Author: Randy Sharkey

Safety Check: The Magic Number for Senior Insurance

It’s always hard for me to see a long-time Enstrom dealer close their business. I recently discovered the reason behind one such closure, and I couldn’t help but wonder, could this have ended differently? The owner had run a successful helicopter operation for many years, maintained a solid relationship with the FAA, and appeared to… Read more »

Safety Check – Surviving an IIMC Event

I recently observed one of my friends, a fellow CFII, helping a pilot perform multiple instrument approaches. For the purposes of this article, I’ll call the pilot “George” and the instructor “Sam.” Sam informed me George had faced a very scary experience the previous week after encountering inadvertent entry into instrument meteorological conditions (IIMC). George… Read more »

Safety Check: Ignoring Safety Puts You on Santa’s Naughty List

Santa fly-ins have become increasingly popular these days. Enstrom just flew Santa to a children’s breakfast in Menominee and our friends at Sweet Helicopters down in Fort Wayne chartered Santa from Indy Metro Airport to the Indiana State Museum. If you’re ever assigned to flying Santa Claus, be sure to double check your helicopter’s weight… Read more »

Safety Check: The lines you don’t cross

Here’s a question for you: what does the red and white crosshatched line (solid blue on older models) mean on your Enstrom’s airspeed indicator? I swear it’s not a trick question, but it often seems to trip up aspiring pilots during a check ride’s oral questioning. “Oh, that’s an easy one,” one student said. “It’s… Read more »

Safety Check: Stayin’ Alive with Precautionary Landings

84 years ago, in September of 1939, Igor Sikorsky lifted off in a VS-300, the world’s first practical helicopter, for an entire ten seconds in Stratford, Connecticut. Since then, helicopter manufacturers, like Enstrom Helicopter Corporation, have invested in new technology to make rotorcraft safer. However, no helicopter is 100% crash-proof. Former HAI president, the late… Read more »

Safety Check: Summer Flying Tips

As I type this month’s Safety Check, I can hear a group of local pilots discussing their plans to fly to AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI. Organizers expect more than 10,000 aircraft to be there. We’re expecting good flying weather, but the hot summer air can still pose a few challenges. Here are a few tips… Read more »

Safety Check: Vuichard Recovery becoming more popular

In this month’s edition of “Safety Check,” let’s review the recovery procedures for vortex ring state (VRS), formerly known as Settling with Power. Unfortunately, vortex ring state leads to a number of crashes each year, as it occurs close to the ground where there is little altitude remaining for recovery. Vortex ring state occurs when… Read more »

Safety Check: Tweaking the Rotor RPM

Last week, I conducted five check rides over a four-day period. We flew in a Huges 269C, Guimball Cabri G-2, Enstrom 280FX, and an older Enstrom model F28A. While each aircraft operated flawlessly, I noticed many applicants struggled to maintain the rotor RPM in their respective helicopters. The Guimball Cabri G-2 is equipped with a… Read more »

Safety Check – What is a true formation flight?

Recently we had a client request an aerial tour of a property in central Indiana. The flight request involved multiple helicopters. During the pilot safety briefing, it was discussed having one pilot who would make the radio calls on behalf of the other aircraft. Knowing this would be a revenue flight we could not be… Read more »

Upcoming Events

The Great Alaskan Aviation Gathering

05/04/2024
Location: The Alaska State Fairgrounds
The first weekend in May every year, Alaskans gather to celebrate aviation and plan for the upcoming flying season by attending the largest free aviation event in the nation!

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Washington DC Flyover

05/11/2024
Location: Washington, DC
The GA Flyover will commemorate the many contributions general aviation has provided to this nation over the past eight decades.

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Enstrom Maintenance Course, Piston

06/03/2024 Fri., 06/07/2024
Cost: $1,400 Per Person
Location: Menominee, Michigan, USA
Enstrom offers maintenance courses to educate pilots and ground crew. They are I.A. Renewal Accredited.

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