Category: Safety Check

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 […]

Safety Check – Using Superior Judgment

Like many pilots, my email inbox seems to fill up almost daily with aviation newsletters. Sometimes, these newsletters include accident reports, which I will comb through as a helpful learning opportunity. However, I’ve noticed that the NTSB’s official, listed reason for a reported crash doesn’t always tell the full story. For example, a pilot might […]

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 […]

Cell phones and soybeans, a guide for using cameras in the air

A few years ago, the minds at WIRED Magazine calculated the terminal velocity of an iPhone to be about 65 feet per second. Theoretically, they concluded, an iPhone falling hundreds of feet onto a soft surface would only see about half the amount of G force as an iPhone falling just three feet onto hard […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How special is Special VFR?

Heli-Expo 2023 is being held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA March 6 – 9. As always it is a great event. I would encourage you to attend one or more of the many educational events sponsored by HAI. This year I will be presenting “DPE’s Pet Peeves” on Wednesday, March 8th […]

Bad Habits are self-induced risks

As many of you will attest, Enstrom builds one of the safest helicopters in the world. And if Chuck Surack has his way that long-standing reputation will only be exacerbated with an improved product line that is second to none. However, Enstrom can only do so much to protect us. Once the airworthiness certificate is […]