters for a living, contact Jeff.  He is more than happy to talk you through the process of going through certified flight instructor training and becoming a commercial pilot ([email protected]).

Against All Odds – Chasing The Dream Until it is Achieved
Some people have a knack for spending every waking moment working to reach a goal they have set. Jeff Vogel is that type of person; he knows what he wants to do in life and won’t let anything deter him from his dream. The world of aviation can be intimidating, but for Jeff it has been an adventure. At thirteen, Jeff had already completed his first intro flight in an airplane.
“I grew up in an aviation-loving family; I have photos of when I was a baby sitting on the hood of the car watching planes come in while eating french fries. When I was thirteen I flew my first intro flight lesson in a Cessna 172. I remember that I could not stop smiling for weeks,” said Jeff Vogel, CFI with Upper Limit Aviation.
“As a kid I usually had a GI Joe in one hand and a model plane or helicopter in the other, and when I was in kindergarten I remember telling my teacher I wanted to be a pilot.”
Jeff’s father passed away when he was only eight years old. However, Jeff’s father did influence him in regard to “following his passion” for aviation.
“My father told me when I was young ‘Don’t fuss about things in life that you don’t really love or care for… if aviation is your passion and you know that’s what you want to do, give it your all, give everything you have to strive and make it work, and that really stuck with me,” said Jeff.
With his determination to become involved in aviation, Jeff flew an airplane before he drove a car, and while most kids participated in the regular extra-curricular activities after school, Jeff flew over them in an attempt to continue building his solo flight time.
“I remember my Junior year in high school, the football coach came to me and told me that he wanted me to play on the varsity football team. The coach told me that I needed to stop flying so much. I remember looking at him and saying ‘I don’t think so’,” recalled Jeff. “Football was all this guy lived for and flying was all I lived for. I remember flying over the football team while they ran scrimmages saying to myself and smiling, ‘I think I made the right choice here’.” 
Jeff_Vogel_HelicopterAfter Jeff had finished high school, he joined the United States Marine Corp while attending Ohio University and received a degree in Aviation Management.
“I went into the Marine Corp because I thought I would like to be a pilot in the military and it was good. But I realized didn’t want to pursue being a military pilot, but that’s where my love for helicopters grew,” said Jeff.
“I flew around in helicopters in Afghanistan, but that wasn’t nearly as fun as being up front and in control.  I looked at twelve or more flight schools before I choose ULA.  I really wanted to make sure I picked a great flight school. One that would take care of my needs – having an impeccable job placement rate to set me up for success.  So, I chose Upper Limit Aviation and I haven’t looked back.”
Never Looking Back – Setting Goals Until They Become Reality
After leaving the military, Jeff joined Upper Limit Aviation’s Helicopter Pilot program. Like most first-time helicopter pilots, Jeff’s first flight was one he would never forget.
“I distinctly remember my first flight in a helicopter and walking out to the flight line, seeing all the Upper Limit pilots in their flight suits and it was slightly intimidating. But everyone one was just really nice and had a fun attitude.  When we first picked up into a hover, I knew this was something special, and absolutely exciting,” said Jeff.
“I knew this was where I wanted my office to be, in the front seat of a helicopter – in the pilot’s seat.” 
Jeff_Vogel_MarinesFlight school has its challenges, but for Jeff these challenges have been learning tools he’s leveraged for success.
“My biggest challenge was being as proactive as possible. People are there if you need help, especially in Upper Limit, but its up to you to be your own leader and make sure you study” said Jeff.
“You have to be a self driven and motivated individual. I have wanted to fly since I was born. I would pick flying over everything, but sometimes it can be a lot of work. You have to be dedicated and disciplined to become a professional pilot.”
Jeff makes it clear that anyone coming into the ULA Flight program should know a few key things. “You have got to be focused and driven – you have to know where you are headed and the pathway that gets you there,” said Jeff.
“You have to be driven, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. People can get burnt out and just go too fast without realizing the work behind it.  I like to set a good pace and focus on the finish line.”
Jeff_Vogel_as_a_young_pilotJeff does take some time to focus on other things besides flying, and has found a way to stay focused and proactive to reach his goal of becoming a skilled professional helicopter pilot. Jeff is a newlywed and he loves to ride motorcycles and enjoys the great outdoors.
“For student pilots it’s non-stop studying, and our students group up to study together, and have fun doing it… It’s a family atmosphere at ULA. In the summer students are out by the pool and they study by the pool in-between swimming and playing golf,” said Jeff.
Jeff highly recommends Upper Limit Aviation to any prospective student who has the dream to fly, especially if they are interested in certified flight instructor training.
 
“With big work comes big payoff, and flying helicopters is not for everyone. You have to be willing to sacrifice and stay focused. Everyone at ULA has had to get in a U-haul and move across the country to attend flight school. It’s scary, but understand that most of the ULA students and instructors have had to sacrifice, and those that took the leap and worked their tail off are happy they did.  For me, I am entering into a booming industry with fantastic job opportunities. I am living the dream.”  
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Caleb Mason: ULA Graduate and Ag Pilot

Caleb Mason, Upper Limit Aviation graduate and current Agriculture Pilot (or Ag Pilot), recently shared an update regarding his commercial pilot journey – bringing us up to speed about what has transpired since he finished the ULA flight training program less than a year ago.

Ag Pilots fly specially-designed helicopters to apply herbicides, insecticides, seeds and fertilizers on crops, orchards, forests, fields, and swamps. Other applications include counting cattle and inspecting crops.

Caleb Mason is 33 years old, and has accumulated 550 of flight hours by flying for Ag Air, Inc., in Central California. Ag Air, Inc., is a fairly small Agriculture aerial applicator company, flying between 400hrs to 600hrs annually. Caleb shared his impression of his new job with Ag Air, “I love what i do, I love working with the growers and getting to know them and being able to help them continue to farm in the area.”

Caleb started our conversation by saying, “agricultural piloting is an interesting field, and I don’t have a wide spread grasp of the entire industry, but in my particular area, which is the San Joaquin and Stanislaus County, we work predominately with row crops, tomatoes, corn, beans, alfalfa, pumpkins and watermelons. We are also branching out to include walnuts and almonds orchards.”

Caleb’s Agriculture Career Journey Stated Well Before Flight School

Caleb stated that he got into Agriculture spraying because he knew the owner of Ag Air, Inc., prior to attending flight school. Caleb had actually started working in the agricultural industry prior to enlisting in the Marine Corps. In addition, during his flight school training in Salt Lake City, Caleb studied for the for the California’s aerial applicator license. Caleb used his network contact and previous work experience to plan out his career path before he earned a single pilot certificate.

While Mason was not flying or studying during flight training he found the time to pick up some work with Ag Air, Inc. as a “loader” (loading chemicals on to the helicopter tanks). It was during that time that Caleb received the training about chemicals, how they interact, their applications. More importantly, Mason learned how to work safely around helicopters.

When Mason left Upper Limit in December of 2014, he earned his commercial and instrument ratings, along with gaining experience with external load flying (300 flight hours). Caleb started full time employment with Ag Air right after he left Salt Lake City.

Due to the fact that Caleb had low flight hours, his boss came up with a training program in order to get the company’s insurance provider to cover him. Caleb stated that “An Ag Pilot from his area earns any where between $30,000 to $80,000 annually, depending upon experience and commission rates”.

Caleb’s Early Employment as an Ag Pilot

“At first, I could only ferry the helicopter to and from the job site. I couldn’t actually work as a crop duster. Next, I was to rinsing loads at the end of each job. At the end of every job we would run clean water through the spray system to rinse out any chemical residue that may damage the crops in the next job. While it seemed frustrating at the time, it helped me get used to taking off with a load, how to effectively perform Ag turns, and how to survey the fields for hazards such as wires, irrigation stand pipes, people in adjacent fields and other crop dusters in the area.”

Eventually, Caleb was ready to fly, “My boss and I would fly together – he would fly a load, and I would fly a load. That way he could double check how far off line I was and if I was able to get good coverage.”

“Before and after jobs we did a lot of training on how to lay a job out, what is the requirement from the farmer? I learned how many gallons per acre are we trying to achieve and the proper material required for each job. I learned all about the difference between coarse droplets and fine droplets and their proper use. I also learned about where to best set up the nurse truck and be efficient through the field.”

“By May I was flying jobs solo with oversight of our senior pilot, who would watch from the ground and then critique the job after we got back. There is a lot that goes into flying Ag applicators.”

How Caleb Stood Out Over Other Pilots

During flight school Caleb constructed a smart career plan. Caleb shared his method with us to pass along to current students, as Mason stated, “One of the things that I did to make myself more appealing to my boss was that I also got my A&P (Airframe & Powerplant) while i was going to flight school. So not only do I work as an Ag Pilot but I also do almost all of the maintenance.” Now that was smart!

Because of where Ag Air is located they are able to fly about 9 to 10 months of the year. They spray herbicide to kill weeds and pesticide to kill insects. In addition, Ag Air performs aerial fertilizing, seeding, cherry drying and frost control. Caleb went on to say, “An area we are getting more work from is the organic sector. There are 268 registered chemicals you can spray on organic produce and it is still considered organic. It is big business in California.”

Caleb’s Time in Salt Lake City, Utah at Upper Limit Aviation

“There are a lot of nice things about Utah. I got big into rock climbing when I was there and was spoiled with being so close to all the fantastic spots that were only minutes away. I also really enjoyed all of the instructors I worked with at ULA. From Matt Tanzer, who was my private pilot instructor, to Chelsea Tugaw, Chad Stevens, Kevin Horn and many more. These people brought fort. In addition, ULA was very helpful when I was looking to move to Salt Lake City when I first got out of the Marine Corps.”

Caleb has a job that he loves, working with people he likes, and has a clear vision of his future. We congratulate Caleb on a job well done, and wish him continued success as he advances his pilot career.

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Solar Impulse 2 – Exploration to Change the World of Aviation

Latest Update on the Solar Impulse 2 Journey (see video below)

On June 29th, 2015, 18:03 GMT Sunday, the Solar Impulse 2 took off from Nagoya, Japan. It’s traveling to the Islands of Hawaii of the United States. This feat, if accomplished, will be the first ever flight fueled by solar power only. This achievement has never before occurred. If successful, clean technologies like solar power will once again be in the forefront of aircraft manufacturers drawing boards and design floors.

Piloting the Solar Impulse are Captain Andre Borschlberg, who is the co-founder, CEO and founder of the Solar Impulse Airplane with Bertrand Piccard, co-pilot, initiator, and president of the Humanitarian Foundation, “Winds of Hope”. Together they are taking on the challenge of flying around the world in an airplane propelled especially and solely by solar energy. Completely without fossil fuels of any kind or creating even the smallest amount of pollution, the Solar Impulse Aircraft promotes the potential of renewable energy sources and new technologies.

Latest Updated Video of the Solar Impulse Journey (posted September 2nd, 2015)

Original Video of the Solar Impulse Journey

Solar Impulse Si2 by Solar Impulse on Sketchfab

Will the Solar Impulse make it to Hawaii, U.S. from Nagoya, Japan?

The Solar Impulse is flying in the dark about the Pacific Ocean right now on its track to Hawaii. There is a optimal day and flight cycle that is scheduled but can be greatly affected by weather and also by air traffic. When the Solar Impulse’s route is altered it can trigger a flight simulation to check whether the stage is still feasible due to the changes and or external constraints.

The flight is expected to take 120 hours and with solar power only reach the Hawaiian Islands.  This flight, if successful, will help promote and encourage the use of clean technologies for future aircraft design.

The SI2 will be monitored from the Mission Control Center which keeps the pilot and Solar Impulse 2 on its plan. The Sat. Com System transmits data to the mission room, everything from temperature of the motors, to the position of the aircraft and even the tension in the accumulators. One of the projects main accomplishments was the energy system that optimizes the system architecture. It is similar to the challenges faced in dealing with satellites, so a satellite specialist was involved in the system design from day one.

The team believes that all possibilities have been simulated by a very disciplined team that found the right combination of weather patterns and paved the way for the solar airplane to go into controlled airspace and be prepared for landings at international airports.

Interesting facts about the Solar Impulse 2:

  • By simulating flight routes, the eventual plan for Solar Impulse 2 was optimized.
  • At sunset the Solar Impulse 2 must be at maximum altitude to make it through the night.
  • Solar Impulse 2 glides down during the night, with the propellers just ticking over to reduce air resistance.
  • The pilot must still wait at sunrise before climbing, until the sun is strong enough.
  • The outputs from simulation models are checked again and again by each team for feasibility.

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford, American Industrialist and Founder of the Ford Motor Co.

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More Female Helicopter Pilots in the Industry

There is a very recent upward trend of female helicopter pilots entering into the “male dominated” helicopter industry. We believe this is good news, and this movement seems to be world wide. At Upper Limit Aviation we are finding that more women are donning flight suits with the aspiration of becoming commercial helicopter pilots.

This article focuses on this upward trend, and attempts to bring more awareness to women regarding the career opportunities in aviation – specifically the helicopter pilot segment of aviation.

Currently, there are many women working in the aviation industry – from airline gate agents and flight attendants, to every nook and cranny of the corporate airline arena. However, until recently, not many women have been found in the cockpit as pilots, especially in the rotorcraft world. But things are changing.

And on that positive note, the Whirly-Girls Scholarship fund has announced five additional scholarships to be awarded to women in the helicopter aviation industry. The application for procuring these scholarships closes on October 1, 2015.

One example among many is Starlite Helicopter and Fixed Wing Training Academy, out of Western Cape, South Africa. Starlite has seen a tremendous increase in the enrollment of women into their helicopter flight school. (see recent news video below). Starlite’s story is only one of many stories being played out all over the globe.

For many years now most everyone in the aviation industry has been trying to attract more women into the pilot’s seat. However, for women there seems to be insurmountable walls, hurdles, and obstacles preventing them from joining the commercial pilot ranks. We believe that we can be a part of changing that.

There has been a noticeable stagnation in the number of women pilots up until 20 years ago. The reason for the lack of growth is complicated. Some of the more obvious reasons are related to our culture, lack of funding, misconceptions regarding skill development, and lack of awareness of career opportunities. And, there has been some unexplainable “mysterious” reasons that no one can put their finger on.

Growth Trends of Female Helicopter Pilots in the Industry

Although women have been involved in the aviation industry since its beginning, the growth of women pilots over the last 100 years has been less than impressive. Nonetheless, we believe that there is a bright future for women in aviation, especially in the area of helicopters. There are strong indicators in the industry that the number of female pilots is going up, and will continue to do so into the next decade.

Currently, 5% of airline pilots are women, and only 450 sit in the captain’s seat. However, the 5% represents a big increase when compared to twenty years ago. We believe this growth trend will continue for fixed wing pilots. In the helicopter world women pilots make up less than 3% of the total number of pilots. Even though 3% seems small, its a huge increase when compared to even 10 years ago.

At Upper Limit Aviation we have seen a steady flow of women enrolling in our flight schools. However, we are not satisfied, and we are committed to work even harder to recruit female students until we see explosive growth and see more female helicopter pilots.

The Misconception of Skill Development in Women

It takes a great deal of physical coordination to fly helicopters. In addition, pilot’s have to have good eyesight, good hearing, and be able to handle mulit-tasking well (both mental and physical activities). It should also be obvious, that good pilots need fast and smooth reflexes, and stable minds (they cannot panic or crack under pressure).

Some industry experts say that women are better equipped than men in their ability to make the delicate and graceful controlled movements that are required of helicopter pilots. They even say that women can react more quickly, handle navigation with more finesse, and have a better sense of direction (intuition).

Some believe that women, in regard to their fine motor movements are more subtle, giving them an distinct advantage over men when movement involves piloting skills. Women pilots are also thought to have great leadership abilities. They are more patient, more humble, and more cautious. Whether any of these statements are true is debatable, and more importantly, irrelevent. Female pilots we have known have shown that women can be great pilots, just like men, period!

Generally, most women are physically and mentally equipped to be pilot helicopters. It is our experience that women make incredible pilots, and we would like to see more women enroll into flight school. If this is true, the issue must be that too many women do not think they can become good pilots.

To become a commercial pilot it takes a total 100% commitment. To become an employable (safe and competent) pilot it takes piloting skills, competency, and professionalism. We believe that women are just as capable as men, in regard to fulfilling the important elements of piloting. Women are just as committed, dedicated, and willing to make the sacrifices of becoming a professional pilot as the men. The only issue is that there are less women venturing into flight school. We would like to change this dynamic.

If you know any women that have dreamed of becoming a pilot, please go and encourage them to pursue their dream. Perhaps share this article with them and be a part of the movement of more women becoming commercial pilots.

For more information about Helicopter Pilot Careers, see the links below.

Tier 1 Piloting Jobs

Tier 2 Piloting Jobs

Tier 3 Piloting Jobs

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Enstrom TH180: Will it Compete with the Robinson R22?

Enstrom Helicopter Corporation has a new training aircraft called the TH180 but the company had been keeping the details of this new helicopter confidential until Heli Expo last March 2015. Could this helicopter, the Enstrom TH180, answer the call for a low-cost training alternative to the Robinson 22, which is by far the most widely used helicopter in flight training?

It is uncertain whether the new TH180 will impact the well-defined niche and sales of the Robinson R22, but we know for sure that Enstrom is passionate about safety and their helicopters offer superior performance for flight training, aviation law enforcement training and commercial operations.

Enstrom TH180 Helicopter is a low-cost, 2-seat, piston-powered aircraft is slated for certification before the end of 2015. The TH180 aircraft is a cut-back version of the Enstrom’s popular FX-280 three-seat model.

Enstrom officials said the TH180 should have direct operating costs of approximately $175 per hour and an hourly fuel burn of less than 12 gallons per hour. The price of the TH180 at launch is expected to be around $365K.

This aircraft is powered by the 210-hp Lycoming HIO-390 engine and it features an electric clutch switch and a engine harness. All Enstrom Helicopters are made in the United States with domestic parts and labor.

Will Enstrom’s plan to release a flight training aircraft competitor to the Robinson R22 create downward pressure on the price of flight training? This prospect is one that many in the industry are watching closely, since the it may influence flight training costs and availability in a significant way. We will most definitely be watching these developments with great interest, and keeping you posted on this topic.

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Landing Helicopter Tour Jobs

“Almost every day during flight training or flying tours you’ll have an incredible Ah-Ha moment.  You are in the air when it  hits you; you can’t believe you get to fly helicopters for a living,” said Troy Barnum, former helicopter Flight Instructor for Upper Limit Aviation.

An aptitude test taken in high school is what ignited the spark of curiosity for Troy to look into the aviation industry.  The test recommended he seek a career in fixing airplanes, but he saw himself flying them instead. “The test said my interest would put me as being an airplane mechanic. I said ‘I don’t know about turning wrenches, but I’ll go fly the darn things’ and from there that’s where it all started.”

Troy attended Boise State University in Boise Idaho and earned bachelors degree in Business Administration.  After he was done with his degree, he decided to go to flight school where Tina Barnum, Troy’s wife helped to keep him motivated throughout his training.

“My wife was supportive of me following my dream and without her I don’t think I could have made it trough it.  She helped quiz me when I was learning everything I needed to learn, but the biggest help was when she helped boost my confidence after a bad flight.”

After Troy had completed helicopter flight school, he began instructing new students that enrolled in the school.

“It was the biggest weight lifted off my chest, this was the career I wanted and to be offered a chance to be an Instructor after flight school was a huge relief.”

While Troy was the teacher, he was still able to learn a few things himself. “Your first student, when you start instructing, is always the scariest, it is because of the small amount of instructing time you have gone into it.  Every little thing seems like a big deal and after you get more time as an instructor you realize it actually isn’t that big a deal.”

“The thing I love the most is teaching new students how to hover.  I remember sitting in the seat and watching them struggle thinking ‘I was that guy just a few months ago’ and now I’m the guy that stabilizes the helicopter for them.”

For Troy, it was important to know he gave his students everything they needed to succeed. “I loved to see my students get it and succeed, for me it is more about teaching them how to fly rather than just building my own flight time.  The first student I sent for his check ride actually failed it, and it just felt like I had failed the check ride.  After a remediation flight, he went back and passed and was actually flying at commercial standards.”

Helicopter Tour Jobs After Flight Training

Troy took his first job after Upper Limit Aviation, landing one of the available helicopter tour jobs in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  While Troy’s main job was doing tours over the beach, he was able to do a few unique flights that opened his eyes to just how diverse helicopters could be. “You get groups of people who get weird ideas and they throw a helicopter into it because they know people love helicopters.  I was able to do an Easter egg drop for a bunch of school kids. I had never done it before so when I dropped them they all landed in one big pile; afterward I realized I should have scattered them.  As I flew away, I looked back to see a bunch of kids running toward this big pile of eggs… it was great. The other flight that was different was a golf ball drop for a fundraiser, where I dropped about one or two hundred pounds of golf balls on the putting green. uUnfortunately I missed the hole by about 10 feet.”

After flying tours in Myrtle Beach, Troy made the move to come back to ULA as an instructor, but this time he had more than just the normal point-to-point flights under his belt.  Troy had real helicopter industry experience to share with his students, which gave them a first-hand account of the industry, and opportunities such as helicopter tour jobs, outside of flight school.

“Helicopters are different from airplanes; you get to do random things like drop Easter eggs and golf balls, which makes flying helicopters a lot of fun.” While it was important to keep his students excited about their future in flying, he also tried to keep them focused on the hard work ahead.

“The biggest misconception about flying is that it is only filled with fun – that is only 50 percent of things. There is a lot of work to do as a pilot and when you go through flight school.  You have to know how to react in emergencies and such, there is a lot of serious natured things when flying a helicopter that people need to be prepared to handle when they get into it.”

Troy has built enough flight time after instructing at Upper Limit Aviation to move on to helicopter tour jobs in the Grand Canyon.  He is now flying for Papillon Airways, which is the world’s largest aerial sightseeing company. “I look forward to continuing my progression in learning new things.  The Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world, and I get to fly in it every day.  You never get tired of seeing all of these beautiful scenic locations.  The variety of things you get to see when you fly is what makes flying so great.”

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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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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.
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.

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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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.

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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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.

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.

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.

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